As anyone who lives in the Houston metropolitan area can tell you, we have hard water.
WHAT EXACTLY IS HARD WATER?
Hard water is defined as water that has a higher than average mineral content. As rain water collects and is absorbed by the ground, it percolates through layers of limestone, picking up residual minerals on the way to the Gulf of Mexico. These mineral particles do not completely break down in water, making their way into your plumbing system.
The first sign of hard water in your home will be the film that is often mistaken for “soap scum”, but is actually mineral residue. This mineral residue is difficult to remove without some form of chemical intervention, but is actually the least of your worries if you have hard water.
Since hard water is created by the presence of mineral particles, those particles are basically microscopic rocks. These jagged rocks continuously assault the inside of your pipes, creating pitting, corrosion and eventually, water leaks. Galvanized pipes, copper supply lines and even PEX pipes and fittings are all susceptible to the damaging effects of hard water.
CAN HARD WATER DAMAGE MY PLUMBING?
Hard water damage isn’t limited to just your pipes. Every facet of your plumbing system from washers in faucets and showerheads, as well as all of the internal components of your toilet can fall victim. Tank-type water heaters are easily the most impacted appliance when it comes to hard water. The minerals in the water sinks to the bottom of the tank, creating a layer of sediment, making the unit less efficient.
With Houston being a large and growing city, people are constantly moving in from areas that generally have softer water. This leads to a bit of a rude awakening for new residents who don’t understand the film on the shower walls, not to mention the off-putting taste! Hard water is also known to cause skin irritation and is terrible for you hair, making it dry and crunchy, like straw.
Your clothes suffer the onslaught of hard water as well, never completely rinsing, and the tiny mineral stones wear your clothes out much sooner.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT HARD WATER?
Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services recommends installing water softeners, whether it’s a whole house or a faucet-by-faucet installation. Water softeners contain filters that can extract the unwanted mineral content, providing you with clear, clean drinking water. Shower filters are easily installed on standard ½” shower pipes, and are an inexpensive solution to the hard water issue for your showers.
Whether you choose to treat your whole house for hard water, or just want to have a plumbing inspection done to see what damage hard water has done to your plumbing, call Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services today.
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THE POTTY MOUTH GUYS SHOW:
Hard Water in Houston
Nick's Plumbing & Air Conditioning Live Video Transcription:
I’m John Eccles. I’m Richard sod. Anyone who lives in the Houston Metro area, I can tell you the water here is what we refer to as hard water, right? Oh yeah. Hard water. So the definition of hard water is, is it’s water that has a higher than average mineral content. And here in Houston as rain water collects and in is absorbed by the ground water and the runoff and into the streams and lates it parka lates through layers of limestone and picks up the residual minerals in these waters or in these rocks and stuff as it goes down to the Gulf of Mexico. He said another big word today percolates. You must be reading a little bit. I’m extending my vocabulary. It must be these minerals do not completely break down in water. As John was saying, is they are percolating down through the rocks. Right?
Even at the microscopic levels, these minerals fragment, they’re still shaped like little jagged rocks and saying that, have you ever seen a a kidney stone? It looks like a sticker Burr. Yeah. That’s the way these little tiny minerals look too, but they’re not traveling down and your kidneys and tubes. Yeah, I don’t want one of those. But they continue to beat up the inside of your plumbing. Yeah. Right, and that amazing. Nobody thinks about that. They continue to beat up the inside of your plumbing. Over time, these tiny stones will start to damage the lining of the galvanize copper pipes, creating damage to PEX fittings. Eventually the wear and tear of these small stones passing through your water supply will begin to cause pinhole leaks in copper as well as general corrosion and steel pipes and it’s, and it isn’t just pipes that can be adversely infected by hard water.
It causes washers in your faucets to wear out faster. Hard water eats away at the internal parts of your toilets leading and replacing all of the tank components every few years. Shower heads almost become completely clogged as a result of the buildup of these excess minerals. I try, I mean it’s continuous water heater probably gets it the worst, right? That’s the appliance that’s most susceptible. That to the effect of that hard water here in Houston and the tank type especially most impacted by hard water since about 70 to 80% of the homes in Houston still have a tank. It creates a widespread pro. A problem here in Houston for homeowners, right. Creates that sludge in the bottom of that tank, that beautiful sludge that’s beautiful to a beautiful old lodge will for homeowners if you lived in or around Houston for any length of time. You already know that you have hard water, but Houston has grown city and people are constantly moving here from all other parts of the country and they’ve might only have had that experience with soft water.
That’s right. People who moved to Houston, I’ve never experienced hard water get quite a wake up call when they first arrive. So most of us have either become used to it or we have some sort of filtration product to help us with the strange taste and the smell of that hard water can be because it’s a little off putting at first. Although doctors are saying that there is at least a small health benefit from drinking hard water. That’s exactly right. We need minerals. Oh yeah. But it needs minerals after the taste. The next thing people tend to notice about the hard water is the drying effect that it has on your skin and hair. Your skin gets itching and flamed in spots and your hair starts to get crunchy texture to it. It’s, it’s really, you know, that’s my wife, crummy complains about that more than anything.
Maybe because as we stated earlier, they look like little rocks on your skin. Right. And that could be crating the issue. Yeah. Maybe. I have never noticed the crunchy hair problem. You know, I mean, I, I’ve, I lost mine a long time ago, so it’s not my issue anymore, the itchy skin, but I know for women their homes are actually their hair. I mean, it’s a, it’s an issue and also along with our chlorine and chloramine products within the water, it can turn their hair in different colors. Oh yeah. Especially after coloring. Absolutely. Yeah. Clothes that are supposed to be soft and comfortable tend to feel rougher when they’re washed a hard water without some sort of water softening system installed. Right. Another sound look for that’s a red flag of hard water is having multiple leaks run your home in a short amount of time.
We did a show recently that you can search for about locate and identifying leaks. Have a look at that and get an idea of what to look for whenever you’re talking about your terms of homes and water leaks and stuff of that nature. Right. As copper and galvanized pipe start to age, the constant presence of these minerals will begin to corrode through the exterior of the pipe causing leaks. The plumbing in your home was probably all installed at the same time. So with the pipes all aging at the same rate, you can find yourself with several leaks at once. Very true. Yeah. If you’re galvanized or copper plumbing is more than 2030 years old, the more prone it will be developing leaks. Absolutely right. Material has a lifespan. Our water supply will degrade that piping over time. The constant flow, right? That’s it. And Jagger drops.
Those of you that use pic pipes, BA PEX pipe for your water supply may begin to notice decreased water pressure or a complete failure of a particular faucet. It’s probably cause hard water is probably the blame for the blockage of your supply pipe. Even though PEX pipe is resistant to corrosion from the hard water, it is not immune from having those minerals build up within it, eventually choking off the entire diameter of the pipe. That’s right. Yeah. Another easy way to identify the sign that you have hard water in your home are those little white spots on your dishes and glasses. You like wine? Oh yeah. Shows up real well on the wine glass, right? Yeah. It does. See all those rents, AIDS, commercials, right. On how to get those spots off. Every one of those products counteracts the effect of hard water in your home to keep the spots off your glass.
Those products are made for that and get away the mineral spots. Right. If you didn’t have hard water, you wouldn’t need the rinse aid. Oh yeah. Makes sense. Yeah. Right. Perfect sentence. So what do we do about it? It brings us to the question what can we actually do about the hard water? And unfortunately there are not a lot of choices. Yeah. Aside from filtration, there isn’t much a homeowner can do to combat the damage. That’s hard. Water can cause. Yeah. But that doesn’t mean you have to run to the phone and order a whole house filtration system from us. That’s right. But they could, they definitely could. They could individually. We do have them. Yes. An easy fix for the hard water and the shower problem is simple, easy to install water filters that you can get anywhere. All of these fittings for the shower filters are standard half inch connections, right?
You just unscrew your shower head, screw the filter onto the shower supply pipe and reattach the shower head to the filter. Using a self contained under sink filtration system can be used in either a kitchen, bathroom or laundry room to help soften the water supply to a particular foster appliance like your washing machine or dishwasher. That’s exactly right. And of course, if someone were to be interested in water softening and filtration for their entire home, we can offer that. Right? Get it at the source before it enters the home. That’s right. Or what we were talking about a minute ago. You can just do it at the source. Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning. Actually this is pretty cool. We have our own system, you guys. So if you are interested in softening, doing products to actually help your clothes, help your skin, help your hair, help your drinking water, we can do all of that. That means it’s all ours. Yeah, it’s proprietary. We make it. We manufacture manufacturing in San Antonio in the good old us of a and the good old us a bang. Hmm. And not only filtration, softening. We do both pieces and those were manufactured in San Antonio.
Of course. I know this is just, you know, we’re talking about it. It’s actually an amazing system that has a lot of benefits, a lot of time engineering and everything going into that system has made it a top of the line system. A lot of engineering. Oh yeah. But I mean basically what it comes down to is that if you’re watching this anywhere in the Houston area, har water is something that you’re going to have to deal with. Hopefully we given you guys enough information to determine for yourself if you’re having an issue with hard water in the home. Right. And you can make a good decision on what you want to do. Yeah. You know, as always, we’ve covered a lot of information today and we might’ve missed something, but we will be available here on Facebook as well as our YouTube channel not long after this airs. If you want to recap this, as always, call John, call me. We’ll answer all your questions, whether you hire us or you don’t, you’re having issues. Whatever they are plumbing related, we’re here to help you. Absolutely. Thank you guys. Thank y’all so much. See you next week. .