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Is Hard Water Hurting Your Plumbing?

Although hard water is not known to be a direct health hazard, it can contribute to problems in your home’s plumbing system. Let’s take a closer look at what hard water actually is in order to understand why it poses a threat to your plumbing if not treated properly.

Hard Water Limescale Plumbing Issue

Hard Water vs. Soft Water

Rainwater is naturally soft as it falls from the sky to the ground. The transformation of soft to hard water occurs as the rainwater makes its way through the ground and into waterways. In its travels, the soft water collects a variety of minerals, most significantly calcium and magnesium. This mineral-rich water is referred to as hard water, and is sometimes preferred for drinking over soft water since it contains minerals that provide health benefits. However, there are plenty of ways in which hard water can compromise the efficiency of the appliances and water systems within your household.

How Hard Water is Harmful

Have you ever run a load of clothes through the laundry and noticed they have a dingy look to them? Do your dishes have spots and residue even after your dishwasher has run a full cleaning cycle? Does your bathtub collect soap scum that seems impossible to prevent? Has your hair felt sticky and looked dull after a long shower? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes”, it’s very likely that your home has hard water running through the plumbing system. Unfortunately, it’s the not-so-obvious symptoms of hard water damage that lead to costly repairs and plumbing failures.

Due to its high concentration of calcium and magnesium, hard water often leaves mineral or “scale” deposits behind when it is heated in your pipes or water heater. The deposits accumulate and solidify, and become what is commonly known as limescale. Limescale buildup can cause a number of plumbing issues, including:

– Low water pressure as a result of restricted water flow through pipes.
– Reduced efficiency of water heaters, which leads to cold showers and high utility bills.
– Mineral deposits in sinks, toilets, bathtubs, and showerheads that leave unsightly and hard-to-remove stains.

Treatment for Hard Water

If soft water contains very few minerals and the minerals present in hard water are known to be damaging, can you guess the most obvious solution for treating hard water? That’s right, soften it! A water softener is a tank that is placed between your internal plumbing and your main water supply line. It contains a softening medium suspended in a saltwater solution. The hard water makes its way through the tank and, in the process, an ion exchange occurs where the hard minerals exchange places with the sodium in the softening medium in the tank. This exchange effectively removes the harmful minerals from your water before it reaches plumbing fixtures and appliances in your home.

How to Get Professional Limescale Removal in Maryland

Your local plumber, Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating, has the equipment and expertise necessary to not only remove limescale from your plumbing fixtures and pipes, but to also assist you in minimizing and preventing this harmful buildup. Contact us today to inquire further about limescale removal and the additional plumbing and heating services we have to offer.

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