What is Hard Water and Is It Bad?

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Dealing with hard water is not just a bother but a daily challenge for many property owners. Knowing about it and how it affects you can help you find solutions to make your life a little easier.

Hard Water Video

Is hard water secretly costing your commercial property thousands of dollars in repair? πŸ˜­πŸ’°

First, minerals in hard water accumulate in pipes and on fixtures leading to blockages and reduced water flow. 🚰 In commercial settings, this means higher maintenance costs and potentially unhappy tenants. 😑

Second, hard water is also forcing your appliances like dishwashers, boilers, and water heaters to work that much harder. Again increasing energy costs, and also shortening the appliance lifespan. πŸ“ˆπŸͺ«

Next, hard water can also accelerate pipe corrosion which can lead to leaks, bursts, and water damage that’s both expensive and disruptive. πŸ› οΈ

Last, due to scale buildup, heating hard water is more expensive and drives up monthly utility bills. πŸ“ˆπŸ’Έ

Point being, that commercial-grade water softener might cost a bit up front, but it will likely save you a lot of time, money, and headache in the long-run.

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water has a high mix of dissolved minerals. The most abundant being calcium and magnesium. Water picks them up as it travels through soil and rock to your fixtures.

Hard water, then play tricks with your plumbing:

  • Pipe Clogging: Minerals from hard water cause limestone deposits to stick to the interior of plumbing pipes. This limits water flow and eventually causes clogging.
  • Less Appliance Efficiency: Water heaters and boilers fail to work at full capacity because of scale buildup on heating elements. This results in higher energy consumption.
  • Frequent Repairs: Faucets, showerheads, and valves get clogged quite often and force you to do frequent maintenance and replacement.
  • Lifespan: The entire Plumbing lasts less due to regular exposure to hard water.

How Can I Tell if I Have Hard Water?

Ain’t got a clue about hard water? Well, here is how you can know its presence:

  • Limescale Buildup: You may see white and chalky substances on faucets, showerheads, and around the sinks. Also, a hard and crusty deposit buildup is visible in kettles, coffee makers, and other appliances that heat water.
  • Soap Scum: A filmy residue left on skin, hair, and bathroom surfaces. Soap and shampoo don’t lather well, and you may need more of them to clean yourself.
  • Laundry Issues: Clothes may feel rough or look dull after washing. Whites may turn gray, and colors may fade faster.
  • Skin and Hair Problems: Dry, itchy skin and dull, lifeless hair, like eczema.
  • Spotty Dishes: Glasses and dishes come out of the dishwasher with spots or a cloudy film.

How to Test for Hard Water?

Home Test Kits

Buy a water hardness test kit. It usually uses test strips that change color based on the hardness level of the water. Simply follow the instructions written on the product and you’ll know for sure if your property has hard water.

Soap Test

The next test is a DIY. First, fill an empty bottle with one-third of tap water. Then, add a few drops of pure (Castile) liquid soap. Now, shake the bottle with force. If the water looks cloudy and you also see a thin layer of bubbles in it, there is hard water.

How To Fix Hard Water?

Use a Water Softener

Water softeners are the simplest of fixes to cure hard water. Buy one and install it near where the water line enters your property. The two types are:

  • Ion Exchange Softeners: Replace calcium & magnesium ions with sodium/potassium ions to soften the water.
  • Salt-Free Softeners: Use potassium chloride or other minerals to condition the water without adding salt.

Use a Filtration System

  • Whole-House Filters: Install filters that can lessen the mineral content of your property.
  • Point-of-Use Filters: Use filters on individual taps or appliances to fix hard water at specific points.

Use Water Conditioners

Water conditioners are somewhat of an alternative to water softeners. They change the behavior of minerals in hard water without removing them.

  • Magnetic Conditioners: Use magnetic fields to alter the properties of minerals and stop them from forming scale.
  • Electronic Conditioners: Use electronic fields for a similar effect as magnetic conditioners.
  • Template-Assisted Crystallization (TAC): Converts hardness minerals into microscopic crystals that remain suspended in water and do not form scale.

TIP: After installing a water softener, conditioner, or filter, you need to clear the previous mineral coating caused by hard water. A chemical descaler can break down limescale layers in plumbing pipes. Soaking appliances in vinegar offers a natural remedy.

Can I Drink Hard Water?

Hard water is generally safe to drink, and the minerals it contains contribute positively to your daily intake, which is good for your health. However, you may find the taste less pleasant because of the higher mineral content in it.

Does Boiling Hard Water Make It Soft?

Although boiling removes some of the hardness of hard water by lowering the solubility of calcium carbonate at high temperatures, the process does not make it completely soft. In fact, boiling evaporates the water. This increases the concentrations of minerals and makes the water more hard.


Hard water gives rise to many plumbing problems. Therefore, you need to treat your water to improve its quality by making it soft. There are many ways you can fix your water and make your plumbing last long.