Hard water contains dissolved calcium and magnesium ions. Water dissolves these minerals as it flows through layers of soil and rock and holds them in solution. As the levels of calcium and magnesium increase the water becomes harder and more difficult to use.
When these same minerals fall out of solution they can cause numerous problems in the plumbing of a home or business. Hard water causes scaling, which is the left over mineral deposits that are formed after the hard water has evaporated. This is also known as lime scale. The scale can clog pipes, ruin water heaters, coat the insides of tea makers coffee pots, and decrease the life of toilets. Whether it's from a well or a municipal water utility water usually contains these troublesome elements. The U.S. Geological Survey indicate that 85 percent of American homes are supplied with hard water.
Water hardness is typically measured in "grains per gallon," an indication of the quantity of dissolved calcium and magnesium the water contains. In amounts as small as one grain per gallon, water is classified as "hard" to a certain degree. Most homes use water that is considerably harder.
Hard water can be responsible for deposits encrusting scale in plumbing and water using appliances; that scale build up can increase energy bills by 25% or more! It can reduce your flow capacity, decrease the efficiency of the water heater, byincreasing the energy needed to heat water. Hard water requires additional cleaning chemicals to remove it.