How Hard Water Affects The Plumbing System

Are you struggling to get your glasses sparkling? Do you find yourself scraping off soap scum from your sinks and showers? You may have hard water.

What is Hard Water?
Hard water has high amounts of minerals like calcium and magnesium that leave a white chalky stain on faucets and nearby surfaces.

Rainwater is pure when it hits the ground, but as it flows into aquifers it absorbs minerals that turn it into hard water. The hardness level of the water is determined by the mineral content. Water hardness is measured in milligrams per liter (mg/L) or grains of mineral per gallon (GPG). Water hardness is categorized according to the following levels:

– Soft: 0 to 60 mg/L
– Moderately hard: 61-120 mg/L
– Hard: 121-180 mg/L
– Very hard: More than 181 mg/L

The Effects of Hard Water
Hard water reacts with cleaning products, creates soap buildup, and causes excessive wear of fixtures and appliances, compared with soft water. Hard water also inhibits suds, requiring more soap to achieve a lather. Additional issues caused by hard water include:

  1. Scale buildup inside water supply pipes
  2. Film and scale buildup on ceramic tile and fixtures
  3. Scale deposits that shorten the life of water heaters
  4. Murky spots on glasses and dishes cleaned by the dishwasher
  5. Poor laundering due to lack of suds
  6. Increased abrasion on clothing during washing

How The Plumbing System is Impacted
Over time, the minerals in hard water build up inside pipes, fixtures, and appliances. This leads to reduced water flow, clogs, and increased stress on the plumbing system. A water heater will have greater mineral scale buildup inside the tank, as well.

Addressing Hard Water
Installing a water softener system will help remove excessive minerals from the water and lessen the wear and tear on the plumbing system. If the system is showing signs of clogs or inefficiencies, you may need to schedule professional drain cleaning services. Taking care of plumbing maintenance can also help keep the system working properly, whether you choose to install a water softener or not. If you have any questions or would like recommendations for plumbing maintenance, give us a call!