Hard water can have a significant impact on the functionality and lifespan of kitchen faucets and appliances. When water contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, it can leave behind buildup and stains that can be difficult to remove. Over time, this can cause damage to faucets and appliances, leading to leaks, clogs, and even breakdowns.
In this blog post, we will explore the effects of hard water on kitchen faucets and appliances and discuss ways to prevent and minimize damage.
By understanding the impact of hard water, you can take steps to protect your kitchen fixtures and appliances and ensure they continue to function properly for years to come.
Table of Contents
What is Hard Water?
Hard water is water that has a high concentration of dissolved minerals, mainly calcium and magnesium. These minerals are naturally present in groundwater and are absorbed by the water as it flows through rocks and soil.
The amount of minerals in the water determines the hardness level of the water, which is measured in grains per gallon (gpg) or parts per million (ppm). According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), water hardness is classified as follows:
- Soft: 0 to 60 mg/L or 0 to 3.5 gpg
- Moderately hard: 61 to 120 mg/L or 3.6 to 7 gpg
- Hard: 121 to 180 mg/L or 7.1 to 10.5 gpg
- Very hard: More than 181 mg/L or more than 10.5 gpg
Hard water is not harmful to your health, but it can cause a variety of problems for your kitchen faucets and appliances, such as:
Scale is a hard crust of minerals that forms on the surfaces of pipes, faucets, showerheads, water heaters, boilers, dishwashers, washing machines, and other devices that use water.
Scale can reduce the water flow, increase the pressure, cause leaks, damage the heating elements, and impair the function of valves and sensors. Scale can also harbor bacteria and affect the water quality.
Soap scum is a white film that forms when soap reacts with hard water minerals. Soap scum can make your dishes, glasses, cutlery, and countertops look dull and dirty. It can also clog your drains and pipes and reduce the effectiveness of your dishwasher and washing machine. Soap scum can also irritate your skin and hair and leave a residue on your clothes.
Energy and water waste
Hard water makes your appliances work harder and longer to heat or clean the water, consuming more energy and water in the process. Hard water also reduces the lifespan of your appliances by causing corrosion, wear and tear, malfunction, and breakdown.
According to a study by the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF), water softeners can save up to 48% of energy for water heaters, up to 30% of water for washing machines, up to 22% of energy for dishwashers, and up to 18% of detergent for both washing machines and dishwashers.
How to Prevent or Reduce Hard Water Effects?
If you have hard water in your home, you may notice some of the signs mentioned above, such as scale buildup, soap scum, spots on dishes, reduced water flow, or increased energy bills.
You may also experience dry skin and hair, faded clothes, or metallic taste in your water. To prevent or reduce these effects, you can take some steps such as:
You can remove scale buildup and soap scum from your faucets, appliances, dishes, and countertops by using vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, or commercial cleaners designed for hard water removal.
You should also rinse your dishes well after washing them and wipe them dry with a cloth or paper towel.
You should also clean your appliances according to the manufacturer’s instructions and use filters or screens to prevent scale from entering them.
Using less soap
You can reduce the amount of soap you use for washing dishes or cleaning your kitchen by using products that are specially formulated for hard water or by adding more water to dilute the soap. You can also use vinegar or lemon juice to remove soap scum from your dishes and countertops.
Installing a water softener
The best way to prevent or reduce hard water effects is to install a water softener in your home. A water softener is a device that removes the hard minerals from the water and replaces them with softer minerals, such as sodium or potassium. A water softener can provide you with many benefits, such as:
Reducing scale buildup in plumbing
A water softener can prevent scale from forming in your pipes, faucets, showerheads, and appliances, improving the water flow and pressure, preventing leaks and damage, and extending the lifespan of your plumbing system.
Improving skin and hair health
A water softener can make your water softer and smoother, which can moisturize your skin and hair, prevent dryness and irritation, and reduce soap scum and residue. Soft water can also enhance the lathering and rinsing of soap and shampoo, making your skin and hair cleaner and healthier.
Saving soap and water
A water softener can make your soap and detergent more effective, allowing you to use less product and save money. Soft water can also rinse better, leaving no spots or stains on your dishes, glasses, cutlery, and countertops.
Soft water can also reduce the amount of water you need for washing dishes or cleaning your kitchen, saving you water and energy bills.
Improving appliance efficiency
A water softener can improve the efficiency and performance of your appliances that use water, such as dishwashers, washing machines, coffee makers, and refrigerators.
Soft water can prevent scale from damaging the heating elements, valves, sensors, and other components of your appliances, reducing the need for repairs or replacements.
Soft water can also help your appliances heat or clean the water faster and better, reducing their energy and water consumption.
Hard water can have many negative effects on your kitchen faucets and appliances, such as scale buildup, soap scum, spots on dishes, reduced water flow, increased energy bills, and shortened appliance lifespan.
To prevent or reduce these effects, you can clean regularly, use less soap, or install a water softener in your home.
A water softener can provide you with many benefits, such as reducing scale buildup in plumbing, improving skin and hair health, saving soap and water, and improving appliance efficiency.
Water softening can be a worthwhile investment that can enhance your kitchen comfort and save you money in the long run.
If you want to learn more about water softening or find the best system for your home, contact us today for a free consultation.