Thursday, 1 January 2015

What is hard water and exactly how does it damage my appliances?

Hard water contains large amounts of calcium and magnesium — two minerals that cause the soapy scum on glasses and lime residue on bathroom fixtures. Hard water can cause mineral build-up in water heaters, pipes, dishwashers, fridge water dispensers and shower heads, reducing water flow. In addition to narrowing and potentially clogging pipes, scale prevents efficient heat transfer, so a water heater with scale will have to use a lot of energy to give you hot water.

How do I know if I have hard water?

Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon (gpg). Soft water has 0-1 gpg, Slightly Hard 1.1-3.5 gpg, Moderately Hard 3.6-7 gpg, Hard 7.1-10.5 gpg, Very Hard over 10.5 gpg
If you live in Ontario, you have Hard Water. As an example, here are water hardness levels for some Ontario cities- Barrie- 9.5-15, Orillia- 10, Midland- 8, Innisfil = 10, Newmarket- 10.5. and Alliston – 13.

There are other consequences of having hard water. Soap is less effective in hard water because it reacts to the calcium or magnesium salt of the organic acid of the soap. These salts are insoluble and form grayish soap scum, but no cleansing lather. Soap and shampoo’s ability to lather is reduced, and laundry becomes stiffer and duller in appearance. Soap and shampoo do not rinse off as they should and often leave an invisible film which blocks pores, attracting and holding dirt and bacteria, causing chapped, itchy, dry skin and limp and lifeless hair.