What Is Hard Water and How Can It Damage Your Pipes?
The most straightforward definition of hard water is any water that contains high concentrations of dissolved minerals, typically calcium and magnesium. When compared to other areas of the country, Pennsylvania water is considered very hard. Hard water is detectable in a few ways.
First, you may notice limescale build-up on your bathroom tiles, stainless steel fixtures, and drains. Other hard water symptoms may include difficulty producing soap suds in the shower or the bath, spots on your recently cleaned glassware, dingy whites in your laundry, and a feeling of a film on your hands after you wash them.
Hard water doesn’t just ruin bubble baths and your favorite white jeans; it may also be causing hidden damage to your pipes, sewer lines, and your home’s water pressure. For this reason, all Pennsylvanians need to consider water softeners, regular maintenance, and keeping an eye out for signs of hard water build-up before it can damage your pipes irreparably.
Signs of Hard Water Build Up and Clogged Pipes
Higher than average utility bills
If you’ve noticed a sudden uptick in your water or energy bills, you may be dealing with clogged, leaking, or cracked pipes. As mineral deposits build-up, it can become more difficult for water to flow through your pipes. Over time, the constant pressure can cause cracks in your pipes. The wasted water will be evident in your water bill.
As for hard water and appliances, hard water is less efficient at conducting energy than soft water. For this reason, it takes more energy to heat hard water, and you may notice this on your energy bill.
Debris in drinking water
If you notice a film on your body or hands after washing them, keep an eye out for debris, small particles, and cloudiness in your tap water. Your tap water may also taste “off.” These symptoms are likely signs of clogged pipes.
Reduced water pressure
If you’ve noticed lower than normal water pressure, your pipes may be clogged with mineral deposits from hard water. Vinegar can be a quick fix, but in the long term, it’s best to consider other options so that you don’t have to take low-pressure showers.
How to Deal With Hard Water At Your House
The best way to identify the severity of your hard water problem is to test your water. Once you know the degree of minerals dissolved in your water, you can establish a thorough treatment plan with your plumber. Hard water tests are convenient and straightforward. You can buy ready-made kits, conduct a DIY soap test, or request a free water test to determine your water’s hardness.
If you’ve concluded that your water is hard, then you can shop for a water softener. Water softeners are whole-house filtration systems that remove the mineral deposits before they can damage your home. A qualified plumber will be able to point you in the right direction of a water softener that’s right for your home. Water softeners will require some additional maintenance to operate smoothly in the long term. Still, the costs pale compared to repairing damaged pipes, years of higher energy costs, and decreased lifespan of your appliances.
Sewer Line Inspections in Pittsburgh, PA
Clogged sewer pipes are every homeowner’s worst nightmare. Seeing your bathtub and kitchen sink fill up with sewage is the last thing you want to experience, and you can prevent it. A sewer video inspection is a safe, thorough, and relatively painless process to identify the root of your sewage problems. Pipes can become dysfunctional for two reasons: clogs and corrosion. For obvious reasons, the treatment plan for each is different.
If you have noticed any of the hard water signs in your home, you must consult a professional plumber and schedule an appointment for a thorough video inspection and cleaning of your drain and sewage pipes. Hard water’s damage to your pipes can be pervasive and difficult to get ahead of if left undetected. For more information about how to treat the cause and symptoms of hard water in your home, schedule an appointment today!