It is impossible to find completely pure water in nature. The reason behind that is the presence of dissolved salts, such as calcium and magnesium, or sometimes even iron. The more substances it contains, the harder the water is.
Depending on the hardness of water, its quality can drop and cause limescale deposits. In the long run, those deposits can lead to serious problems in pipes, fittings, appliances, and even health. We’ll explain each problem individually in the paragraphs below.
The Impact of Hard Water on Pipes, Fittings, and Appliances
The biggest issues caused by hard water usually occur where we cannot see them. The limescale buildup in the pipes can lead to lower water pressure or clogs, so it’s important to handle it quickly. In an attempt to save money, people often try to get rid of limescale with baking soda and vinegar. But when it comes to excessive accumulation of limescale, calling a professional plumber is the best course of action.
If not softened, hard water (and the resulting limescale buildup) can cause serious damage to some home appliances. You will soon be able to see the damage done to your kettle, coffee maker, dishwasher, or washing machine. Your kettle, for example, might suddenly need more time to boil the water, and due to limescale, it can even give your coffee or tea a different taste. On the other hand, due to will need more detergent and will use more electricity, which will result in more money spent overall.
It is also important to note that hard water can cause white stains on glassware, bathtubs, sinks, taps, and even on your teeth. That usually means more time spent cleaning and scrubbing, as well as more money spent on anti-scale products.
The Impact of Hard Water on Health and Plants
The list of negative effects of hard water, unfortunately, does not stop at damaging pipes and electronics. It also affects people and plants in various ways.
Although scientists generally believe that drinking hard water doesn’t affect us negatively, some have shown otherwise. Namely, excessive amounts of calcium and magnesium in the body can slightly increase the risk of developing kidney stones, arthritis, and polyarthritis. However, they cannot directly cause any serious health issues.
Hard water can also cause severe dry skin problems, redness, and itchiness. These issues are almost impossible to fix with everyday creams and moisturizers, as the skin dries out faster than you can moisturize it.
When it comes to watering your plants with hard water, there’s a bit less cause for concern. After all, many plants are perfectly capable of surviving in a soil with a slightly higher pH level. But still keep an eye on them, because some will need to be re-potted more frequently as a result of calcium buildup in the soil.
Solving the Hard Water Problem
Limescale buildup will not happen overnight, so it is incredibly important to act on time and prevent the unwanted effects of hard water. The issue can be solved in several ways, the most popular ones being installing water filters or a water softener system. Still, keep in mind that, if the water is too soft, it can also lead to issues such as pipe rust and water having an unpleasant taste.
Make sure to find the balance and determine the level of water before deciding on which water softening method you want to use.
Although dealing with hard water is not easy and can be frustrating, you should make it a priority if you want to avoid unnecessary problems in the future. Under no circumstances should you allow low-quality water to have a bad impact on your pipes, fittings, appliances, and especially on your health.
Prevention of limescale buildup is the key to an easier and healthier life when it comes to using tap water. Think in advance and you won’t have to worry about clogging, cleaning and higher power usage, and you will save some money too.