Why Arizona’s Hard Water Secretly Makes Your Life Harder (And What You Can Do About It)

2013 Oct 22
Posted in: Plumbing

Who knew your water had such a dirty little secret. Because the water in your home is “hard”:

  • Your electric bills are higher than they needs to be
  • You have those annoying streaks all over your dishes after you wash them
  • Your water heater will die long before it reaches its intended lifespan.

So what is hard water and how does it cause all this trouble to Arizona homeowners? We discuss that in this article.

What is hard water?

It’s water that is full of minerals—specifically, dissolved calcium and magnesium. It’s these minerals that cause the problems listed above.

How does water become hard?

Water rains “soft” (without minerals). But the rainwater makes it into the ground and into the waterways, picking up minerals like:

  • Lime
  • Chalk
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium

Arizona’s hard water

So how hard is Arizona’s water?


According to the U.S Geological Survey (USGS), a large portion of Arizona contains high concentrations of calcium carbonate (see map below), one of the key ingredients in hard water.

Map of concentration of water hardness in the United States

Red means high concentrations of calcium carbonate, a key mineral that makes water hard. A large portion of Arizona is red.

How hard water secretly makes your life harder

OK, so the water in Arizona is hard. So what? It’s safe enough to drink. What’s the big deal?

The minerals in hard water cause more problems than you realize. Hard water minerals make your life harder because they:

  • Allow sediment to build up on your water heater’s heating element, causing your water heater to run longer than it needs to, deteriorating the water heater’s tank and increasing your energy bills
  • Dry out your skin and hair after you take a bath or shower
  • Damage your clothes over time, lowering their useable lifespan
  • Leave unsightly soap scum rings in your bathtub
  • Cause leftover annoying spots and streaks on your glassware and dishes after they are washed
  • Reduce water flow from your showerheads because of limescale buildup

As you can see, hard water has been causing you more trouble than you know. What can you do about it?

How to soften hard water

By installing a whole-home water softening system, you can filter out calcium and magnesium in the water that your home uses. With softer water, you’ll enjoy:

  • Sparking drinking glasses with less spots
  • Softer feeling hair and skin
  • Scum-free showers and bathtubs
  • A prolonged lifespan for you water heater, washing machine and dishwasher.
  • Lower electricity bills since your water heater’s heating element won’t have sediment build up and therefore won’t need to run as long to heat the water

Do you have questions about water softening system? Ask one of our plumbing experts at George Brazil.

George Brazil has been keeping Phoenix-area homes safe, comfortable and energy efficient since 1955. Contact us online for more information about any of our services.
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