What is Hard Water? A Guide for New Hampshire Homeowners

2537409450_464609ffd2_mHard water is one of the most common water quality problems found in homes all across the country. In fact, according to a study performed by the U.S. Geological Survey, approximately 85 percent of homes in the United States have water that is considered hard. Given that this problem is so pervasive, you’re probably interested in knowing whether or not it’s an issue in your home. Today we’re going to help you figure that out by talking about what hard water is and how to recognize it!

What is hard water?

Hard water is a term that’s used to describe water that contains an excess amount of “hardness” minerals. The two most common hardness minerals found in water are calcium and magnesium. These minerals are picked up by water as it flows over rocks and soil from its source to your home.

Consuming hard water is not considered a health concern, however it can create all kinds of problems in your home. For example, hard water can build up in your home’s pipes and water-consuming appliances, which causes clogs, efficiency problems and damage to your plumbing system. In addition, hard water does not lather well with soaps and detergents, which means those products are less effective when you shower, wash dishes and do laundry.

What constitutes hard water?

Hard water is measured in grains per gallon on a scale of 0 to 10. The higher the number, the harder your water will be. The Water Quality Association defines hardness levels as follows:

  • Soft: < 1.0 gpg
  • Slightly hard: 1.0-3.5 gpg
  • Moderately hard: 3.5-7.0 gpg
  • Hard: 7.0-10.5 gpg
  • Very hard: > 10.5 gpg

How do you know if your home has hard water?

The most obvious symptom of hard water is limescale. Limescale is a white, crusty substance that builds up on sinks, faucets, showerheads, bathtubs and any other surface that hard water comes into contact with. Other symptoms include cloudy or streaky glassware after a dishwashing cycle, rough and tangled hair after showering, high water heating bills and more.

If you want to know for sure whether or not your home has hard water, get it tested by McBride’s. We can measure your home’s hardness levels so you know exactly how hard it is. If your tests conclude that your home’s water is hard, we can help you pick the perfect softener for your home!

If you have any questions about what hard water is, or if you’d like a water system serviced or installed in your home, contact McBride’s, your water softener and water filtration system dealer in Epsom, NH. We provide service all over New Hampshire, including towns like Pittsfield, Barnstead and Allenstown, New Hampshire.

photo credit: clawzctr via photopin (license)

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