Hard water is the leading water problem in America and, and Western Montana is no exception. If not properly addressed, hard water can create problems for your pipes, appliances, clothes, skin, hair and more. These hard water problems can seriously hit your pocketbook too because sooner or later they will give rise to needed repairs and/or replacements.
Hard water is prevalent in all parts of Montana, but it is especially problematic in the Missoula area. It’s good to understand the problems hard water cause, so you can better determine if it is as much a problem for you as it is for the typical Montanan. Below, we discuss in a little more in-depth the problems that hard water may be causing you, and then we will take a look at a simple solution that addresses these problems.
What is “Hard Water”
Hard water is usually defined as water which contains a high concentration of calcium and magnesium ions. This hardness is measured in GPG (Grains Per Gallon). Water containing in excess of 5 gpg (grains per gallon) of hardness is considered Hard. Typical tests of water from Missoula, Stevensville and Hamilton exceed 10 gpg of hardness. Most other city water in western Montana also exceed 5 gpg of hardness.
Both rural and city water can have high levels of calcium hardness. It doesn’t matter if you are on a well, or hooked up to the city water supply, the source of the water determines how hard it is.
Hard water and your house
Hard water can lead to buildup of calcium and magnesium inside your pipes, tubes and hoses. This buildup in your indoor and outdoor plumbing can, in turn, affect your appliances that use water. Common appliances that can be damaged by hard water are your coffee maker, your dishwasher, and your clothes washer. Additionally, your dishes and fixtures can get dirty and undesirable due to hard water spotting and streaks. Your water heater is especially prone to hard water deposits. In fact, the leading cause of water heater replacement is the result of hard water deposits. If that wasn’t bad enough, the scale buildup in your water heater makes your water heater less efficient and therefore more expensive to use.
Hard water and you
Not only does hard water affect your utilities and your appliances, it also affects your body too. Calcium and magnesium get left behind on your hair, skin, and clothes. This can make your hair brittle and more prone to a problems such as split ends and hair that lacks shine and luster. Your skin’s pores can quickly fill with sediments from the hard water, making it dry and scaly. Sometimes hard water combined with your soap can leave “soap curd,” which is sticky and itchy. Similarly, hard water can prevent your clothes from feeling soft and smelling fresh. Quite often people suffering from hard water end up relying on clothes softeners to make their clothes easier to put on.
Hard water and your money
As a result of the hard water build up, your pocketbook can take quite a hit. Often times people don’t realize how much money they can save if they treated their hard water problems. Specifically, if you don’t treat your hard water, you can pay more for your utilities as well as repairs to appliances, and these costs can be easily avoided. Good examples of this are:
- getting a new shower head because it no longer has the water output you like
- replacing a dishwasher because the pump and hoses inside of it have become clogged with hard water deposits.
- getting a new coffee maker because the system is clogged with hard water deposits
- replacing water faucets because of buildup
- having to buy products designed to help get rid of hard water build up
Apart from the appliances mentioned above, here are some other examples of things that you may be unnecessarily spending your hard earned money on:
- Lotion for your dry skin
- Hair products that are designed to help you hair become soft and less brittle
These expenses will certainly add up over the years. But the good news is that they are unnecessary because they are avoidable. You can put a stop to these ongoing expenses with the following simple solution.
The solution to hard water
The simple solution to hard water is to make your water less hard with a water softener.
A properly designed water softener will actually remove the calcium and other minerals from your water before it’s sent throughout your home. This is a whole house solution. Considering the hidden costs of hard water, we are big fans of preventing those problems with a quality water filter. But we’re biased of course.
Still, if this article makes sense to you, we invite you to learn more by discussing your water treatment questions with an experienced water treatment specialist. You can also learn more by reading the free e-book, “Water Quality for Dummies” put out by the Water Quality Association.
This post is brought to you by Kinetico Water Systems of Missoula and Ravalli County.