Hard Water Signs and Causes
What Causes Hard Water?
Hard water is water that contains a high amount of dissolved minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, and magnesium. The high concentration of these minerals can cause a host of problems, including hard water stains or deposits in your sinks, tubs, and showers. At Kinetico, we offer a free water analysis to assess the minerals present in your water and help you choose the best solution for your home or business.
Hard water is found all across the United States, with most states having moderate to very hard water. Continued exposure to hard water can result in a variety of symptoms in your hair and skin. Other signs of hard water include stains on your faucets, toilets, and other water using fixtures. Here is everything you need to know about hard water stains and how to eliminate this problem altogether.
Signs and Symptoms of Hard Water
There are several telltale signs of hard water in your home or business:
- Soap scum buildup in your tub or shower.
- Brown or reddish stains in your sinks, showers, and toilets.
- Additional soap required to get your body, laundry, and dishes clean.
- Spots or cloudiness on dishes and glassware after going through the dishwasher.
- Increased energy bills from scale buildup impeding appliance efficiency.
- Dry hair that tangles and requires more shampoo and conditioner than normal.
- Tap water that has a foul odor and does not taste good.
If you’d like to know more about your water, schedule your free water analysis today!
What do Hard Water Stains Look Like?
The appearance of hard water deposits will depend on the minerals that are most prevalent. Here are the most common hard water stains and their root cause:
- High calcium in the water leaves a white residue which is most visible on metal surfaces like faucets and showerheads.
- Brown or black staining is usually the result of high levels of dissolved manganese. A great place to check for manganese staining is in the water tank on your toilet.
- Orange or reddish stains are caused by high iron in the water. You will likely notice these red hard water stains around your faucet or the waterline of your toilet.
Most hard water stains are not permanent and can be cleaned with white vinegar or specially-formulated cleansers that are available in most stores.
How to Get Rid of Hard Water
The easiest way to get rid of hard water is with a water softener through ion exchange. Water softeners are connected to the main water supply and remove excess calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and other minerals from all water being used in your home or business. They do this by trapping minerals and metals from your water in negatively-charged resin beads inside the water-softener tanks. The resin beads are then flushed of these minerals in a process called regeneration so the process can start all over again.