Hard water is a quite common problem in homes across the country. For those unfamiliar with the term, “hard water” is water with high levels of minerals present in it. This is contrasted with “soft water” which has a much lower mineral content. There are varying levels of “hardness” in a home’s water supply, depending on a number of factors including geological location. Any kind of hard water will eventually create problems in your home, though. Here are three of the most common problems that hard water can cause.
If you have a boiler system, the biggest issue with hard water is that of kettling. Over time, the hard water that flows through the heat exchanger of your boiler will leave mineral deposits behind. After enough time, depending on the hardness of your water, those mineral deposits will build up and severely restrict the flow of water through the heat exchanger. This causes the water in the heat exchanger to boil and evaporate, causing a spike in pressure in the heat exchanger. This is often characterized by a deep rumbling sound when the boiler is on. This will eventually cause your boiler to break down if it isn’t fixed.
Lime Scale Buildup
Mineral deposit issues are not limited to boilers. Lime scale deposits can clog practically any water pipe over time, often requiring that large sections of it be replaced. Just like above, this varies depending on the actual level of mineral content in your home’s water supply. Regardless of the level, however, if it’s bad enough to form lime scale you’re going to want to pursue options for treating it. Water softeners that can remove the mineral content from your water are available on the market.
Unsightly External Buildup
Perhaps the least damaging, but most obnoxious side effect of hard water use is the ugly deposits that build up on faucets, shower heads, and in bathtubs. This is what causes the discolored ring in many homeowners’ bathtubs, as well as the white powdery substances on the walls of a shower. This can degrade the metal in your faucets and shower heads over time, so it pays to clean it off as soon as possible.