A recent survey indicated that almost 90% of American homes have a problem with hard water. “Hard water” is caused by having various, generally harmless, minerals from the water supply dissolved into the water. Among these minerals are manganese, calcium, and magnesium. Technically speaking, hard water is that which contains more than one grain per gallon (GPG) of dissolved minerals. Until water reaches four or more GPG though it is unlikely that most people would consider it “hard water”.
Hard water can be problematic for plumbing systems as well, especially for areas dealing with hot water. Many of these minerals crystallize when exposed to heat, then eventually build up and cause clogs. These clogs can restrict water flow thereby reducing water pressure and reducing the efficiency of hot-water appliances like dishwashers and the water heater itself.
Hard water also has a discomfort factor associated with it. The minerals in hard water have a reaction with many of the ingredients in everyday soaps and detergents. The result is that people will often have a harder time working up a soapy cleaning lather in the shower, and the bi-product will leave visually unpleasant spots and streaks on dishes. Clean laundry will also be stiffer. The taste of hard water is also something that people find unpleasant, some even claiming that they “dislike the odor” of hard water.
If hard water is affecting your life in any negative way, then perhaps it is time to look into acquiring one of the many available water softening systems on the market today. These systems are often quite affordable after the initial expense is over with and work well. Some of these systems though output a sodium waste during the softening process that some local authorities may consider a pollutant, so doing a little homework before making a purchase may be the thing to do in order to avoid breaking the law.