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What Is Hard Water and Why Is It Bad?

You may have heard that well water can be hard, but you may not know exactly what hard water is or why it’s bad. If you use a well for your water supply, here’s what you should know about hard water and why it’s undesirable for homeowners.

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water is characterized by high mineral content. The most prevalent minerals in hard water are calcium and magnesium, but there may also be trace amounts of other elements. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, water with 0 to 60 mg/L as calcium carbonate is considered to be soft, water with 61 to 120 mg/L as calcium carbonate is moderately hard, water with 121 to 180 mg/L as calcium carbonate is hard, and water with 180 mg/L as calcium carbonate is very hard.

What Are the Downsides of Hard Water?

Hard water is unappealing for homeowners for multiple reasons. While it’s safe to drink, it’s not very effective at rinsing the soap away, making it difficult to clean your home, your clothes, your dishes, or your body properly. The soap residue caused by hard water can also leave unattractive stains or scales behind. The mineral deposits from hard water can additionally have a negative effect on appliances like washing machines and dishwashers which may shorten their lifespan or require costly repairs.

How Can You Tell If You Have Hard Water?

There are a few indicators that you might have hard water. Keep an eye out for signs like white residue on dishes, rough or dull clothes or linens, scales on faucets, white stains on porcelain, and dry skin or hair. However, just because you don’t notice these signs doesn’t necessarily mean that your water isn’t hard. The most effective way to determine the hardness of your water is to have it professionally tested.

In addition to performing onsite water testing, JB Water Well can provide you with water softeners to combat the negative effects of hard water. If you own a well and want to ensure that your water is soft, contact us today to get started with our services. We’ll answer any questions you may have about your well water and help you form a plan of action to provide your home with the best water quality possible.