Calgary’s water supply is hard, which means it contains significant amounts of minerals like calcium carbonate and magnesium. While high mineral content doesn’t affect water’s taste, it can wreak havoc on the human body and a home’s plumbing system. If you’re experiencing any of these telltale hard water signs, it’s time to consider installing a water softener to get the problem under control.
Water Heater Issues
When hard water is heated to high temperatures, the calcium in it precipitates out into solid scale particles. As scale accumulates inside the tank, it makes the heating process less efficient, so the water heater has to work harder to do its job. You’ll pay higher energy bills, and the buildup can shorten the appliance’s service life or even ruin the tank.
Water Spots on Dishes
Hard water minerals precipitate out in the dishwasher too, which is why clean loads are marred by white spots. You’ll likely also notice crusty scale deposits forming around the kitchen faucet, as well as inside the coffee maker and electric kettle.
Soap Scum in the Bathroom
When calcium and magnesium in hard water mix with the fat contained in bathroom soap, a natural chemical reaction between the ions causes a disgusting grey scum to form. Not only is soap scum nasty, but it also makes cleaning the fixtures difficult.
Dry, Limp Hair
If your hair is dry and frizzy or limp and dull, hard water is likely the culprit. Shampoo contains the same fatty components as regular soap, so it also reacts to the minerals that cause soap scum. Instead of collecting on the bathroom fixtures, though, the residue clings to your hair.
Irritated, Itchy Skin
The reaction between sodium stearate found in soaps and the calcium in hard water forms calcium stearate, which doesn’t dissolve in water. After rinsing, this alkaline residue stays on the skin and causes dryness, irritation and itching. Hard water has also been shown to worsen eczema, a common childhood skin condition.
To learn about the other signs of hard water and why you should install a water softener, contact the pros at Arpi’s Industries.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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