Pro & Cons of Hard Water: The Benefits and Drawbacks

12 Apr

Hard Water Q&ALeft unchecked, hard water can create many issues in home heating and water systems. Fortunately homeowners can take comfort in knowing that when it’s time to replace a major home system, modern products—from smart indirect fired water heaters to water softeners—can mitigate the effects of hard water and scale buildup. Contact Paquette Plumbing today to discuss the optimal solution for your hard water situation.

What are some of the the issues with hot water?

Hard Water and Laundry

  • Clothes washed in hard not only look dingy, but often feel harsh and scratchy.
  • Minerals in hard water can combine with soils on clothes to form insoluble salts—making them difficult to remove.
  • Hard water can leave detergent residue in our clothing and linens.
  • Over time, the continual laundering of items in hard water can damage fibers and shortens the life of clothes.

Hard Water and Bathing

  • Minerals in hard water make dissolving soaps difficult. As a result, bathing in hard water leaves a residue of soap on your skin.
  • Soap residue left behind on your skin can clog pores and irritate skin, making it itchy, flaky, and dry.
  • When hard water dries out the skin and leaves it unable to absorb moisture, it can lead to dermatitis.
  • Residue on hair can make it dull, lifeless and difficult to manage.
  • Leaves a film on bathroom surfaces.

Impact of Hard Water on Dishwashers

  • Hard water can cause spotting and leave a cloudy white residue of mineral salts on your glasses and silverware.
  • The residue of mineral salts can also build up on every surface of your dishwasher leading to rust and the eventual failure of expensive parts like pumps and heating elements.

Problems with Hard Water in Water Boiler Systems and Pipework

  • Heated hard water forms a scale of calcium and magnesium minerals (limescale deposits).
  • Limescale on boiler elements and in pipes, drastically reduces the efficiency of a heating systems and can lead to the failure.
  • Pipes clogged with limescale reduce water flow, and ultimately require pipe replacement.
  • Limescale increases energy bills.

Hard Water Limescale in Solar Heating Systems

  • Solar installations in hard-water areas can provide disappointing energy savings and give rise to premature replacement of components.
Water softener systems help mitigate hard water.

Water softener systems help mitigate Hard Water.

Hard Water Benefits

  • Hard water is less likely than soft water to cause corrosion of pipes. Soft water can dissolve certain metals that are potentially toxic (like cadmium and lead).
  • Hard water tastes better.
  • Hard water has less sodium than soft water. Soft water can be a significant source of sodium and may be of concern to those who need to restrict their sodium intake for health reasons.
  • Hard drinking water generally contributes a small amount toward total calcium and magnesium human dietary needs.

The ideal solution is to leave enough minerals in the water, but alter it just enough to prevent limescale.

To learn about the benefits of home water softener systems visit this page.

Nicholas Paquette
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