Do you know what affect has hard water on fixtures in your house?
Hard water has a high mineral content – particularly calcium and magnesium. As these materials travel in plumbing pipes they bind themselves together and create what we know as scale or mineral deposit. Once this scale becomes attached to something, it’s really hard to remove it. Because these deposits are insoluble, water and detergent will do nothing to get rid of them. To remove the deposits, you need to first dissolve them in acid and then wash them away.
Hard water really doesn’t pose any health hazards but it can damage a lot of things in your household. The damage hard water does to the plumbing and appliances in a home is slow, cumulative and devastating at the end. According to the Water Quality Association about 85 percent of the country has hard water.
We all know that hard water can leave spots on your dishes and shower door or calcium buildup on shower head and sink. I wonder how many homeowners actually understand how rough hard water is on appliances. Calcium build-up from hard water can go beyond being a nuisance and shorten the lifespans of water-using appliances like your washing machine, dishwasher and your water heater.
I just did some work for a customer that has experienced what hard water can do.
Just imagine fairly new bathroom that starts to suffer from hard water damage and suddenly you are forced to spend possibly hundreds of dollars to deal with it. Calcium buildup in faucets, dishwasher and shower fixtures. Depending on fixture design damage can vary anywhere from annoying to complete failure. Just look at the picture below.
In this picture that I took after removing shower valve trim, you can see close up view of shower valve diverter. As the name suggests this part is controlling where the water will be diverted. In this case it’s either shower head or bath tub spout. Calcium buildup in the diverter made it more difficult to use over time. There is a handle that goes into now damaged diverter part. The customer used excessive force because it was so hard to turn the handle and it eventually caused irreversible damage.
Shower heads in bathrooms were partially clogged causing water flow problems and water to spew out in different directions rather than in a straight shot. Calcium deposits were all over the fixture covering the fixture finish.
Hard water can damage your bathroom fixtures, ice-maker in your refrigerator, reduce efficiency of water heaters etc. In order to protect water heaters, homeowners should have their water heaters flushed and maintained every year or so.
You can take care of hard water by installing a water softener. You can give a call to one of our local plumbers serving the Evergreen area to find out what the best solution for your situation is.
We have a few tips how to clean up lime buildup for you:
- Wipe surface that has lime deposit with lemon juice. As we have mentioned before you need acid to remove it – in this case mild citric acid will dissolve minerals and can be used on fixture finishes such as chrome or brass.
- If you have stubborn stains use vinegar. You will need to make sure vinegar can do it’s work by keeping it on surface for some time. you can soak cloth in vinegar and leave it on the fixture. you can also use paste made of vinegar and baking soda. Wipe and wash after half an hour.
- If have something small, just soak it in vinegar.
Be careful when using anything recommended above and always test it on a small area first. Test it on the least visible spot, especially when using some commercial grade products to avoid damage to the finish. Always read the instructions on the container.
Do not let hard water to get in your way. Either clean everything on regular basis or get water softener.
If you have any questions about this topic follow the link below and just ask..