By Eloise Evans on 15/08/2016

We're sure everyone has heard about hard water, but do you really know what it is and what it does? Hard water is present in more than 60 percent of homes in the UK and can have some devastating effects to our drains, pipework and appliances, leading to some costly repairs if not treated properly.

But do you actually know why a lot of our water is called ‘hard water’? Well, it is because our water has a lot of minerals in it, such as magnesium and calcium. It gathers these minerals as it travels through the ground after it rains. These minerals are the reason why a lot of people prefer the taste of hard water, but it can have some majorly negative impacts on your home.

People in hard water areas will find that they have problems with lime scale and corrosion around taps and piping, but it doesn’t simply stop there, it can affect your dishwasher and washing machine as well. Some warning signs that you have hard water are water spots on cutlery and dishes after they have been washed, either in the dishwasher or by hand. Another sign is your clothes feeling stiff and scratchy after they have been washed.

When hard water mixes with soap-based products, it creates soap scum instead of a lather which results in a build-up of soap scum in your piping. A way to deter this is to buy products such as washing detergent with ingredients that counteract the minerals in hard water. For example, soda crystals, which will soften the water and prevent this build up.

Another problem you find with hard water is lime scale. Lime scale affects a lot of things, like boilers, kettles, drains, pipework and central heating systems and is the result of calcium in water. This means that these should be descaled every once in a while as an easy fix. A water softener would also be useful to help take away some of the minerals before it builds up and creates problems.

However, with hard water, it is something that unfortunately cannot be completely prevented. If your property has hard water, it’s going to stay hard. If you do experience any problems with lime scale or soap scum build-up, then you can call the experts at Drain Doctor on 0800 70 71 72 to help clean your drains and pipework and clear away the symptoms of hard water.


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