What to do about hard water?
Our plumbing company is based in Maidenhead, Berkshire. Our local area is renowned for having hard water, but a very common question that we get asked is will hard water affect my plumbing system. Rather than give a simple yes or no answer, we’ve compiled a more in-depth overview as to how hard water can affect you.
Hard water effects on appliances
Hard water is made up of calcium and magnesium and although its fantastic for your bones it can have a real impact on your appliances. It is those two minerals that make water hard. Hard water won’t have any short-term effects but it can wear appliances down over time. Hard water produces scale, and it is this which can clog your appliances and cause them to gradually become less effective and eventually break down.
Water tastes or smells funny
If your water tastes or smells funny there could be a hard water or bacterial contamination issue. If your water has a metallic taste, for example, this could be due to a high iron content, which is often caused by rust in pipes (see ‘Red Stains’ below). If you water has the smell of rotten eggs, this could be caused by naturally occurring sulphide gas or particular bacteria reacting with sulphates. If your water tastes like dirt, this could be to do with algae blooms, this is more common in warmer weather as the algae begin to multiply at the bottom of lakes, ponds and other water sources.
Loss of power in your shower
Showering is often most peoples favourite part of the day. Whether to freshen you up for the day ahead or to get into bed feeling clean and relaxed ready to sleep. In a hard water area like ours, shower heads can get clogged up from hard water deposits meaning your shower will be weaker. Like appliances, this will not be an immediate reaction to hard water, it will build up over time. Also, hard water can make your shower less enjoyable by minerals reacting with the soap making it harder to get a good lather!
Effects on pipes
Much like the reasons mentioned above, hard water can affect your pipes. Scale deposits will build up and clog the pipes restricting the flow eventually causing backups and you will need to call out a plumber to fix the issue. However, if you have PVC or copper pipes this isn’t really an issue, only for older steel pipes.
Having red stains in your sink, shower tray or toilet can be caused by high levels of iron in your water. This may be caused by having rust inside your pipes causing this discolouration. A regular recommendation that we see is using vinegar to remove your stains, however, you will keep seeing this reoccurring problem until you fix your hard water issues.
If you feel that the above problems are causing issues in your home, then a water softener may be the solution for you. Water softeners remove magnesium, calcium and iron from your water. It’s an investment that can save you money in the long run and give longevity
If you are looking for a local plumber in Maidenhead to help with any issues you may