In some countries, including the United States, hard water is a common residential problem. This term might sound confusing at first, but hard water is simply water that contains high levels of dissolved calcium and magnesium ions. These ions become concentrated when the groundwater beneath dissolves calcium-bearing rocks such as limestone. Technically, the higher the water hardness, the more calcium and magnesium ions the water possesses.
Hard water may not pose an immediate danger to your life, but it can be problematic when the ions build up and precipitate in your plumbing system, or when the ions react with soap. You’ll notice that laundry is not as efficient as it was before, and soap is harder to lather and rinse off. Calcium and magnesium minerals will slowly damage your glass wares and stain across your bathroom. Showers will get clogged, some appliances will be damaged, and energy consumption of your water heater can increase due to the buildup of magnesium and calcium inside your water heater. If you have sensitive skin, it can also make your skin dry and irritated. To avoid these situations and get rid of expensive maintenance and repairs, here are three tips to solving your hard water problems.
- Install a water softener.
The most common way to solve your hard water problems is to install a water softener. This operates by ion exchange process wherein the water softener replaces the magnesium and calcium ions with sodium ions. Water softeners contain beads of resin with sodium ions bound to its surface. As hard water passes through the beads, the calcium and magnesium ions are attracted to the beads, displacing the sodium ions. Eventually, every bead is coated with the hard ions and are no longer effective. A regeneration cycle will be done to cleanse the resin from these ions.
For medium-sized to large households, Fleck water softener is the best water softener that you can find. Despite being a little bit costly, it is highly efficient and offers different features including time cycles and water-saving features. Fleck water softener dealers also offer warranties up to ten years. If you want a permanent solution and a one-time investment to solve your hard water problems, Fleck water softener is the best option.
- Reduce the effect of hard water.
If you don’t have a budget for a water softener, the best thing you can do is to reduce the impact of hard water at home. To remove the stains in your dishes, kitchenware, and bathroom fixtures, you can use rinsing agents or distilled vinegar. The vinegar will dissolve all the precipitated minerals that stick to the surfaces. For water heaters, you can flush it often to prevent calcium and magnesium from clogging the water tanks and plumbing systems. Some household products are also specialized to counter the effects of hard water. For the laundry, some detergents have instructions on how to clean your clothes even while using hard water.
- Soften the water using other methods.
Another option is to soften the water you use to avoid buildup of calcium and magnesium minerals. In some areas, boiling water can allow the impurities to settle at the bottom. After they accumulate, you can simply scoop them out, and the water is ready to use. You can also attach small ion-exchange filters in your faucets. However, these do not remove all contaminants as water softeners do.