Can Hard Water Ruin Your Pipes?
Every day, you use water to wash your dishes and laundry, bathe, and make refreshments, sometimes grabbing a glass of water right from the tap. If you feel a filmy texture on your skin or notice water spots on dishes and water fixtures, you may have hard water. You’ve probably recently noticed spots on your dishes and itchy skin after you shower, but can hard water ruin your pipes?
Learn the signs of hard water, how it affects your plumbing and appliances, and how you can stop it from ruining your home from the most trusted plumber in Elburn, IL.
What Is Hard Water?
Hard water contains minerals like calcium and magnesium in higher amounts than regular water. While hard water poses no danger to your health, it may leave you feeling unclean after a shower or working harder to prevent water spots on your dishes. You may also notice that your laundry looks dingy or dirty no matter how many times you wash them.
Hard water minerals cause issues with washing machines, refrigerators, and dishwashers, making them less effective. These problems can grow to the point that you have to pay hefty repair bills or purchase new appliances, making hard water a significant danger to your wallet.
Signs that you may have hard water include:
- Dry skin after showering
- Metallic-tasting tap water
- A decrease in water pressure
- Soap scum build-up in bathtubs, sinks, or washing machines
- Water spots on dishes, especially glass items and silverware
- Mineral build-up on water fixtures, especially faucets and handles
- Mineral stains on clothing, especially light-colored or white clothing
What Does Hard Water Do to Plumbing?
When hard water comes through your pipes, over time, the minerals can build up and create chokepoints in your plumbing. This build-up contributes to clogged pipes by either growing to the point that it cuts off water flow or trapping items going through the pipes, such as toilet paper or ground-up food.
When these issues happen, you’ll notice a significant problem with regular water flow and pressure. Sometimes the problem builds up so slowly that you won’t notice at first, while in other situations, you’ll immediately recognize it by having a sudden drop in water pressure or a backed-up drain that won’t clear. In any case, if you find one part of your pipes with mineral deposits, you should call a plumber to inspect your whole plumbing system.
Before reaching this point, you’ll have already noticed other tell-tale signs that you have problems with hard water. From ineffective appliances to a metallic taste in your mouth after a glass of tap water, symptoms of hard water will occur far before a clog forms. Knowing the answer to “Can hard water ruin your pipes” forces the question of what hard water can do to your water-dependent home appliances.
How Hard Water Affects Your Appliances
If you have hard water, it affects all of your appliances that use water. Many families discover their home has hard water when water-dependent appliances offer less effectiveness and require more cleaning.
When you own a water heater on a system with hard water, the minerals may build up inside the tank and do damage to all parts of your water heating system. Most systems make a lot of noise when a mineral deposit breaks off, creating a clanging sound from inside the tank. When you hear banging or thumping noises coming from your water heater, you might discover one or more pieces of mineral deposits contributing to the loud noise.
Washing clothes in hard water makes them more likely to stain or come out feeling like they didn’t get washed. Many people also notice that dark clothes come out of the washer with dry, white residue that wasn’t there before the washing. Besides damaging your clothes, the minerals in hard water can collect soap from laundry detergent and leave you with a smelly, sticky mess inside.
Hard water coming into your dishwasher produces soap scum, which you may notice after you first spot cloudy water or water spots on dishes. Hard water can leave its deposits anywhere it touches, including the interior of your dishwasher and the dishes inside. If your water pressure begins to drop, your dishwasher will have to work harder to spray water from its nozzles, leaving a strange white film or water spots behind. Severe hard water leads to dishwasher parts breaking more frequently.
You may not consider your hard water an issue until you try to get ice out of your ice maker or refrigerator. When hard water freezes, it turns into whitish chunks of ice, while purer ice will come out clearer than water. If you notice that your ice has a grayish-white appearance and doesn’t taste right, you may have a hard water problem.
Whether you have a separate ice maker or one in your refrigerator, hard water can damage the pipes leading in and out of your appliance and require expensive repairs or even a fridge replacement.
How Can I Fix Hard Water Issues?
While you may not have the ability to stop hard water at the source if you rely on the municipal water supply, you can add a water softener system to your home. Water softeners use negatively charged beads to pull minerals out of the water as it passes through your pipes, giving you softer water and helping you avoid costly plumbing repairs. With softened water, you’ll avoid nasty residue on your home appliances and water fixtures while ensuring safe passage for water in and out of your house.
Keep Your Plumbing Safe From Hard Water With the Help of Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co.
Can hard water ruin your pipes? The answer is yes, but it’s a problem that builds up over time. Whether you believe you need softer water or wonder how to know if you have hard water, you can get help with your plumbing problems from the professionals at Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. Call (847) 268-3553 to learn more about eliminating hard water problems in your Elburn, IL, home.