How Does Hard Water Affect My Plumbing?

It’s been a long day. You are taking the dishes out of the dishwasher. While you are looking at the plates, you notice little water spots all over your dishes and glasses. This isn’t the only problem you’ve been noticing with your water. There has been a chalky buildup that has started to show around your showerhead, as well as a soapy residue that is left on your shower doors. If you have been noticing these problems, it is likely that your home has a problem with hard water.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is when your water is high in mineral content. The minerals magnesium and calcium are especially dangerous to your plumbing. When these minerals are heated, they react with the metal of your fixtures and leave limescale buildup and will corrode your plumbing.

How Does This Affect My Plumbing?

There are many ways that hard water and limescale buildup can affect your plumbing and fixtures.

  • Low Water Pressure – When limescale builds up on your fixtures, it can be more difficult for the water to flow.
  • Clogged Pipes – If the minerals build up enough, the pipes may become clogged, making it impossible for you to use your plumbing.
  • Corroded Pipes – These minerals may corrode your pipes, causing leaks. When this happens in an especially difficult-to-reach area in your home or business, you may need to call a professional contractor along with your plumber.


How Does it Affect My Life?

Not only does your hard water affect your plumbing but it can affect your life in other ways.

  • Poor Water Quality – With the high mineral content, hard water often tastes different than soft water. It does not have the clean, refreshing flavor that water should have.
  • Soapy Residue – You will notice water spots on your fixtures, your shower, your dishes, and anything else that interacts with your water. You may need to wash your dishes and your fixtures more often in order to keep them clean.
  • Personal Hygiene – Hard water does not react well with soaps, so when you are taking a shower, you may not get the lather you need to fully clean yourself. Also, when you get out of the shower, your skin may feel dry. Also, hard water can dry out your hair, making it frizzy and damaged.
  • Wasting Water – We all know how precious water is while we are in the middle of this drought. Often times, you will need to use more water than you should in order to keep everything clean.


If you do struggle with hard water and you have begun to notice its effects, have a plumber check your pipes as soon as possible. Many people do not realize the damage that hard water and poor water quality causes to their plumbing systems. Often this damage could have been preventable.

Your plumber can advise you on whether to install a water softener or a water conditioner. A water softener will remove the damaging minerals from your water and will improve your water quality. A water conditioner will reduce scaling, sediment, and chlorine within your plumbing system. This will improve the taste, smell, and feel of your water.

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