Water that contains high levels of dissolved magnesium and calcium is considered “hard.” These minerals come from the rocks and soil that groundwater percolates through before entering your plumbing system. A majority of potable water in the United States is hard, which means it probably affects your Berkley home. Learn how hard water negatively affects everything it touches.
How Hard Water Affects Your Hair & Skin
Hard water makes your soap and shampoo difficult to lather. The minerals in the water also cling to your body, leaving residue in your hair and on your skin. This can cause the following problems:
- Dull, lifeless hair
- Itchy scalp
- Thinning and breakage of sensitive hair
- Faster fading of colored hair
- Dry, irritated skin
- Worsening of psoriasis or eczema
- Increased acne breakouts
How Hard Water Affects Your Clothes & Dishes
Your body isn’t the only thing that comes in contact with hard water—you also use it to clean your clothes and wash your dishes. First, you may have to use more detergent because hard water resists lathering. Then, even if you get the soap working the way it should, hard water can still cause issues, including:
- Fading colors that make clothes look dingy
- Mineral buildup that leaves clothes feeling scratchy
- Damage to fabric that makes it stretch and fray faster
- White residue on glassware that doesn’t rinse off
- Etching of delicate porcelain dishes and glasses
- Dull-looking pots, pans, and silverware
How Hard Water Affects Your Plumbing Fixtures & Appliances
The high mineral content in hard water can also wreak havoc on your plumbing fixtures and appliances. Here’s what can happen:
- Chalky deposits: When hard water evaporates, it leaves magnesium and calcium behind, creating unsightly white residue known as limescale on glass shower doors, tea kettles, coffee makers, dishwashers, and washing machines. This residue is difficult to remove.
- Soap scum: Hard water prevents soap from dissolving completely, leaving a ring behind in sinks and bathtubs.
- Clogged faucets and showerheads: The minerals in hard water accumulate in the tiny openings of faucets and showerheads, clogging them over time.
- Damaged plumbing and appliances: A buildup of limescale in your plumbing can reduce water flow and gradually decrease the pressure. Steel pipes are more susceptible to this than copper and PVC. Minerals also damage the rubber valves, seals, and washers found in plumbing fixtures and appliances, resulting in leaks.
- Decreased water heater efficiency: Mineral deposits on the bottom of the tank reduce heat transfer, making your water heater work harder, driving up your energy costs, and shortening the life of this appliance.
The best way to combat hard water problems is to install a water softener. With this addition, you can expect softer hair and skin, brighter clothes, spotless dishes, and fewer plumbing problems. If you’re interested in installing a water softener in your Berkeley home, please contact Albert Nahman Services at (510) 876-9725 for more information.