Is Hard Water Bad for You?


Is Hard Water Bad for You?

If you have hard water, you may be wondering, is hard water bad for you? The simple answer is that hard water isn’t harmful to your health, but it can cause problems including:

  • Dull hair
  • Dry skin
  • Scale buildup in your plumbing and appliances that use water

So really, you need to decide if you want to put up with the problems hard water can cause.

What Exactly Is Hard Water?

In a nutshell, hard water is water that has a relatively high content of dissolved calcium, magnesium, and other metals, including iron. In the Mohave County area of Arizona, most of us have hard water to some degree. Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon of calcium carbonate. The more grains per gallon, the harder your water is, and the more you will notice. The chart below from the Water Quality Association lays it out.

Degree of HardnessGrains per Gallon (gpg)Ppm or (mg/L)
Slightly Hard 1.0-3.517.1-60
Moderately Hard3.5-7.060-120
Very Hard>10.5>180

Your water supplier, whether it’s your local municipality or EPCOR, is required to test local water annually, and issue a report of the findings. Some of these reports give details on the water hardness in the area. You can also perform your own test for hard water.

Signs of Hard Water

Typical signs of hard water include:

  • White buildup on faucets and shower heads
  • Soap scum builds up quickly in the bathtub and shower
  • Having to use more soap or shampoo to get a good lather
  • Spots on dishes
  • Laundry that is stiff or scratch if you don’t use fabric softener

While not a visible sign of hard water, very hard water with lots of scale buildup can shorten the expected lifespan of your plumbing, water heater, and dishwasher.

Hard Water and Taste – Bad Taste May Be Something Else

About 85% of American households have hard water to some degree, and the vast majority say their water tastes fine. But depending on where your water comes from and how much chlorine your water treatment plant puts into the water, you may have bad smelling water or bad tasting water along with hard water.

Metallic Taste

A metallic taste can mean there is a high level of iron in your water. If your toilet gets red or brownish stains, that’s a sure sign of iron in the water.

Water Tastes Like Dirt

This could be due to actual dirt in the water if you have a well, or if an outside pipe has a crack or leak. If it’s only a problem at one faucet, it may be the plumbing or the fixture itself with a problem.

Rotten Egg Smell

This may come in conjunction with hard water, but that smell is not due to hard water. If your water smells like rotten eggs, it’s most likely due to naturally occurring hydrogen sulfide gas. It could also be due to bacteria reacting with magnesium to form sulfates.

Chlorine Taste and/or Smell

Most water treatment facilities add chlorine to the water during the water treatment process to kill bacteria.

How a Water Treatment System or Water Softener Can Help

A water softener system is designed to remove or neutralize the hard minerals in your water. Small beads in the water softener system carry a negative charge and attract the mineral grains, which carry a positive charge. The minerals are then neutralized, giving you clean, soft water. We use high-performing water softeners that use a minimum of salt, so you have good tasting water straight from the tap.

If you have bad tasting or bad smelling water, a whole house water treatment system will filter your water to keep the contaminants from ever reaching your tap water. These water purification systems include reverse osmosis systems and various whole house water filters.:

Call Plumbing By Jake to Fix Your Water Problems

Call 928-377-5910 or use our contact form to get more information on a water softener system or water purification system for your home or business. We may need to schedule a visit to your home to check out your plumbing system and perform a water quality test so we can see exactly what we’re dealing with before recommending water treatment solutions. At Plumbing By Jake, we back every system with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We serve Kingman, Bullhead City, Golden Valley, Lake Havasu, and all of Mohave County, Arizona.