Water Hardness: Solutions

Can water hardness be managed? What are the effects of water hardness in your home?

Even though water hardness does not pose health risks, it is a common phenomenon that affects a household’s everyday life in several ways. When fresh laundry is rinsed from the washing machine, it can look like sandpaper, and plumbing fixtures, like faucets, can become chalky.

Why is Water Hardness Bad?

Before it reaches a municipal supply, a portion of water is mineralized, like calcium and magnesium. These are dense minerals absorbed by rocks and soil before reaching the municipal supply. In addition, they lead to the buildup of limescale in pipes. This buildup reduces water pressure and flow, which becomes more problematic over time as it accumulates.

Furthermore, hard water adversely affects the efficiency and longevity of any appliance that utilizes water. It might not be too much of an issue for a coffeemaker, but it has the same effect on water heaters and refrigerators, both essential appliances.

Grain per gallon (GPG) is the way the hardness or softness of water is measured, with one grain equaling 0.002 ounces of calcium carbonate dissolved in 1 gallon.

  • Water with a GPG of 0 – 3 is considered soft.
  • Moderate and ideal GPG is between 3.5 – 7 GPG.
  • Water with > 7.5 GPG should be treated with a water softener.

Solutions for Hard Water

If you have hard water, being proactive is crucial. Correcting a hard water problem can prevent several plumbing problems that will cost you a fortune. Contact your local water utility or municipality; many offer a free report that details what’s in your water for free. You can also purchase a water test kit from your local home center, hardware store, or online retailer. If the water is hard, a water softener will be necessary.

Performing Water Tests

A water hardness test measures the hardness of the water on a different scale, either grains per gallon (GPG) or parts per million (PPM). Water doesn’t have to contain calcium or magnesium, but a home’s plumbing needs to handle a high concentration of those minerals. Although trace amounts of calcium and magnesium are ordinary, hard water has a calcium or magnesium level of 7 GPG or 120 PPM.

Based on the experience of other homeowners who have installed a water softener through Berks Water Technology, if your test results indicate that the water is hard, you should consider installing a water softener.

Skip to content