Hard water is one of the most common problems you will experience with your water supply. Water becomes hard when it contains too many minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Hard water problems range from a few inconveniences to major plumbing issues. As you use your water, you need to be made aware of the hidden costs of hard water and how to deal with them.
From your pipes and appliances to your hair and skin, hard water touches just about everything in your home. Since water is involved in most of your daily routine, the effects of hard water are felt everywhere, your wallet included. In the short term, the cost seems negligible, but over the course of a year they build up. Multiply that over the water softener’s lifespan, and you are well beyond pocket change.
Hard Water Affects Your Wallet In Four Main Areas
By using a water softener, a household can estimate these approximate savings over the course of a year.
Cleaning and personal care (50% reduction in purchases of soap, lotion, detergent, etc.): $450 saved with soft water
Gas and electric use (heat loss due to scale): $60 saved with soft water
Washable items (clothes, towels, linens): $200 saved with soft water
Plumbing and appliances (repair and replacement): $90 saved with soft water
The total potential savings per year: $800
In a year, the little things do add up quickly. If you have hard water, you can expect to lose 30% to 50% of an appliance’s projected lifespan. Below is a look at the most common appliances and how they are impacted by hard water.
Lifespan (Soft Water)
Lifespan (Hard Water)
Electric Water Heater
Gas Water Heater
According to a study completed by the Water Quality Association, by using soft water in your home, you won’t have to replace major appliances as often or pay for costly maintenance visits nearly as regularly.
Higher power bills are one of the costs of hard water. Your water-using appliances will be the first to be affected by the water. Your water-using appliances are usually neglected until they develop serious problems due to limescale build-up. As the minerals build up inside these water-using appliances, they will consume more energy. A water softening system will remedy this problem.
2. Clogged Pipes
As the water flows through your plumbing, the minerals in the water will create a scale inside your pipes. The buildup of the minerals may not have serious effects at first, but you will notice reduced water flow from your faucets. This can become a serious problem which can lead to complete blockage and expensive plumbing repair bill.
3. Laundry Problems
When washing your clothes, you typically use more laundry soap if there is a lot of minerals in your water. Hard water doesn’t lather very easily, thus causing you to use more detergent, shampoo, and bar soaps. The hard water can cause your clothing to be stiff, not to mention causing some clothing to stain. Hard water can make your expensive clothes, towels, and bedding wear out prematurely and can cost up to three times more in laundry soap expenses.
4. Buying More Personal Care Products
As mentioned before, hard water does not lather very well. Consumers may use more of their personal care products to get a good lather. This reaction is due to the minerals in the water interacting with the soap. If you have hard water, you may be spending more money on personal care products than you should.
5. Damage To Water Using Appliances
When hard water enters your home through your plumbing system, your water-using appliances will usually get a buildup of minerals often called limescale. Hardness minerals, or limescale, can build up in these devices over time causing a blockage. This blockage may prevent water-using appliances from functioning correctly, reduce water pressure, and can eventually cause failure. Hard water can also cause corrosion on and in all metal components (in addition to oxidizers such as chlorine and chloramines added by the city). If your appliances and plumbing system fails, you will incur additional unexpected expenses in replacement, not to mention the devastating damage caused by a plumbing leak. Appliances most affected by hard water are your dishwasher, washing machine, and your water heater. Have an ice maker? That can be affected as well. In most cases, plumbing replacement is both invasive and very costly.
6. Working Harder To Clean
The minerals in the water will interfere with the soaps ability to create a good lather. This lather does most of the cleaning efforts for you. When your water is hard, the soap will typically not do its job properly. Many soap manufacturers are now adding chemicals to assist in this process. They have their side effects as well. We will discuss chemical sudsing in our future posts.
Is hard water costing you hundreds of dollars every year? Hard water negatively impacts the efficiency and lifespan of your water-using appliances. It also reacts to your soaps and cleaning products, forcing you to use more than you need to get a good lather. These factors add up quickly over the course of a year. If you are tired of throwing your money out of the window on products and plumbing services that you didn’t have to use if you had a water softening system then call Florida Water Analysis today and start keeping that money in your pocket.
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