Information on hard water and scale buildup.
In the bathroom, you might notice a chalky white or green substance on the faucets. In the kitchen, you may find spots on the dishes. When going to clean, you might see the soap suds don’t build up as easily as expected. In looking for the culprit, you may be surprised to find that all of these may be related. All of these occurrences are just a few of the potential symptoms of hard water.
Hard water is the result of dissolved minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and sometimes other divalent and trivalent metallic elements, in the water. The term was originally applied to waters that were hard to wash in, referring to the soap wasting properties of hard water. It is generally measured in grains per gallon and is considered hard at or above 3 gpg. To get this number, a private water system can be tested with a sample or, if it is from a public supply, city hall should be able to provide the information.
Hard water is actually fairly common, seen in 85% of homes throughout the country, and is not a hazard to human health. However, it can cause dry, itchy skin or age clothes and even appliances faster than normal. It is also primarily responsible for most scaling in pipes, which can cause blockage over time, so, though not required, there are options to soften water. Treatment of the whole home can be completed with chemical, membrane separation or cation exchange softening.
If hard water has already struck your home with damage to your water heater or a blockage due to a buildup of scale in your pipes, or if you just have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to a water or plumbing specialist. The knowledgeable professionals at Olympic Plumbing are armed the latest tools, including a hydro jet system, and available to assist with these and all of your plumbing needs.