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What is Water Hardness?

Hard water, or hardness in water, refers to a variety of minerals that cause scaling in boilers, water heaters, and pipes. The more minerals that build up in your plumbing, the harder the water. The term itself comes from how hard it can be to wash clothes, dishes, and other surfaces with water filled with minerals. When mixing soap to wash clothes or dishes, minerals flowing through the water solidify and cause scaling. Let’s look at water hardness and what you can do about it.

More About Water Hardness

As you use soap with water in your home, it’ll combine with the minerals in the water and solidify them. This is one of the ways soap scum is formed. Once the minerals are depleted, then your soap begins to lather and clean the way it’s meant to. Until them, you’re not getting the cleaning benefits of soap you need to clean dishes, clothes, and more properly.

Minerals such as calcium, zinc, manganese, iron, and magnesium are often found in water depending on its source. For example, if you’re getting your primary water source from a well, you’ll have more minerals that need to be filtered out versus using a city water source that’s pre-filtered before making it to your home. Some areas of the country will have higher water hardness levels than others because of where they’re located from and where your water comes from in that area.

Water hardness can be removed and filtered out through ion exchange or precipitation. Depending on the type of home you have, your plumbing system, and other factors, different ways to filter out hardness will come into play. Once your water is tested for its hardness level, a plumber can give you options for how to deal with it. There are a handful of ways to test water hardness, and while you can do it yourself, you should have a professional test your water hardness levels.