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Everything You Need to Know About Hard Water

water-softener-tankMost people have heard of hard water and know that it’s not any good for your home. But fewer people understand exactly where hard water comes from and how it causes damage. In this post, we’ll go over all of the above to make you a professional on the subject.

What Is It?

Long before water becomes part of the municipal drinking supply, it first must go through nature. As river water runs through rock and soil, it dissolves and picks up various minerals. Calcium and magnesium are the most common. As the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water increases, the water becomes “hard.”

Soft water, on the other hand, doesn’t pick up these minerals nearly as much. This is often the case with rainwater, which comes from the sky clean of minerals and doesn’t have to travel through as much rock and soil before becoming part of your municipal water supply.

The levels of hard and soft water you’ll find in the water often depends on the region. Water from the Midwest tends to collect the most.

How it Affects Your Plumbing


As hard water travels, it leaves behind traces of calcium and magnesium. Repeated exposure results in buildup. Now, combine that with the steady and constant flow of hard water through your pipes, and you’re looking at a formula for blockage in your plumbing. In extreme cases, your pipes can become so blocked with buildup that they burst.

More often though, the biggest problem with hard water on pipes is the gradual corrosion. Corrosion occurs when the calcium and magnesium buildups start eating through the pipe. This leads to small, pinhole leaks that will get bigger as the corrosion worsens.

Since the hard water itself is the cause of the corrosion, you can expect that a similar process is going on through pipes in your whole home. Corrosion that affects many pipelines can eventually call for repiping services.

Water Heaters

Hard water can affect every appliance in your home that’s connected to the water main. One common victim is your water heater.

Over time, the hard water’s mineral deposits will collect at the bottom of your water heater’s tank. This will create a layer of sediment that can cause a couple of problems.

For one, it will decrease the efficiency of the water heater. The sediment layer creates a barrier between the burner and the water, forcing the heater to work harder to keep the water warm. Second, it can create pockets of heat beneath the sediment. When these spots get too hot, they can damage the tank and create leaks.

What to Do About Hard Water

It’s important to note that hard water isn’t critical to your health, but as stated above, it will do damage to your plumbing over time. The best course of action is to stop the problem at the source by installing a water softener.

There are many types of water filtration systems in Salt Lake City, UT that you could install to remove contaminants from your water, but not all of them remove minerals from the water. In this case, a water softener is the most logical option. It directly trades the magnesium and calcium for sodium ions, removing it before it ever reaches your pipes.

Do you need a water softener or other water filtration device? Contact At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today!

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Salt Lake City, UT Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing Services

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air provides excellent heating, air conditioning, plumbing, indoor air quality, water treatment and water heater services throughout the greater Salt Lake City, UT area, including the installation of new systems and components, and the replacement of the old, as well as ongoing repair and maintenance. Established in 1980, we have served the home comfort needs of our local community for over 30 years. Whether you need your stop and waste valve replaced or a new "green," energy–efficient HVAC system installed, we can make sure that the job is completed properly. Our HVAC contractors are NATE–certified and we employ Master and Journeyman plumbers. We are confident in our ability to satisfy any issue that may arise in your home, 24 hours a day. Give one of our friendly staff members a call today to learn more about what we can do for your home.

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air offers quality heating, air conditioning and plumbing services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area, including repair, installation and maintenance.

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When it comes to ensuring that you are comfortable during the winter months in Salt Lake City, you need to make certain that you have an excellent heating system. We offer comprehensive heating services in Salt Lake City, including installation, replacement, repair and maintenance services for a wide variety of equipment, including boilers, furnaces, and radiant heat systems. Whether you’d like to save more on your energy bills from month to month with an energy efficient heater or you want to retrofit a zone control system into your existing furnace setup, we provide heating solutions.

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For truly year–round comfort, your home needs an excellent air conditioner. At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air offers excellent air conditioning services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area, from AC repair to maintenance, installation to replacement. We can make sure that your entire home is cooled to your satisfaction, no matter how hot and unpleasant it gets outside. We want you to feel comfortable in your home, and we have the experience and expertise to make sure that this is the case.

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Our services go well beyond HVAC, however. In addition to providing heating and cooling solutions, we provide a wide range of plumbing services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area. From whole–house repiping to drain cleaning, water line installation to leak detection, sprinkler system timer repair to kitchen plumbing, we have got you covered. We can make sure that you are able to use water safely, effectively, and efficiently in your home.

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During this very unusual time, we have put a plan in place to do our part to help keep our community safe. First and foremost, we are going to stay CALM, PATIENT, KIND, and POSITIVE!

There is much to consider regarding the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus) and its possible transmission in your home. While there are various and effective indoor air quality measures available to help protect your safety, including duct sanitization, ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light treatment, and HEPA air filters, they alone cannot protect from all forms of COVID-19 transmission. It is important to follow all official guidelines for preventing the spread of this virus.

Because we have a direct impact on the indoor environment, here are practical steps we are going to take to keep people safe:

  • Wash our hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water
  • Cover our nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Wash our uniforms every day including cleaning our belts
  • Stay home if we are feeling sick
  • Offer a warm smile and friendly greeting instead of a handshake
  • Wear shoe covers and latex gloves in homes and businesses
  • Wipe down surfaces and equipment touched in a client’s home with disinfectant wipes
  • Wipe down door handles, steering wheels, gear shift lever every day
  • Wipe down pens, clipboards, tablets, cell phones, and anything else passes between techs and clients.
  • We have masks on each truck and will wear them at client’s discretion (Currently the CDC does not recommend that people wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19)
  • We are complying with all recommendations and guidelines from state agencies and will be proactive in our efforts to see that our team members and clients are protected.

As the situation unfolds, we will take each day one at a time and ensure we are being smart, supportive, and helping all those we can in our community.

Thank you for your continued support!