If you're a homeowner with hard water, you probably know all about how it can effect your daily life. There are spots on your glasses after you get them out of the dishwasher, your laundry doesn’t get as clean, and your faucets and shower heads have a layer of scale on them. Why does this happen? If you are interested in reading an in-depth article about how hard water goes from being soft rainwater to the hard water that is in your taps, you can read Hard Water vs. Soft Water. Hard water has dissolved minerals within it, and when it is heated, those minerals are released, and attach themselves to your glasses, shower heads, faucets and more! This build up of minerals forms a hard layer of scale over pipes and appliances that come in contact with your hard water. Not only is this a bit unsightly, scale can ruin some of your main plumbing systems within your home.
If you’re struggling with your shower heads and faucets (or even your tea kettles, or coffee makers) having a blanket of scale forming over them, we have a post that you can use to get rid of that scale. Any of your appliances that have a build up of scale on them can be cleaned by a vinegar soak. If you’re interested in seeing our post about how to do this, read How to Make Your Shower Head Like New.
Now, this fix is helpful for those appliances that you can soak, but what about the parts of your home that come in contact with your heated water that you can’t see? Consider this: If your shower head looks like this:
What must your pipes, which are bringing all of that hard water to your shower head, look like? If your shower head is any indication, they probably have a lot of scale build-up. Having a build up of scale within your pipes can really hurt your house and your pocket book.
BUILD UP OF SCALE DECREASES FLOW
If your shower head has weak water pressure, but no build up of scale around the outside of the shower head, it probably means that there is a build up of scale within the pipes. As scale builds up in pipes, it becomes harder and harder to have the water flow through the pipe.
Not only is this frustrating while you’re trying to take a shower, it can hurt your plumbing system within your home.
BUILD UP OF SCALE CAN RUIN PIPES
That build up of scale can ruin your shower's water pressure … and your pipes. If you do not maintain your home systems and appliances and clean them regularly, your pipes could fill up with scale, and the only way to save them and your home plumbing systems is to pay for an extremely expensive invasive pipe procedure, or just pay for a complete re-do of plumbing within your home. Neither of those are covered with a home warranty, since the build-up of scale shows there hasn’t been proper maintenance on the home’s plumbing system.
BUILD UP OF SCALE CAN INCREASE ENERGY COSTS AND BILLS
With the build up of scale in your pipes, it means your water heater has to work extra hard to heat and pump water through your home. Not only that, but if there is scale in your pipes, there is most likely scale within your water heater, which can build up between the heating elements and the water. This makes it so the water isn’t heating as fast. A build up of scale within your water heater increases the amount of time the heating element is working to get your water in your tank to the correct temperature. That costs you as a homeowner more and more money. According to WaterTechnology.net just 1 millimeter of scale on the inside of a pipe can increase your energy costs by 11%.
Let’s assume your electric or gas bill is around $100 a month. A 11% increase means you’ll be paying $132 more a year than you have to pay. And, 1 millimeter of scale is extremely small, even the smallest plumbing pipe, with a diameter of .4 inches across could have up to 10 millimeters of scale built up within the pipe. If you had even 2-3 millimeters of scale built up, it would increase that $100 bill to $133 a month.
GET RID OF THE SCALE IN YOUR HOME BY USING VINEGAR
You can use vinegar in a natural way to get rid of the scale within your home. This hower head was submerged in vinegar and it removed much of the scale build-up.
Use this same trick to rid your pipes of scale build up using our step-by-step guide on how to de-scale your pipes.
If you are properly maintaining your pipes and other home systems and appliances, and they fail through normal wear and tear, having a home warranty can save you money on repairs. If you are interested in getting a home warranty to keep your pipes and other home systems and appliances working properly, and to repair and replace them when they break down for a flat rate service call fee, go to www.landmarkhw.com.