Spring cleaning is a time to dust off the winter blues by discarding or donating unused household items, eliminating clutter, and completing projects that can beautify and protect your home. We clean every part of our homes that are visible to ourselves and guests, but what about the areas that are normally out of sight? More specifically, you should check for damage from hard water in your pipes and appliances – and consider a water softener to help.
Eliminating hard water damage from your home can protect your home’s plumbing, appliances, fixtures, and surfaces.
Understanding Hard Water
Before you start, it’s helpful to identify hard water. Hard water has high mineral count, primarily from the presence of calcium, magnesium, and iron. These minerals are dissolved in the water, so they’re not readily visible to the naked eye. A water test can help determine whether you have hard water in your home.
How Does Hard Water Affect Your Home?
The minerals in hard water often separate from the water and bind together to form scale or mineral deposits that attach to the interior of pipes. The presence of scale can occur in all pipes—except plastic—but it tends to be most problematic in pipes that carry hot water. Once the scale builds up, it eventually constricts the flow of water and reduces pressure from fixtures like your showerhead and faucets. And since your pipes aren’t easily visible, scale can go untreated for many years before it becomes noticeable—and harmful. Like plaque in your arteries, in extreme cases, scale can completely block your pipes and eventually burst, leading to expensive plumbing repairs
Hard water is also rough on household appliances, causing them to become less efficient and, eventually, unusable. Water heaters (especially tankless water heaters), dishwashers, and washing machines tend to suffer the most damage by hard water. Mineral deposits left by hard water create scale in the pipes and valves of these appliances. Once the scale builds up in the internal parts, it reduces water flow, causes leaks, and eventually leads to expensive replacements. Hard water damage can decrease the lifespan of major appliances by 30% to 50%, and scale buildup at the bottom of your water heater can raise energy costs by 40%. In fact, some appliance warranties are not fully honored if the customer does not have a water softener. Overall, hard water contributes to higher maintenance and energy costs.
Once you understand these telltale signs of hard water, you will want to employ the services of a reputable water conditioning company to conduct a hardness water test at your home. Once you do, you’ll have a clear picture of your home’s specific water conditioning needs.
A water softener can immediately deliver an uninterrupted supply of soft, filtered water for you and your family. It just might be the perfect spring cleaning idea to kick off a happy and healthy season.