hard water on pipes

What is Hard Water, and What are its Effects on Your Plumbing?

You may have heard the term “hard water” before, but what exactly is it, and how does it affect your plumbing? If you’re not sure whether hard water might be messing with your home’s plumbing system or causing buildup/clogged pipes, read on for everything you need to know about the effects of hard water on plumbing.

What is hard water?

In short, hard water is water that contains a high concentration of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals come from a variety of sources, including rock formations in the earth and decomposing plants and animals. When rainwater seeps through these sources, it picks up these minerals and carries them into our waterways. While hard water isn’t necessarily harmful to your health, it can wreak havoc on your plumbing.

Plumber repairing hard water clog

Does hard water corrode copper pipes?

Yes, hard water causes pipe corrosion. Hard water is often blamed for a variety of plumbing problems, such as clogged pipes and decreased water pressure. The reality is that hard water doesn’t actually damage your plumbing directly. However, the minerals in hard water can interact with soap to form a sticky substance called soap scum, and this can build up on the inside of your pipes and decrease the diameter of the pipe, which in turn decreases water pressure. Over time, soap scum can also cause clogs that can be difficult (and expensive) to remove.

How long does it take for hard water to damage pipes, and how do you remove hard water from the inside of pipes?

There’s no straight answer to the timeframe for hard water taking its toll on your plumbing system. Put simply, the higher the mineral content, the quicker clogs and corrosion is likely to occur.

The best way to prevent hard water damage is to install a water softener, which essentially filters out the minerals in hard water, leaving you with soft water that won’t damage your plumbing. If you’re not ready to install a whole-house water softener, there are also point-of-use devices that can be installed under your kitchen sink or at your shower head to filter out the minerals in hard water. Whichever route you choose, preventing hard water damage is crucial to maintaining a healthy plumbing system.

If it’s too late to take a preventative approach, we recommend calling a licensed and experienced plumber in your area for immediate assistance. At Plumbform, we carry years of industry expertise in sewer and drainage plumbing, hot water service, roofing/guttering, gas plumbing and more – we’ll make quick work of repairing your plumbing and addressing your hard water problem.

removing hard water from pipes

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