What Is the Problem With Hard Water?
If you are a homeowner in New Mexico, you have probably heard about hard water and how it effects your water-using appliances, plumbing and fixtures. But what exactly are you up against with your water?
Who has hard water?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is “everybody”. Almost all of the water in New Mexico, about 95% of it, is considered to be in the hard to very hard range. If you live in our beautiful state, you are most likely in the hard water club.
What is hard water?
The soil in New Mexico is rich with magnesium, calcium, and iron. As water seeps from the earth’s surface into the aquifer, these minerals dissolve into it. This mineral-rich groundwater is then pumped into our homes through our city water systems or wells.
Hard Water Chart
The hardness of water is determined by the number of mineral grains per gallon (gpg). According to the Water Quality Association, hard water is 7.0 – 10.5 gpg and very hard is anything over 10.5. Most water in New Mexico is between 13 – 240 grains per gallon.
|Degree of Hardness||Grains Per Gallon (gpg)||PPM (mg/L)|
|Slightly Hard||1.0 – 3.5||17.1 – 60|
|Moderately Hard||3.5 – 7.0||60 – 120|
|Hard||7.0 – 10.5||120 – 180|
Source: Water Quality Association
Where can I expect to find hard water damage?
As hard water is piped into your home, the calcium and other minerals stick to the surfaces they contact. The most obvious location for hard water damage is in your plumbing, faucets and fixtures. Mineral build-up, often called scaling, appears on your faucets, stains your shower door and, if left unchecked, can even clog your pipes.
Other victims of hard water include your appliances, dishes and clothing. The lifespan of appliances such as dishwashers, water heaters, swamp coolers and other water-based appliances can be shortened by as much as 50%! This means that you might have to replace them much sooner than you really wanted to.
Mineral build-up can make your water cloudy and sometimes unappealing in taste. The water stains on your dishes are usually the result of mineral and soap build-up. The lint in your dryer comes from particles torn from your clothing by your hard water.
The next logical question is: “Is hard water harmful?” Thankfully, hard water is not detrimental to your health. It may kill your fixtures and appliances, but don’t worry, it won’t cause harm to you or your family’s health!
That being said, it does dry out your skin and hair. Another myth is that if your skin and hair is “squeaky”, you are clean. The truth is that the “squeaky” sound you get on your skin and hair after a shower comes from minerals and soap. Clean, soft water will leave you feeling slick from your natural body oil, not squeaky with foreign particles.
When should I worry about hard water build-up?
If you can see white, crusty scaling on your faucets or other fixtures, you can be sure that the same thing is building up inside your pipes. Over time, this build-up can clog and severely damage pipes. The best solution is to remove the hardness from your water with a water softener such as Kinetico to prevent any further damage being done and avoid common hard water problems.
Why is a water softener a good choice?
A water softener directly removes minerals from your water and disposes of it through a process known as ionization and regeneration. It is typically installed where water comes into your house so that the minerals are removed before the water spreads throughout the house. You will say goodbye to any further build-up, scaling and staining caused by the minerals.
Another pleasant result of soft water is the need for less chemicals. Many of the chemicals added to detergents, soaps and shampoos are there for the sole purpose of softening water. With soft water, you will also use less soap and detergents. This means that your dishes, clothing and cleaning supplies don’t need to be be saturated in chemicals that are harmful for your body and the environment.
How do I get soft water?
TLC is your local Kinetico dealer and can help you find the water purifying system that is best for your family. The most reasonable choice for most home owners is the ion exchange water softening system. It is less expensive than reverse osmosis and is not corrosive to pipes. With a water softening system, you will find that your dishes are cleaner, you clothing and appliances last longer and your skin and hair is much softer.
You don’t have to live with hard water. There is a solution. You and your family can enjoy pure, clean, fresh water today.