Hard water is all too common when it comes to rural areas, as it’s a natural occurrence that affects over 85% of the water supply in North America. Hard water refers to water that has a high concentration of hard minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and other undissolved minerals. Water is considered “hard” when the water registers above 3.5 grains per gallon (gpg). While hard water can be safe to drink, it can create a variety of problems for yourself and your home appliances. 

How Does Hard Water Affect Me?

While this article will focus mostly on how hard water affects your appliances, it’s also important to identify how hard water can affect you and your family. Hard water can wreak havoc on your hair and skin. Hard water makes it more difficult to wash soap off your skin and hair due to its hard mineral makeup. Where soft water would allow for pure water molecules to easily wash soap and residue off of you, hard water does not have that same effect. Using hard water in the shower can leave your hair feeling filmy with residual product, as a result of the difficulty rinsing out shampoo and conditioner. When you’re trying to wash soap off of your body, hard water can make this process take longer and still leave your skin feeling dried out and irritated. That’s a feeling you don’t want, especially in the cool, dry months. The effects of hard water go far beyond your skin and hair. That same water could affect your shower head, washer, dishwasher, and more. 

Hard Water in the Bathroom

While hard water can affect appliances throughout your home, you can see a lot of its wrath in the bathroom. At the most visible level, you can find the characteristic flaky yellow or off-white buildup that will start to show up on your sinks, faucets, and shower heads. While this may look unpleasant, what is happening inside your plumbing can be much worse. This same buildup can happen through your entire plumbing system over time, reducing the amount of water that you can pump through your pipes into and out of your home. Hard water running through your pipes will eventually cause a buildup of calcium and magnesium when heated, leading to corrosion and costly repairs. 

Hard Water and Your Hot Water Heater

Hard water can eventually lead to issues with your hot water heater. Similar to your plumbing pipes, hard water can cause calcium buildup in your hot water heater, which can cause corrosion. Corrosion can dramatically reduce the lifespan of your hot water heater, and in some cases can lead to leaks. In a typical gas-powered water heater, a set of burners from the bottom heats the water in the tank. The minerals from hard water can find their way to the bottom of your tank, forming a layer between your water heater burners and the water inside the tank. This layer makes it much more difficult for the burners to heat the water, reducing efficiency, increasing costs, and reducing the capacity of the tank.

How Your Dishwasher Handles Hard Water

Have you come to notice spots on your dishes, glassware, and utensils, even after you run the dishwasher? These ‘water spots’ are caused by hard water and can leave your dishes looking and feeling less than clean. Beyond your dishes, hard water can wear certain dishwasher parts faster, causing more repairs to be made over time. You will also notice the same residue that you find on your dishes begin to coat the inside of your dishwasher. While vinegar can often work as a good resolution for some hard water spots, it is not a permanent solution. In order to find a solution that sticks, a whole home water system should be installed. 

A Whole Home System Can Help

The real fix for your home’s hard water problems, is a water filtration system that alleviates hard water from leaving any of your faucets or water hookups. Culligan Water offers whole home systems that do just that! The one-unit system is an efficient and cost-effective way to treat multiple water problems, including hard water. Using a process called “ion exchange”, the system removes dissolved hard water minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese. The water is then run through a media that retains the contaminants while allowing the water to pass. 

Culligan Water offers a few variations of the whole home system, including the High-Efficiency (HE) Municipal System that softens and filters your water and the High-Efficiency (HE) Softener-Cleer™ System which softens and has iron filtering capabilities. 

Contact Culligan to Fix Your Hard Water Problems

Fix your hard water problems by contacting Culligan Water of Northeast Kansas today! Every Culligan Whole Home System and installation plan is customized based on your individual water treatment needs. Starting with a free in-home water quality test, Culligan Water can asset your water and its needs, then follow up with an action plan on how to alleviate your water’s problems. Don’t live with hard water and its problems any longer. Contact us today, your appliances will thank you!