How Water Hardness Affects Your Plumbing

Hard water is simply fresh water supply with a lot of calcium, magnesium, and a range of trace minerals in it. The mineral content determines the level of water hardness, which is measured in grains per gallon (gpg). Anything above 10.5 gpg is taken to be extremely hard, whereas 3.5 gpg is considered to be on the lower level of hardness.

Hard water doesn't pose health risks. Some studies suggest that it can aid heart health. Unfortunately, the supposed health benefits come at the expense of your plumbing system.

Clogged Pipes

As hard water continually passes through your plumbing system, the minerals start building up inside your pipes and restricting water flow. The reduced flow of water may not always be harmful, but it's annoying and inconveniencing. With time, the scale deposits from the hard water could clog your pipes leading to complete blockage or increased stress that results in leaks.

Reduced Water Heater Efficiency

Hard water lowers the efficiency of your water heater. If you ignore regular maintenance, a significant amount of mineral scale can build up at the bottom of your tank. The water heater will have to heat the water as well as all the scale that has built up, thereby using more energy than necessary.

If you have a tankless water heater, scale can build up in its heat exchanger. That not only makes your heater inefficient but could also cause overheating and burnout.

Damaged Plumbing Fixtures

Hard water can negatively affect any of your plumbing fixtures. Damaged seals and washers, valve blockages, and ruined finishes are some of its common effects.

Hard water can do damage behind the scenes for quite some time before resulting in clogged pipes, a failed water heater, and damaged fixtures. Therefore, it's best to be proactive by maintaining your water heater frequently, finding out how hard your water is, and installing a water softener if you find the hardness to be over 3 gpg.

For assistance with dealing with water hardness or any other plumbing issues in the Broken Arrow area, contact the HVAC and plumbing experts at Air Assurance.