What Is ‘Hard Water’ And Why Should You Be Concerned With It?

Most people are familiar with the term ‘hard water’ and have water softeners installed in their homes to take care of this issue but the majority of them have no idea what hard water is or why it needs to be softened before it can be used in their homes.  Hard water is commonly defined as water which contains high levels of dissolved minerals; with 1000mg/L typically set by Markham plumbers as the standard line between hard and soft. These minerals deposits consist mostly of calcium and magnesium but may contain any number of other substances as well.

Hard water is not known to cause any health problems to the vast majority of people, but it will be noticeable to most people. This is especially true for those with sensitive skin, rashes or other skin conditions that may be exasperated by the minerals left on the skin as the water dries. In addition to this unpleasant feeling, soap does not lather as well under hard water conditions, so you will also find yourself using significantly more soap than you would if you’re water was being properly softened.

The biggest concern that Markham plumbers face when dealing with homes exposed to hard water actually has nothing to do with your health or personal comfort, though the latter is an added bonus of a properly functioning water softening system. Rather, they look at the effects that hard water has on your home’s plumbing systems and appliance which use water. Over time, the minerals drop out of solution and harden against the walls of your pipes and inside of your washing machine, dishwasher, coffee maker and ice maker. These deposits can drastically reduce the interior diameter of the piping, severely limiting water flow, potentially blocking it completely.

The first areas where you will notice mineral build up will be in places with small water nozzles such as shower heads, the spray wand of a dishwasher or a refrigerator with built in water/ice dispensers. If you notice reduced flow or visible mineral accumulation in any of these areas, it’s probably time that you should consider calling a certified Markham plumber to come out and look at your system.