The 9 Dangers of Hard Water

dangers of hard water

Hard water is classified as water that contains more minerals than regular water – specifically too much calcium and magnesium. Concentrated with dissolved calcium and magnesium, hard water causes difficulty when trying to lather soap or shampoos and it can cause many negative health concerns for homeowners.

In contrast, soft water contains few to no extra minerals and is, therefore, gentler to your fabrics and water systems. Get to know the benefits of water softening below:

Water Softeners

To remove hardness from water, homeowners should consider having a water softener installed. Most water softeners work by exchanging calcium and magnesium for salt ions – which softens and improves the quality of water for drinking, washing, lathering, and more. Below are just some of the dangers of hard water, which a water softener can reduce and eliminate:

1. Skin Irritation & Dull Hair

Hard water leaves soap behind – on your clothes, your hair, your skin, and other materials you come in contact with. Due to this residue, mineral deposits can latch on to the skin, sucking moisture out of your body and causing eczema flare-ups, itching, dryness, and discomfort, of your arms, legs, head, and body.

2. Clogged Pipes

Hard water can clog pipes as scale deposits build up and constrict the flow of water. This is a cause for concern as blocked pipes can lead to water and sewage back-ups in the home. Back-ups can be overwhelming and complex and therefore require service from a trained and registered plumber.

3. Rust Stains

If you begin to notice a rust-coloured ring forming at the edge of the water that pools in the bottom of your porcelain toilet, this is an obvious sign that your household water is being contaminated by iron – which is being drawn into your water system through the deterioration of rusty pipes.

Rust stains can be unsightly and embarrassing for homeowners, especially when guests come to use their toilets. To reduce the impacts of hard water stains, use a vinegar solution that will cut through the rust as you scrub. However, these stains will appear again and again if your hard water problem is not fixed.

4. Soap Scum Build-Up

If you notice that you are constantly cleaning soap scum that is collecting around the edges of your bathtubs, sinks, and on your shower titles, you are likely facing a hard water issue. Soap scum can also linger on glasses and dishes that have come out of the dishwasher – in the form of white spots.

Soap scum build up is caused by minerals in hard water that do to not lather well when introduced to soap. This is a cause for concern as soap scum can carry microbial biofilm that can live in your showers and can spread bacteria that will make you sick.

5. Appliance Deterioration

The most damaging and expensive consequence of having hard water in the home is that hard water can leave scale deposits on your water-using appliances, shortening their life. The build-up of sediment and the deterioration of parts in your dishwasher, kettle, refrigerator, and washer can lead to break downs, poor efficiency, and it can increase your water bill – as dishes and clothes aren’t being cleaned correctly the first time.

6. No Lathering

Due to hard water’s inability to lather properly, your showering, bathing, and laundering experiences will greatly suffer. Unable to lather shampoos and soaps in the shower, you will be prevented from achieving a full clean where soap is cleansed and washed away. This will leave a residue on your skin and hair, which can cause dryness, dullness, and can cause an uncomfortable, itchy feeling.

Deposits from hard water can also clog up your drains and faucets, weakening water pressure and further impacting your washing experience as lathered soaps and shampoos become even more difficult to wash away.

7. Poor Tasting Water

If you water tastes or smells poorly, you are facing a water issue that can be addressed and fixed by a water softening system. Below are just some signs to look for:

  • Metallic taste – Too much iron
  • Rotten eggs smell – Present bacteria
  • Dirty taste – Sediment build up or algae

8. Dirty Clothing

Hard water can impact your laundry system and clothing as the water prevents soap from lathering and therefore from cleaning your clothes. Hard water also prevents your laundry system from washing away dirt and soap from your clothes when they are rinsed. This causes clothing to remain dingy and to deteriorate quickly.

9. Health Risks

When it comes to hard water, chlorine and other chemicals can enter the bloodstream and can irritate the respiratory tract. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends removing chlorine and chloramine from your tap water as it can cause health risks including certain cancers.

To learn more about the benefits of water softeners, please visit our blog article, “Why & When To Consider A Water Softener”.

Contact Harris Plumbing Today

At Harris Plumbing, we install residential and commercial water softeners that will eliminate hard water from your home. We carry and install the high performing 485 HTO Water Refiner and the Aqua Flo QCRO Platinum in York Region, Barrie, Orillia, Huntsville, and Muskoka.

Should you wish to learn more about water softening, give us!. We look forward to hearing from you!

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