85% of US water is hard water, so you’re likely living in a neighborhood that receives hard water. Though you can drink this water, the excess of minerals can make it taste and smell unpleasant. Your body may also receive more minerals than it should, leading to unwanted health conditions. Plus, several other issues can occur because of hard water, such as water heater damage and on-deman water heater failure. Therefore, solving this issue is vital to living a healthy life and keeping your water heater in good condition.
Wondering how water hardness impacts water heaters? What steps can you take to solve this problem? In this guide, we will go over all of the questions you might have.
What Is Water Hardness?
Hard water usually refers to water that contains a lot of magnesium and calcium. The water develops this property by passing through different rocks before reaching the ground.
The water hardness level depends on the region where the water was present before you treat and distribute it. Because hard water can affect your health while damaging your home’s water heater and plumbing system, experts recommend avoiding hard water or opting for quality water filters that can turn hard water into soft water.
Will Tankless Water Heaters Work With Hard Water?
Yes, but not as well as they should and hard water voids the manufacturers warranty.
Hard water is a common problem that can lead to clogs and other issues in your tankless water heater. While the technology behind on-demand heaters makes them more efficient than traditional water heaters, a tankless heater doesn’t have the same filtration system as a traditional one, making it more likely to see adverse effects caused by the minerals in your water.
How Does Hard Water Ruin Water Heaters?
If the minerals from hard water build up on different parts of the water heater, they can affect its effectiveness. Some problems associated with hard water in hot water systems include:
Lowered Water Heater Efficiency
The primary goal of a water heater is to keep the water warm. But when you have a hard water source, your water heater will:
- Stay warm for a short time: Hard water makes the heating element less capable, making it harder for your unit to maintain temperature.
- Require more energy: Since mineral excess increases the boiling point, your water heater will experience reduced efficiency, leading to higher utility costs.
- Make cleaning harder: Besides that, using hard water to remove the shampoo or soap from your body can be challenging. This means you will use more water when taking a shower or washing your hands. All these issues will only increase your energy and water bills, costing you more than necessary each month.
Increased Maintenance Requirements
Water hardness can contribute to continuous limescale formation. If your house receives hard water, you need to maintain and clean your water heater regularly.
Therefore, your water heater will require you to drain it more frequently than you would with soft water. Although draining the heater every few months can be very inconvenient, avoiding this maintenance can cause expensive problems with your heater and water waste, further elevating your water bill.
Experts suggest you flush your water heater annually to clean every type of buildup and sediment from the system, though how many times you need to flush your water heater every year depends on the minerals present in it. Regardless, you can expect to do it at least two to three times yearly.
Reduced Heater Life Span
Your water heater is an expensive investment, so it should at least work for its expected useful life. So, how long will a water heater last with hard water? Unfortunately, hard water makes it more difficult to use your heater for more than a few years.
As we discussed earlier, your heater needs more time to heat the water and buildup that occurs due to minerals impacting the system. This greatly damages your water heater. You will also need to repair and maintain it more often, and those costs add up.
Causes the Heater to Produce Noises
Have you heard a rumbling or squealing sound from your water heater recently? These sounds happen because minerals present in the water heater accumulate on different parts of your system.
These strange noises also indicate your water heater is not functioning well and needs repairing and replacing.
Test the Hardness of Your Water
You might wonder how you will know if your house has hard water. There are several ways to test your water. You can choose one that best fits your needs and preferences. Some options you have to test the water include:
- Bring a water test kit to your house: Easily available in pool and aquarium stores and hardware shops, this kit comes with a strip, which will change color based on the hardness of your water.
- Contact an expert to assess the water quality of your house: They will use different methods to check water hardness, including sending a water sample to a laboratory.
- Send water samples to any nearby lab: The lab will check the hardness of your water and give you a comprehensive report, so you can make an informed decision about whether to add a water treatment system.
- Check whether your neighborhood gets hard water through the municipal website: You can also look online and find articles and newspapers that might have addressed this issue.
Off all the above-mentioned tips, the most effective is to consult an expert. This is because a professional will give you a complete idea of why the water is hard and how you can fix it. Determine the hardness of your water by calling us at Pure Water Systems of NV and asking for a Free In-Home Consultation and Water Test.
How Do You Protect Your Water Heater From Hard Water?
If your property has a hard water source, you can’t do anything except install systems that turn your hard water into soft water before it goes into the water heater.
However, you need to test your water hardness and understand the level of minerals in it before you decide which system fits your needs — if your water is already balanced, you don’t need to invest in a water softener.
Here are some most common types of systems that people usually use to prevent scale buildup.
Magnetic Water Treatment
You can use this water treatment to soften the water. Magnetic water treatment prevents buildup in the water heater. Wondering how? This device creates a magnetic field that impacts the scale-forming particles in the water. So, when the water reaches your heater, minerals present in it don’t collect on the fittings, walls, and joints of the water heater.
However, you will want to ask an expert whether the system will be suitable for your property. After 30 years in business, the specialists at Pure Water Systems of NV do not recommend magnetic water treatment systems for hard water.
Water Treatment System for the Entire Home
A great option for homeowners, a water treatment system needs to install on the water heater’s inlet. With this treatment system, you can prevent scale buildup in the system. This system filters the water flowing into the tank before it gets into the water heater. The results of the water treatment system are great, and they work best for every type of property.
As a bonus, water treatment systems today also remove many dangerous contaminants.
If you can’t opt for any new installation now, you can simply set your water heater temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit to help reduce the risk of scale formation until you can find a better solution.
Contact Northern Nevada’s Highest-Rated Purification Company
If you notice any signs of hard water, you need to start caring for your water heater. Besides regularly maintaining your heater, you need to find ways to prevent the minerals in the water from damaging your water heater. If you are confused and don’t know which system to choose for your house, then contact an expert who can help you choose and install the right system.
At Pure Water Systems of NV, we make it our mission to provide clean water solutions for Nevada residents and business owners. With guaranteed results aimed at giving you peace of mind, we can help you find a water treatment solution to create a healthy, purified environment that protects your tankless water heater investment. Book a free consultation today!