Plumbing How-to: Manage the Effects of Hard Water Around Your Home

Hard water in your home can cause clogs, stains, and appliance damage. In Texas, you can have any mixture of minerals in your water, and you can tell what’s going on by the color of the stains. Here are ways to clean hard water build-up on bathroom and kitchen fixtures:

  • Brown/black – manganese, other minerals – Make a cream of tartar paste with hydrogen peroxide; let stand, rinse
  • Green/blue-green – copper, acid water – Mix soapy water and ammonia, rinse
  • Hard-water marks/soap – Make a white vinegar and baking soda paste; let stand, rinse
  • Red/brown – rust, iron – Make a cream of tartar paste with water; let dry, rinse

There are several ways to treat hard water (water filters, water softeners, electromagnetic water conditioners, reverse osmosis). But how do you deal with hard water in your home now, before you invest in a treatment “fix?”

3 Tips to Minimize Effects of Hard Water

You can live with hard water, especially if you’re willing to put the time and effort needed to minimize appliance and pipe damage. Working with hazardous, caustic chemicals should not be an option when there are other ways to control hard water’s harmful effects in the home:

  1. Choose the right laundry detergent – You may also need to use slightly more detergent than the amount the manufacturer recommended to compensate for hard water.
  2. Lower water heater setting – By reducing the heat to about 55ºC/131°F, you will have enough hot water for your showers and will lessen the amount of mineral build-up in your appliances and pipes.
  3. Use dishwasher rinse products – You can also put a cup of white vinegar in your dishwasher rack for cleaner, unmarked dishes.

If your water smells bad – or worse, tastes bad – an investment in a water softener or filtering system is the best route. It’s estimated home hard water expenses could be more than $800/year!

If your pipes are clogged due to hard water mineral deposits, call Bradbury Thornton Plumbing Services, 281.661.4283 and schedule a visit. We’ll discuss hard water solutions that will help your home!

 

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