Water isn’t just water, or a combination of two atoms of hydrogen and one oxygen atom (if you’d like to be technical about it). You’ve likely learned about how the acidity or alkalinity of water is measured using the pH scale: water with low pH is more acidic, and water with high pH is more alkaline. The latter is also known as “hard water.”
The big question is: “Is it bad?” In certain ways, yes, and it’s because of the considerable calcium and magnesium content. When heated, these minerals get separated from the water and accumulate themselves onto surfaces as mineral deposits, otherwise known as “scale.” This scale can then adversely affect the performance of household fixtures like water lines, as well as become unattractive sights in bathrooms and kitchens. In addition, they’re quite tough to remove.
So how can you tell if you have hard water? Various telltale signs manifest, including what’s already been described—visible scaling which are left over after water evaporates. Scaling appears as white spots or powder on different surfaces, as well as some sort of “coating” on the inside of glassware. Hard water also makes it difficult to lather soap, and the minerals in it can also remain in your hair after a shower (characterized by your hair feeling dry and rough).
Perhaps the best way to solve hard water issues is to call qualified Stony Plain plumbers and have them install a water softener. Water softeners make the calcium and magnesium traces in hard water switch places with more desirable minerals like sodium, essentially eliminating the problem with mineral deposits since sodium doesn’t precipitate (solidify). Furthermore, if you’re worried about sodium accumulating too much, don’t be—the amount added to your water is less than 12.5 milligrams per an 8-ounce glass. With the calcium and magnesium gone, you can enjoy showers the way you’re supposed to and not worry about your pipes anymore.
What Makes Water Hard? LiveScience.com, March 25, 2013
Hard Water Vs. Soft Water Explained, FreeDrinkingWater.com
Living With Hard Water, SheKnows.com, July 14, 2009
How To Tell If You Have Hard Water, Angie’s List, March 28, 2014
How Does A Water Softener Work? HowStuffWorks.com