Does it seem like the water pressure from your faucet or shower is weaker lately? Slower water means something is blocking its path through your pipes. Hardness minerals like calcium and magnesium can build up over time as hard water passes through. As those minerals build up, there is less space for water to flow. A water softener can help get rid of those hard water minerals! Give us a call today to learn more.
One of the main minerals responsible for water hardness is calcium carbonate, which is a compound formed by the combination of calcium ions (Ca2+) and carbonate ions (CO32-). When present in high concentrations, calcium carbonate can lead to several issues in water systems. Some of these problems include:
- Scale buildup: Calcium carbonate can precipitate out of hard water and form scale deposits on the surfaces of pipes, faucets, and appliances. This scale can reduce water flow, clog plumbing systems, and decrease the efficiency of water heaters and other appliances.
- Soap scum: When hard water containing calcium carbonate reacts with soaps or detergents, it can form a sticky residue known as soap scum. Soap scum can accumulate on bathtubs, shower doors, sinks, and other surfaces, making them difficult to clean.
- Reduced effectiveness of cleaning agents: Hard water minerals like calcium carbonate can interfere with the cleaning action of soaps, detergents, and cleaning agents. This can result in reduced lathering, poor rinsing, and the need for increased detergent quantities.
- Stiff and faded laundry: Calcium carbonate in hard water can bind to fabrics during laundering, causing them to feel stiff and rough. It can also contribute to the fading of colors and shorten the lifespan of clothing.
- Impact on water taste and odor: In some cases, high levels of calcium carbonate can affect the taste and odor of water, giving it a slightly mineral-like or chalky flavor.
- Mineral buildup in appliances: Water appliances such as coffee makers, humidifiers, and steam irons can experience mineral buildup from calcium carbonate. This can affect their performance and longevity, requiring regular maintenance and descaling.
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - Water Hardness: The EPA provides an overview of water hardness, its causes, and effects on household appliances and plumbing systems.
- Website: Water Hardness - EPA
- Water Quality Association (WQA) - Water Hardness: The WQA offers information on water hardness, including its impact on plumbing, appliances, and personal care.
- Website: Water Hardness - WQA
- American Water Works Association (AWWA) - Water Hardness and Scaling: The AWWA provides resources on water hardness, scaling, and the effects on water distribution systems.
- Website: Water Hardness and Scaling - AWWA
- Water Research Center - Water Hardness and Problems: The Water Research Center discusses the impact of water hardness on plumbing, fixtures, appliances, and laundry.
- University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of Engineering - Understanding Water Hardness: This resource provides an in-depth explanation of water hardness, its measurement, and the problems it can cause.