How Does Hard Water Affect Appliances?

Hard well water can wreak havoc on your appliances (not to mention foul up your drinking water and ice cubes). This can make for frustrating inefficiency — and, needless to say, some major hits to your pocketbook.

Here at Greco & Haines, we can help you tackle the issue of hard well water head-on. We’ve served customers all across Connecticut with well issues of every description, and softening water is one of our tried-and-true services!

Hard Well Water

What causes “hardness” in water? Hard water has a high concentration of minerals, especially calcium and magnesium, as part of a heavy load of total dissolved solids. Groundwater in Connecticut generally ranges from soft to moderately hard, with some areas, such as the vicinity of Ridgefield, marked by even harder water.

Hard Water Impacts Appliances

Is hard water bad for you? Well, usually not from a health standpoint — but it can certainly be a headache with household appliances. Hard water can cause problems for units hooked into your plumbing system. It often promotes mineral deposits (such as scale buildup) within pipes, heating elements, and other fixtures, impairing water flow and other functionality. In conjunction with other factors, hard water can also promote greater corrosion in some situations.

Hard water in kitchens can result in reduced output from water dispensers, coffee makers, and dishware. Highly mineralized water can also degrade the performance of washing machines, toilets, and water heaters. Water heating costs are the second highest household expense according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and are responsible for up to 18% of energy costs. These costs can dramatically increase when your well contains hard water – given the deleterious impacts scale buildup has on a water heater’s heating elements and pipes.

Hard Water vs. Soft Water in Appliance Performance

Research by the Water Quality Association (WQA) suggests that the use of hard water can cause appliances to wear out or break down prematurely, taking anywhere from three to nearly five years off the lifespan of washing machines, faucets, dishwashers, and the like. Hard water shortened the lifespan of electric water heaters from six to thirteen years. And of gas water heaters, five to eleven years.

All of this means that hard water can not only impair the performance of your appliances but also translate to higher maintenance and replacement costs.

Softened water can often allow appliances to achieve their expected maximum lifespan, and to function more efficiently. Washing machines powered by soft water can effectively clean fabrics at lower temperatures and with less detergent, which not only benefits your bank account but lessens your environmental footprint.

Other Annoyances of Hard Water

Hard water may also produce a slew of other disagreeable effects. These include cloudy ice cubes or drinking water – perhaps with an off-flavor or aroma – and the formation of soap curds or scum (produced when soap chemically reacts with calcium or magnesium). 

Reduce or Eliminate Hard-Water Issues With a Water Softener From Greco & Haines

Fortunately, it’s generally straightforward to treat hard well water. Here at Greco & Haines, we offer top-quality water softeners alongside our rich array of water-filtration systems.

We’re available seven days a week and 365 days a year for all of your private-well needs. Find out how a water softener can benefit your household by dropping us a line over the website, or by ringing us at 203-735-9308, 203-777-2256, or, toll-free from any CT area code, 1-800-922-2958.