What is Hard Water and What Can You Do About It?

“Hard water.” you’ve inevitably heard of it. But, you may find yourself wondering: what exactly is it?

Let’s talk about what hard water is, what problems it can cause, and what you can do about it.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water refers to any water source contaminated with certain minerals. Those minerals, most often, are compounds of magnesium or calcium.

There are two different varieties of hard water. Those varieties are:

  • Temporary
    Temporary hard water refers to water contaminated with bicarbonate compounds. The two most common bicarbonates in temporary hard water are magnesium bicarbonate and calcium bicarbonate. As the name implies, temporary hardness is not difficult to get rid of. Since bicarbonate compounds precipitate from water when heated, boiling will effectively soften the water.
  • Permanent
    Permanent hardness in water refers to water contaminated with sulfates or chlorides. The most common compounds in permanent hard water are magnesium sulfate/chloride and calcium sulfate/chloride. Since those compounds do not precipitate from water when you apply heat, boiling will not soften permanent hard water. Instead, you will need a water softener or other type of ion exchange column to remove the contaminants.

What Types of Problems Will Hard Water Cause?

Hard water is the culprit behind many home and plumbing issues. Some of the more common problems associated with it are:

  • Stained glassware
  • Difficulty lathering soap or shampoo
  • Dingy and lustless hair
  • Mineral deposits on and around plumbing fixtures
  • Clogs and drain obstructions
  • And mroe

What You Can Do About It

If you have problems with temporary hardness, all you have to do is boil the water to remove the contaminants. One popular way to do this is with a boiler. However, a boiler is not enough to remove contaminants from permanently hard water.

If you’re facing issues with permanent hardness, then you’ll need a water softener or ion exchange column to remove the contaminants.

Luckily, the expert plumbers here at Domco Plumbing can help with boilers and water softeners! Whether you want to repair, replace, or install either appliance, we have you covered. Get in touch with our water filtration specialists today!