What is hard water?
Water that has more than 3.5 grains per gallon or GPG of dissolved minerals is considered hard water and if the water contains 10.5 grains per gallon it is considered very hard water. Hard water build up is the result of underground water sources collecting dissolved minerals from rocks such as calcium, magnesium carbonate, and manganese.
When hard water build up occurs scale and lime deposits build up in water heaters and water heating appliances like washers and dishwashers, this can eventually reduce water flow and cause clogs in the plumbing.
Some common problems hard water build up can cause are scale on cookware, spotted dishes, tile scum, bathtub rings, and grey stiff clothing when washing clothes. If you have hard water you will need to use more shampoo and must rinse more thoroughly. This is caused by the calcium and magnesium in the hard water reacting with soaps and detergents reducing the lathering and cleaning capabilities and also causes scum to form which is difficult to rinse away.
Contact your municipal water authority or private water testing firm if you suspect hard water build up. If you do have hard water you may need to install a water softener unit on your house.