What is hard water and how does it affect you?

When it comes to hard water, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Texas are the prime states where hard water is found.

Hard water is essentially water that contains scale forming magnesium and calcium.

What does this mean?

This means that magnesium and calcium minerals are found in abundance in water supplies and thus cause a scale like build up over time. The build up of these harsh minerals can leave clothes looking dingier, especially sheets, underwear and whites.  It can also mean that to really get clothes and even your hair and skin clean, you may have to use more soap and detergents!

Hard Water Can Shorten the Lifespan of Appliances,Faucets, & Fixtures

Although hard water is not dangerous to drink or use, it can shorten the lifespan of appliances, like your dishwasher, faucets/fixtures, water heater and even your plumbing!  That’s right! As long time plumbers, the team at Cure All Plumbing has seen the effects that hard water has on plumbing and incorporated pipes.

What do you do to help combat the effects of hard water and the residue that can be left behind?

Having an ion-exchange water softening system installed is the best way to reduce the consequences of hard water.  An ion-exchange system can help to remove the magnesium and calcium in your water by replacing these harsh minerals with sodium and potassium ions.  In fact we have the low down on how a water softening system actually works, what the investment looks like in terms of cost, and water tests that  can be performed to determine if you have hard water in your home. Feel free to give us a call to learn more about water softening systems.

How Does A Water Softening System Work & Is It Safe For My Family?

A tank holds tiny beads that are called ‘the resin’.  A small amount of sodium is added to the tank, where hard water is filtered through.  The negative ions from the magnesium & calcium attach to the positive ions of the sodium.  When water is run through your faucet the negative ions are filtered out and just the positive sodium charged ions enter the water leaving your faucet creating soft water! Some people may think that drinking this soft water can lead to an increase in your daily salt intake, however this is not the case.  Water generally contains a little bit of sodium naturally and will not affect your salt intake at all.  Soft water is perfectly safe to drink and use, and in fact many people say that it tastes better!

What is the Investment of a Water Softener?

The investment depends a lot on whether your home has been plumbed for a water softener.  When building a home it is always best to plumb the home for a water softener while building.  Should you wish to install a water softener after the home has been built it can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred to a thousand dollars to ready your home plumbing for a water softener, in addition to between $1,500-$2,500 for the actual water softening system itself. To get a better idea, contact us a call for a more accurate quote.

How Do I Know If My Home Has Hard Water?

There are a few different tests that can be performed to determine the hardness of your water.

  1. Fill a clear plastic bottle with 6-8 ounces of water from your faucet.  Add in 4 drops of pure soap (most soaps have additives so make sure soap is pure soap)  and shake the bottle.  Should you see a lot of suds and soapy water your water is generally soft.  Should you see murky, filmy water with barely any suds you have HARD water and could benefit from the installation of a water softener!
  2. In most hardware stores you will find a water test kit. Essentially you submerge one of the test strips found in the kit in water from your faucet. You will be provided a chart of colors that determine how hard your water actually is.
  3. If you want to spend a little bit more money and have the professionals test it you can send a few samples of your water to a water testing facility.

While it’s not required to have a water softening system in your home, it can beneficial to homeowners for many reasons.  Should you feel that your pipes or plumbing have been affected by the hard water in your home, we suggest calling your local Tempe plumbing experts to schedule an assessment of your plumbing.  Cure All Plumbing technicians are knowledgeable and skilled when it comes to recommending what we believe might be the best water softening system for your home and budget.  Thinking about moving to a state that has softer water?  While Utah, Colorado, Arizona, & Texas are definitely more in the red when it comes to hard water, most of the United States has hard water, some areas just have a little bit harder than others:).

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