Winter in the Northeast is hard enough without having to deal with hard water, which can exacerbate common winter annoyances such as dry, itchy skin and lackluster hair. Hard water makes it more difficult for soaps and detergents to work properly and can damage your clothes and linens, leaving them feeling uncomfortable and looking dingy. Likewise, your dishes and other household items may have spots or residue on them even after they’ve been washed.
But did you know having hard water can also do a number on your home’s plumbing? Over time the minerals found in hard water can damage your plumbing pipes by causing a buildup, also known as scale. Not only can this decrease your water pressure, but it can also cause appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters to work less efficiently while shortening their lifespans.
Compared to “soft” water which is completely free of mineral impurities, hard water has an excess of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. According to hard water statistics from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), 85% of homes in the United States have hard water. Is your home one of them?
If you’ve been dealing with these issues or suspect you have hard water, it’s time to give us a call. At Rick’s Plumbing, we offer a variety of plumbing services such as pipe repair and repiping that are designed to remedy hard water related issues such as decreased water pressure caused by scale buildup. Similarly, if your old water heater is making loud, banging noises as a result of scale buildup, you can count us to make the repairs or install a new one!
There are several hard water treatments, such as home water softeners which use salt to remove the excess minerals. They soften all the water in your home which means that you and your home’s pipes and appliances all benefit. Water softeners are a great investment and improve your quality of life.
Point of use water filters are affordable options to water softeners and are still effective, but limited to filtering your drinking or bathing water. Water pitcher filters are also a simple and effective way to improve the quality and taste of your drinking water but don’t address build up in your pipes or appliances.
Vinegar is a multipurpose ingredient that can be used to combat the effects of hard water. Try adding one cup of white vinegar to your laundry’s rinse cycle. It can even be used as a rinse aid in your dishwasher! Use it to remove buildup from your coffee maker by running it through a brew cycle. Try using diluted apple cider vinegar to restore life to your hair after it’s been washed in hard water. Vinegar is a great home remedy, but you may be left with that vinegar smell.
Filters and home remedies are good but limited solutions. The most effective way to deal with hard water is with a whole house water treatment plan. Not sure what option is right for you? Not sure if you even have hard water? Call Rick’s Plumbing today to learn how we can help!