Hard knocks. Hard heads. Hard-hearted. The word “hard” describes lots of things, but one thing it should never describe is your water! Hard water is detrimental to your health, your home, and your wallet. Here are fourteen ways hard water will cause problems and cost you money!
If water is fluid, how can it be “hard?”
Water is fluid, a flowing liquid. It “runs” down riverbeds, “tumbles” down waterfalls, and “ebbs and flows” in the ocean. So how can it be “hard” or “soft”?
Those terms come from the amount of minerals contained in the water. Here in Central Florida, we have hard water. This happens because limestone runs under the ground, and as the water flows through the ground and over the limestone, it picks up lime and other minerals like magnesium and carries them along into the water supply.
Most of Florida has hard to very hard water
The United States Geological Survey classifies hard water as water that contains 121 to 180 milligrams per liter of Calcium Carbonate as hard. More than 180 milligrams per liter is very hard. Here in the Orlando area, we have hard water with 129 parts per million / ppm of calcium carbonate, commonly known as limestone. People farther south in the West Palm Beach area have VERY hard water with up to 317 ppm of limestone!
Every time you turn on the tap, you may be contributing to big problems in the future.
Fourteen Ways Hard Water Will Cause Problems and Cost You Money
ONE: Skin and Hair Issues
Hard water can lead to dry and irritated skin. According to a study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, regions with hard water have reported a 19% increase in skin-related issues.
“Calcium and magnesium in hard water react with fatty acids in your soap and shampoo to form chemicals that coagulate," says Tess Mauricio, a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills. "As a result, your skin doesn't get cleaned properly and the chemicals leave a residue on your skin."
Hard water can result in acne and exacerbation of eczema and dermatitis. Itchiness, dry hair, and complaints of skin feeling “tight” are common complaints with hard water.
TWO: Scale Build-Up and Reduced Water Flow
Does your water trickle out of the faucet? Is your shower a lackluster dribble of water instead of a refreshing waterfall?
It could be that you have limescale buildup.
Limescale deposits in pipes and appliances can reduce water flow by 40% or more, as indicated by a report from the Water Quality Research Foundation!
THREE: Clogged Pipes and Reduced Water Pressure
Over time, mineral deposits can lead to clogged plumbing pipes, reducing water pressure by an average of 24%, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
FOUR: Reduced Water Temperature
If it isn’t bad enough that hard water causes issues for your skin, reduced flow, and low water pressure, it can also decrease the ability of your water heater to properly heat your water!
The Water Quality Research Foundation reports that limescale can reduce water heater efficiency by an average of 30%.
FIVE: Increased Energy Consumption
The build-up of limescale and minerals in your pipes doesn’t just happen in showers and bathtubs. It happens anywhere that water runs into your home. Dishwashers, washers, and hot water heaters are affected, too.
Not only does this build-up restrict water flow and cause the risk of burst pipes, but it also significantly increases the amount of energy you need to push that water through the system.
Limescale build-up in your water heater can increase your energy consumption by up to 48%, according to the Water Quality Research Foundation.
SIX: Appliance Damage
No one wants to buy a major appliance more often than necessary! They are not cheap, and being without a washer, dishwasher, or water heater is inconvenient, to say the least.
A study by the American Water Works Association found that hard water can reduce the lifespan of appliances like dishwashers and washing machines by up to 30%. Appliance manufacturers have reported that the accumulation of mineral deposits can reduce the lifespan of appliances by an average of 3 to 5 years.
Anyone who’s ever had hard water knows about the chalky white buildup on faucets or the stains of yellow, orange, or brown that show up.
Hard water stains are ugly and hard to scrub away. They can negatively affect the appearance of your home. A survey by the Water Quality Association revealed that 85% of respondents reported visible stains caused by hard water.
Worse, yet, stains on clothing, dishes, and fixtures can affect the visual appeal of your home and reduce the perceived cleanliness. If you’re selling your home, water stains are a visual red flag to buyers saying, “Buyer, beware!” A survey by homeowners' associations reported a 15% decrease in property value due to these issues.
EIGHT: Soap Scum
When the minerals and chemicals in water interact with shampoos and soaps, a strange thing happens. Suddenly, it’s harder to lather up and a heavy scum coats the shower walls or bathtub bottom.
The reduced lathering of soap in hard water is evident in a 20% increase in soap scum buildup in showers and baths, as reported by the American Society of Plumbing Engineers.
Another cleaning problem for a conscientious homeowner!
NINE: Increased Laundry Costs
Just like hard water can make it hard to lather up in the shower, it can also make it hard for laundry detergents to work. Hard water can require up to 25% more detergent to achieve the same cleaning results, as observed in a study by the Water Quality Research Foundation.
Because you must use more detergent to get the same effect as you would with perfectly balanced water, you spend more money. The increased use of soap and detergent in hard water areas results in an additional annual cost of $100 or more per household, according to data from consumer advocacy groups.
TEN: Tea and Coffee Taste and Longevity Issues
Do you love your morning coffee? (Me, too!) Are you a tea taster? Did you know that no matter what beverage you prefer, the taste of your elixir can be negatively impacted by mineral-laden water?
Not only can the taste be affected, but limescale deposits in kettles and coffee makers can reduce their lifespan by up to 25%!
ELEVEN: Plumbing problems
ServiceOne Air Conditioning and Plumbing is here for you, and we are ready to take care of any problems you have. But we don’t want you to have unnecessary repairs.
A survey conducted by plumbing professionals found that 60% of plumbing repairs were related to issues caused by hard water!
TWELVE: Puny Plants and Thirsty Trees
Gardeners and landscapers take note!
Hard water can negatively impact plant health by altering soil pH levels, leading to stunted growth and reduced yields, as demonstrated in agricultural research studies.
Hard water can also lead to inefficient watering of lawns and gardens due to reduced water penetration in soil, resulting in a 20% increase in water usage, as reported by the National Gardening Association. You use more water and have a bigger water bill!
THIRTEEN: Increased Water Bills
You may think none of these things seem like a big deal, but they all add up.
The reduced efficiency of appliances and increased water usage can result in water bills that are 25% higher in hard water areas, according to data from water utility companies.
Do you want to spend 25% more than you have to?
FOURTEEN: Environmental Impact
Increased energy consumption and detergent use associated with hard water can contribute to higher carbon emissions and environmental concerns. The Carbon Trust estimates a 10% increase in carbon footprint for households in hard water regions.
Here’s the good news…
Your skin doesn’t have to feel tight and itchy after showering!
You don’t have to spend more on detergent costs, water bills, or utility charges!
ServiceOne Air Conditioning and Plumbing can help you have perfectly balanced, great-tasting, no-smell, no-stain water at every spigot, faucet, and showerhead in your home.
Now through December 31, 2023, get $450 OFF a Halo5 Whole House Water Filtration System.
Call us. We’ve got the “hard” facts about “hard water” and the great news about how to eliminate it!