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 it is, what problems it can cause, and what you can do about it.

What Is It?

Hard water refers to any H2O source contaminated with certain minerals. Those minerals, most often, are compounds of magnesium or calcium.

Two different varieties of it include:

  • Temporary
    Temporary hardness refers to water contaminated with bicarbonate compounds. The two most common bicarbonates in temporary hardness are magnesium bicarbonate and calcium bicarbonate. As the name implies, temporary hardness is not challenging to get rid of. Since bicarbonate compounds precipitate from H2O when heated, boiling will effectively soften the H2O.
  • Permanent
    Permanent hardness refers to water contaminated with sulfates or chlorides. The most common compounds in permanent hardness are magnesium sulfate/chloride and calcium sulfate/chloride. Since those compounds do not precipitate from H2O when you apply heat, boiling will not soften it. Instead, you will need a water softener or other ion exchange column to remove the contaminants.

What Types of Problems Will Hard H2O 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 more

What You Can Do About It

If you have problems with temporary hardness, all you have to do is boil it to remove the contaminants. One popular way to do this is with a boiler. However, a boiler is not enough to remove pollutants from permanently hard H2O.

Basically, 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! So, whether you want to repair, replace, or install either appliance, we have you covered. Get in touch with our water filtration specialists today!