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Homework Help: Water Hardness Question

  1. Mar 25, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I know what causes water hardness, how it can be resolved (or dissolved - hehe), but I'm not sure why certain parts of pipes would be harder than others. Specifically, why the water on the 1st and 2nd floor of a building would be harder than that on the 3rd and 4th floor. I have to write a ten page paper on these findings, and I'm stumped. Suggestions? Possible causes?

    2. Relevant equations

    2 HCO3– → CO32– + CO2

    3. The attempt at a solution

    The only thing I can think of is that is may be warmer in the basement making the Ca2+ ions react with bicarbonate forming buildup.The problem is, the water from the same pipes (I assume) travels to the top floor.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2012 #2
    the water pressure would be higher at the bottom of the building
  4. Mar 27, 2012 #3
    Thanks! I will add that to my paper for sure. Any more suggestions?
  5. Mar 28, 2012 #4
    Any more ideas?
  6. Mar 29, 2012 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Is this a conclusion you arrived at based on the observed greater buildup of scale on the lower pipes? Is it a "safe" conclusion?

    Perhaps more water is required to flow through pipes the closer they are to the level at which water enters the building?
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