grime on shower head

Why is Hard Water Bad?

Have you ever taken a shower and found that you can barely work up a lather with your brand new bar of soap? Or maybe you've noticed that all of your glasses have a grainy, film-like texture even when they've just been run through the dishwasher.

It's natural to assume that the problem comes from products, but there are many subtle signs, like these, that indicate the presence of hard water.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is packed with dissolved magnesium and calcium salts. Different levels of water hardness contain bicarbonates, chlorides, and sulfates. In small quantities, these materials don't do much damage, but when you have permanent hard water, you will find that it permeates every aspect of your life.

Some hard water can be boiled into soft water, which is the tasteless, "pure" water all of us expect to come from our pipes. You can tell if you have temporary hard water by boiling some water in a kettle and checking for a film on the inside of the pot. This film is made from insoluble carbonate that's left behind.

Damage from Hard Water

If you can't understand where your discolored teeth or reddish-brown streaks on your clothes come from, hard water is most likely the culprit. Ferrous iron in hard water wears down enamel and can stain fabric.

Washing clothes with hard water will cause them to become dull and gray in appearance. Your most vibrant t-shirt will lack its hue, and the softest linens will begin to feel rough and hard to the touch.

Hard water can even affect your home's heating and plumbing. The harsh elements in water wear down the interiors of a boiler and collect in pipes, resulting in corrosion, leaks and even expensive bursts that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair.

How to Fix a Hard Water Problem

One of the best ways to stop hard water in your home is to have a water treatment system installed — and luckily, we can help make that happen! This will not only help protect your plumbing, but the overall quality of your home's water supply will be better than before (and you'll definitely notice a clear difference)!

If you run into any problems with your home’s plumbing, heating or cooling, and prefer to forgo the DIY route, our technicians are here to help! Visit our website to learn more about the services that we offer here at Pipe Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Inc. or call (865) 518-7008 to speak with a representative directly.