Water Expert Andy Ball: Hard Water


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos



  • Andy Ball



What is hard water?


Hard water is the type of water that has high mineral content (in contrast with soft water). Hard water minerals primarily consist of calcium (Ca2+), and magnesium (Mg2+) metal cations, and sometimes other dissolved compounds such as bicarbonates and sulfates. Calcium usually enters the water as either calcium carbonate (CaCO3), in the form of limestone and chalk, or calcium sulfate (CaSO4), in the form of other mineral deposits. The predominant source of magnesium is dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2). Hard water is generally not harmful.

The simplest way to determine the hardness of water is the lather/froth test: soap or toothpaste, when agitated, lathers easily in soft water but not in hard water. More exact measurements of hardness can be obtained through a wet titration. The total water 'hardness' (including both Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions) is read as parts per million or weight/volume (mg/L) of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the water. Although water hardness usually only measures the total concentrations of calcium and magnesium (the two most prevalent, divalent metal ions), iron, aluminum, and manganese may also be present at elevated levels in some geographical locations. br/> Hardness Hardness in water is defined as the presence of multivalent cations. Hardness in water can cause water to form scales and a resistance to soap. It can also be defined as water that doesn't produce lather with soap solutions, but produces white precipitate (scum). br/> Permanent hardness Permanent hardness is hardness (mineral content) that cannot be removed by boiling. It is usually caused by the presence of calcium and magnesium sulfates and/or chlorides in the water, which become more soluble as the temperature rises. Despite the name, permanent hardness can be removed using a water softener or ion exchange column, where the calcium and magnesium ions are exchanged with the sodium ions in the column. Hard water causes scaling, which is the left over mineral deposits that are formed after the hard water had evaporated. This is also known as lime scale. The scale can clog pipes, ruin water heaters, coat the insides of tea and coffee pots, and decrease the life of toilet flushing units. Similarly, insoluble salt residues that remain in hair after shampooing with hard water tend to leave hair rougher and harder to untangle. In industrial settings, water hardness must be constantly monitored to avoid costly breakdowns in boilers, cooling towers, and other equipment that comes in contact with water. Hardness is controlled by the addition of chemicals and by large-scale softening with zeolite and ion exchange resins.

Andy Ball
862-354-7698




Make text smaller Make text larger

More From The Ask The Expert

  • Financial Expert Marion G. Cuff, CFS: When to Collect Social Security Benefits
  • Physical Therapy Expert Melissa Prestipino, DPT: Tendon vs. Ligament
  • Financial Expert Marion G. Cuff, CFS: Extra Cash
  • Physical Therapy Expert Melissa Prestipino, DPT: Sore Muscles after Exercising
  • Financial Expert Marion G. Cuff, CFS: Identity Theft
  • Physical Therapy Expert Melissa Prestipino, DPT: What to Know About Running
  • Financial Expert Marion G. Cuff, CFS: Reverse Mortgage
  • Physical Therapy Expert Melissa Prestipino, DPT: Causes of Pain from Running
  • Financial Expert Marion G. Cuff, CFS: Estate Planning
  • Physical Therapy Expert Melissa Prestipino, DPT: Pregnancy and Exercise
  • Financial Expert Marion G. Cuff, CFS: When to Save for Retirement
  • Physical Therapy Expert Melissa Prestipino, DPT: Physical Therapy Prescriptions
  • Financial Expert Marion G. Cuff, CFS: Which Credit Card is Best
  • Financial Expert Marion G. Cuff, CFS: Managing Money
  • Physical Therapy Expert Melissa Prestipino, DPT: Torticollis
  • Financial Expert Marion G. Cuff, CFS: Liability for Spouse's Debts
  • Physical Therapy Expert Melissa Prestipino, DPT: Osteoarthritis vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis?
  • Water Expert Andy Ball: Type of Salt for Softeners
  • Water Expert Andy Ball: Slimy or Slick Water
  • Physical Therapy Expert Melissa Prestipino, DPT: How to Treat an Injury
  • Water Expert Andy Ball: Salt in Your Softener
  • Physical Therapy Expert Melissa Prestipino, DPT: Strain vs. Sprain
  • Water Expert Andy Ball: Safe Drinking Water
  • Water Expert Andy Ball: Changing Resins in Your Softener
  • Water Expert Andy Ball: Ion Exchange
  • Water Expert Andy Ball: Scaling and Fouling
  • Water Expert Andy Ball: Hard Water
  • Water Expert Andy Ball: Hydrogen Sulfide
  • Water Expert Andy Ball: Pressure Loss
  • Water Expert Andy Ball: Water Softner
  • Comments

    Pool Rules



    MUST READ NEWS

    Physical Therapy Expert Melissa Prestipino, DPT: Shoulder Impingement
    Both athletes and the general population can develop shoulder discomfort or pain, particularly if they perform repetitive overhead motions. If you are throwing a baseball,...
    Read more »
    Image

    Chiropratic Expert Dr. Mary Negri, D.C: Backpack Safety
    With the new school year in session, it is important to discuss the importance of backpack safety. As a chiropractor one of the most common problems 1 see in my office are back...
    Read more »
    Image

    Ninja Warrior gym coming to Newton
    By Laurie Gordon
    — Can a Ninja warrior breathe new life into a centuries-old building?
    Apparently so. Recently, Chris Ennis...

    Read more »
    Image

    Kids learning business
    By Rose Sgarlato
    — All kinds of products were proudly displayed by Helen Morgan Fifth graders last week at their TREP$...

    Read more »
    Image

    VIDEOS



    Subscribe to our mailing list

    * indicates required
    Community Newspapers


    MOST READ

    Local News
    Kids learning business
    • Apr 18, 2018
    Local News
    Science march has political edge
    • Apr 18, 2018
    Local News
    Ninja Warrior gym coming to Newton
    • Apr 18, 2018
    Local News
    The girls are up and running
    • Apr 18, 2018

    MOST COMMENTED



    Find more about Weather in Sparta, NJ