About Hard Water Deposits

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    Identification

    • The most common substance on earth is water. Without it, we couldn't live. Two-thirds of our body is made up from water. Water can contain minerals at varying levels. Water with a high level of manganese will leave behind brownish stains. High levels of calcium and magnesium will leave behind hard deposits that are referred to as lime scales. Water heavy in certain minerals is called hard water, and the deposits it leaves behind can cause surfaces to corrode. These minerals can also react with soaps and other substances to generate additional residue.

    Features

    • A buildup of minerals can appear at the end of the facet resembling hard salt, which will eventually erode the metal facet. If a sprinkler is left to spray water along a glass window, it can leave behind spots. These are hard water deposits. To reduce the adverse effects, the wet area should be immediately dried to remove the deposits, or the water should be treated to reduce certain minerals.

    Significance

    • Hard water damage is evident on the outside surface, but damage can also be done internally to our plumbing and household appliances. When hard water is heated, it will cause the minerals to re-crystallize. The crystallized minerals can clog pipes and damage water heaters, dishwashers and washing machines. Over time, the hard water can shorten the life of plumbing and appliances.

    Function

    • If the glass shower door isn't immediately wiped down after each shower, a dulling hard water deposit can build up. This makes the door look as if it is coated with a scummy film. One way to remove this is to use an acidic substance. White vinegar is a weak acid that can be used to remove hard water buildup from glass. Lemon juice can also be used, as well as cleaning materials that contain phosphoric acid, hydrochloric and sulfuric acids.

    Prevention/Solution

    • One way to avoid hard water deposits in a home is to install a water conditioning system. A soft water system uses salts to condition water. The result will be soft water that will be less corrosive on water fixtures and will significantly reduce time spent cleaning shower doors and bathroom fixtures. Soft water has an unpleasant taste and may not be suitable for watering plants. Another water treatment options is a magnetizer system that removes minerals from water using a series of magnets and filters.

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