Do I have Hard Water?
You’re probably familiar with the symptoms of hard water even if you have never had your water tested. You may have a scale build up causing the water to flow slowly from your shower head, a white mineral buildup on your coffeemaker or tea kettle, soapy residue on your shower doors, or dry skin problems. You have the same troubles that a large amount of the country has.
More than 85% of American homes have hard water. Parts of the Pacific Northwest, New England and a few other isolated areas around the country have naturally soft water. Most of us have some degree of hardness in our water.
The minerals primarily consist of calcium and magnesium metal and sometimes other dissolved compounds. Calcium usually enters the water as either calcium carbonate from either limestone and chalk or calcium sulfate from other other mineral deposits. The predominant source of magnesium comes from dolomite. Good news is that it is generally not harmful to one's health.
The simplest way to determine the hardness of water is a simple lather/froth test: soap or toothpaste, when agitated, lathers easily in soft water but not in hard water. To get an accurate assessment of just how hard your water it will need to be tested.
Water is considered hard if it contains more than one grain per gallon (GPG) of one or more of the following minerals: calcium, magnesium, and iron. A grain is a measurement of weight and equals 1/7000th of a pound. A point of reference is an aspirin tablet which is five grains.
Soft Water....................less than 1 grain
Slightly Hard ...............1 to 3.5 grains
Moderately Hard ........3.5 to 7 grains
Hard Water..................7 to 10.5 grains
Very Hard ...................10.5 plus grains
So let’s say you test your water and found to be 15 GPG. We then take a gallon of your water and boiled it until all of the water is gone; there would be enough mineral left to make three tablets the size of aspirin.
That doesn't sound like that much until you think about all the water a family of four uses in day...about 100 gallons. That works out to bottle of 150 aspirin per day!
Minerals that cause hardness in water have a wide impact on households. It can interfere with almost every cleaning task such as laundry, dish washing, bathing or
showering and personal grooming. Clothes cleaned in it look dingy, feel harsh and scratchy. Dishes washed in it may be spotted when allowed to air dry. It causes a film on glass shower doors, shower walls and in bathtubs. Washing your hair in it can leave it feel sticky and look dull.
If you start to see some of these symptoms in your home you may be asking yourself “Why my water?” The answer is simple. It’s not your fault, you just happen to live where the earth is giving up it’s minerals to the water.
Now that you know what hard water is it should be very easy for you to figure out what soft water is ...The exact opposite. That is water with less than one grain per gallon of calcium and magnesium.