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What is Water Hardness and How Can I Treat It?

What is Water Hardness and How Can I Treat It?

Hard water can cause many problems in your home, including spots and cloudy white residue on your silverware and glasses, corrosion, and a complete breakdown of your expensive fittings such as pumps and heating systems. Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell whether there is a hardness in your water by looking at it with your bare eyes. Sometimes your water may be hard even though it looks clean to you.

So, what is water hardness, and how can you know if your water is hard? Generally, water hardness is determined by the amount of liquid calcium and magnesium present in water. Therefore, your water has to be tested by a qualified specialist for these minerals before you can confidently say it is hard or soft. Be that as it may, there are some simple water hardness signs that you can look for.

For instance, if your hands feel slimy after washing your dishes or clothes with soap and water, or if your glassware turns cloudy, it could be a sign of water hardness. Depending on the amount of calcium and magnesium present in water, you may feel like a layer of residue stuck on your hands. This is caused by the soap scum produced by water when soap reacts with calcium. The harder your water is, the more soap or detergent is needed to clean your clothes, dishes, and other household items. Here are the levels of water hardness:

  • Soft Water (less than 1 GPG)
  • Slightly hard (1 to 3.5 GPG)
  • Moderately hard (3.5 to 7 GPG)
  • Hard (7 to 10.5 GPG)
  • Very Hard (10.5 and higher GPG)

How to Treat Your Hard Water

If your water is over 1 GPG hard, you should treat it. There are two methods of treating hard water.

Chemical Treatment

This method involves various chemical processes, including chemical precipitation, chemical oxidation, ion exchange, chemical neutralization, and chemical disinfection. These processes use various chemicals and detergents to reduce some of the adverse effects of water hardness.

Mechanical Treatment

This water treatment method is mainly aimed at removing hardness minerals. It involves the use of water softeners. These devices use the ion exchange process to swap minerals in the hard water with another substance like sodium. This happens when the hard water flows over plastic resin beads that hold sodium ions. These beads also help to remove hardness minerals from the water. However, it is important to talk to your water expert about the best water treatment method for you.

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