What Is Hard Water, and How Does It Affect Your Plumbing?
You have likely heard people use terms like “hard” and “soft” to describe water. But what determines the hardness or softness of the water, and how does hard water damage your plumbing system?
Distinguishing Between Hard and Soft Water
The hardness of water is determined by the amount of magnesium and calcium it contains. The higher the levels of these minerals, the harder the water is. A water softener can reduce the concentration of minerals in the water. Soft water typically has higher levels of sodium. You know you have hard water in New Jersey if you feel a film on your hands after you wash them, if you see spots on your silverware and glasses, if there are mineral stains on your clothes, or if you notice a gradual decrease in the water pressure in your home.
Hard Water Is Bad for Your Plumbing Because It Creates Unsightly Scale
The ancient seabeds and mountain aquifers that feed many homes in the United States are full of calcium, magnesium, and limestone. Therefore, many Americans have hard water in their homes.
The minerals don’t affect the health of the drinking water, but they leave an ugly scale behind. When you use hard water in your kitchen and bathroom, limescale can develop everywhere. You will notice it on your bathtub faucet, the drip pan of your refrigerator, and your home’s water and ice dispenser.
If you water your lawn and the water hits the outside of your home, you will notice discoloration on your siding or brick. It can have a rusty or chalky appearance. Most people will remove scale from their plumbing system in New Jersey using vinegar or commercial cleaners. But it is not always easy to remove scale.
When crusty buildups develop in your sink, toilet, or shower, it affects your plumbing and makes your home look dirty. Water softeners do a great job of getting rid of these trace materials, making your home feel cleaner. Softening your water can improve your plumbing system’s functionality and life.
Hard Water Is Bad for Your Plumbing Because It Clogs Your Plumbing
Stains in your sink or on your faucets are cosmetic. However, hard water can clog your drains with time. Hard water minerals on their own are too small to clog your drains. But they may react with soap and create soap scum that will then harden as it goes down your pipes.
As soap scum hardens, it forms solid blockages that eventually mineralize as more hard water passes over it. The clogs will slow down your drains, affect your garbage disposal, and prevent your toilet from flushing correctly.
These are sanitation hazards. Additionally, clogged plumbing affects the inner workings of your pipes, creating issues like pinhole leaks and gaps. If your pipes are constantly clogged, they will build up internal pressure, which will lead to problems like mold growth and leaks inside your walls. A whole-home water filtration system connected to a softening unit can spare you some of these plumbing disasters.
Hard Water Is Bad for Plumbing Because It Interrupts Water Sprayers
As hard water travels through tight spaces, like the spray jets of your shower or dishwasher, blockages can develop quickly. This minimizes the effectiveness of the plumbing fixture or appliance.
The more buildup there is, the less water passes through the space. This can cause pressure to build up in the pipes connected to your dishwasher, showerheads, or faucets. Hard water is detrimental to water heaters. If it’s not addressed, it could drastically reduce the water heater’s life. Appliances that use water softeners are functional, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing longer.
Don’t Let Hard Water Ruin Your New Jersey Plumbing System
Hard water can damage your plumbing system, requiring expensive repairs and maintenance. Are you worried that hard water has already damaged your New Jersey plumbing system? Do you need help making repairs or want suggestions on how to prevent further damage? Contact us at Price’s Plumbing Heating and Cooling in Mt Laurel Township today. You can reach us at 856-325-9719 or send us a message online.