Hard Water and Scaling

Hard Water and Scaling

FAQ

Hard Water, Soft Water and Water Ionizers

If you live in a hard water area you know it is more difficult to form lather with soap while bathing or performing ordinary household washing chores. Perhaps you have on occasion noticed mineral deposits on your cooking dishes, or rings of insoluble soap scum in your bathtub. These are not signs of poor housekeeping, but are rather signs of hard water from the water supply.

Hard water is water that contains calcium or magnesium mineral ions often in the form of carbonate. These ions do not pose any health threat, but they can engage in reactions that leave insoluble mineral deposits. Hard water mineral deposits, or scaling, is the precipitation of minerals which form limescale. Scale can clog pipes and can decrease the life of toilet flushing units. It can coat the inside of tea and coffee pots, and clog and ruin water heaters – and of course do the same thing to your ionizer.

Very soft water (usually acidic) can corrode the metal pipes in which it is carried and as a result the water may contain elevated levels of cadmium, copper, lead and zinc.

Hard and Soft Water and Ionizer Performance

An ionizer requires mineral content to operate. It is the minerals which carry the electrical charge. Water that has no minerals, such as reverse osmosis or distilled water has no pathway for the electrolysis or “ionization” to occur. It is important to note that all water found in nature has dissolved mineral content, so these types of “pure” water are a man-made phenomenon. The more mineral content your water has the more easily your ionizer will alter the water– the better performance you will experience. The less mineral content, the harder it is for your ionizer to create alteration in your water – or, the weaker performance you will experience.

In simple terms an ionizer will perform better with hard water and will have a harder time with softer water.

However, it is not recommended to use an ionizer without pretreatment in areas with water that has the following measurements:

  • hardness over 300ppm (“parts per million,” or “mg/liter” )—also expressed as 18 grains of hardness
  • and/or TDS (total dissolved solids) over 400ppm;
  • and/or Calcium above 50ppm

If your water exceeds these standards, please contact us. We will help you determine your best course of action. Ionlife is proud to announce our new Scale Guard. This may be appropriate for your situation. Call us toll-free at 1-877-770-5247

Where water has a hardness of:

  • 10g/gal -18g/gal
  • 200mg/l-300mg/l

Customers should run their ionizerat the highest acid settingfor 10-15 minutes/week

 Hard Water in the US

According to the United States Geological Survey, 85% of US homes have hard water. The softest waters occur in parts of the New England, South Atlantic-Gulf, Pacific Northwest, and Hawaii regions. Moderately hard waters are common in many of the rivers of the Tennessee, Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska regions.

Hard and very hard waters are found in some of the streams in most of the regions throughout the country. Hardest waters (greater than 1,000 mg/L) are in streams in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona, parts of Florida and southern California.

Hard water in Canada

Prairie provinces (mainly Saskatchewan and Manitoba) contain high quantities of calcium and magnesium, often as dolomite, which are readily soluble in the groundwater that contains high concentrations of trapped carbon dioxide from the last glaciation. In these parts of Canada, the total hardness in mg/L of calcium carbonate equivalent frequently exceeds 200 mg/L, if groundwater is the only source of potable water. The west coast, by contrast, has unusually soft water, derived mainly from mountain lakes fed by glaciers and snowmelt.

Some typical values are: Calgary 165 mg/L, Saskatoon 140 mg/L, Winnipeg 77 mg/L, Toronto 121 mg/L, Vancouver 3 mg/L, Charlottetown PEI 140 – 150 mg/L.

What do I do if there is a build-up of scale in my ionizer?

Click here for instructions.

Last updated: July 25, 2016