What is Hard Water and How Can it Affect Your Plumbing System?

Many households around the world have hard water flowing through their plumbing systems. Hard water may seem harmless or even sound weird for those who have heard about it for the first time. However, it can cause problems with your appliances and plumbing system. When this happens, call a professional plumber immediately to prevent further damage to your water pipes. 

What is hard water? 

Hard water is not in a literal sense. Rather, it describes a water supply with high mineral content, such as magnesium and calcium. You will know if your water supply is “hard” if you notice a chalky stain on the sink and faucet. 

Rainwater flows onto the surface and absorbs minerals on the ground, making water “hard.” Water hardness is determined as milligrams of calcium carbonate per liter of water, according to the US Geological Survey. 60 mg/L and below means the water is soft. On the other hand, 121 mg/L and above means the water is “hard.” 

Common problems due to hard water 

Hard water may seem harmless to the naked eye. However, it can wreak havoc on your piping system and fixtures and create buildup. Hard water may also compel you to use more soap as it tends to lessen suds. Other common issues of hard water include: 

  • Increased risk of wear on clothes during the laundry process 
  • Less effect hand and clothes washing due to lack of soap suds 
  • Watermarks on glasses, dishes, and utensils 
  • Scale buildup and deposit on fixtures and tiles 
  • Restricted water flow (due to scale buildup inside water pipes) 

These are only part of the problem brought upon by hard water. When left ignored, it can cause all kinds of irreparable plumbing issues. It can also drive less efficiency on appliances and even reduce its lifespan. In other words, hard water can make your plumbing system inefficient and need more repairs later on. 

How to treat hard water 

Among tell-tale signs of the presence of hard water in your home include the presence of white scale buildup on fixtures. Using a water softener is the most commonly-used hard water treatment. It is a water filtration system used to filter the minerals from the water. The purified minerals will then replace with sodium ions. 

Using a water softener also requires a special salt carried into a separate storage tank called the brine tank. A water softener is important to get rid of hard water and prevent buildup and scaling in your plumbing and fixtures. It makes hand and clothes washing better and more efficient. You get brighter clothes and softer skin as well. 

On the downside, it could be an extra expense for your household. As mentioned, a water softener uses salt to filter away the minerals from your water supply. It could also be uncomfortable that a water softener wastes up to 25 gallons of water during the filtration process. It has its fair share of pros and cons, but a good investment for your home nonetheless. 

These are some important factors to consider before using a water softener. It can indeed cause damage to your pipes in the long run. When this happens, call a professional plumber in Franklin TN, ASAP!


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