Have you noticed white residue in your shower, bathtubs, and on your dishes? Are you experiencing low water pressure? If you’ve answered yes to either of these questions, you may have a problem with hard water. The most common cause for this is an accumulation of calcium in your household plumbing.
The next question has to be: how do I remove calcium from water?
This article is all about hard water, most specifically water with excessive calcium, and how to deal with it. To gain a full understanding of what we’re talking about, I’ll start by discussing hard water and calcium in water.
The primary difference between hard and soft water is the PH, or acidity level. A neutral PH for water, being neither acidic nor alkaline, is 7PH. As PH increases, the water becomes less acidic or alkaline. Alkaline water is called soft water.
On the other side of the spectrum, acidic hard water has a PH less than 7. Naturally occurring rainwater tends toward being acidic, measuring around 5PH. When this water falls to the ground, minerals are dissolved into the water, hardening it by increasing the PH.
Alkaline minerals, like calcium and magnesium are actually healthy, but leave a residue that we often call limescale. This can be seen as a white scale in our appliances like water heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers. It will often leave a white, chalky residue on our dishes or appear as spots on our clothes after being washed.
In many areas, excessive minerals, like calcium, is a problem. We can even notice that the water has white “milky” appearance. The limescale that results will end up collecting in our water pipes and fixtures, like water heaters, causing blockages that can reduce water pressure and even cause pipes to burst.
To summarize the effects of hard water, here’s what we need to know:
To treat hard water, dissolved minerals need to be removed in order to reduce the PH, thereby softening the water. Since calcium is the most common culprit, this is what we will be addressing. However, removing all hard metals from water is accomplished using the same methods.
Softening the water will reduce the presence of all hard minerals, not just calcium.
There are simple ways to remove calcium from the water in your home, often using common household ingredients.