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Hard Water: Is it affecting your Drains?

Hard Water: Is it affecting your Drains?

Whilst the high mineral content and flavour of hard water have made it the preferred drinking water for many, the damage it can cause to the drains, pipework and appliances in your home can lead to major, costly repairs.

glass of water

As reports suggest that more than 60% of homes in the UK have hard water, chances are many of us have experienced how it can affect the functionality in our property. This article will serve to explain what hard water is, the impact it can have on your home, and the most appropriate course of action to take if it is affecting your drains.

 

What is hard water?

Although falling rainwater is naturally soft, as it travels through the ground it accumulates minerals such as calcium and magnesium along the way. This excess of minerals is referred to as ‘hard water’, which is widely known for causing corrosion and scale buildup in pipes.

 

What are the symptoms of hard water?

Household chores can be a clear indicator that your home is suffering from the effects of hard water. For example, whether you use a dishwasher or choose to wash your dishes by hand, hard water can cause spots or marks to appear on the dishes and cutlery.

Similarly, cleaning clothes in hard water can also have a negative impact, causing fabrics to become stiff and scratchy.

Those who reside in hard water areas may be familiar with the harm it can have in their home, specifically:

  • Drains
  • Pipes
  • Toilets
  • Washing machines
  • Dishwashers

After mixing with hard water, most soap-based products – such as laundry and dishwashing detergents – will solidify, creating a soap scum substance rather than a lather. If you notice any excess soap scum residue appearing from your drains, pipes or appliances, this can be a clear indicator of blockages or internal damage.

In an attempt to combat the negative effects of hard water on clothes and washing machines, many washing powders and detergents contain ingredients which counteract the effects of hard water. For example, using soda crystals with your usual laundry soap or detergent can soften the water to help prevent a buildup of soap residue in your machine.

 

What are similar issues?

A similar problem commonly found in pipework and appliances is limescale. This is caused by the high calcium content of hard water leaving a chalky residue when the water evaporates. In turn, this can cause blockages and internal damage in:

  • Kettles
  • Boilers
  • Central heating systems
  • Drains
  • Pipework

Whilst trying not to use hard water in your appliances may seem like the obvious solution, in areas where only hard water is available this will not be an option. As such, regular descaling of the following items is the most suitable remedial action:

  • Kettles
  • Boilers
  • Central heating systems
  • Washing machines
  • Dishwashers

 

How can I solve the problem? Call ClearFirst Drainage!

If your property is suffering from problems caused by hard water which require professional help, contact our expert team at ClearFirst Drainage today. Using specialist skills and equipment, here at ClearFirst we will carry out CCTV surveys inside your drains to identify any blockages or buildup of soap scum/limescale.

We will then use the most appropriate drain cleaning technique – such as drain jetting – to restore your drains back to full working order, with minimal disruption to the rest of your property.

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