Hard water occurs in several homes and in some cases, it can occur unexpectedly. We have all learned or heard of hard water and have an idea of what it is. Hard water refers to water that has a high concentration of mineral elements, and this concentration is in excess and can prove to be harmful in some cases. Water is essential for a lot of processes in our home and when the water that flows into the home is hard, it can cause several problems. Hard water can be identified through some common practices like inability to form lather with soap. With the number of household processes and chores that require water, it is necessary to ensure that there is a steady supply of pure water to avoid some of the problems associated with hard water.
Causes of hard water
Hard water doesn’t occur naturally and as such, there is some factor that leads to the hardening of water. Hard water is primarily caused by water flowing through a large accumulation of minerals like limestone. When your water source flows through such a deposit, there is bound to be mineral deposit in the water, causing the water to turn hard.
Effects of hard water
With all the uses of water, there are bound to be affected when the water supplied is hard. Some of the common effects of hard water include:
- It defaces bathroom equipment: Water is very useful in the bathroom especially when we wash the bathroom. With constant hard water usage in the bathroom, the particles in water are gradually deposited on the surface of the bathroom. This continues to accumulate with the usage of water until the accumulation becomes visible and defaces the equipment.
- It causes blocked pipes and drainage: Water flows constantly through drainage and water supply pipes, and as the water flows, there are gradual deposits through the pipeline. The deposits are continued as water continues to flow, and while the particles are too little to cause any problems, the accumulation continues until it forms large particles that can cause a blockage. This blockage cause pipes and drainages to be backed up, which has other ramifications.
- It causes soap buildup: Soap does not easily lather with hard water, and when it does, it usually requires excessive amounts of soap. This causes soap foam, which usually accumulates in sinks and bathtubs, and contributes to defacing your equipment surfaces. The soap foam also contributes to particle accumulation in drainages and pipes.
- It makes your clothes fade: Water is used for laundry and when hard water is used, there can be some undesirable effects. The excessive amounts of chemicals present in hard water, reacts with the fabric of the clothes, making it soft and lose its color, causing the clothes to fade.
- It causes dry skin: Hard water also reacts with the skin, causing the skin to dry up, and in some extreme cases, break.
Eliminating the hardness of water
When you notice any of the effects of hard water in your home, or you move into a new home and want to make sure that you don’t have hard water present, it is important to carry out a confirmatory test to verify the presence of hard water. Once the test is complete and you are certain that hard water is present in your home, you can now take the appropriate action to eliminate the hard nature of water and have purified water in your home. Methods of eliminating the hard nature of water include:
- Use of vinegar: Vinegar is a popular household item and does not incur any added cost on your part. Vinegar is known for some of its alternatives uses like cleaning household appliances, and eliminating the stain, including stains caused by hard water. It, however, has the added benefit of being able to remove the hardness of the water. Vinegar is very reactive with calcium, which is one of the major components of hard water, and as such, helps to eliminate the calcium, and thus eliminates the water hardness. However, it is important to note that the vinegar needs to be applied in little quantities, as an excessive amount of vinegar will further pollute the water, and would defy the entire process of purifying the water.
- The use or water softeners: Technology seems to have an answer to every problem and hard water is no exception. Water softeners are devices that are installed in the water source and it helps eliminate the harness in water as it flows. Water softeners work in one of two ways: The first way water softener operates, is by dispensing certain chemicals that have been determined to remove the hardness of water, in little quantities, and at regular intervals into the water. This ensures that the water is continuously being treated. The second way is through filtration. The chemicals causing the hard nature of the water are so abundant that they collect and form particles. These particles are collected by the water softener, thus eliminating the hard nature of the water. The use of water softeners has proven to be the most effective way of dealing with hard water and while it will cost you some money, it can be regarded as money well spent. If you decide to install a water softener system, you should check reviews of the top water softeners on the market. This will ensure that you have enough information before purchasing your water system and you can get the best system for you. It is also imperative to research cost of a water softener system so you can have the right idea on how much it will cost you to install a water softener system in your home.
While it is best to take preventive measures and ensure that there is no hard water in your home, you may find that you already have this problem. In such a situation, there is no need to panic, you can try one of these solutions and get pure water.