Hard water is a fact in 85% of American homes according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Arizona State has some of the highest levels of hard water in the nation. This can get really expensive when you think about how much you’re really spending to combat the problem.
Cleaning and Personal Care Supplies
In a recent Customer Survey it was determined that 17¢ to 20¢ of each dollar spent at the grocery store is for cleaning, laundry, bathing and personal care products. This can represent over $100 per month for an average family of four. Many of these products are purchased to fight the effects of hard water. Not only that, the products we buy are loaded with dangerous toxic chemicals!
Softened, Conditioned water can save as much as 30% of these costs!
The average person cleaning the home spends more than 6 hours a month cleaning water spots, streak and scum alone. – Ohio State University
Water hardness definitely makes cleaning more of a chore. Who has time for that?!?Hardness causing minerals react with soap to form an insoluble curd-like substance that can show up on fabrics as a white powder, make fabrics feel stiff and attach to the inside of washing machines. It also reduces the cleaning ability of those expensive cleansers that you’re using.
The life of clothing and textiles was prolonged up to 15% when washed in conditioned water. – Based on a study by the School of Civil Engineering and the School of Consumer and Family Sciences, Purdue University.
Skin & Hair
Hard water contains high levels of minerals, specifically magnesium and calcium. The hardness of your water will depend on where you live, because each region will have different levels of hard water depending on its source and treatment. Although hard water is not harmful to your health overall, it can have a huge effect on your hair and skin.
How does hard water affect my hair?
The minerals present in hard water can make it difficult to achieve a thorough rinse, causing buildup in your hair, which can leave behind residue. Hard water can leave your hair feeling filmy, straw-like, dull, and limp, and your scalp feeling dry and itchy. You could wash your hair several times a day thinking it will fix the problem, but each time you leave the shower you will have the same result. The problem is coming from your water, not your rinse, lather, repeat routine.
Another effect you may be noticing is in your hair color. Hard water can cause color-treated hair to wash out very quickly, leading to more frequent color treatments, and further damaging your hair. You may also notice your hair becoming thinner and prone to breakage – this can also be attributed back to hard water.
How does hard water affect my skin?
The most common effect of hard water on your skin is dryness. Much like with your hair, hard water makes it difficult to rinse away soap from the surface of your skin, leaving your skin dry and potentially irritated – made worse if you also have sensitive skin, psoriasis, or eczema. When hard water comes in contact with your skin, some of those minerals that cause the hard water get left behind, absorbing a lot of the natural moisture and oils from your skin.
What do I do about it?
A water softening system in your home could go a long way toward keeping your hair bouncy and bright, and your skin soft and supple. Water softeners reduce the mineral content in your water straight from the tap, leaving you with soft water throughout your entire home.
Filming and spots are the most common aggravations that hard water can cause on dishes and glassware. Most all dishwashing detergents contain water softeners such as phosphates to reduce this condition. The manufacturers of the detergents advise you that the harder the water the more soap you will need to use to get satisfactory results.
The amount of detergent should be increased according to the hardness (one teaspoon per grain). – Maytag Answer Book
In a study conducted by New Mexico State University’s Water Quality Research Council, they found that water heaters consume 22% to 29% more energy when operated on hard water. The heating of the water in your home consumes an average of 30% of your energy expense.
As little as 1/8″ of scale in a water heater adds 20% to the fuel costs. – According to tests conducted by the US Bureau of Standards
Hard Water & Plumbing
Most water has calcium and magnesium in it, but hard water has levels of minerals that are much higher than normal. It is especially common in areas where groundwater has to pass through rocks with lots of calcium or limestone, which is the case for water that goes to homes in and around Colorado’s mountainous areas. Not only can hard water be detected by sight and taste, it can have an adverse affect on major appliances and equipment. Fortunately, there are effective ways for Vail, Colorado homeowners to combat the problems caused by hard water.
As lime and mineral deposits in water continually pass through pipes and plumbing, it builds up and starts to significantly restrict the flow of water. This happens in appliances that use water as well, such as refrigerators, icemakers, washing machines, and dishwashers. Eventually, untreated hard water can cause appliances to leak, malfunction, and use more energy. The heating elements of water heaters are also highly susceptible to damage from hard water, and it’s not uncommon for homeowners in Colorado to find that their water heaters need replacement, servicing or repair every few years.
Installing a water softener is one way to decrease the amounts of minerals in hard water. Point of entry (POE) water softeners are permanently installed at a business or residence, and are one of the most commonly used water-conditioning devices used in areas with very hard water.
Hard Savings on Soft Water
After adding up all the savings that a water conditioner can generate, many consumers conclude they can’t afford to be without soft treated water in their homes. Soft treated water can make a real difference where it counts most – in your pocketbook.
Consider how soft treated water could start saving you money today:
- Lower energy costs – According to the Water Quality Research Council at New Mexico State University, water heaters work nearly 30% more efficiently when operated on soft treated water.
- Fewer repair bills – Without exception, all water-using appliances work more efficiently and require fewer repairs with soft treated water. Even leading appliance manufacturers, such as Maytag, recommend using soft treated water for optimum performance of their products. Plumbing lasts longer, too, without the limescale buildup caused by hard water.
- Spend less money for cleaners and detergents – Since soaps and detergents work more efficiently in soft treated water, you’ll only need one-fourth to one-half of the recommended amount. And you’ll be able to obtain the same optimum results using shorter wash cycles and cooler water.
- Smaller clothing allowance – Clothes last longer and look better when washed with soft treated water. According to a study conducted at Purdue University, the life of clothing and household textiles was prolonged up to 15% when washed in conditioned water. When detergents mix with hard water, they form lime curd deposits, which can cause yellowing, or graying of clothes. As the deposits accumulate, they contribute to fabric stiffening and matting.
- Fewer lotions and conditioners – Hard water can dry skin and hair because the minerals combine with the soap to form a sticky residue that’s difficult to rinse away. With soft treated water this film doesn’t form, so hair and skin are smoother and healthier looking.