About 85% of Americans have hard water in their homes. If you have noticed that mineral deposits or spots are forming on your metal faucets, that you need to to use extra soap to generate a lather, or that there is a stiff texture in your clothing after washing,
you have hard water too. Experts frequently recommend that homeowners with hard water have a water softener installed, but water softeners are not cheap—leading many homeowners to ignore this advice. So why is treating your hard water so important? What makes that water softener worth its cost? Here's a look.
Hard Water Can Cause Mineral Blockages
What makes hard water hard is the presence of dissolved calcium and magnesium. These minerals don't all stay suspended in the water. Over time, some of them settle out and adhere to the insides of your pipes.
A thin layer of mineral buildup in your pipes won't cause any noticeable problems, but as the layer gets thicker and thicker, it may start decreasing your water pressure. And nobody enjoys showering in a slow trickle.
There's no safe and approved way to remove mineral buildup from the inside of water pipes, so if your pipes suffer this fate, your plumber will have to replace them. Having your home re-piped is an extensive project that costs more than installing a water softener.
Hard Water and Soap Form Soap Scum
The minerals in hard water react with soap to form soap scum, a nasty substance that likes to build up in your sinks and drains. Soap scum can make your sink look dirty, and it's tough to remove without a lot of elbow grease. The amount of scrubbing required to remove soap scum is not great for your sink. As soap scum works its way into drains, it can contribute to clogs.
It's amazing how much less cleaning you have to do once you install a water softener. You won't have to rely on drain cleaner or your plunger as often, either.
Hard Water Is Bad for Your Skin and Hair
Soap scum also builds up on your skin, making you feel dry and itchy. Hard water also keeps the soap from having close contact with your skin, so you don't get as clean as you'd hope. You may slather on lotion every day but never really feel like your skin is hydrated due to the hard water deposits on its surface. Similarly, your hair may either feel over-dry or weighed down by soap-scum-like deposits.
Installing a water softener will make your personal hygiene routine simpler and also allow you to cut back on your hair care routine. You may be able to throw away half those styling products and sleep in for an extra 30 minutes!
Hard Water Ruins Appliances
Think of all the appliances in your home that use water: your washing machine, your water dispenser, the iron, the coffee maker, and maybe even a few others. Mineral deposits can also form in these appliances, blocking tubes and dispensing openings. Sometimes you might be able to remove these deposits by soaking the appliance in vinegar, but this is tough with larger appliances like washing machines.
Installing a water softener will cut back on your appliance repair bills and help you get more years out of the appliances you use daily. You may even recoup the cost of the water softener in savings.
If you have hard water and are ready to do something about it, contact Ritz Plumbing. Our highly trained plumbers specialize in both emergency and preventative plumbing, so we're prepared to handle it all, from mineral-logged pipes to drains blocked by soap scum.