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What to Know about Hard Water and How It Affects Plumbing

Plumbing is vital for any home because it ensures clean water and proper waste disposal. For this reason, all homeowners are encouraged to have their plumbing systems inspected and maintained regularly. However, repairs and maintenance can only do so much because there’s a chance that certain things can run down the drain, such as hard water.

Hard water refers to water that contains a high concentration of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals can cause a buildup of scale inside pipes, which can reduce water pressure and even lead to clogs. Beyond that, hard water can cause major plumbing problems, such as pipe corrosion and leaks, if left unchecked. Despite this, many homeowners take hard water for granted because they think it’s nothing, which is rarely the case until it’s too late. Few people know how it can affect their plumbing, so we’ll discuss the details in this article.

How Is Hard Water Formed?

Hard water is formed when water comes in contact with rocks and sediment containing minerals, such as limestone and chalk. As the water runs through the sediment, these minerals are dissolved and carried along. The water then picks up more minerals as it passes through the soil, eventually entering our homes and businesses.

Also, hard water can be caused by softeners, which add sodium or potassium to the water to reduce the hardness. This can lead to a salty taste and an increased risk of corrosion. Artificial water softening systems can also create hard water, which uses chemicals to temporarily reduce the water’s hardness.

Can You Drink Hard Water?

The answer to this question can be complicated, and it depends on the levels of minerals in the water and the specific minerals present. Generally speaking, hard water is safe to drink because of the minerals present, but it may taste poorly. The taste of hard water can vary greatly depending on the minerals present. Too much calcium, magnesium, and iron can give it a metallic taste, while too much sodium can make it taste salty.

It’s worth noting that hard water can damage plumbing systems, appliances, and fixtures. The minerals can build up and clog pipes and cause damage to water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines. Therefore, installing a water softener or other filtration system is vital to reduce the levels of minerals in the water.

The Effects of Hard Water

The effects of hard water depend on the type and amount of minerals it contains. However, it can bring some adverse effects, such as:

Limescale Build-up in Plumbing Fixtures

Hard water can lead to limescale build-up in plumbing fixtures. The minerals can settle on the pipes and form a hard crust, reducing water pressure and restricting water flow.

Difficulty Lathering

Hard water can make it difficult to lather soap and shampoo. This is because the minerals in the water bind with the soap, making it harder to create a lather.

The Presence of White Spots

When hard water dries on surfaces, it can leave behind white spots known as scale. The spots are caused by the minerals in the water, which form crusty deposits on surfaces. The deposits can be removed by scrubbing with a mild acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice.

Stains Your Sink and Bathtub

Hard water can also cause stains on your sink and bathtub. The minerals in the water can react with the metal in the fixtures, causing them to corrode and discolour. To prevent this, you should clean your fixtures regularly with a mild detergent and rinse them thoroughly with clean water.

Preventing Hard Water

A water softener is the best way to prevent hard water from forming. A water softener is a device that removes minerals from water, making it softer and easier to use. It works by exchanging the calcium and magnesium ions in the water for sodium ions to make it less likely to cause buildup.

Alternatively, you can use a water conditioner or a descaler. While water softeners remove minerals, conditioners and descalers only reduce their concentration in the water. Both are effective at reducing the effects of hard water, but they will not completely eliminate it.


Hard water may be beneficial, but it can cause various issues in your home. Because of this, you should take steps to prevent it from forming. This way, your plumbing will work efficiently, and you can be safe from adverse health problems.

If you’re looking for plumbers in Truganina, Duggan Plumbing can help you! Plumbing issues are frustrating and hard to fix, so our professional plumbers will ensure you don’t have to deal with them for long. Call 1800 518 253 today to book an appointment!

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