What Hard Water and Peripheral Artery Disease Have In Common

Peripheral Artery Disease is typically caused by atherosclerosis – a buildup of plaque that restricts blood flow and can eventually cause an arterial blockage. While most people know that poor diet and lifestyle choices can cause a buildup of plaque in arteries that affects your heart, many people don’t know that this same plaque buildup can also occur in blood vessels in your legs which causes pain, poor healing, and can lead to amputation. In your home, water pipes deliver water to multiple areas of the house. Hard water creates a buildup that restricts water flow, reduces the life of appliances, and creates additional expenses.

Minerals and High Cholesterol

Minerals are the primary cause of hardness in residential water, specifically calcium and magnesium. Normally, we think of those minerals as nutrients that promote good health. However, we definitely don’t want too much calcium and magnesium in your water. While minerals in water won’t hurt you, they can wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing. Calcium and magnesium leave deposits on the walls of your pipes, just as high cholesterol causes plaque to build up in your arteries. Interestingly, the plaque that builds up in arteries can also contain calcium deposits, causing calcification, just like pipes exposed to hard water over an extended time. Both problems will constrict flow as arteries or pipes narrow due to the buildup.

Signs of Hard Water Affecting Your House

Some pipes are more susceptible to problems from hard water mineral deposits. Steel pipes are most likely to experience buildup from minerals, however copper and PVC pipes are not completely immune to mineral buildup and are also susceptible to lime scale. Along with buildup in your plumbing system and drains, hard water causes a wide range of problems. Some of the most common include dingy laundry, spotty dishes, soap scum in the bathtub, dry & itchy skin, slow drains, and a problem described as “hard water hair.” If you’re regularly pouring drain cleaner down the sink or shower, it could be a sign of buildup in your pipes. At some point you’ll need to call a plumber. This can be expensive, especially if the situation has gotten so bad you need to replace pipes or upgrade the entire plumbing system.

Hard Water Can Cause Low Water Pressure

Another common sign of mineral deposits clogging pipes is low water pressure in your home. If you notice the water doesn’t seem to be coming out of the sinks and shower with as much force as it once did, hard water could be the culprit. One thing to look for is white, chalky lime scale on showerheads and faucets. If hard minerals are clogging up fixtures, it’s very possible that it’s restricting water flow in pipes.

Short Lifespan for Appliances

One of the most expensive and annoying complications of hard water in your home is the fact that appliances won’t last as long as they should. Hard water reduces the length of time your washing machine, dishwasher, and coffee pot work properly. Your water heater is the appliance most impacted by hard water. The Water Quality Association (WQA) conducted research indicating hard water cut the lifespan of both electric and gas hot water heaters in half. Not only does this mean buying a new water heater sooner, but your energy bills are also higher as hard water reduces the efficiency of the appliance.

How to Find Out if Hard Water is the Problem

If you don’t currently have a water softener or water treatment system, you should get your water tested by a professional. All Florida Soft Water employs friendly, knowledgeable experts who will visit your home and conduct a free analysis. They’ll explain exactly what’s in your water, like an expert medical diagnosis. Request a free water analysis and a member of our team will contact you the same or next business day.

Just like taking care of your health, prevention is key for your home’s plumbing system and appliances. Whether you have older pipes or a brand-new home, choosing high quality water treatment equipment will help keep water flowing. It starts with a new water softener. When you’re enjoying soft water, not only will you reduce the risk of plumbing problems, you’ll also discover many other benefits. From sudsier showers and efficient long-lasting appliances, to sparkling dishes without soap scum and no mineral deposits on your faucets and showerheads, a water softener can make life cleaner and happier!

Water Quality Association
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Northeast Florida Builders Association