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Husted Plumbing Blog

Is Hard Water Dangerous for My Family?

water-for-analysisYou’ve probably heard about hard water and the concerns it can present for a home. The term “hard water” is confusing for people unfamiliar with it, since often the only type of hard water they’re familiar with is ice. What hard water actually refers to is the mineral content of water, specifically levels of the minerals magnesium and calcium. 

The hardness of water is measured as the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. If a home’s water has 60 mg per liter of calcium or less, it’s considered soft. From 61 to 120 mg per liter is moderately hard, 121 to 180 mg per liter is hard, and more above 180 mg per liter is very hard. 

Unfortunately, in Southern California, levels of hard to very hard are common for homes. For homes with this level of water hardness, we recommend installing a water softener in Oxnard, CA, which counteracts the hard water ions with sodium ions to soften it. 

Is This to Protect the Health of My Family?

No, because you actually want calcium and magnesium in your diet. These are essential minerals for the human body. Calcium, for example, is critical for helping bone strength, and both magnesium and calcium are beneficial for the heart and muscles. Some studies have even found a connection between these minerals and protection against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Low levels of calcium are connected to a risk for osteoporosis. Too many people in the US have low calcium in their diets. 

So Why Would I Want to Remove These Minerals?

When we encourage people to have their water softened to bring down high levels of water hardness, we’re not asking them to remove all the minerals from their water supply. The point of softening is to balance out excessive amounts of these minerals. Although hard water isn’t dangerous for your family to drink, it’s terrible for the plumbing!

The minerals of hard water, when dissolved from the water supply, turn into limescale that develops along the inside of pipes and water-using appliances. This will lead to spikes in water pressure, an increase in leaks, a higher risk of clogs, pipes that age rapidly, faulty showerheads and fixtures, and early failures for water heaters. Because the minerals bond with soap, they easily create soap scum that becomes a major annoyance for keeping a house clean. This problem with soap also causes itchy skin, flat hair, spots on dishware and glass surfaces, and faded colors from the wash. 

An All-Around Solution

Installing a water softener is only part of the solution. If you have concerns about losing too many of the healthy minerals in your home’s water, we can equip your water softener with a re-mineralizing process; this adds back a healthy quantity of minerals into the water after softening so you have the valuable minerals restored to the water without creating problems for the plumbing. And you can always look for healthy ways to improve your diet to ensure you’re getting the right amount of magnesium and calcium.

We’ve been family-owned and operated since 1935, and you can trust us to do the best work for your family and your plumbing. 

Husted Plumbing serves the Greater Santa Barbara and Ventura County Area. Schedule service with experienced and certified plumbers today.

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