Priority Plumbing

Understanding Hard Water

Do your clean dishes have residue when you remove them from the dishwasher? It might not be your appliance that’s at fault. The type of water found in your household has significant effects on cleaning power. Hard water is classified as water that contains a higher degree of minerals, such as lime, chalk, calcium, and magnesium. Hardness of water is measured by assessing the milligrams of calcium per litre of water. Levels of calcium greater than 61 milligrams per litre are considered to be hard water.

Health & Taste

Some argue that there are health benefits of hard water due to the presence of natural minerals. Although the water contains these minerals, the health benefits are moderate at best. This is because the minerals are much less potent that they would be if consumed as a supplement. That being said, their presence is better than not consuming any minerals at all. Benefits of calcium and magnesium include decreased blood pressure and immune system support. These minerals are also credited with giving the water a better taste as the water is untreated and, therefore, in its purest form.

Cleaning Benefits

Soft water is preferable in terms of household cleaning because it increases the effectiveness of soap. The magnesium and calcium ions found in hard water counteract the soap and result in a lack of lather. This makes cleaning your bathroom and kitchen much more difficult than it needs to be. Hard water also results in soap scum. which is most often found in showers, bathtubs, and on shower curtains. Soap scum is created when the magnesium and calcium ions react with the cleaning chemicals to form a fatty acid that can be hard to remove. Hard water can also have visible effects on the appearance of your dishes by forming a cloudy residue left from the mineral salts.

Impact on Your Plumbing

Similar to how mineral deposits are left on home surfaces and dishes, they can also form deposits in your pipes, which will eventually lead to blockage. The deposits become larger over time and result in the pipe opening becoming smaller. Now, less water is able to flow through the pipes, resulting in decreased water pressure. This puts more stress on pipes and plumbing fixtures, decreasing their lifetime.

What is a Water Softener?

The primary solution to decrease the effects of hard water is to install a water softener. This device works to remove the ions and is directly connected to the water supply. Soft water is created by exchanging the calcium and magnesium ions for sodium ions that come into contact with the water source as it flows through the tank. The ions are recharged by adding salt bags to the brine tank found in the water softening unit; overtime, the ions become tired and need to be replaced. When installing a water softener, it is recommended to contact a professional plumbing service who will be able to assess your water situation and safely install a water softener if needed.
If you are experiencing difficulties with your household water supply or are seeking a plumbing professional, reach out to our experts at Priority Plumbing. We ensure fast and effective service that will solve your issues at an unbeatable price. Call 416-762-8662 today or fill out our online request form.