Go Back

What Exactly is Hard Water?

Many people have heard of “hard water,” but few know exactly what it means. This quick blog from local experts can help homeowners understand what hard water is and what can be done about it. 

Hard water is a term that refers to water with a higher count of dissolved minerals in it. In most cases, the water acquires its hardness due to the mineral qualities of the region where the water source is located. 

Hardness is not removed from the water at treatment plants. While treatment plants do an excellent job at eliminating biological threats from water, the minerals that cause hard water are still present in the water source. Hardness can interfere with some desirable qualities in water, but it is up to homeowners to take action against the hardness in their water. 

How Does a Water Softener “Soften” Water?

softenerWater softeners got their name because their sole purpose is to remove hardness from water. The hardness is eliminated from water by removing minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium. 

Softening water is a natural process that uses natural substrates to accomplish the job. Inside of a water softener is beads of a compound called zeolite. The incoming water passes through the beads of zeolite that capture calcium and magnesium through ion exchange. These minerals bind to zeolite until they are saturated with minerals. At this point, briny water washes the zeolite and removes the captured minerals, refreshing the zeolite beads so they can be used again. 

Signs That a Home has Hard Water

signsUp to this point, a homeowner may be wondering what the big deal is? While hard water isn’t dangerous, it does have some negative effects. Some signs that hard water is present in a home are:

  • Dry skin and a film left after washing hands
  • Dry and dull hair
  • Faded clothes after washing
  • Dishes that have already been washed but have water spots
  • Mineral buildup inside piping and on fixtures
  • High water heating bills

Advantages of Water Softeners 

Installing a water softener has many benefits for homeowners to enjoy. Removing the minerals from water reduces chemical interference so that soap residues wash away completely from hands and dishes, eliminating the film left on hands after washing them and the water spots on clean dishes. 

The greatest benefit of water softeners is that everything in the plumbing system will last longer and perform better. Homeowners can say goodbye to scaled-over showerheads and failing water heaters that lose efficiency due to premature scale buildup. Extending the life of the plumbing will save homeowners money, and in addition to being good for the plumbing, water softeners are cheap to operate and easy to learn. 

About Jim Wagner Plumbing, Inc.

Jim Wagner Plumbing, Inc., founded by a third-generation plumber, serves the residents of Lombard, IL, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, personal attention, honest advice, and fast turnaround times. Call them today for plumbing services in Lombard, IL.