Hard water - water which contains a high mineral content, with high levels of calcium and magnesium carbonate - can produce negative effects - to your pipes, electrical appliances, clothes and even your health. This article will look at the various consequences of hard water, and ways in which it can be softened. Pipes & Heating
Hard water's effects on your home's pipes is insidious because the symptoms can take a while to show - and by that time, quite a lot of work may be necessary to ensure your home's plumbing is back in full working order. So what can go wrong? Calcium deposits can reduce water pressure (through clogging) as well as coat heating elements in the water heater - making heating less effective. By the time these symptoms appears, they can be expensive to remedy.Electrical Appliances
The limescale build-up on heating elements rears its ugly head again when it comes to appliances like washing machines that rely on heat to wash. Limescale makes such heating less effective when its deposits build up on the heating elements. The limescale can also coat hoses and seals, causing them to rot.Clothes
Hard water can embed mineral deposits into the fibres of your clothes, literally hardening the clothes - in turn causing secondary problems such as itchiness and can exacerbate skin conditions such as eczema. Health
While hard water can have some negligible health benefits via its calcium and magnesium constituents, it can cause a number of skin problems - from irrtation to wrinkles, lines, rosacea, acne, enlarged pores and skin inflammation.
How can we soften our hard water?
You'll need to install a water softening machine into your home's plumbing. This device will help eliminate the calcium and magnesium deposits by "trading" them with sodium - a process known as ion exchange. The machine will use descaling salt
as the source of sodium