Why Your Appliances Can’t Stand Up to Hard Water

Many of us believe that they simply don’t make appliances like they used to. After all, modern appliances are supposed to be manufactured with the latest technology, yet it seems like you’ve only just got used to the program settings when your appliance breaks down or needs to be replaced. What you may not have considered is that it is not the fault of your appliance; rather your water. Hard water can be terrible for your appliances, compromising the lifespan of even the best models. So, why can’t appliances stand up to hard water?Why Your Appliances Can’t Stand Up to Hard Water

The Impact of Hard Water on Appliances:

While magnesium and calcium are vital for healthy bones, they don’t have such a beneficial effect on certain appliances. These are the minerals that make your water hard and cause scale build up to accumulate inside your appliances. This scale or mineral deposit can clog up your popes and damage your water using appliances, causing them to become worn over time. Your appliances will become less effective as the scale accumulates until they eventually break down.

In 2009, the Water Quality Association commissioned research to determine the impact of water hardness on typical household fixtures and appliances. The results were startling with many appliances suffering a drastic reduction on their expected lifespan. For example, washing machines were shown to wear out after 7.7 years against an expected lifespan of 11 years. Faucets had their lifespan almost cut in half from 9 years to 5.4 years.

The Benefits of Soft Water:

The research not only highlighted the toll that hard water could have on our appliances, but it also showed that there were a number of benefits associated with having soft water. The research team discovered that when homes were using soft water, they needed less detergent and soap in their appliances. Additionally, cycles could be run at a lower temperature and still be as effective. The research team found that simply softening water could reduce detergent use by 50% for washing machines and up to 70% in dishwashers.

The tests showed that washing machines could still remove tough stains on a 60 degree wash cycle with soft water. The same stains would require a 100 degree cycle with hard water. In fact, depending on the type of stain, eliminating water hardness could help improve stain removal by as much as 100%.

According to Department of Energy data, hard water could also be costing you a fortune. Heating water typically accounts for between 14 and 25% of the energy costs for your home. So, if you can improve the efficiency of your water heating, you could experience some significant savings. The WQA research showed that soft water has a positive impact on the lifespan and efficiency of water heaters. The research team found that using softened water meant that water heaters maintained their original factory rating for efficiency for up to 15 years, while hard water supplies cut efficiency by as much as 48%.

Although hard water is common throughout the U.S, it can be problematic for our homes. Residential water technology is readily available and can eliminate these problems. Speak to a fully WQA certified water treatment expert to discuss your options, and they should be able to provide a solution for your problem.

By Mark Williams (NicMar President Mark Williams holds degrees in Applied Science and Industrial Thermodynamics, along with Agricultural Mechanization and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University.  He also holds the highest possible industry ranking, being WQA (Water Quality Association) LEVEL 6 Certified.)


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