It’s not a secret anymore that Americans have some of the hardest water in the world. However, not everyone is aware that they too have hard water or how it affects them. Since the problem is spread to over 85% of US households, you might have hard water as we speak.
Depending on the hardness level, you might acknowledge the damage it can do only after a long time. And once the damage is dealt, repairing something is usually costly. Let’s leave the ambiguity behind and focus on X hard water problems that you will encounter sooner or later:
1. Hard water cuts your washing machine and dishwasher’s life
Hard water creates limescale, which latches onto pipes and appliance components. Instead of the average 10 years that a dishwasher or washing machine can last, it will probably last only half of that.
The cost of repairing or getting a new unit is huge. Not to mention that your clothes and dishes will come out with white spots. You’ll probably develop a tendency to invest in more expensive detergents. All these things add up to the cost by a huge margin.
2. Water heaters don’t mix well with hard water
Did you think the extra costs will stop there? Hard water also prevents your water heater from working correctly. Less than a quarter of inch of limescale reduces its efficiency by 12%. And the increased heat also attracts limescale deposits, especially on the heating element.
3. Your skin and hair can develop problems
When they come in contact with soap and shampoo, minerals in hard water for a barrier that prevents lathering. The soap scum left behind blocks pores and prevents nutrient from reaching your skin and scalp.
In time, you might start developing eczema and dandruff. Hair loss and discoloration might also pop up on the list of problems. The minerals also strip moisture from your skin and prevent natural oils from doing their job.
4. Iron and calcium in hard water form free radicals
You might’ve heard about free radicals. These elements are responsible for the appearance of wrinkles. They break down collagen, the one thing needed to keep skin looking young.
Free radicals break cells down in time and can even lead to other diseases when ingested. They can lead to heart disease, inflammatory disorders, cataracts, diabetes, and much more.
5. Scale and mineral buildups over time
Have you noticed any white stains on your dishes and clothes? Especially when you took them out of the washer? These will get far worse in time.
Eventually, it won’t just be clothes and dishes that get “dirty”. You will also start seeing hard water deposits on the faucet, showerhead, bathtub, toilet bowl, and other places where you use water.
How to prevent hard water damage
To reduce the hardness of water, you need to get rid of or ionize its minerals. There are two main ways of doing so: through a water softener or a water descaler.
A water softener replaces hard minerals with sodium. As for the descaler, it modifies hard mineral crystals to make them less sticky. If you choose the latter, you’ll still get the benefits of drinking calcium and magnesium.
A softener solves the issues mentioned above but makes the water unsafe to drink. Of course, you could pair it with a reverse osmosis system. But that would also add up to the cost over time. If you want something that saves you money and doesn’t require maintenance, go for a descaler.
If you want to see how such a device functions, you can check out Yarna.