Is your skin exceptionally dry after a shower? Do your faucets accumulate a lot of calcium buildup fairly quickly? You may have a hard water problem. “Hard water” refers to water that has high amounts of magnesium and calcium and some trace metals. This is not a detriment to your health, as hard water can be consumed daily without issues; however, it is not so good for your plumbing system. Before identifying and fixing a hard water issue, it is important to first know how hard water is formed.

How does this Happen?

The water flowing through your pipes started as rainwater at some point in its journey to you. Along the way, it absorbed a plethora of minerals. This is normal, and every home’s water supply starts out as hard water. This is where a water softener comes into play. The point of your water softener is to extract these minerals from the water. You have hard water because either you may be having issues with your water softening system, or you are not using a water softener in the first place.

What Happens to Plumbing?

Hard water can damage much more than your plumbing. It can essentially damage anything it touches for prolonged amounts of time, such as tile, faucets, fixtures, and appliances. Things you use daily with water such as a coffeemaker or dishwasher will become damaged from buildup and may malfunction over time. The harder the water, the quicker the damage.

When it comes to plumbing, various issues may arise:

  • Mineral buildup inside the pipes (especially pipes made of steel)
  • Restricted water flow from the buildup
  • Damage to metals
  • Stressed pipes from buildup, causing leaks

Most hard water issues go unnoticed at first. Even buildup on faucets can go overlooked for a while. Professional services can help to clean out any hard water buildup, and the best fix is to get a water softener or repair any problems with your current water softener.