What Is Hard Water?

Hard Water 101

Hard water sounds like an oxymoron. How can water be hard? The term ‘HARD’ refers to the minerals, calcium and magnesium, that have dissolved in the water. When looking at running water the hardness it is virtually undetectable to the naked eye. The proof comes later in the form of scale buildup, hard to remove spots on your shower doors and glasses, and even worse – in increased utility bills.

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water is a common water quality issue that many people encounter in their daily lives. Simply put, hard water contains a high concentration of minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium, which it absorbs from the earth as it flows through underground rock formations. These minerals dissolve in the water, making it 'hard' and less suitable for various household purposes. When hard water is heated, it tends to form mineral deposits, commonly known as limescale, in appliances and plumbing fixtures. Understanding hard water is essential for homeowners, as it can have a significant impact on the efficiency and longevity of appliances, the quality of your laundry and dishes, and even the health of your skin and hair. In the following sections, we'll delve deeper into the causes, effects, and solutions related to hard water, helping you make informed decisions about water quality in your home.

Do you have hard water?

As water falls from the sky and begins its journey to your house’s pipes, it will wind up spending a good amount of time meandering through all kinds of earth, dissolving and carrying minerals along the way. Depending on where you are in the country will determine what type and level of hardness you’ll experience. Below you will find a map of the United States and the varying hard water levels throughout.


Why should you care?

Hard water is bad for your home, specifically your pipes, water heater, appliances, faucets and glassware, and showers. As hard water runs through the pipes of your house, to your appliances or out of your faucets it leaves trace amounts of mineral deposits behind. As water evaporates or dries up, the minerals are left behind. It’s a gradual process but considering how often water is run through your home, scale buildup can show up quickly causing all sorts of problems. Have you ever turned on your kitchen sink to find the faucet head spraying every which way? Has your dishwasher stopped washing as well as it did when it was new? Have you started noticing a white film develop on your shower door that just won’t wash off? All of these are indications of a hard water problem.

It gets worse

The real damage is the unseen — and it develops day by day, layer by layer until it causes the point of failure. You’ll only know what is happening by the increase in your utility bills. Your water heater, washing machine, and dishwasher are not running efficiently anymore due to scale build-up on the heating elements and inside the pipes.

In fact, just one millimeter of limescale build-up reduces heating element efficiency by 7%. That equates to about $300 per year. And it has the potential to shorten the lifespan of your major appliances by 30%. At NuvoH2O®, we find that most people want to find a hard water treatment option that helps them protect the significant investment they have made in their homes.

A Silver Lining

Hard water has gotten a bad rap. Although hard water is bad for your home, it is not bad for you, your family, and your pets to drink or bathe in. In fact, The World Health Organization and the National Research Council have found that hard water can be an important source of calcium and magnesium.

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A clear understanding of what hard water is and its implications is essential for maintaining the overall quality of your water supply and ensuring the efficient operation of household appliances. By identifying the signs of hard water and taking proactive steps to address it, you can enjoy the benefits of softer, more manageable water in your daily life. If you have further questions or need assistance in dealing with hard water issues, our experts are here to help. Contact our team at NuvoH2O today to learn more about what hard water is, water softening solutions, water quality testing, and how to improve your home's water quality. Don't let hard water stand in the way of enjoying cleaner, more efficient, and healthier water — take action today for a better tomorrow.