If you take a look at your vitamin bottle you will probably see magnesium and calcium as two of the ingredients that are part of a healthy life. While these two minerals can help keep the body functioning properly they are also the components of hard water. Hard water isn’t necessarily harmful to your body but it can cause problems to both your fixtures and your plumbing, water softners can help.
Hard Water Issues
Hard water can cause build up on fixtures like shower heads and sink faucets that is difficult to clean off. Luckily there are products you can purchase that will help you keep your fixtures clean. Your plumbing, however, is a different story. Drain cleaners are made to clear hair and grease not hard water deposits.
If you have iron pipes your home is much more susceptible to damage from hard water than if you have copper, PEX, or PVC. In some cases hard water build up can reduce a one inch iron pipe to the diameter of a ball point pen, or worse, clog it completely so that no water can pass through.
How Hard Water Hurts
Hard water can build up over time in any plumbing pipes, water fixtures, and in water-using appliances. In fact, some studies assert that water heaters that process hard water can have their useful life shortened by as much as half. As well, it is recommended that if you do have hard water you should have a professional service our water heater every single year, talk about maintenance costs!
Your Best Options
Once you’ve confirmed that your plumbing issues are related to hard water you have a couple of reliable solutions available. Check out my article on “How Hard is My Water?” if you’re looking for more info on hard water. One great solution for removing hard water is reverse osmosis and another is installing a water softener. Both options will remove minerals from your water however one big difference is cost, so your family budget may play a big part in the way you go.
Reverse Osmosis is the pricier option but the general opinion is that RO water is the most pure. RO uses a process to completely remove impurities. Because of the cost an option would be to utilize RO specifically on the piping that supplies water for drinking and cooking.
Water softners are probably the most universally recognized way to combat hard water issues. Basically, water softners use sodium to create a brine which processes the hard water and converts it to soft water.
More Info on Water Softners
Be sure to do your research before committing to one option or another. Start with my articles on the “Most Frequently Asked Questions About Water Softeners” and “Most Frequently Asked Questions On Reverse Osmosis”.