You are probably familiar with hard water and may even be familiar with some of the potentially negative effects, such as it taking a toll on your laundry, skin and hair. However, it might also work to cause some problems with your plumbing. You want to learn more about how it might affect your plumbing and what the benefits of soft water can be. This will help you to make the best decision for your plumbing and the integrity of your home as a whole.
Exploring the Impact of Hard Water on Your Plumbing
When water is hard, it is generally due to an excess amount of calcium and magnesium in your water. Of course, the human body relies on specific amounts of these minerals for optimal health. However, just like in the body, when there is an excessive amount of these minerals in your pipes, it can cause problems with your plumbing. You might notice some residue on your external plumbing, such as your showerheads and faucets. Inside your pipes, clogs are possible when hard water is constantly flowing through them.
When you have a clog as the result of hard water, drain cleaners are usually not effective. This means that you will likely need to bear the expense of a professional plumber to come in and take care of the clog. Certain plumbing materials stand up to hard water better than others, but eventually, most will fall victim. For example, copper pipes tend to resist corrosion due to hard water better than other materials, but over time, the minerals can still accumulate and reduce the overall pipe diameter, making it harder for water to get through. It is possible for a complete blockage to happen too.
In addition to partial and complete blockages in your pipes, hard water might put more stress on your fixtures and pipes. This can cause the various components to wear down at a faster rate. For example, when you look at your hot water tank, the calcium and magnesium can accumulate inside of it. When this happens, not only does the water heater have to work hard to heat your water, but also the accumulated minerals, making it work considerably harder than it should have to. This might result in more repairs over time and your plumbing could become less efficient.
Compared to soft water, hard water might wear down your plumbing and the connected fixtures at a faster pace. This is because it can create a buildup. When you use cleaning products for your plumbing at the connected fixtures, hard water could also react with these, furthering the buildup that can occur.
How Soft Water Can Help to Benefit Your Plumbing
When you soften your water, you will likely notice that your skin and hair are softer. However, you might also notice a difference when it comes to your plumbing. One of the biggest things you might notice is with the overall energy efficiency of your water heater. When your water heater does not have an accumulation of excessive calcium and magnesium, it does not have to work as hard and this is reflected in the form of energy. It will be able to do less work while still keeping your water at the proper temperature.
In fact, if you have a gas water heater, hard water could result in a four percent loss in efficiency for each five grains per gallon. With an electric water heater, the lifespan of it could be reduced due to approximately 0.4 pounds of mineral accumulation happening on a yearly basis for each five grains per gallon. When you are using less energy, this will translate to you saving money on your energy bills.
Many people notice that their water pressure remains more consistent once they soften their water. This is typically related to fewer minerals collecting in your pipes and narrowing their diameter. In addition, when you work to reduce clogs in your pipes, you are decreasing the chances of experiencing bursting or leaking pipes, both of which can result in the need for costly repairs.
The Importance of Getting Your Water Softened
The first thing you have to do is get the condition of your water professionally analyzed. This will tell you if your water is hard and give the professionals the information they need to ensure that it is properly treated.
You know that hard water is typically the result of calcium and magnesium in your water, yet there are a variety of other contaminants present. Removing these contaminants can have a positive effect on your plumbing and might help to keep it in better condition for a longer period of time.
It is not too hard to have your water properly softened, but it is ideal to get started with this as soon as possible to help protect the integrity of your plumbing. Once a professional is ready to move forward with the softening process, they may utilize a whole home water filter to do this, which is a water softener that filters out additional contaminants besides calcium and magnesium. This is important because when you tackle the hard water in your home in several different ways, the results are likely to be better. A water softener is usually the first method that is used as part of this process. A reverse osmosis system and a water filter are also popular options and are often used to work along with the water softener.
You can see that hard water can cost you money since it might cause your plumbing to deteriorate prematurely. When you are ready to make the switch to soft water, ensure that you choose a reputable company to help you in treating your water. This is important because you want to make sure that the treatment process goes smoothly and that it is done right. Once your water is softened properly, you will notice that your water is a lot gentler on your plumbing, helping to reduce the risk of premature wear and tear.