Hard water is water with abnormally high mineral content, formed when water permeates through chalk, gypsum, or limestone. About 85% of the country’s water supply is hard water. Most residents enjoy a steady supply of soft water from the main supply. Those that don’t have to contend with cloudy water with a slightly salty taste. While there’s nothing wrong with drinking hard water, it will affect the efficiency of your plumbing system and fixtures.
Today, we’ll highlight the devastating effects of hard water on your plumbing system. We’ll also discuss how a plumber can help address your hard water problem.
Low Water Pressure
Households that receive hard water experience slow-flowing water from their faucets and shower heads. This results from the build-up of calcium and magnesium deposits inside the pipes. The deposits disrupt the free flow of water in the pipes, leading to low water pressure in your fixtures. Sometimes, the deposits may also cause the build-up of pressure within the pipes leading to backflow.
The low water pressure can be a huge inconvenience when showering or doing regular house chores. A plumber can help isolate the pipes with mineral deposits and either clean or replace them.
In extreme cases, the accumulation of calcium and magnesium deposits could clog your drains. That’s because as you pour hard water down the drains, the calcium and magnesium salts cling to the drain screen. The more water you pour down the drain, the more the salts cling to the screen until it eventually clogs your drains.
Clogged drains lead to other problems like foul odors, water contamination, and health risks. A plumber can help unclog blockages in your drains using a drain snake or hydro jetting machine.
Leaks and Breakages in Your Pipes
Some of the salts in hard water are corrosive to pipes used in older homes. The salt eats up the pipes creating small openings where water passes through. The openings only grow larger with time and eventually lead to major leakages.
Pipe breakages occur when too much sediment builds up inside the pipes and clogs them. The clogs create high pressure within the pipes when water flows through them. Excessive pressure causes the pipes to break at the joints, leading to complete pipe failure.
It’s hard to tell whether you have a leak in your system when the pipes are buried deep underground. A sudden spike in your water bills could suggest a leaky or broken pipe. A plumber will help investigate the resource of the leakage and repair or replace the faulty pipes.
Water Heater Damage
Water Heaters are a staple for most homes. Traditional water heaters last between 10 and 15 years, while tankless ones last 20 years or more. Using hard water with your water heater can significantly compromise its life span.
For traditional water heaters, calcium and magnesium build up at the bottom of the tank, forming an insulating layer. As such, the heater must work harder to meet the usual water heater demand. This water heater must strain and use more energy to heat the water. The extra strain shortens the lifespan of your heater, leading to skyrocketing energy bills.
A licensed plumber will flush the water heater tank to get rid of all the sediment and conserve the heater’s efficiency. They’ll also check the heating element for any corrosion caused by the mineral components and replace the heating element if it’s too corroded.
Renders Your Appliances Inefficient
Appliances are integral to your plumbing system, helping you accomplish various day-to-day activities. Hard water is detrimental to the functionality and longevity of these appliances. The minerals in hard water coat the heating elements of various heating appliances, thus compromising their efficiency.
Washing machines and dishwashers suffer a similar fate. Hard water leaves white droplet-shaped spots on dishes and unsightly yellow stains on clothes. These stains require more effort to get rid of from your clothes and dishes. If overlooked, these stains can become permanent.
A certified plumber will arrange the installation of a water-softening system to address the staining problem. These systems use sheets of resin beads inside with chargers opposite to that of the mineral ions. The beads will attract the mineral ions from hard water, leaving soft water to flow to the system.
Voids Your Warranties
Most appliances come with warranties that cover defects and non-accidental failures. Calcium and magnesium deposits in your appliances could indicate neglect. This neglect could void your warranties, meaning you have to pay out of pocket for appliance failure and even manufacturer defects.
Accelerates Wear and Tear
Wear and tear is common for plumbing systems regardless of the piping material. Hard water accelerates the corrosion of these systems by depositing sediment throughout the system. The salt in hard water is a rust catalyst and contributes to the wear and tear of parts within the system. In severe cases, wear and tear could lead to complete failure of the system.
Installing a water softener is the most effective solution for hard water wearing down your plumbing systems. A water softener removes the salt from hard water to ensure only soft water passes through the system. A certified plumber can help you find the best softener for your home and proceed with its installation.
It’s also worth noting that hard water compromises your indoor water quality. Hard water is cloudy and has a salty and sometimes bitter taste. This taste can be felt in the food you cook or the sauces you prepare, ruining your homemade meals.
Get a Water Softener to Eliminate Hard Water in Your Plumbing System
Hard water can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. Hire a licensed plumber to install a water softener to eliminate water hardness and its effects on your system. Our experts at Peach Plumbing & Drain are eager to improve your home’s water quality and ensure you have a seamless plumbing system. Contact us today and a plumber will help you with water softener installation.
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