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Hard Water – What is it and How Do You Fix it?


You’ve undoubtedly heard the term “hard water” at one point or another. But, what is it? How do you know you have it? Should you worry? Well, let’s dive into what it is, the problems it can cause, and how you can fix it.

What is Hard Water and What Causes It?

Hard water is water that contaminated with minerals like calcium and magnesium. It is usually the result of water that has percolated through calcium, limestone, chalk or gypsum deposits.

There are two types of hard water. Those two types are:

  • Temporary
    Temporary hardness occurs when dissolved bicarbonate minerals are present in the water. The common bicarbonate minerals present in temporarily hard water are calcium bicarbonate and magnesium bicarbonate. Since bicarbonates precipitate from water when heated, you can remove temporary hardness by boiling the water. Generally, temporary hardness is nothing to worry about.
  • Permanent
    Permanently hard water is water contaminated with sulfates or chlorides. The most common ones are magnesium sulfate/chloride and calcium sulfate/chloride. Since chlorides and sulfates won’t precipitate from the water with heat, boiling won’t help. To remove permanent hardness, a water softener (ion exchange column) is necessary.

Problems Caused by Hard Water

Hard water can cause several different problems. Some of the more common problems caused by it are:

  • Difficulty lathering soap
  • Stained glassware
  • Mineral deposits on and around plumbing fixtures
  • Clogs and drain obstructions
  • Dingy and lustless hair
  • And more

What Can You Do About It?

For temporary hardness, all you have to do is boil the water before you use it. You can accomplish this with a boiler. However, a boiler won’t solve your problems with permanent hardness. In fact, permanent hard water can damage a boiler.

If you have permanent hardness, then you’ll need a water softener or another type of ion exchange column. Luckily, the professional plumbers here at Albuquerque Plumbing, Heating & Cooling are water filtration experts. We can install, repair, and replace any water softener or ion exchange column you need. We’re even accredited by the Better Business Bureau! So, what are you waiting for? Contact us and our team of reliable plumbers for water softener service today!

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