Many times after using the dishwasher, your dishes and utensils may be covered with spots and filmy residue as if they had never been cleaned. And from time to time, when you take a hot shower, it can result in soap not lathering up as it should. What’s the cause? It’s the all too common occurrence of hard water. Here, you will learn of the effects of hard water on household uses, human health, and plumbing.
Your Home – A Haven for Hard Water Deposits
You do just about everything in your home. Namely, wash clothes and dishes to keep things neat and clean. The outcome of doing these functions can become frustrating when hard water deposits come into play. Hard water deposits result from an excessive buildup of calcium and magnesium minerals. Water that streams through these minerals can be negatively affected and become hard.
One can experience increased frustration with dealing with the effects of hard water. Appliances and fixtures, such as shower heads, dishwashers, and washing machines that mainly use water as their primary function are also victims of hard water soiling as their optimal performance begins to diminish. Dishes may not be cleaned completely after being washed in the dishwasher, clothes washed in the washing machine may not appear as clean, and taking a shower may yield unfavorable results as the soap will be difficult to lather.
Hard Water Health Effects
The direct effects of hard water on human health is virtually non-existent. There are no associated illnesses or maladies that result from the use of hard water. A study conducted by the National Research Council shows that the consumption of hard water can contribute to one’s required daily allotment of essential minerals.
In contrast to the minimal effects on health, hard water can wreak havoc on your plumbing fixtures. The main culprit is buildup which materializes over time. This is the accumulation from the calcium and magnesium that was discussed previously, which can impact the flow of water from appliances and fixtures. Low water pressure, clogging of pipes, and added pressure to the pipes are all common effects. These results can eventually become very costly to repair.
There are ways to minimize the effects and onset of hard water problems. One option is to invest a soft water system. A soft water system will resist excess mineral buildup in the water, preventing it from becoming hard. There are also other cost-effective measures:
- Vinegar is an inexpensive solution to clean fixtures and appliances that have been soiled by hard water deposits. Pour a moderate amount into affected appliances as a periodic cleaning agent to prevent hard water buildup.
- Flushing the hot water heater and cleaning the sprinkler system periodically will help prevent hard water buildup.
- Ion softeners can also help. If you choose this method, the available options are sodium chloride and potassium. Sodium is more effective, but if you are on a restriction from sodium, then the potassium option is an alternative.
To conclude, hard water is not a health threat, but dealing with it in the home can be very frustrating. Once you’ve established that you do have hard water issues, do whatever you can to prevent it from coming through your waterworks.
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