The Problem with Hard Water

Clogged Faucets and Showerhead

Water with high magnesium and calcium content is considered “hard.” Groundwater easily picks up these dissolved minerals from rocks and soil before it enters your plumbing system. 85 percent of potable water in the US is hard, which means it probably affects your home in Monroe Township.

Problems Caused by Hard Water

While hard water doesn’t pose any health risks, it causes plenty of other problems, including:

  • Chalky residue: When hard water evaporates, it leaves minerals behind, creating unsightly white deposits known as limescale on plumbing fixtures, appliances and This residue is difficult to remove and even causes chemical reactions that limit the effectiveness of cleaning products.
  • Soap scum: As if the mineral deposits weren’t enough, hard water prevents soap from dissolving completely, leaving a film behind in sinks and bathtubs.
  • Clogged faucets and showerheads: The minerals in hard water build up in the tiny openings of faucets and showerheads, clogging them over time.
  • Damage to plumbing and appliances: A buildup of limescale in your plumbing can reduce water flow and gradually decrease the pressure. Steel pipes are more susceptible to this than copper and PVC pipes. Minerals also damage the rubber washers, valves and seals found in plumbing fixtures and appliances, causing leaks.
  • Decreased water heater efficiency: Deposits inside the tank impair performance, making your water heater work harder and driving up your energy costs. Limescale also shortens the life of your water heater.
  • Dingy clothes: Hard water makes your clothes look dingy, feel scratchy, and stretch and fade faster.
  • Lifeless hair and irritated skin: Showering in hard water causes minerals to build up in your hair, making it look dull and feel rough. A film also remains on your skin, allowing dirt and bacteria to linger and causing irritation for sensitive individuals.

Cleaning Hard Water Mineral Deposits

The key to removing chalky mineral deposits is to apply white vinegar to the affected surfaces. Try these tips:

  • Lay vinegar-saturated rags on faucets.
  • Spray sinks, tubs and shower doors with vinegar.
  • Soak showerheads in a bowl of vinegar overnight.
  • Run a cup of vinegar through the empty dishwasher.
  • Run a gallon of vinegar in the washing machine with hot water.
  • Run your coffee maker with the reservoir full of vinegar.

How to Prevent Hard Water Stains

While it’s possible to remove mineral deposits with a little vinegar, patience and elbow grease, prevention is always the best method. For instance, to keep the shower door looking nice, you should spray it with preventative shower cleaner or use a squeegee to remove water after each shower.

To overcome all the problems with hard water, you must install a water softener. This removes minerals from the source before water travels through your pipes, helping to preserve everything from the water heater and dishwasher to your clothes and hair.

For more useful plumbing tips, or to schedule services in Monroe Township, NJ, please contact Bob Hoegler Plumbing at 732-521-0133.