The Harm Hard Water Has on Plumbing
Hard water is composed of many dissolved materials. One such mineral, calcium, can form into lime scale, which can build up in the pipe. When this happens, the flow of water becomes restricted and, eventually, the entire pipe will become blocked. Worse, these minerals can dissolve, and when they do, these can eat through the affected pipes, causing leaks.
The first (and most common) effect hard water has on pipes, which is low water pressure, is, of course, very noticeable at shower heads and taps. In time, the scale build-up in the pipe will cause lesser water to come out of them, and eventually, you will just get drops of water even if you switched on the water at full blast. Worse, lime scale can build up in the tap or shower head mechanism, interfering with its shut-off and causing it to constantly drip.
Another way that hard water can affect plumbing if it is not sorted out in any way right away is the complete blockage of the pipe by minerals. When this happens, no water can pass. This problem is more likely to happen to pipes leading from appliances that require hot water to operate (like a water heater) due to the presence of warm temperature. By not paying any mind to this happening, the build-up will eventually affect the different elements of the heater, causing them to become less effective and requiring more power to operate.
The effects that hard water has on pipes often are so hard to notice, and by the time that a property owner is aware of the problem, much damage has occurred already. Hence, it is imperative that something be done right away once a property owner sees one of his taps affected by it. One thing that can be done to sort out the problem is by contacting an emergency plumber.
However, those who want to save money AND know what to do can sort this problem out themselves. Fixing the problem usually involves shutting off the water main, cutting into all affected pipes (especially those near the heater), and then connecting the water softener in them.
Many property owners often see hard water as a mere plumbing annoyance. However, as they cause leaks and blockages in pipes, they should not be taken for granted. Better yet, they should be prevented, and having a water softener or reverse osmosis system installed in the property is one great way to keep it from happening to any pipe, tap, or shower head.