Here is how hard water will destroy your pipes, sinks, bathtubs and water heaters. When water reacts with soap, it forms a slippery substance that you feel when doing your laundry, it comes when water combines with fats on the water surface to form salts and if sodium ions are present in water the salt is soluble and no residue is left in your structures.
Calcium and magnesium ions on the other hand form insoluble salts, the insoluble salts called limescale cause buildup of residue in plumbing systems especially metallic structures, this is why it is essential to get a softener installed or directly injected in your plumbing system.
Hard Water With Soap and Your Plumbing Fixtures
Hard water has magnesium and calcium-containing minerals which can be very harmful to plumbing fixtures because they are very reactive in nature and they form insoluble salts. Metallic fixtures such as steel, copper pipes and boilers are the most affected by these minerals especially if they run hot water. The hotter the water, the harder it is.
Please consider a good water softener for your hard water that will make it gentle on your plumbing system, here are some more reviews on water softeners
and how they can be used to save your plumbing fixtures at different levels.
1. Water Pipes
Limescale buildup causes the shrinking in the diameter of the pipes making their water pressure to reduce. Ordinary iron-based resin Softeners can be used in this case, install your softener at the entry point of the water and monitor regularly to recharge, Potassium based resins should be avoided for metallic pipes unless one has sodium related allergies, potassium resins cause corrosion on the pipes.
2. Water Heater
Limescale can be seen on your heater`s anode in form of a red-brown solid, and it causes the water heating to be slower than usual especially for old heaters, the limescale has to heat fast before your water can be boiled and this uses much energy.
Nowadays many water heaters will be bought installed with a water softener, if it is not the case, you can get one installed, Sodium ion-exchange softeners are the best to use in this instance, it works best because ion salts are less reactive as compared to potassium softeners on metal surfaces and heaters have metallic anodes.
3. The Sink
Sinks are the most affected by hard water. the buildup happens in the filter, and you can sense a slight blockage or reduced water flow at first
If not attended, it may cause frequent blockage because the aerator holes become smaller and cannot allow water to pass through.
Special aerators for the sink are available on the open market that can be fitted with a Water Softener; you could also buy liquid softeners and put it regularly in your sink to prevent accumulation of limescale.
4. Bath Tub
You will notice some ugly stains that are hard to wash away with a detergent appearing on the bottom of your bathtub at the beginning especially at the water outlet, and if unattended the limescale may rise to the walls. This makes it appear ugly, and a bath is unpleasant. Limescale also affects the glass in some cases. You can prevent it by softening the water you use for your bath before putting it in the bathtub.
5. The Shower
Shower aerators when blocked by limescale cause the shower to release less water. It happens the mostly because of hot water which has a higher concentration of calcium and magnesium ions.
The softener can be installed behind the Aerator. Sodium based aerators are not harmful to the skin as compared to magnesium and calcium cations so you may consider having this for the shower, Chelating softeners are also gentle on hair and skin, and they work just fine.
The Toilet and Septic Tanks
The toilet filter is shaped to release water through holes in the lining below the toilet seat when you flush, hard water residue blocks this holes making the flushing uneven and increasing pressure on your pipe when flashing due to a strong backwash. A softener for toilets is easy to install, if you have one for the pipes, this may not be necessary.
Many people will tell you that water softeners corrode septic tanks, this is true when the recharge of your softener is too frequent introducing charged ions into the septic tank, an automatic electric regulator can control this, Flushing will only happen when necessary.
What choice do you have?
Hard water has its share of side effects on your plumbing structures which can prove very expensive if not checked in time, it is, therefore, it is essential to choose a good water softener that agrees with your health. The softener saves you the cost of plumbing repairs.
On the other hand, the softeners themselves, although they won`t cause blockage, they may still cause corrosion on your plumbing fixtures, it is important to seek professional help on the type and quantity of salt to use in your cost-saving endeavor.
Enjoy a happier life with softeners.