Do you know if you live in a hard water area? If you live in the south of the UK, the chances are that you do. About 60% of the UK population live in a hard water area, and this comes with its own problems.
Hard water contains lots of magnesium and calcium, which makes it more difficult for soaps and detergents to work properly. This means that you may find that clothes feel hard and scratchy or your shower gel doesn’t lather very well.
But hard water also affects your plumbing, as the minerals gradually build up and cause limescale. This decreases your water pressure, and worse still, it can shorten the lifespan of appliances like dishwashers and washing machines.
If you’re having problems due to hard water, it might be time to call a plumber. There are some things you can try before calling a plumber though, so check out our top 6 ways to deal with it.
Point-of-use water filters
You may want to start with point-of-use water filters as they are an affordable solution. They are effective at softening water, but they are only able to filter your drinking or bathing water. You could get a water pitcher filter to improve the taste and quality of your drinking water, but the downside to this is that you won’t be addressing the problem at your pipes.
Yes, really! Try adding 240ml of white vinegar to your washing machine drawer for the rinse cycle. You could even add it to your dishwasher as a rinse aid. Another good trick is apple cider vinegar. Dilute it and use it to restore life to your hair after it has been washed in hard water.
Vinegar works really well against hard water, but you could be left with a home smelling like a chip shop!
Home water softeners
Home water softeners (pictured) use salt to remove the calcium and magnesium from your water. They soften all the water in your home, so your pipes will benefit too. This, in turn, means that your appliances should last longer and work more efficiently.
You can install home water softeners yourself, but you may feel more comfortable asking a plumber to do it for you.
Jobs for the plumber
Repair or replace your water heater
Unfortunately, limescale build up caused by hard water will cause your water heater to fail long before they would in a soft water area. If you notice loud banging noises from your water heater, it might be time to call a plumber and find out whether it needs replacing or repairing.
Pipe repair or repiping
Lots of plumbers offer pipe repair or repiping services that will help prevent or improve problems caused by hard water such as low water pressure due to limescale buildup. Ask a plumber to inspect your pipes and give you a quote for the work that they think they will need to carry out.
Whole house water treatment
If your home is seriously affected by hard water, a plumber can offer a whole house water treatment plan. The best thing to do is get in contact with a few plumbers who can advise you on the best option for your property and your appliances.