What is hard water anyway?

Water is a solvent. As it passes through the ground and through piping systems, it picks up bits and pieces of everything it touches, and this includes minerals that dissolve into the water. When we say somewhere has hard water, we are really talking about high dissolved mineral content in the water. In our region we have a lot of calcium and magnesium in the water due to the significant amount of limestone underground.

We measure the amount of minerals with a water hardness test kit and our results are measured in grains of hardness. The higher the number, the higher the mineral content.

  • Soft water usually reads between 0-2 grains of hardness.
  • Hard water is usually up to about 10 grains of hardness.
  • 10+ grains of hardness is considered very hard.

In our region of Montgomery County, it is typical to see a range from 10-25 Grains of hardness.

Why is this problematic? We know water picks up mineral content as it travels, but leaves it behind wherever there is a change in temperature. This is why mineral scale forms on the plumbing fixtures in your home. It builds up on your faucets, aerators, spouts, and appliances It hazes your dishwashers, calcifies your heating elements in your water heaters, and leaves residue on your shower glass doors and tile.

The minerals that create hard water also bond with the active ingredients in your detergents and soaps. This causes us to use 2-3 times more soap than should be necessary when showering, washing hair, doing laundry, washing dishes etc. This in turn leads to more soap scum on fixtures, faded clothing, dry skin, and hair that doesn’t cooperate.

So what can we do?

PlumbPRO Services offers an entire line of products that treat water throughout your home. For municipal water, we typically offer the following options.

Water Softener: A water softener extracts hard minerals from your water and exchanges the calcium and magnesium molecules for sodium. Hard water minerals are removed from your plumbing system and then flushed down the drain. A water softener is the best way to remove these minerals and provides softer skin and hair.

Scale Inhibitor: A Scale inhibitor is a saltless system. As water passes through a scale inhibitor, an additive to the water is picked up and it bonds to the calcium and magnesium molecules. This causes the minerals to crystalize and renders them unable to stick to your fixtures. Water will still test high for hardness, however the scale inhibitor will stop further build up.

Reverse Osmosis: Reverse Osmosis is water filtration so fine that the only thing that passes through the membrane is Hydrogen and Oxygen. Reverse Osmosis systems strip everything from the water and send all waste down the drain. This process fills a storage tank with pure water for consumption.

Carbon Filtration: Carbon filtration cleans your water for taste and odor. Volatile Organic Compounds and chemicals such as chlorine, and chloramine are drastically reduced through carbon filtration. Does your drinking water smell like a pool sometimes? Carbon filtration might be the key.

If your home’s water quality is a concern, PlumbPRO Services is here to help! We believe that good health starts at home with the air that you breathe, the water you drink, and sanitary drainage.

For the month of November we’re offering a free water hardness test with any service call. Give us a call or book online and we’d be happy to advise you on options to fit your family’s needs and steer you in the right direction.

PlumbPRO Services – 484-245-2806
Website: http://www.plumbproservices.com
Matthew Chandler
Master Plumber