The term, hard water, doesn’t denote the kind of water you’d want to drink, but it’s not bad for you like you might think. Common questions include whether it’s safe to drink, the difference between hard and soft water, and whether hard water comes with health risks or benefits. 

Today’s blog answers these questions. Keep reading to learn the answers.

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water is still water. It’s called “hard” water because it has high concentrations of dissolved minerals. It’s not uncommon to find calcium, magnesium carbonates, chlorides, and sulfates in water. 

Porous rocks like limestone or dolomite contain mineral deposits. If your water source is groundwater that touched porous rocks on its way to you, you likely have hard water. You can calculate the milligrams of calcium carbonate in parts-per-million (ppm) to determine how hard your water is. 

Hard water has more than 120 ppm, while moderately hard water has 60 to 120 ppm. Have you ever been around seawater? It has a hardness of around 6,630 ppm because so many salts are dissolved in it. 

What Is Soft Water?

Soft water usually comes from glaciers or igneous rocks that aren’t as porous. Because the water doesn’t come in contact with many minerals, like calcium or magnesium, it doesn’t harden. 

Water with less than 60 ppm is soft water. 

What Are the Signs of Hard Water in My Home?

Stains

Hard water is easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for. The most obvious sign of hard water might be “stains” on surfaces, taps, and shower walls. Minerals like calcium and magnesium will come out with the water and land on these surfaces. 

There are other, less obvious signs, too. 

Soap Scum

Do you ever feel like you have a film on your hands after you’ve washed them? The film comes from the soap and calcium from hard water mixing to form soap scum. If you notice this film on your hands, try rinsing them until you can no longer feel the film.  

Spots On Your Dishes

Another sign of hard water is seeing spots on your kitchenware. You’ll often see these spots on glasses and silver as they come out of the dishwasher. The spots are harmless, though. It’s just calcium carbonate.

Mineral Stains

Having hard water in your wash cycle isn’t good for your clothes. Not only can you end up with stains on your clothes, but they’ll wear out faster because the water is so hard. 

Less Water Pressure

The minerals in the hard water can deposit in the pipes, blocking all the water from coming through. The result is lower water pressure. 

Effectively treating hard water will make washing your hands and cleaning your dishes easier. Your clothes will last longer, and your showers will be better. 

Is Hard Water OK to Drink?

Hard water is safe to drink. It will have a different taste than soft water, but there’s nothing wrong with it that would make you physically ill. If you don’t like your water’s flavor, softening it might be your solution. 

In some cases, hard water is better for you than soft water. If you have a mineral deficiency or high blood pressure, hard water could help. 

Softened water doesn’t contain high mineral concentrations and may have dangerously high sodium levels for individuals with high blood pressure. Soft water’s high sodium levels come from the softening system that replaces the calcium and magnesium in the hard water. Instead of calcium and magnesium, you have salt in your water.
Hard water is also less likely to contain lead, which is bad for you and shouldn’t be consumed.

Is Hard Water Bad For My Health? 

Your Hair

Hard water isn’t good for your hair or skin. Your hair will suffer from the minerals in the water. Hard water can prevent all the shampoo from coming out when you rinse after shampooing. Those minerals will coat your hair with an unwanted film that leaves your hair stiff, limp, and weaker. Hard water can contribute to your hair falling out, and it can dry out your scalp.

You might also notice color-treated hair fading quickly, resulting in more frequent trips to the salon and less money in your wallet. Plus, coloring your hair too often will damage it.

Your Skin

You’ll see some of the same issues with your skin. You’ll wash your body but not feel clean. Your skin will be drier than normal, and you might notice a skin condition forming or worsening. The minerals will aggravate sensitive skin and conditions like psoriasis or eczema. It might also cause acne. 

Your Nails

In addition to your skin, hard water will also affect your nails. The minerals can break down the keratin levels in your skin, breaking down the nail’s bond. The result? Your nails will become brittle and flaky and won’t grow well. 

Can Hard Water Benefit Me?

As it turns out, hard water can benefit you! The high mineral concentrations contain some of the minerals we need to live. Drinking hard water can help you meet the daily amount you need. However, we wouldn’t recommend relying on hard water as your sole source of minerals. 

There could be other health benefits, but most of that is speculation where more research is required. 

Contact Salisbury Plumbing.

Hard water can be a double-edged sword. While it can be a great source of calcium and magnesium, it can also clog your pipes to the point where you need a plumber’s help. 

Salisbury Plumbing can help. We specialize in water treatment, water main, burst water pipes, and tub and shower repair, among other services. We can repair pipes that are clogged from mineral deposits. 

Plus, we’ve got you covered if you want to treat your hard water so it’s moderately hard or soft. Our water treatment systems handle issues like chlorine, E.coli, and harmful pathogens. Whether you’re looking into water treatment systems or know exactly what you’re looking for, Salisbury Plumbing can get the job done. 

We’re a locally-owned and operated business licensed to serve residential and commercial clients throughout Utah county. Our specialization is in condos, townhomes, and custom homes, and we have excavation equipment for sewer and water line repairs. 

Contact us today for a free estimate. Have Salisbury Plumbing take care of your hard water needs!