How are your New Year’s resolutions travelling so far? You wanted to improve your health, increase your bank account, and spend a bit more time with the family. What about putting your plumbing on a diet? The health of our plumbing is rarely thought of, but the water quality and the condition of our plumbing pipes can also affect overall health. That has a knock-on effect with our families and our wallets.
Water Quality and Health
Every fixture in your home is affected by unhealthy water, and that doesn’t mean hard water. Our drinking water has chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals. If you have a filtration system under your sink you are drinking well-filtered water. Or, you prefer to drink bottled water. But consider the water quality that is being distributed through every tap. When you cook, you use tap water. When you have a bath, you simply turn on the taps. Taking a shower your pores are absorbing chlorine and the other chemicals, and the hard water is causing skin and hair dryness.
The Cost of Hard Water
If you think about it, hard water is costing you money. Most people don’t like to spend money unnecessarily on plumbing repairs. The life span of all your plumbing fittings is affected by hard water – taps, shower valves, water heater, toilets, supply lines, and if you are spending money to colour your hair, hard water is shortening the lifespan of that as well. The average lifespan of a water heater is somewhere between 7 – 10 years and hard water is one of the culprits that causes shorter life. If you look at the capital outlay for a water heater, about $1500, depending on the type you buy, you will want to get a reasonable number of years of use out of it.
Hard water is due to the calcium content and it can also calcify the ports on a toilet. That means a less than effective flush which can result in the use of a plunger. Toilet replacement may be the ultimate solution. The bottom line is that hard water is just that, hard, on your appliances as well as your plumbing.
Hard on the family as well
Do you think hard water affects time with your family? Seriously? Well, it does, and here’s how. Shower doors have spots on them. They don’t clean themselves magically. That coating or crust on the shower head is hard water residue as well. The spots on your dishes and glasses that have to be wiped after washing. These can be avoided with softened water. Less cleaning time can mean more family time.
We started this by suggesting your plumbing should go on a diet. The diet we recommend is a citrus diet. There is a wide range of water softeners available these days. Salt softening systems are no longer recommended or used very often. The discharge from softeners that are salt-based can have a negative effect on water supplies. It’s also not so easy to then further filter the water to get rid of the salty discharge. If you use a salt system it adds sodium to your water and that can be an additional concern for people with heart conditions.
Softening with citrus is the smart alternative. The process is called ‘chelation’ which softens the water without using salt. This is one of the options available to make the life of your plumbing fixtures a little less hard.