If the water coming through your pipes contains an abundance of minerals, mainly calcium and magnesium, it is considered hard water. These minerals are picked up by the water as it flows through limestone. While not a health risk, it can be a problem in the Greater Boston area.
In fact, 85 percent of water in the U.S. is considered hard water, according to U.S. geological surveys.
While it does not hurt your body, hard water can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. If left untreated, it could clog and corrode your pipes, which could ultimately lead to a breakdown of your entire plumbing system. It can also damage plumbing fixtures and discolor clothes and hair.
Here are some facts about hard water and how to prevent it:
Signs of hard water
If you have hard water, you will start to notice stains or mineral deposits on the surfaces within your home, such as your sink, tub or plumbing fixtures. Water will appear to be slightly acidic and you may notice small particles in your drinking water.
Problems of hard water
Hard water can clog showerheads and leave permanent stains in bathtubs, showers and shower doors. It can damage plumbing fixtures, as well as coffee pots, ice makers and dishwashers. It will leave spots and streaks on dishes and can even make your hair look dull and rough after washing.
What hard water does to your water heater
Hard water can also damage your water heater, as it can solidify on the bottom of your tank, causing lime to build up. This makes it more difficult for the burners to heat the water. In time, your hot water heater will become less efficient, increasing energy costs. It also reduces the capacity of the tank.
What hard water does to your plumbing
It can lead to a buildup of lime scale from calcium and magnesium in your pipes, eventually clogging them. This tends to be a problem in not only residential steel pipes, but PVC and copper pipes, as they become older. If left untreated, this can result in moderate to severe clogs. If the clogs become severe, the entire plumbing system will need to be replaced.
Why you should never use CLR drain cleaner on hard water clogs
If you have severe hard water clogs in your pipes, your options are unfortunately limited. There is nothing you can legally use to effectively remove the buildup that you would want to drink later. For instance, CLR drain cleaners contain toxic chemicals that are illegal to put into the Boston drinking supply.
Your only option with severe hard water clogs is to replace the plumbing system, which is expensive. That is why we recommend treating hard water with a water softener before it becomes a problem.
How to prevent hard water — invest in a water softener
The simple solution to preventing hard water buildup is to have a professional plumber install a water softener system in your home. The water softener will remove minerals from your water before they enter the pipes of your home, eliminating buildup and degradation.
Need a water softener in Boston? Call Plumbers 911!
If you need a water softener installed in Greater Boston, call Plumbers 911! We have an extensive network of licensed plumbing contractors who can install a water softener on your property. All our plumbers undergo extensive training, certification, background checks and drug tests.
Call Plumbers 911 to find an experienced plumber to install a water softener and prevent hard water damage today!