Living in Northern Michigan means you probably have minerals in your water. Hard water can wreak havoc on plumbing systems and lead to poorly cleaned clothing, spotty dishes and even itchy skin and watery eyes. When water runs through an underground system, it dissolves minerals and carries them.
If you have hard water, you may have noticed residue on your shower curtain and spots on your dishes due to calcium and magnesium, which prevent soap from fully dissolving. This residue is the congealed and dried remains of calcified soap. This same thing happens inside your washing machine and can result in these deposits being left on your clothes.
In addition to making it harder to get things clean, hard water can also lead to buildups in your plumbing pipes. Calcium can fall out of the water suspension and begin to clog the water lines similar to the way plaque can block arteries. Eventually the interior of the pipe can become smaller, causing the pressure in the pipe to increase. This puts strain on the pipe joints and can lead to leaks.
In the same way that calcium and magnesium can be deposited in a pipe, they can also build up on the interior of a water heater. The minerals can cover everything on the interior of the tank, including the electric heating element. This can cause the element to overheat and fail. Before it fails, the heater will have to work much harder to heat water, using up to twice as much energy as a normal heater.
Installing a water softener system will replace calcium and magnesium with sodium. The sodium does not precipitate from the water as easily, nor does it have the negative effects on soap.
For more expert advice about hard water and other issues related to home comfort, please feel free to contact us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We’ve been serving the Traverse City area for over 30 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about Hard Water and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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