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Homeowner’s Plumbing Guide: Have You Checked Your Water Hardness?

Water hardness refers to the amount of dissolved minerals in the water supply. In the United States, about 85% of the country receives municipal water that is considered “hard” due to elevated levels of calcium carbonate and magnesium. While these natural substances don’t pose any health threat, hard water can degrade household plumbing and appliances and also pose housekeeping problems and even affect personal grooming.

Here are some specific way water hardness impacts daily life:

  • Plumbing effects. Minerals in water accumulate inside water supply lines in the house, internally narrowing the pipe. Over time, the flow of water through pipes diminishes and water pressure is reduced. Mineral accumulation can also accelerate internal pipe corrosion leading to leakage and even pipe ruptures.
  • Water heater issues. Inside the water heater, dissolved minerals sink to the bottom of the tank and solidify into a layer that absorbs heat from the burner flame. This makes the burner run longer to maintain proper water temperature, increasing energy costs. Mineral sediment also promotes corrosion in the bottom of the tank leading to leakage and premature water heater replacement.
  • Appliance problems. Dishwashers and washing machines are also affected by mineral accumulation inside water supply lines, pumps and other internal components.
  • Housekeeping complications. Soap and detergents don’t suds well when used with hard water. Mineral content can reduce detergent action by 50%, plus leave behind a film and spotting on glassware and other implements.
  • Personal grooming annoyances. Bathing with hard water makes skin feel dry and scratchy. As hard water doesn’t rinse well, shampoo residue makes hair dull and lifeless.

Softening The Water in Your Home

Water hardness is related to the natural mineral composition of local geology. It’s not the result of poor filtration or inadequate treatment by your municipal water utility. Installation of a home water softener is therefore the only option to reduce water hardness. These units connect to the home’s main water supply line and remove calcium and magnesium with an effective ion exchange process.

For more about the negative effects of water hardness as well options to resolve the problem, contact Beyer Boys.