7 Hard Water Facts You Didn’t Know

7 Hard Water Facts You Didn't Know

Did you know around 85% of American homes have water rich in calcium and magnesium? This can lead to issues with your home appliances and can cause dry skin and hair. Hard water is certainly bad for your home as well as your health.

Here are seven interesting hard water facts:

  1. Hard water originates underground.
  2. The hardiness of water varies.
  3. Hard water precipitates with Carbon Dioxide.
  4. Hard water prevents soap’s lather.
  5. Hard water positively impacts human health.
  6. Hard water is a nightmare for your plumbing.
  7. Hard water and TDS are not the same.

You may wonder how hard water originates, how it impacts your health or what plumbing issues it creates? Let’s find out more hard water facts and figures in a bit more detail below.

7 Hard Water Facts You Should Know

Hard water, by definition, is high in mineral content. It can contribute towards the deterioration of your health and home. The hardness of water may vary with each area. It doesn’t matter where you live; even 7 grains of hardness can prove hazardous to your surroundings.

The hardness of water depends upon the number of minerals, mainly calcium and magnesium, in the water. The higher the ionic content, the harder the water will be.

Here are some interesting facts about hard water that you would want to know!

1. Hard Water Originates Underground

Hard water is made up of mineral ions. Ions can be added to the water by various processes: dissociation, dissolution, hydration, and electrolysis.

These processes result in the formation of ions from compounds, thereby resulting in the hardness of the water (Remember: the more ions, the harder the water).

An aquifer that holds the precipitated water underground gives rise to hard water. Some of these aquifers have limestones and various mineral deposits surrounding them.

When the water, rich in carbonic acid, enters the well (or aquifer), it dissolves the surrounding calcium and magnesium.

The calcium in water then reacts with carbonic acid, resulting in the formation of calcium carbonate, hence, creating hard water.

2. The Hardiness of Water Varies

The measuring unit of hard water is Grains Per Gallon (GPG). According to USGS, the amount of dissolved multivalent cations determines the hardness of the water. For instance:

  • Soft water consists of 0 to 60 milligrams per liter of limestone.
  • Moderately hard water has 61 to 120 milligrams per liter cations.
  • Hard water has 121 to 180 milligrams per liter, which equals 7 to 10 GPG of ions.
  • Very hard water contains more than 180 milligrams per liter or over 14 GPG cations.

Note: the ideal hardness of water ranges between 0 to 3 Grains Per Gallon.

3. Hard Water Precipitates with Carbon Dioxide

Precipitation is when the soluble part of a solvent doesn’t dissolve completely and sits in the container. A precipitating agent can result in precipitation.

In the case of hard water, the precipitating agent is CO2 in water (carbonic acid) which decreases the pH of the water, increasing its acidity.

This results in forming an insoluble compound, limestone, or calcium carbonate.

In fact, this limestone formation is a blessing in disguise as it can hint at the presence of hard water in the pipelines.

4. Hard Water Prevents Soap’s Lather

Have you ever noticed a solid white residue forming after washing your hands with soap and water? Well, that is otherwise known as soap scum.

Hard water plays a crucial role in reducing the lathering ability of soap. This is because hard water ineffectively reacts with soap and leaves a filmy residue after washing. So it’s harder to rinse off the soap with hard water.

5. Hard Water Positively Impacts Human Health

Hard water gives us the electrolytes our bodies need.

These electrolytes can improve irregular heartbeat, fatigue, seizures, dehydration, muscle cramps, headaches, and numbness.

However, a very high quantity of minerals can also cause cardiovascular disorders and kidney stones, so it’s important not to consume too much hard water.

Similarly, the minerals in hard water can make our skin extremely dry and itchy and may cause eczema-like skin diseases in some people.

6. Hard Water is a Nightmare for Your Plumbing

If you have noticed clogging in pipes and faucets, hard water might be the culprit!

Hard water can cause serious plumbing issues. The contents of hard water react with the iron in the pipes, which can result in the formation of rust.

It might even be difficult to take a shower due to clogging. It can also make washing dishes and laundry a painful process.

The minerals in hard water don’t go well with detergents; they leave stains instead.

7. Hard Water and TDS are Not the Same

TDS, or Total Dissolved Solids, refers to the sum of all the organic and inorganic minerals in the water. On the contrary, hard water contains mostly metallic minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Although both terms are very closely related, TDS doesn’t create the hardness of the water. If metallic minerals are added to soft water, the water becomes hard.


Why is hard water bad for your home?

Hard water is bad for your home as it can lead to reddish-brown stains on tiles, toilets, bathtubs, kitchen sinks, and anything that comes in contact with the hard water, which is very difficult to clean off. It can harm your plumbing and eventually result in costly maintenance or repairs, if left untreated.

Can you soften hard water?

You can easily soften hard water using different methods. The hardness of water comes from the minerals present in it. To soften the hard water, you have to remove these minerals from the water.

This is possible with water softeners available in the market or using vinegar at home with accurate measurements.

What happens if you drink hard water?

Nothing happens if you drink hard water. It contains minerals that do more good than bad when ingested. However, overdoing it can result in the formation of kidney stones.

It can also increase blood pressure due to calcium and magnesium, which can eventually result in heart disease. However, hard water has also been shown to protect against heart disorders.

Final Thoughts

Water absorbs minerals from rocks or soil and becomes hard. Hard water has tremendous effects on the environment.

Hard water is formed underground when the rainwater reacts with limestone. Consuming hard water for a long time may affect the expectancy of electronic devices. It has both positive, as well as negative, effects on human health.

Hard water can clog pipelines, form soap scums, rust your taps, and ruin the tiles and bathtubs. The good news is you can reverse these negative effects of hard water by softening it.

The Filter Guy

Scott Birch is a water filtration installer and designer. He has worked in the industry for many years and is very familiar with and knowledgeable about residential water treatment equipment. Scott enjoys helping people get the most out of their water filtration systems and ensuring that their homes are getting the best possible quality of water.

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