When you take your dishes or glasses out of the dishwasher, do you ever notice white spots or film on them? Or after a nice long soak in the tub, do you ever notice a film (soap scum) between where the water was and was not in the tub? Have you ever taken your laundry out of the washing machine to notice that the color of your favorite shirt is now faded? If you have noticed any of these, this could be an indicator that your home is suffering from hard water. Some say that hard water is beneficial, and some say that it is detrimental.
Whether the water in your home comes from groundwater or surface water, all water coming into your home has mineral sediment and contaminant of some level. These levels can be ranked from soft to hard, regarding your water's quality. More often, the water coming into your home is full of sediment such as calcium and magnesium as well as other minerals, causing your water to be hard. Depending on the hardness of your water, you may have already felt its effects. After using soap to wash your hands, you may have felt like there was a film of residue left behind. In hard water, soap reacts with the calcium (which is relatively high in hard water) thus forming "soap scum". Hard drinking water may have moderate health benefits such as intake of calcium when drinking. However, it should be noted that the amount of calcium in the water is not equivalent to the recommended daily intake. Though water hardness is not a health concern, it can be a nuisance. Hard water can cause mineral buildup in plumbing, fixtures, and water heaters, and poor performance of soaps and detergents.
Some advantages of Hard Water are as follows:
- Hard water contains dissolved calcium, it may be a source of calcium. However, the available calcium in “hard” water is probably not enough to compete with calcium-rich foods like leafy vegetables in your daily consumption.
- As it might sound weird, some people like the taste of water that is hard, stating that hard water tastes better.
- You can drink water that is hard without any health risks, unlike soft water (particularly that which has been softened with salt), which you should never drink until it has been further purified to remove the salt content.
Some disadvantages to having Hard Water in your home are as follows:
- The biggest issue with hardness in water is by far the limescale buildup in your pipes and home appliances. This build up will decrease the life of your water supply lines and appliances in your home and can also clog your faucets which will lower your water pressure.
- You may find that you use more soap because it takes longer to lather, which can be both time consuming and expensive in the long term.
- The limescale it leaves can make your appliances and machines work less efficiently.
- Over time, you will see clothing fading after each wash as the mineral build up dulls your clothing each time it is washed.
Though there are some advantages to having hard water, the disadvantage of build up in the water pipes throughout the home and life of appliances being lessened due to hard water make it worth looking into ways to reduce the amount of sediment in the water supply to soften water and lessen build up for the overall health of your homes plumbing. Additionally, with softening water techniques, you can minimize the amount of water spots on your dishes and film in your bathtub. For more information on how your water can be healthier for you and your family, call your local Omaha licensed plumber today.