What is Hard Water?
Hard water is water that contains lots of dissolved calcium and other minerals. These minerals get picked up by the water as it travels through rock [such as limestone or dolomite]. Minerals are not harmful to your health, in fact they are known to be related to lowered risk factors for heart disease and other ailments. See the Health Benefits of Calcium Page. You need a certain amount of hardness in order to ionize at all. The problem with very hard water, calcium in particular, is that it tends to scale due to its crystaline shape. This scaling can cause clogging inside a water ionizer or any water-related equipment. In particular with water ionizers, the calcium scale can build up on the electrodes or between electrodes. When this happens the effectiveness drops. For this reason all water ionizers have self-cleaning systems. The water ionizers with the best internal, water-cell cleaning systems are those with continuous-cleaning. The quality of internal cleaning is an important concern. Insisting on a good water ionizer self-cleaning system is always a smart idea.
Hardness is Reported in PPM [parts per million] or GPG [grains per gallon].
The perfect hardness for a water ionizer is about 80 – 120 parts per million or 6-7 grains per gallon of hardness. Feel free to call for a free consultation on your water quality and hardness. 1-888-692-5525. Here is a link to the USGS water quality map, chart and other information online: http://water.usgs.gov/owq/hardness-alkalinity.html#chart Water is considered soft or hard according to the PPM or GPG of calcium and magnesium in the water. Most references report the following:
- •Soft: Below 17 ppm [or 0-1 gpg]
- •Medium: 18 – 75 ppm [or 1 – 4 gpg] •Medium Hard: 76 – 150 ppm [or 4 – 8 gpg]
- •Hard: 151 – 200 ppm [or 7 – 11 gpg]
- •Very Hard: Over 200 ppm [or over 11 gp **Very, Very Hard: Over 300 ppm [Note: can go as hard as 500 or more ppm] If your water is very, very hard, you will need to do extra filtration of it before you can get good results with your water ionizer.
Reverse Osmosis [with a remineralizer] is the standard way to filter very, very hard water properly. Hardness appears as a yellowish/whitish [or even greeny-blue] film, but if there is also a high iron content in the water it will be a brownish film.]
Do You Have Hard Water?
If you live in a hard water area [over 200 ppm of hardness or over 12 grains of calcium per gallon] you have very hard water and will want to read this. Hard water is a problem for water ionizers. Even medium-hard water can cause a water ionizer to lose its pH or ORP over time, due to scaling on and between the plates. Solutions to hard water are the following [listed in order of cheapest to most expensive]: Ionizer Armor prevents hard water from sticking to your water ionizer as it passes through it. Good for medium-hard water, 6-8 GPG [grains per gallon] or up to 150 PPM of hardness. If your water is slightly harder than that, it’s suggested that you get 2 Armors and install them 1″ apart. Reverse Osmosis Remineralizer System Reverse osmosis is an excellent filtration method, but the water flow is slow. Make sure to either use our system [made for water ionizers] or to use a system that has a large tank, fast refill time and get a Remineralizer to add on to the line just prior to the tank. If your water is off the charts [some areas have water that gets so hard it’s referred to as “rock-hard”] It is doubtful that no-salt softeners, will work with that. In this case you might need to go with the sodium-based softener, but then you will need to read the page regarding sodium water softeners. Please give us a call if you would like a free consultation.
Do You Need to Have Your Water Tested?
Most municipal water is thoroughly tested, and they usually report their results online. However certain things, like hardness, are not always reported. If your water quality report doesn’t show your water’s hardness, you can call the water company and ask, though, or you can do some testing on your own. If you use well-water, you should test your water hardness, among other things. Well water is often very hard [not always, but it should be tested]. Some municipalities will test your well water hardness and other things for free.
At Alkaline Water Plus We Offer Free Options for Testing Your Water
Comprehensive Water Test Kits: For a single test of your water for 9 of the most important things you should know about your water. At Alkaline Water Plus we will do a free water analysis for you. If you do find your water is of poor quality, or too hard, there are always ways to fix it, so you can have perfect ionized water no matter what. If you don’t do something to handle the water hardness and excess TDS [total dissolved solids] you will eventually have a problem.