Hard water is caused by a higher than usual concentration of calcium and magnesium salts in water. With increased amounts of calcium and magnesium, hard water will not have a rich lather and can leave spots and residue on utensils and products that you wash it with.When you look at a sample of hard water and soft water it is hard to physically see the difference between the two. For example, soft water provides a good amount of foaming as the water and the soap mix together.
Problems Caused By Hard Water
One of the other ways to distinguish between hard and soft water is to look at your pipes. Soft water will not have calcium build up inside the pipe, while hard water will show calcium deposits on the inside of the pipes.
Hard water causes scaling, which is the precipitation of minerals to form a hard deposit called the lime scale. Scale can clog pipes, decrease the life of toilet flushing, clog and ruin your water heaters. In industrial use, hard water can contribute to the scaling in boilers, cooling towers and other industrial equipment. In industrial use, water hardness should be monitored to avoid expensive breakdowns.
Solving your Hard Water Issues
This can be devastating for industrial companies as well as costly for water service providers. Ways by which commercial and industrial industries can decrease the costs of hard water damage is through treatment of the water. These can include lime softening, ion exchange, reverse osmosis, and precipitation (chelating agents).
Reverse osmosis will push the water through a semi-permeable membrane which will allow the calcium and magnesium to be removed. Reverse osmosis is also popular for desalination purposes.
Chelating agents are used in chemical analysis, as water softeners, and are ingredients in many commercial products such as shampoos and food preservatives. Citric acid is used to soften water in soaps and laundry detergents.
Ion exchange removes the calcium and magnesium and replaces them with hydrogen. Then there will be an anion exchange where negative ions are removed and hydroxyl anions are released leaving the water mineral free.
If you have questions on treating hard water, contact us to discuss options.