The Many Effects of Hard Water

February 28, 2015

The differences between hard water and soft water are seldom talked about, and many homeowners may not even know the difference. Hard water means the water in your home isn’t filtered from the point it reaches the water meter to when it exits a faucet or appliance for use. In most places, your water will be treated by your utilities company, but they still leave all sorts of minerals in there. Soft water is the term for water that is filtered as it enters your home, so the vast majority of these minerals can be removed. Even if you already knew the difference between hard and soft water, you may have not known of all the negative effects hard water can have on you and your home. These effects are what lead many people to call their Bridgeport Roto-Rooter or local plumber to install a water softener.

Soap Consumption

One problem with hard water that you may not be aware of is that it leads to a greater consumption of soap. Body soap, dishwasher soap, laundry detergent, and other cleaning solutions are expensive, so having to use just a bit more each go can really add up over the years. The reason for this soap problem is that the ions in hard water can react with the elements in soap to create soap scum instead of a nice lather. With soft water, the soap can lather up exactly as it was designed.

Pipe Scaling

As hard water flows through a pipe, the minerals in it (mostly calcium and magnesium), can catch on pieces of the pipe. Over time, the entire pipe can become coated in what is called pipe scale. Just like plaque in your arteries can risk damage to your heart, scale in pipes can risk damage to your plumbing system. With less area to flow through, more pressure is put on the pipes which can lead to leaks in the joints.

Fixture Deterioration

The hard water finally exits the pipe through plumbing fixtures, and these fixtures are made to look nice. Unfortunately, any beautiful brass or stainless steel shower head is vulnerable to mineral deposits from hard water. Wherever the water reaches, white buildups can occur. These mineral buildups are not only unsightly, but they can lead to quicker deterioration of the fixture, which can’t just be cleaned off.

Skin Problems

Sometimes hard water can contribute to common skin problems, like chronic dry skin. Many people try creams and lotions, but softening their water might be the most direct solution.

Foul Odors and Tastes

Sometimes the combinations of ions in your water can create strange smells or tastes. As far as tastes go, you can purchase a water filter for your sink, but nobody wants to bathe in smelly water. Hard water isn’t going to kill you, but it can do a lot of obnoxious things to you and your home.


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