How Hard Water Affects Your Plumbing & Appliances

Hard water describes freshwater that contains high amounts of minerals like iron, sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. You may not even realize your home’s water supply has hard water. After continuously using it throughout the house, you’ll start to see how hard water affects your plumbing and appliances. Continue reading below to learn more!

Decreased Water Flow

The minerals found in hard water leave their mark on metal pipes. Hard water leaves deposits on the sides of the pipes. As the minerals build up, you’ll notice the water flow isn’t as strong as it used to be. Instead of a strong stream, the faucet spurts out and has a weak flow.

Your home’s plumbing and appliances exert twice the amount of energy to expel water because of the hard water deposits within the pipes.

Corroded Pipes

Just as the minerals build up and block water flow, they can also cause damage to the pipes. Corrosion occurs when metal and another substance come into contact with each other. In this case, the minerals in the hard water touch the pipes. Over time, the metal pipes will corrode because of this, leading to rust, leaks, and broken pipes.

Overworked Water Appliances

Due to the buildup of scale deposits, home appliances using water will run inefficiently. So many of the appliances in homes use water. These include washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters, and refrigerators. The hard water can reduce the water flow, diminish the efficiency of the appliances, and cause leaking due to corroded pipes.

You’ll soon notice that hard water affects your home’s plumbing and appliances by limiting the appliances’ effectiveness and using more energy. Their lifespans will gradually shorten, and your energy bills will increase.

Damage to the Water Heater

Out of all the impacted appliances, the water heater receives the most damage from hard water. Hard water is more difficult to heat. As a result, the water heater puts in more effort than any other appliance.

Water heaters typically last about 15 years, but the effects of corrosion and energy usage can diminish their life expectancy.

White Residue in Bathrooms and Sinks

Hard water also leaves an impression long after the water passes through the drain. You’ll notice buildup on tubs, the walls of the shower, sinks, and on the edges of faucets. It appears as a chalky white residue of excess minerals. Sometimes, a mixture of water and vinegar will clean up the residue quickly, but at other times, the residue is so thick you’ll need a stronger cleaning solution.

Using reverse osmosis water systems throughout your home is one of the most effective ways to filter out minerals, chlorine, and even microorganisms lingering within the water supply. Not only is this type of water healthier to drink, but it doesn’t have the contaminants that hurt your home’s plumbing and appliances.