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These Minerals Are Harming Your Pipes

Minerals Harming Your Pipes

We often think of clogs, frozen water, and tree roots to be the biggest threat to our plumbing pipes. But there are actually microscopic minerals that pose an equal threat.

Hard water is classified as water rich in calcium, magnesium, and other minerals. Calcium and magnesium are the two most prevalent minerals, according to the United States Geological Survey.

So why do these minerals cause so much trouble?

Scale Buildup

For your plumbing system, scale buildup is the main sign that hard water is present. You’ll likely notice green gunk collecting around your showerhead, sink, and tub. We also see a lot of white limescale in our area, so be on the lookout for both. This also indicates that scale is also inside your pipes and your water heater.

Why is this a big deal? Scale buildup isn’t just some dirt you can wipe off and forget about. It will collect in and around wherever water has traveled. It will also hang out in your pipes, closing them off and restricting water flow. This makes your water use less efficient, causes your water heater to exert more energy, and can eventually cause a clog. The scale can even accumulate in the bottom of your water heater and cause it to fail sooner.

Where the Minerals Come From

Calcium and magnesium are naturally occurring minerals that are present in the ground. If water is collected from ground-based sources, it is likely that these minerals will be dissolved in the water when it travels through the ground.

The mineral content in the ground is largely determined by your location. The USGS created this graphic to show the relative water hardness throughout the United States.

What You Can Do

Hard water can wreak havoc on your plumbing, but can also make your clothes wear out faster, require you to use more soap to clean things, and leave a film on your dishes. Luckily, many water softening devices are effective at reducing the calcium and magnesium content in your water.

Water Softening for Roanoke Homes

If you’ve noticed the effects of hard water in your home, it’s time to install a water softener. Luckily, the Ostrom Electrical Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning team has several options that will help you have better water without wasting energy. Contact us today at (540) 685-4040 for more information!

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