The Effects of Hard Water on Your Plumbing System

Many homes have hard water simply because of the minerals that are present in the water supply. The term “hard water” means that there is a high level of minerals in the water, particularly calcium and magnesium. Hard water isn’t hazardous to your health, but it may not taste good and it can damage your plumbing system. You might also notice that hard water makes it difficult to lather your soap and rinse your hair and skin clean; you may feel like there is a film left behind on your skin.

Whether you get your water from a well or the municipal water supply, you need to do something to treat hard water. The best and simplest solution for dealing with hard water is to install a water softener in your home.

How Does Hard Water Damage Plumbing?

Hard water won’t make you sick, but it can ruin your plumbing. The calcium that is present in hard water leaves deposits on the plumbing system. You may have noticed that you get a white or yellow flaky build-up on your fixtures, including your faucets, sinks, and showerheads. This buildup is an accumulation of calcium that is left behind by hard water. Obviously, this buildup is unattractive. It makes your fixtures look dirty, and it’s a hassle to clean it off since it builds up again so quickly.

If hard water leaves behind this visible buildup on the exterior of your plumbing fixtures, think about what it is doing to the inside of your plumbing system where you can’t see or clean it. These calcium deposits accumulate on the interior of the pipes. Over time, this accumulation builds up until it actually narrows the opening of the pipes and reduces the amount of water that can move through the pipes. Now, this probably won’t accumulate to the point where it completely blocks a pipe. However, it can decrease your water pressure and increase the odds of developing a clog.

If you aren’t sure whether you have hard water, one of the easiest places to spot evidence of hard water is on your showerhead. Look for white or yellow flaky buildup on the showerhead. You should also look for individual spray nozzles that are clogged or that are spraying in a strange direction. These are signs that the nozzles are clogged with calcium buildup from hard water.

Hard water can also cause problems with your water heater. The minerals in the hard water can cause the water heater tank to corrode, which can cause the water heater to fail. Hard water is hard on your water heater and can significantly decrease its lifespan. Installing a water softener will remove the minerals from the water and protect your water heater from corrosion, making it last much longer.

Hard water is rough on your plumbing. It leaves ugly buildup on fixtures and stains in sinks and tubs. It affects the inside of your plumbing system by creating buildup in the pipes that can decrease water pressure and lead to the formation of clogs. Perhaps worst of all, it can cause corrosion in your water heater, ultimately causing the water heater to fail. The best way to deal with hard water is to have a water softener installed in your home. If you have hard water, contact Scott English Plumbing. We will come out to your home, assess your water, and give you a free estimate for the installation of a water softener. Get in touch with Scott English Plumbing today to learn more about how we can treat your hard water.