How Hard Water Damages Plumbing

Discolored, rough clothes. Dull hair and dry skin. Spotted dishes and shower doors. Mineral deposits on shower heads and taps. These conditions are familiar to a good majority of Americans nowadays. The common cause is hard water!

Hard water is present at many homes because of the minerals the water supply contains. The term “hard water” means that there is a high amount of minerals in your water, mainly calcium and magnesium. Hard water cannot necessarily deteriorate your health, but it doesn’t taste good and it will definitely damage your plumbing system.

Plumbing Suffers from Hard Water

The calcium causing hard water leaves residues on the plumbing system. A white or yellow flaky build-up on your faucets, sinks, and showerheads is an accumulation of calcium that remains after hard water got on your fixtures. This buildup is definitely ugly, it makes your fixtures look dirty, and even though you might clean it off, this deposit builds up again pretty fast.

Now think for a second how this hard water is damaging your plumbing pipes from the inside. These calcium deposits accumulate on the pipes interior. Over a certain period of time, this accumulation builds up until it narrows the opening of the pipes and reduces the amount of water moving through them. Most likely, the accumulation won’t get to the point where it entirely blocks a pipe, but it can certainly decrease water pressure and increase the odds of developing a clog.

The restriction of water flow is also present in home appliances such as refrigerators, icemakers, washing machines and dishwashers. If this issue is not addressed for quite some time, appliances will leak, malfunction or consume more energy. The heating elements of water heaters are prone to be damaged by hard water and a lot of homeowners find out that their water heaters need replacement or repairs every couple of years. 

Hard water is hard on any plumbing fixture: ruined finishes, damaged washers and seals, and faucet blockages are typical signs of hard water damage.

When it comes to steel pipes – the concern is partial blockages. They cause an annoying but usually harmless drop in water flow. But over time if hard water is not treated, it is possible for a steel pipe to become clogged enough to intensify stress on the pipe, which could eventually result in leaks. Most homes were built or repiped after 1960s and it is good, because they have copper or plastic pipes. And the risk of significant mineral build-up in those pipes is minimal.

Slow Deposits, Long-Term Damage

However, many people either don’t pay much attention to the hardness of their water, or don’t really care. Since hard water outcomes don’t always result in clogged pipes and broken water heaters, the issue remains intact.

Naturally, it takes time for the pipes to be damaged by hard water, but it is impossible to avoid the process. Mineral sediments stick to the infrastructure’s interior and weaken its material. The problem develops slowly and results are unpredictable. Some pipes might spring pin hole leaks that seep under flooring, behind walls and through sewer lines. Calcium and magnesium buildup eventually causes cracking, clogging and backups. If you ignore the issue, the deposits choke water flow down to a trickle and wreck your plumbing system.

If you’re concerned about hard water slowing down your plumbing, call our professionals at Downey Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning. Our skillful plumbers will quickly pinpoint the problem and offer you an accurate assessment of your best options and solutions. Our specialists make sure that water keeps constantly running for home and business owners throughout Downey area. Installing a water softener is one way to decrease the amounts of minerals in hard water. In some cases, ion-exchange water softeners are recognized as the best solution. Contact our company today and we will help you deal with hard water issues.

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Downey, CA 90241 | (562) 646-1221