Home Improvements

How Stuff Works: Hard Water Filter

Hard water is a common issue that many homeowners face, without even knowing it. This is why they need a hard water filter.

Hard water causes a variety of problems ranging from damaging your plumbing to making you spend money unnecessarily. Dealing with hard water is fairly simple, all you really need is a hard water filter. But how does a hard water filter really work and is it worth the money?

install a hard water filter in your home to make your tap water safer. Image description: hands cupping water that is flowing from a tap.

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water is water that has an unusually high mineral content. This is due to the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in water.

Signs of hard water include:

  • Feeling a slimy film on your hands after washing them with soap. This is due to the minerals reacting with the soap to form soap scum. You generally need to rinse your hands for much longer if you have hard water.
  • Hazy spots appearing on your dishes and silverware. If your glasses have a cloudy or hazy appearance after washing then you most likely have hard water.

person washing pots in a metal sink, wearing bright green ribber gloves

What Does a Hard Water Filter Do?

A hard water filter filters the water to remove the extra minerals. They are also called water softeners.

Hard water filters can be installed where the water supply comes into the house. This will then filter all the water that enters your home which can protect your plumbing. You can also opt to just install the filter between the incoming water pipe and the fixtures where water needs to be softened, like specific taps in your kitchen and bathroom. 

steaming water pouring out of a tap. With a hard water filter, you know the water would be safe to use.

Your Soap Will Work Better

If you have hard water, you’ll need to use a lot more soap to get the intended results. By installing a hard water filter you’ll find your soap lasts much longer, which will save you money over time.

You’ll also find that your skin and hair will be softer after installing a hard water filter. Hard water tends to dry out your skin and will cause your hair to lose its natural shine. Until now you’ve probably combatted this with salon-quality products.

You won’t need to use extensive amounts of moisturiser and conditioner anymore, which will make your products last longer. Your body might take a little while to get used to the softer water, but once it does, you’ll never look back.

close up shot of the top of a bottle of hand wash liquid soap

Protect Your Plumbing

Hard water doesn’t just negatively affect your skin and hair, it can also slowly damage your plumbing. If you have hard water, you’ll experience a build-up of mineral deposits in your plumbing that a plumber will need to resolve. 

By installing a hard water filter, you’ll prevent the minerals from accumulating in your pipes. This will minimise the number of plumbing repairs you need to deal with.

person turning on a tap, water gushing out and flowing into an overflowing clear glass in the sink

Prolong the Life of Your Appliances

Since hard water affects your plumbing, your appliances can also suffer. Each time you use an appliance that requires water, minerals will start to build up inside of it. In the end, this will cause your appliances to be less effective.

If the buildup becomes too extensive, you might need to replace your appliances.

birds eye view of a fully packed dishwasher drawer

Fewer Stains

Hard water causes stains. This means your dishes, laundry, and bathroom fixtures are all prone to stains. Unfortunately, hard water stains are tough to get rid of, so you’ll end up spending quite a bit of time scrubbing them out.

hand soap on a basin next to the bathroom tap

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have hard water?

Hard water stains are a clear sign that you have a problem. Toilet basins are the best spot to check for these stains.

You can also test your water with a test strip to determine how hard your water is.

Why is hard water bad?

Hard water can damage your appliances, cause stains, reduce the efficiency of the soap you use, and even affect the health of your hair and skin.

What can I do to combat hard water?

Installing a hard water filter is the only way to get rid of hard water. You can install a filter on specific fittings like shower heads and dishwashers to only filter the water used by them. This is a cheaper alternative, but the rest of your plumbing will still be negatively affected by hard water.

The best method to combat hard water is to install a home hard water filter that filters all your water.

dishes drying in a drying rack. There aren't any spots on these dishes, so you can assume the person had a hard water filter.

Consider Installing a Hard Water Filter

Installing a hard water filter will save you money and frustration in the long run. While minerals aren’t an issue in small doses, hard water can cause some serious damage to your home. Once you install a filter you’ll notice the effects immediately as your appliances will run better and your skin will start to glow. 

Hire one of our expert plumbers today to get your hard water problem fixed.

You’re in good company