What is Hard Water?
In school, we are taught that water is H20, one atom of hydrogen and two atoms of oxygen. However, sometimes there are extra things in our water. Some of the contaminants in your water are perfectly safe for you to consume, while others can negatively impact your health.
Hard water is water that is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium carbonate, manganese, iron, aluminum and sediment. Of course some of these minerals are not in themselves bad for you. However, hard water sediment can carry dangerous bacteria and can lead to bacterial growth.
Signs You Have Hard Water
Bad Taste or Smell
If you taste or smell something different in your water, it could be a sign of hard water. If your water tastes metallic, then you may have iron in your water. If your water smells like rotten eggs, you could have hydrogen sulfide gas or other bacteria reacting with magnesium to form sulfates, giving you that foul smell. If your water tastes like dirt, then you could be due to sediment, old pipes, or algae.
If you are seeing red-orange stains in your shower, toilet, or sinks, then you have a high level of iron in your water. You can get rid of these stains with some elbow grease; however, they will continue to come back until you address your hard water problem.
Excess of Soap Scum
When you have hard water, you will see soap scum spots all over your dishes, shower, and sink. When the water is heated and starts to evaporate, the calcium deposits stick to the surface. As a result, you may be cleaning your kitchen and bathroom more often and going through more cleaning products.
Problems in the Shower
Minerals in hard water do not play nice with soap, causing you to have problems when you are trying to bathe. You will have a hard time getting soap to lather up and then once you do, it will be difficult to rinse off and a residue might be left on your skin. Hard water can also affect your hair and make it hard to manage. In addition to the effects on your skin, hard water can leave deposits in your shower head causing it clog.
In addition to shower heads, hard water can leave deposits in the pipes in your home. The deposits build up in your pipes and can cause you major issues!
Hard water can cause problems for your laundry too. Soap is used to clean away dirt and grime, but when it is not rinsed off, it can increase soil build-up in your clothes. Your clothes can look dingy, wear out faster, and stain easier. Not to mention, when you have hard water you use a lot more detergent, costing you money!
The minerals in hard water can cause some people to have dry and itchy skin. It can also irritate sensitive skins or already existing skin conditions, like eczema.
One of the most expensive side effects of hard water has is on your appliances, such as your water heater, dishwasher, washing machine, and more. The minerals in hard water leave a scale in your appliances which cause them to not work as efficiently and break down quicker. Hard water could be costing you a lot of money if you have to replace appliances more often!