If you live in California, we’re all too familiar with hard water, also known as water hardness. For those of us who don’t know what water hardness is, it’s that white substance that builds up around our faucets. It’s also known to build up in our plumbing system over many years, creating restricted water flow in our pipes. While hard water can wreak havoc on our plumbing system, it is still unknown the health effects on humans. The International Journal of Preventive Medicine (IJPM) compiled 13 different studies on everything from cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and more. All the studies were on the potential health effects of water hardness on humans. Some of which are still unknown.
How Is Hard Water Defined?
Water hardness is typically defined as a high concentration of calcium and magnesium ions dissolved in water. However, you may observe water hardness by the water spots on your countertops, drinking glasses, and glass shower doors. You can also feel it in your hair, making it difficult to moisturize, causing it to dry out.
Know The Effects Of Hard Water Can Have On yOur Plumbing
What is not unknown is how this water affects our fixtures and appliances. Most notably, we see the crust on our faucets, scale on our glass doors, and spots on our drinking glasses. The scale, crust, and spots are created by the calcium and magnesium in our drinking water. When water is heated, the minerals precipitate and attach to the contacted surfaces. In most cases, we dry or wipe down the surfaces that make contact. But in the case of our faucets, the minerals build up. Similarly in our pipes, the calcium and magnesium can build up over time.
It May Not Make You Sick, But It Could Wreak Havoc On Your Plumbing
Water hardness 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 buildup on your fixtures, including your faucets, sinks, and showerheads. This buildup is an accumulation of calcium and magnesium left behind by water hardness. Obviously, this buildup is unattractive. It makes your fixtures look dirty. It’s a hassle to clean it off, and it builds up again so quickly.
Calcium Deposits Accumulate On The Interior Of Your Pipes
If water hardness 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, it 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.
Evidence Of Calcium Deposits Are On Your Showerhead
If you aren’t sure whether you have hard water, one of the easiest places to spot evidence of water hardness is on your showerhead. Look for white or yellow flaky buildup on the showerhead. It would help if you also looked at the individual spray nozzles that may be clogged or spraying in different directions. These are signs that the nozzles got blocked from the calcium in the water.
It Causes Your Water Heater To Work Harder
Hard water reduces your heater’s efficiency and increases your energy costs. A conventional gas-powered water heater warms the water in the tank via a series of bottom-mounted burners. However, minerals in hard water can harden and form on the bottom of your water heater’s tank. It creates a barrier between the burners of your heater and the water within the tank. The burners then have to work considerably harder to heat the water. As a result, it decreases efficiency, costs more to run the heater, and ultimately diminishes the life expectancy of your water heater.
A Water Filtration System Is A Solution
The best solution for eliminating water hardness from your home is a whole house water filtration system. It will bring your family great tasting water, and puts an end to calcium deposits on your counters and fixtures. Furthermore, the calcium and minerals get eliminated before they enter your plumbing system. Your heater no longer has mineral deposits at the bottom of the tank, but annual maintenance is still recommended. Call your Big B’s Plumbing contractor today and schedule a consultation for a whole house water filtration system.
1 thought on “What’s The Scoop On Hard Water?”
I find it alarming that exposing your home to hard water can irritate your skin and build up minerals on your plumbing systems. I should probably consider having a water treatment system if ever this happens to me. I’ll keep this in mind and hire a plumber who could install this to my home if ever I end up owning one.