Hard water is a common nuisance within many homes. While there are not any profound health risks, this type of water can still lead to other problems over time. Before taking a look at some of the potential effects, it is a good idea to quickly examine hard water from a scientific point of view.
What Exactly is Hard Water?
Hard water is essentially a type of water that contains a significant amount of dissolved material. The most common substances are high concentrations of calsium, sodium and magnesium. The level of these substances will depend on your location as well as how the water may have been filtered before entering your home. You could also notice that hard tap water tastes somewhat different when compared to distilled water.
Limescale Within the Pipes
Let us assume that you have already purchased a professional water test kit and hard water has been detected. Why is this a problem? One main issue is that the dissolved minerals will eventually deposit themselves within the interior of pipes, faucets and other fixtures. It can also appear as limescale around sinks and bathtubs. Limescale is difficult to remove and if left unchecked, chemical solvents may be required.
Cleaning and Washing Issues
Have you noticed that your soap or shampoo fail to lather properly when washing? This is not likely due to the brand or formulation in question, but it will ofteen result from the presence of hard water. Some types of hard water contain trace amounts of sodium and this can prevent soap bubbles from forming.
Another point to make involves individuals with sensitive skin (particularly children and infants). Hard water may occasionally cause slight irritation; leading to discomfort during the bathing process. Once again, this is why it could be better to have your water tested to determine whether a tap filter may be required.
Damage to Appliances
We mentioned earlier that hard water can lead to an accumulation of limescale. Not only is this a rather unsightly issue, but it could actually cause physical damage to appliances that require water to function properly. Here are some examples:
- Washing machines
- Coffee makers
- Water heaters and boilers
Unfortunately, machines that have succumbed to the effects of hard water cannot be easily repaired. You might instead be required to purchase an entirely new unit (an expensive proposition when dealing with appliances such as refrigerators or a heating system).
What Solutions are Available?
You will be happy to learn that there are many ways to deal with hard water within the home. One common and cost-effective method involves the use of filtration units that can be attached to existing taps. It may also be possible to purchase water softeners that are used to treat the water before it enters the pipes themselves.
Do you suspect that hard water is causing issues? If so, it is wise to consult with a professional in order to determine the most appropriate solution.