What is Hard Water? Signs it's Time to Invest in a Water Softener

You may have heard of "hard water" in relation to RVing, boating, or drawing water from a well, but hard water isn't just a rural problem. Studies show that 85% of all homes in the United States have hard water coming through their taps, and that can have serious effects on your health and the longevity of your appliances.

What is hard water?

Hard water refers to water that contains grains of other minerals. You're most likely to find dissolved calcium and magnesium in your tap water, but there may also be trace amounts of iron, manganese, and aluminum. This is picked up either from contaminants in groundwater, from corroded plumbing, or from the water source itself. While not all minerals that appear in your tap water are bad to drink, hard water may also contain viruses and bacteria, such as E. coli, which traditional filters can't remove. In addition, these microbes and trace metals can wreak havoc on your pipes and appliances.

How do you know if your water is hard?

One of the most tell-tale signs of hard water is a buildup of scum around your faucets, in your sink and tub, and in your pipes. Over time, the hard water can leave mineral deposits that clog and corrode those surfaces. You may also notice that your clothes and dishes aren't getting as clean as they used to, even if you run them through the wash several times. Likewise, you may feel that you have trouble working up a lather in the shower, or your skin may itch and not feel clean even after a shower. All of these are signs that you may have hard water at home.

What You Can Do

The best way to reverse the effects of hard water is with a water softener. Water softeners remove the hard metals and chemicals in your water by replacing them with sodium ions. You may need to talk to a dealer about choosing the right size water softener, but a complete water softening system can work for your whole home. For RVs, you can also look into portable water filtration. If you are concerned about bacteria and viruses in your water, ask your dealer about a reverse osmosis system.

When in doubt, invest in a home water test. Water tests vary in terms of cost and the contaminants they test for, but they're also reliable and safe. You can also consult water softener dealers in your area for advice on water filtration.

If you're in the market for a quality DIY solution for water softening with outstanding customer support, visit our store today.