You’ve probably heard the term hard water before but not known exactly what it means… only that it’s not something positive. Hard water is rarely dangerous for people to drink, but it can lead to problems with your plumbing, as we’ll examine.
If you have hard water in your home coming from the municipal system, you aren’t helpless. With the assistance of skilled Salt Lake City plumbers from Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, you can have your incoming water supply balanced with a water treatment system. Call us today for water testing for your plumbing that will discover if you have troubles from hard water.
Hard water: what it is, and what it does to your plumbing
Hard water is water that has a high mineral content suspended in it. These minerals are usually calcium-containing ones such as calcite and gypsum. Magnesium minerals like dolomite are also common. They rarely pose any health issues for humans to drink, but calcite and magnesium leave behind deposits on plumbing and fixtures that can put your pipes and your appliances at risk.
As hard water flows through your plumbing, it will begin to leave calcite deposits on the inside of pipes. As these deposits increase, the volume of the pipe interiors will decrease. Although it’s extremely rare for calcite deposits to completely shut off a pipe, the reduced volume is enough to cause water pressure to spike. High water pressure will begin to cause leaks throughout your piping at joints and valves, and it can damage appliances hooked to the water supply.
The appliance most at risk from hard water is your hot water heater. When hard water is subjected to the high temperature inside the tank of a hot water heater, it forms limescale along the inside of the tank. Because limescale is an insulator, it prevents the flow of heat into the water, making the boiler less efficient and causing components to overheat, eventually making the whole system fail.
Another problem with hard water is that it promotes corrosion where two different types of metal are in contact with each other. This will lead to corroded pipes that wouldn’t suffer from corrosion otherwise.
What you can do about hard water
If you notice white and yellow flaky deposits on your faucets or other fixtures, you probably have a hard water problem. First call for water testing from professionals to see how extensive the trouble is. The professionals can then help you choose a water softener to attach to your home’s plumbing that will balance the hard water with salt.
At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air offers water testing and installation of many different water treatment systems to help you protect your plumbing in Salt Lake City, UT.