The quality of the water flowing into your home can have a major effect on your plumbing system. In Minnesota, the biggest issue in this regard is hard water. Our state happens to have some of the hardest water in the country. The water in the Shakopee area is especially hard and contains a huge amount of dissolved minerals.

Hard water isn’t a health issue and is completely safe to drink, but all of the minerals tend to give the water a somewhat off-putting taste. The main problem is that hard water can do serious damage to your plumbing system. Here we will explain why hard water is a major problem and what you can do to overcome it.

How Hard Water Affects a Plumbing System

Hard water contains a high concentration of dissolved calcium, magnesium, silica and other minerals. Any time you use your plumbing, some of these minerals get left behind and start forming a hard layer of limescale or mineral deposits. Over time, the mineral deposits will start clogging up your faucets and showerheads so that less water can flow out of them.

A bigger issue is that mineral deposits continually form inside of all of your pipes and slowly choke them off to where the water pressure can be greatly reduced. All of the limescale will eventually prevent your plumbing from working properly and also lead to you to need to replace your pipes sooner.

Limescale is also a major problem in terms of your dishwasher, washing machine and even your coffee maker. If you don’t take appropriate steps to tackle your home’s hard water issue, these appliances will have a much shorter lifespan. Mineral deposits can also easily lead to your dishwasher and washing machine starting to leak. When hard water is present, it also prevents dishwashers and washing machines from working nearly as effectively. The reason is that the minerals prevent soaps and detergents from lathering properly, which can make it nearly impossible for dishes and clothes to get fully cleaned.

Water heaters are also negatively affected by hard water. Tank water heaters have a component known as an anode rod that helps to prevent minerals in the water from corroding the tank. The coating on the anode rod basically sacrifices itself, which means that all of the minerals corrode it instead of corroding the tank. However, the coating slowly gets eaten away until there is nothing left, at which point the tank will begin corroding.

Anode rods normally only need to be replaced every five years or so, but hard water will corrode the rod more quickly. Then you may need to replace it every two years or so. If you don’t replace the anode rod in your water heater often enough, it will almost certainly lead to your water heater failing sooner and eventually starting to leak.

How to Overcome Hard Water and Improve Water Quality

Installing a water softener or water conditioner is the only solution for overcoming and preventing issues with hard water. Traditional water softeners use a salt brine to facilitate an ion exchange process that removes all of the minerals from the water and replaces them with a small amount of sodium. As long as you keep adding more salt to the brine tank, a water softener will remove almost all of the minerals from your water. This will protect your plumbing and appliances from damage.

Salt-free water softeners or water conditioners work differently, as they don’t actually remove any minerals. Instead, they use a special chemical that makes all of the minerals remain in a liquid state suspended in the water. This means that the minerals can never solidify so the water never leaves behind any mineral deposits.

Installing a water filtration system can also improve the quality of your water, make it taste better and protect your plumbing. Most municipal water contains traces of sand, silt and sediment that can slowly clog up pipes and plumbing fixtures or damage your appliances. A water filtration system will remove all of this sediment and also filter out almost all impurities or contaminants to make your water much cleaner.

Trust the Professionals

If you need the services of an experienced plumber in the Shakopee area, you can turn to Affinity Plumbing and Water Conditioning for help. We are your local water conditioning experts and can help if you want to install a water softener or filtration system. We also specialize in water heater services as well as all types of plumbing repairs and installation. For more information on the benefits our water conditioning services can provide to your home, contact us today.

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