Have you ever wondered why some appliances don’t stand the test of time? Well, the reason could be using hard water. Hard water is not only a rusty nuisance but also contains high mineral content that can wreak havoc on your home appliances. It affects any machine that uses water ranging from automatic coffee makers to washing machines.

First things first; what makes water hard? Primarily, hard water is known to contain high levels of magnesium, calcium, and dissolved solids. These are mineral deposits that cause scale build-up.  

How hard water damages your appliances

Below are some ways in which hard water affects appliances.

Reduces Efficiency

1. Scales build-up

Scales build-up is one of the harmful effects of hard water. It affects water pressure and reduces the efficiency of appliances such as dishwashers, water heaters, and laundry machines. Hard water also wears down water-consuming appliances, hence making them less efficient. Over time your appliances become less effective and eventually nonfunctional. Consequently, they will require replacement.

Dishwaters subjected to hard water struggle to clean the dishes. The minerals deposits etch the appliance surface leaving a permanent cloudy and dull appearance. Magnesium and calcium carbonates clog the machine’s mechanism, which reduces its lifespans.

The researchers found that by operating on soft water, appliances use less detergents and soaps and operate at a lower temperature as effectively. Essentially, hardiness minerals affect the cleaning action of detergents and soaps. You will, therefore, need more cleaning agents to counteract hard water. However, the results will be below par compared with soft water.

2. Frequent breakdown

As appliances work harder due to inefficiency, they break down frequently requiring more maintenance. In the long run, you incur massive repair cost. Also, when efficiency decreases, you will not reap the anticipated benefits of energy-saving. 

3. Long life

Appliances are more likely to retain original efficiency rating for a longer time when using soft water. If you pay closer attention to appliance manuals, you will notice that most of them recommend using treated water for maximum performance. In fact, some manufacturers void warrants if you use hard water on their appliances.

While calcium and magnesium are suitable for healthy bones, they are bad news when it comes to home appliances. These substances are responsible for mineral deposits or scale build-up that makes water hard, consequently reducing the lifespan of your appliances. Therefore, you will spend more on repairs and replacement compared to using soft water.

According to a study by the Water Quality Association, hard water reduced the expected life of washing machines from 11 years to 7.7 years while the expected of dishwasher reduced from 10 years to 7 years. In addition to shortening the life span of these machines, hard water can reduce efficiency as much as by half.  

4. Less energy consumption

Energy consumption in water heaters using hard water is significantly high in comparison to operating on soft water. Similarly, ice maker, coffee makers, electric iron works less efficiently and consume more energy when using hard water. As a result, the utility bill increases significantly, up to 30%.

Final Words

Scales from hard water will not only damage your water-consuming appliances but also clog your plumbing. Hard water effects on machines can be resolved by using soft water instead of hard water. This remedy involves using a water softener to eliminate hard minerals. Using softeners eradicates stains from your appliances and, consequently, extends the life of your home appliances. But that is not all. Hard waters cut down the expected life high-efficiency home appliances which are quite expensive to replace or repair. This means you will not get the value and savings you hoped.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Are You Risking Your Home Appliances with Hard Water?," in Medicalopedia, October 2, 2019, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/7824/are-you-risking-your-home-appliances-with-hard-water/].