What is hard water?

Hard water is the most common problem found in the average home. Hard water is water that contains dissolved hardness minerals above 1 GPG*. The most common minerals causing hardness are calcium, manganese and magnesium.

For many uses, hard water won't affect you. For instance, to water your grass, to put out fires, float your sailboat, or wash the dirt from the sidewalks, water would have to be pretty hard to cause a problem.

But for having a shower or bath, washing dishes and clothes, shaving, washing your car, making coffee and many other uses of water, hard water is not as efficient or convenient as soft water. For instance:

  • You use only 1/2 as much soap cleaning with soft water.
  • Because hard water and soap combine to form "soap scum" that can't be easily rinsed off, they form a hard deposit on all surfaces when they dry, leaving a “bathtub ring” on ceramics appliances and dishes, as well as a whitish deposit on stainless steel and chrome surfaces.
  • This soap scum can remain on your skin even after rinsing, clogging the pores of your skin and coating every hair on your body. This crud can serve as a home for bacteria, causing diaper rash, minor skin irritation and skin that continually itches.
  • When hard water is heated, the hardness minerals are re-crystallized to form hardness scale. This scale can plug your pipes and hot water heater, causing premature failure, and costly replacement.