Hard Water Effects On Plumbing

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Many public water supplies and wells contain a certain amount of calcium and magnesium, which can cause hard water in homes if the concentration is high. After using hard water frequently, these minerals can combine to create limescale in plumbing pipes, faucets, valves, electric and gas water heaters, and kitchen appliances. This limescale can cause flow restriction as well as inefficiency of appliances. Homeowners should be aware of hard water and aim to prevent limescale build up.

Plumbing pipes

Over time, hard water can cause limescale to build up in plumbing pipes, restricting water flow. Some plumbing pipes are more vulnerable to this buildup, including steel pipes. Other plumbing pipes, such as copper and PVC, are more resistant. After scaling has started, it will eventually lower the water pressure throughout the home or property. Once the pressure has lowered, the plumbing pipes will need to be replaced.

Faucets and shower heads

Limescale can build faster at points where flow is restricted. Faucets and shower heads often become clogged without scaling in the plumbing pipes. Faucets that slowly drip can damage the surface of a rubber washer and leave hard water stains on sinks. When there is limescale buildup on an internal faucet mechanism, it can make replacing washers difficult.


Automatic valves that are found in dishwashers, washing machines, and ice makers can also get damaged from limescale buildup. Even a small amount of limescale can prevent these small valves from closing, which is a common reason for repeated repairs on appliances.

Electric and gas water heaters

Mineral deposits can form on heating elements located in electric water heaters. These deposits create an insulating barrier between the heating element and the water. This barrier significantly reduces the efficiency of the unit.

In a gas water heater, mineral deposits are formed at the bottom of the tank. This formation occurs above the burner, which also reduces the efficiency of the equipment. If you drain and flush a gas unit regularly, you can partially reduce the effects of hard water.

Kitchen appliances

Limescale can even occur on the heating elements of tea and coffee makers. As mineral deposits around the elements increase, the time required for these appliances to operate will also increase.

Hiring an experienced plumber will help keep your system in top condition. Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, can help with all of your plumbing needs. We offer residential and commercial services. You can reach us at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email to learn more. You can also stop by our office at 404 S. Hayden St. in Amarillo, Texas.