Most of us are familiar with the term “hard water,” but what does it mean?
Hard refers to the level of dissolved minerals present in the water. Various minerals may be found, but it usually includes certain amounts of magnesium and calcium that contribute to the hardness or softness of the water.
These minerals aren’t harmful to health, but it can be troublesome when accumulating in pipes and on plumbing fixtures.
Below, our experts explore more about the concept of hard water, how it can affect water systems, and how regular plumbing service and repair for hard water might solve the problem.
How Does Hard Water Affect Your Plumbing?
Mineral deposits from hard water cause clogging in the pipes. When you heat hard water, some of the water evaporates, leading to the precipitation of the minerals in it. These solidified mineral deposits then accumulate within your plumbing system, water heater, dishwasher, and washing machine.
It causes severe problems throughout your plumbing system, for example, including low water pressure, rising water bills, and the malfunction of various household appliances.
Some plumbing systems are more vulnerable to hard water. For example, PVC and copper pipes are more resistant to hard water’s effects, but mineral clogging might still be a problem if left unchecked.
Common Signs That You Have Hard Water
Here are some of the tell-tale signs that you could be dealing with hard water in your home:
Low-Quality Drinking WaterIf you notice small particles or debris in your tap water, it could be an oversupply of these minerals in your hard water. The stream collects these particles as it travels through the pipes to your sink faucet, shower, and other fixtures.
The particles in your drinking water are often traces of calcium, magnesium, iron, and copper. If you don’t address this issue as soon as possible, the deposits in your plumbing will continue to accumulate until it clogs your pipes.
It is possible to prevent costly damages to your plumbing system with regular services, however. Talk to our plumbing service and repair for hard water professionals for advice on the best water softeners and other techniques.
Soap Scum On FixturesThe solid deposit that is created when you use soap in hard water is referred to as scum. The insoluble deposit is a result of charged calcium and magnesium particles that have reacted with the glycerine. The substance accumulates slowly but may feature mold and mildew growth and eventually results in clogged pipes.
Scum also houses bacteria, exposing you and your loved ones to health risks.
Problematic Household AppliancesHard water negatively affects household appliances, such as the water heater, washer, and dishwasher. When minerals accumulate on appliances, the deposits clog valves and create other problems that cause your appliances to deteriorate quickly.
Stiff Or Rough FabricIf overlooked, mineral deposits from hard water attach to clothing and linen, resulting in the material feeling rough and stiff. These deposits weaken your fabric and may cause unsightly discolorations.
High Water BillsHuge accumulations of hard-water deposits in your pipes lead to excess water or unwanted materials being trapped in the plumbing line. Increased pressure in the pipe eventually leads to cracks, causing leakages before the water reaches a fixture. If not addressed in time, this type of damage will significantly increase your utility bills.
Recurrent Plumbing RepairsMineral deposits easily corrode pipes and water-dependent appliances. The damages mean that you’ll need to repair your plumbing system and other fixtures more frequently.
How Can You Fix the Hard Water Problem?
Our professionals offer two major solutions to the hard water problem in your home:
- Investing in water softener
- Installing a reverse osmosis water treatment system
A water softener is a tank installed between your water source and your home’s plumbing system. The tank contains an inorganic softening substance suspended in a saltwater solution.
As the water flows through the softening mechanism, the sodium displaces the other minerals suspended in the water (a process called ion exchange). The swap results in the removal of the hard minerals from the water before it reaches your tap.
The reverse osmosis technique involves stripping the hard minerals from the water through a semipermeable membrane. It traps these minerals and various other impurities to purify (and soften) your water. A reverse osmosis system is often more expensive than a water softener.
If you have any questions on plumbing service and repair for hard water, call our friendly experts at The Plumbing Source at 877-768-7239 today.