Total_Hardness_And_Water_Quality

Document Sample
Total_Hardness_And_Water_Quality Powered By Docstoc
					Title:
Total Hardness And Water Quality

Word Count:
914

Summary:
Most adults have learned that water can be soft or hard. They have
learned, too, that there is a connection between total hardness and water
quality. Hard water reduces the power of your soap. In fact, hard water
is often detected by noting the amount of soap required to form lather.
Hard water may build up in hot water pipes and appliances, producing
scale.

Hard Water Defined

Hard water is water that contains high levels of dissolved calcium,
magnesium, and other miner...


Keywords:
hard water,soft water,water quality


Article Body:
Most adults have learned that water can be soft or hard. They have
learned, too, that there is a connection between total hardness and water
quality. Hard water reduces the power of your soap. In fact, hard water
is often detected by noting the amount of soap required to form lather.
Hard water may build up in hot water pipes and appliances, producing
scale.

Hard Water Defined

Hard water is water that contains high levels of dissolved calcium,
magnesium, and other mineral salts such as iron. The greater the amount
of dissolved minerals in the water, the harder it is.

Total hardness is measured in grains per gallon (gpg) or parts per
million (ppm). If water contains less than 3.5 gpg, it is considered soft
water. If it contains more than 7 gpg, it is considered hard water. The
American Society of Engineers' water hardness classification table breaks
it down this way.

     *   Soft: 0 to 3.5 gpg – 0 to 60 ppm
     *   Moderate: 3.6 to 7 gpg – 61 to 120 ppm
     *   Hard: 7.1 to 10.5 gpg – 121 to 180 ppm
     *   Very Hard: More than 10.5 gpg – more than 180 ppm

Making the Connection

Total hardness and water quality are connected. Hard water is safe for
drinking, cooking, and other household uses, but it can cause problems.
One way in which total hardness and water quality are connected is the
effect of such water on household plumbing. Total hardness means a build-
up of scales inside pipes, especially those carrying hot water.

Total hardness and water quality are also connected in their effect on
appliances that use water. Dishwashers and washing machines can decrease
in cleaning and laundering ability. Water heaters can become less
efficient. Refrigerators that dispense water can become clogged.

Aesthetically, total hardness and water quality are connected in those
white, chalky deposits that accumulate on tubs, sinks, and cookware.

U.S. Water Quality

According to the 1997 National Water Quality Survey, 1 of 5 people
surveyed in the U.S. is dissatisfied with the water quality in his or her
home. This is related to the fact given by the U.S. Geological Survey:
that 85 percent of the U.S. has hard water. Many people install water
softeners in their homes to improve water quality.

Determining Water Quality

You can have your water quality tested if you are moving into a new area
or a new home. If you have been living in the same home for a while, you
will know if your water is hard by looking for these 7 signs:

1. You have difficulty working up lather from a bar of soap.

2. Your soaps and detergents don't seem to clean well – you have dingy
laundry in spite of your efforts to get it clean.

3. In the shower or bath, your soap leaves a film on your body and hair –
you have dry skin and dull, limp hair.

4. You have to battle soap scum on bathtubs, shower tiles and doors,
basins, and fixtures.

5. You see an increasing buildup of scale on your cookware such as tea
kettle, coffee maker, and pasta pot. Your plumbing also contains scale.

6. Clogged pipes or appliances mean that water flow is reduced.

7. Your water heating costs are increasing due to scale buildup and
mineral deposits, and you have to replace hot water heating elements more
often.

Improving Water Quality

Treatment can improve water quality. You may use electromagnetic water
conditioners, water filters, or water softeners.

Electromagnetic water conditioners improve water quality by sending water
through a magnetic field. As the water passes between the magnets, its
calcium and magnesium ions lose their scale-causing properties. Studies
show that this relatively new invention does not technically soften
water, but water quality is improved in that it no longer causes buildup
of scales. Clothing also lasts longer, which is a definite increase in
water quality.

Water filters are a second option for improving water quality, especially
drinking water. Water filters can provide healthy drinking water by
removing chlorine and other contaminants contained in water. Water
filters can soften water, but they will not prevent scale buildup in
pipes and water heaters.

Water softeners are a common way of improving water quality, and come in
two types: chemical and mechanical. The water produced by chemical water
softeners is not acceptable drinking water. Packaged chemicals are added
directly to improve water quality in laundering and bathing, and are
effective both in protecting clothing and guarding against dry skin and
hair. Mechanical water softeners installed in your home will replace
dissolved calcium and magnesium salts with sodium. This water is also not
acceptable for drinking, especially by those who have hypertension. The
water quality is greatly improved, however, for other uses. Lime scale is
prevented; water heaters function efficiently; and laundered clothing is
both cleaner and longer-lasting.

Soft Water

On the other end of the spectrum, total hardness and water quality are a
benefit when that hardness level is below 3.5 gpg or 60 ppm. Soft water
allows you to use less shampoo and soap, yet have shinier hair and softer
skin. Soft water requires less soap or detergent in shower, laundry,
kitchen, and household cleaning chores. It helps close look cleaner and
last longer. It keeps water-using appliances and plumbing from wearing
out as fast. Soft water keeps dishes and eating utensils spot-free, and
extends the life of tea kettles and other cookware. Soft water reduces
cleaning time by eliminating soap scum and buildup of scales.

Total hardness and water quality are closely connected, and you may find
it worthwhile to use a water treatment system to improve your water
quality – especially your drinking water.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:6
posted:4/26/2010
language:English
pages:3