Do you have hard white residue on your faucets and drains? This is the first visible sign of hard water in San Antonio homes. The water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium that not only build up over time, but the deposits are practically impossible to remove. What you see, though, is just the beginning. There are also deposits of minerals hidden in your plumbing that slowly grow and eventually clog pipes, hoses, drains, and other parts of your plumbing system.
Hard water deposits develop in both cold and hot water, but the problem is worse with hot water environments. Heating water causes a small degree of evaporation, leaving behind a higher concentration of minerals. This is an ideal environment for small particles to attach to each other and form larger deposits that move through the plumbing system or attach to the pipes. Hard water deposits form on most any material used in a plumbing system, and they are much more than cosmetic issues for homeowners in the San Antonio area. Hard water deposits damage your plumbing and appliances in the following nine ways.
1. Clogged Drains
Calcium and magnesium from hard water go beyond the drain screen that you clean. Each time water passes through the drain screen, the minerals attach to the sides of the pipes and other hard water deposits. As you continue to use the drain, more of the minerals attach to these deposits, eventually clogging the drain. Most drain cleaners remove only a small amount of the minerals, so the drain continues to run slow and back up water in your sinks, tubs, and showers.
2. Decreased Water Flow
Do you have a faucet that runs slow even when you increase the water flow at the valve? Hard water deposits not only affect how water runs out of your home but also how water is delivered to your faucets. When calcium, magnesium, and minerals build up in pipes, it slows the flow of water and also builds up pressure inside the pipes that causes a backflow of water.
Calcium and magnesium have properties that are destructive to certain types of metal, many of which are used for plumbing in older homes. The minerals slowly break down the metal in your pipes. This can cause leaks, breaks, and even discolored water. If the corrosive section of the pipe is not repaired and the hard water deposits removed, entire sections of your plumbing may disintegrate. You may end up replacing a large portion of your plumbing system. Corrosion can happen on any metal surface, not just your pipes. Calcium and magnesium can also cause corrosion on your faucets, drains, valves, appliances, and fixtures.
4. Reduced Water Quality
You rely on your plumbing system to deliver clean water for cooking, washing your clothes, bathing, and many other daily tasks. Hard water has small particles of minerals in it. The water is safe to drink, but it is not ideal for your appliances. The minerals interfere with how soaps and detergents work to remove dirt, food, oils, and other substances. As a result, you must use more cleaning products, and your appliances have to work harder to clean dishes and clothes.
5. Broken Pipes and Leaks
Broken pipes and leaks from hard water happen in two ways. First, hard water is corrosive to the materials that are used in older homes. Eventually, minerals eat through the pipe and create a small opening in the side of the pipe. The opening grows larger and larger until you have a major leak on your hands. Second, the mineral deposits inside the pipes prevent water from flowing through efficiently. If the water is pushed through the plumbing at the same volume, pressure builds up, and eventually, the pipes and connections fail.
6. Energy Efficiency
Hard water and mineral deposits in your plumbing affect the energy efficiency of your appliances, even the older models that do not meet modern standards. When you find a white residue on your dishes or your clothes don’t feel clean, you may find yourself running the wash cycle a second time. This requires more energy use and raises your utility bills. Some newer high-efficiency models of dishwashers and washing machines have sensors that detect when items are clean. Hard water deposits on the dishes or clothes will trigger the sensors and cause the appliance to run longer.
Another way that hard water affects your budget is the investment you make in products for hard water deposits. Rather than spending your money on higher utility costs and household products, invest in a water softening system from Beyer Plumbing Co. to prevent the problems of hard water.
7. Wear and Tear
Hard water deposits build up on the connections, drains, and jets in your washer or dishwasher that circulate the water and clean your clothes and dishes. As a result, water may collect inside your appliances, creating the ideal environment for corrosion, mold, and other damaging substances. The components break down sooner, and your appliances may not last as long as expected. In some cases, the lifetime of an appliance may be reduced by three or four years simply due to hard water deposits. Using soft water in your appliances ensures that you get the maximum return on your investment.
8. Voided Warranties
Did you know that hard water deposits may void the warranties on your appliances? Manufacturers provide warranties that cover defects that cause problems under normal use of their products. Hard water deposits may offer indications that you did not take care of the appliance and use it under normal circumstances. As a result, even if there is a manufacturer’s defect, your claim may be denied due to the presence of mineral buildup.
9. Water Heater Damage
The larger appliances in your home rely on your hot water heater to clean your dishes and clothes. Hard water is more difficult to heat, so the hot water heater must work longer and harder. This increases your utility costs and shortens the life expectancy of the heater. Heating water represents a significant portion of utility costs in San Antonio homes, and using soft water may reduce your utility costs by 30% or more, even if you have an older water heater. Hot water heaters typically last about 15 years, but corrosion inside water heaters caused by minerals in hot water can reduce this life expectancy by several years. Adding a water softening system to your home helps you manage utility costs and extends the lifetime of your hot water heater.
Water Softening Products and Plumbing Services for San Antonio Homes
Beyer Plumbing Co. offers residential and commercial services in San Antonio and surrounding areas. We can help with all your installation, maintenance, and repair needs. We specialize in water softening systems, water heaters, and water quality products. We also offer emergency repair services for San Antonio residents and businesses. If you have hard water or need reliable, expert service, call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians.