Hard Water Tips

Let’s talk about hard water and whether the water in your home is hard enough to cause problems with your plumbing.

Hard water is water that has high mineral content. Chances are that if you live in the Phoenix metropolitan area, you probably have hard water. You see it as scaling on the outside of your faucets and inside the shower. Yes, Arizona water is known to have one of the highest hard water ratings in the nation. Most of the water in the Phoenix area tests at about 20-25 grains per gallon. Our hard water comes from the minerals that the water comes into contact with as it travels to Phoenix.

So what’s the problem with hard water? Hard water can wreak havoc on your plumbing system, requiring more frequent repairs and maintenance. It can eat away at areas you can’t see, like plumbing lines, inside the plumbing connections and inside your toilets and water heater parts. Hard water also makes cleaning your clothes, dishes and even your hair and body more difficult.

Why? When hard water is heated, the carbonates precipitate out of solution, forming scale in pipes and tea kettles. It can narrow and potentially clog the pipes but the scaling along prevents efficient heat transfer. A water heater with scale will have to use a lot of energy to give you hot water. Soap is less effective in hard water because its reacts to form the calcium or magnesium salt of the organic acid of the soap. These salts are insoluble and form grayish soap scum, but not the cleansing lather people prefer.

Whether you’re wondering how hard your water is or if your household might need to add a water treatment system, you first need to test your water for the hardness level. Even if you have a water softener, we recommend that you test your water once a year if your system is more than six years old.

Hardness testing kits can be found at most plumbing supply stores. Each kit has its own instructions.

If you want to have us come out to take a look at your water softener or help you set up a free appointment to have your Phoenix water tested, contact Ben Franklin Plumbing AZ today. Also look out for our next post detailing your water treatment options.

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