If you consistently have to rewash dishes and find an odd film develops on them out of the washer, you might have hard water. Hard water means that your home’s water contains dissolved calcium, magnesium, and other metals. Hard water is not dangerous and is common if your water comes from groundwater versus a public water supply, though it can come from either.
Hard water is usually the culprit if you notice soap scum and dingy feeling laundry. It’s annoying, to say the least. It is—at best—an inconvenience, however, hard water can also be more costly than you think.
Hard water shortens the life of your pipes and appliances that use water from your tap. Water softeners are an investment that offers returns in multiple different ways, which we’ll highlight below.
#1: Extends the Life of Your Pipes and Fixtures
Hard water causes the buildup of limescale within your home’s pipes. Limescale builds up over time, eventually causing a clog, which means you either won’t have water flowing to a fixture or wastewater cannot leave your drains. Sometimes clogged pipes burst, causing severe water damage. Both of these problems are plumbing emergencies, and depending on the location of the pipes, they can be pretty costly to fix.
Fixtures such as faucets and showerheads also incur damage from hard water. The minerals within hard water tend to clog the small nozzles in showerheads and faucets. Initially, you’ll notice decreased water flow, followed by a stoppage of flow if you don’t take action to clean either the nozzles or the screen located inside the fixture. Maintaining fixtures when you have hard water is time-consuming. Maintenance consists of taking the fixtures apart and cleaning them with a limescale removal product. If you cannot remove the limescale, you’d have to replace the fixture.
#2: Extends the Life of Your Appliances and Cookware
Hard water deposits mineral scale not only through pipes, but also in appliances that use your home’s water. A water softener eliminates these minerals from the equation, ensuring they don’t coat the inside of your appliances and cookware any longer.
Wear and Tear on Home Appliances
Hard water eventually causes significant wear and tear on major appliances that use tap water, such as water heaters, washing machines, and refrigerators. The Water Quality Research Foundation found that appliances had reduced lifespans of 30%-50% depending on the degree of hardness within a home’s water. If you expected your washing machine to last ten years on average, you might find it lasting closer to five to seven years instead, primarily due to hard water.
In addition to decreased appliance life, hard water causes an increase in appliance maintenance. You’ll need to descale each appliance at least yearly, but if your water quality testing shows high levels of minerals in your water, you may have to do it every six months. Taking no action to fix your hard water costs you time and money in the long run.
When you boil hard water, it leaves behind all the minerals within, which stains your cookware. Hard water also causes soap scum to appear on dishes washed by hand or in the dishwasher, causing you to end up using almost twice the dish detergent to get your dishes clean.
#3: Increases Your Home’s Value
A whole house water softener adds value to your home in hard water areas. Homeowners appreciate clean drinking water that tastes good, clean clothes, and long-lasting appliances. Less maintenance and longer life of appliances, fixtures, and pipes is another benefit that increases your home’s overall value over time.
#4: Saves You Money
Investing in a water softener saves you money in several ways. The most significant savings come from the prolonged life of your pipes, plumbing fixtures, and appliances. Plumbers are expensive, and replacing plumbing is even more costly than maintaining a water softener system that reduces the scale deposited per year. Fixtures are less likely to clog, equating to less time maintaining them and only needing replacement if broken or outdated. Prolonged major appliance life also equates to significant savings.
Another way you save money by installing a water softener is in reduced energy costs and detergent usage. Water heaters cost 25%-50% more yearly to operate with hard water. If your water is hard, it also takes more detergent to clean dishes, clothing, and even your skin. Over time, reducing energy costs, maintenance, repairs, and cleaning products you buy will more than pay for your water softener.
Perfect Your Home’s Water
At Independent Water Service, our installation experts can recommend and install the right water softener system for your specific needs.
We offer free water analysis and help you choose which system works for you. Our free water analysis checks for softness, impurities and other factors that may affect your household or business’ water. We offer systems for both residential and commercial spaces.
We proudly serve Yakima and Kittitas Counties and have been your local trusted water service since 1986. Call to schedule your free water analysis and upgrade your water system for your home or business with the water experts.