article

Understanding Hard Water (and How to Solve It)

By Fran J. Donegan via Realty Times

bluehammer

Do you have hard water? If you notice spots and films on glasses that come straight from the dishwasher, or you can't seem to work up a good lather when washing your hands, it's a good bet that you do.

You are not alone.The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that 85 percent of the country's population has some degree of hard water coming into their homes.

While the outward signs of hard water are annoying, the effects on your plumbing can be serious. Hard water can produce scale that clogs pipes, reducing water pressure. It can also cause mineral deposits to form in major appliances like water heaters, affecting the efficiency of the heater and shortening the life of the appliance.

How Do You Find Out for Sure?

Hard water has high levels of dissolved minerals in it, especially calcium and magnesium. You can determine the hardness of your water by checking the Consumer Confidence Report supplied by your water company. An even better idea is to test the water that comes into your house, because the amount of hardness is one of the factors in determining the size of the water softener to buy. Do-it-yourself tests are inexpensive and easy to use. Some water softener manufacturers and salt companies will supply test strips for free.

The water treatment industry measures hardness in grains per gallon (GPG). The table below lists common classifications.

bluehammer Source: Water Quality Association

What’s a Water Softener?

Water softeners are often point-of-entry appliances, meaning they treat all the water used in the home, but point-of-use systems are also available. Most water softener systems consist of a resin tank and a salt brine tank. The resin removes the hard water minerals from the water, while the brine tank regenerates the resin.

The size softener you need depends on the hardness of the water and the amount of water your household uses. A qualified water softener installer can calculate the size of the system.

Once installed, the water softening process is automatic. You simply need to keep it supplied with salt. On some softeners, you set the regeneration schedule. Newer, more advanced models feature demand-initiated regeneration, which regenerates the resin as needed. These systems typically use less water and are more energy efficient. Other features include:

  • Products that include water softening and water filtration in one unit
  • Easy access for replenishing salt supply
  • Low salt indicators

What is a Water Conditioner?

Where water softeners remove hard water minerals, water conditioners alter them so that they cannot attach themselves to pipes, faucets and appliances. There are a few ways to do this, including the use of electronics. Water conditioners do not require salt and are easy to install. Consider a water conditioner if your hard water doesn't bother you but you want to protect your pipes, or if traditional softeners are not allowed in your municipality's water and sewer system.

Hard water can lead to serious problems for your home's plumbing. Fortunately, the right water softener or conditioner can virtually eliminate those issues before they lead to frustrating repairs.

Want to estimate your home improvement costs before talking with a contractor? Claim your home for free with bluehammer to estimate costs, secure your home inventory and learn more about your home.

* THIS REPORT IS AN OPINION THAT MAY BE INACCURATE AND IS PROVIDED SOLELY AS AN INFORMATIONAL TOOL NOT DESIGNED TO PROVIDE DEFINITIVE ANSWERS. ALL ELEMENTS ARE OFFERED "AS IS" AND BLUEBOOK EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, REPRESENTATIONS, AND GUARANTEES OF ANY NATURE, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABLITILY, NONINFRINGEMENT, TITLE, QUIET ENJOYMENT, ACCURACY, OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO EVENT SHALL BLUEBOOK (OR THEIR SUPPLIERS) BE LIABLE FOR ANY GENERAL, DIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, THOSE RESULTING FROM USE OF THE PRODUCT, INCLUDING : (1) RELIANCE ON THE MATERIALS PRESENTED, (2) COSTS OF REPLACEMENT GOODS, (3) LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, (4) DELAYS OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTIONS, (5) AND ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF INFORMATION) WHETHER OR NOT BLUEBOOK HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

Know what you should pay for your home improvement projects with bluehammer.Claim your home. It's free!

Popular


Backyard DIY Projects

You don't have to pay through the nose to have the best backyard on the block. If you have a few simple DIY skills and know how to use a tape measure and level, you can easily upgrade and update your backyard all on your own.

Do's And Don'ts For Painting Your Bathroom Cabinets

If your bathroom cabinets are old, ugly, tired, or all of the above, you've probably thought about painting them more than a few times. And if you're like us, you may have done a bit of research but failed to take it further for fear that they won't end up looking decent. But the truth is that if you follow the directions of those who've been there before (and, especially, if you heed their warnings regarding shortcuts and mistakes), you can transform your bathroom pretty easily. This list of do's and don'ts will help guide you.

7 Model Home Ideas To Steal For Your Home

You don't have to be in the market for a new home to tour model homes. In fact, model home complexes are a great place to get a few ideas for your existing home. Whether you're looking for ideas to renovate your kitchen and want to see the most current trends, are having a hard time deciding on paint colors and want to see how others are incorporating color into the home, or are simply looking for a little inspiration, you can find it here.

House Fires: Less Than Two Minutes To Survive!

Have movies and super heroes lulled us into a false sense of security when it comes to house fires?

Things to Consider When Replacing Your Front Door

Your front door is one of the most functional, visible, and important elements in your home. If you're looking for a home improvement project that can boost curb appeal, improve security, and add style to your space, replacing your front door delivers an impressive return on investment.

Simple DIY Projects That Will Increase the Value of Your Home

Looking to boost the value of your home without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars? You can! Making changes in certain rooms, like the kitchen and bathroom, is more beneficial than in others. These simple DIY projects will help increase your home's value the most.

New Designs In Cabinet Refacing

You may be one of the fortunate homeowners whose kitchen just needs an update instead of a full remodel. Cabinet refacing is an economical option that can give your kitchen a quick makeover in no time. Rather than gutting your cabinets and replacing them with new ones, cabinet refacing allows you to update the exterior of the cabinets you already have. It's also a fabulous way to add contemporary design elements to your space, both with cabinet doors, colors and hardware. Let's take a look at the latest designs in cabinet refacing.

Stylish Bath Storage Solutions: Ways to Complement Your Bathroom Vanity

Finding adequate storage is a particularly challenging problem in bathrooms, and not just because they are usually the smallest rooms in the house. Bathrooms have increasingly become the place to store a large and diverse number of items, including bath towels, beauty supplies, toiletries, hair care products, medications, soaps, shampoo, and assorted cleansers. And if the primary inhabitants of the bathroom happen to be teenagers, then the demand for storage space increases exponentially.

10 Ways To Transform Your Trashy Old Furniture Into Standout Pieces

We know. That antique sideboard or set of chairs you got after your grandma died is sentimental, but also completely clashy with every other piece of furniture you own, not to mention out of touch with your general sense of style.

Making Your Home More Energy-Efficient

Your home is your place to rest, play, and spend time with your family. It should be a place of comfort, and this comfort need not come at a high cost. Many homes, however, waste a lot of energy in ways that can be prevented. Here are five ways to make your home more energy-efficient.

See More Articles