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Hard Water and Your Water Heater: The Facts You Need to Know

Guelph has some of the hardest water in Ontario. The levels of minerals found in Guelph’s water supply are between two and three times Canada’s national average. While this may give the residents quality drinking water, it can wreak havoc on water-based appliances in their homes.

What does this mean for Guelph homes? How does it affect our water heaters? Can a water softener in Guelph make a difference? Continue reading to learn more about dealing with the impact of hard water on your water heater in Guelph.

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water refers to a water supply with an abundance of minerals (i.e., magnesium and calcium). These minerals build up over time, causing issues with water-based appliances, such as your hot water heater. When the water gets hot, the minerals separate from it and settle or form deposits inside the water heater and surrounding the heating element.

If you can’t see into your water heater, it can be difficult to determine if hard water is the culprit. Some other signs that you might be dealing with hard water include soap scum in the bathtub or on the sink and limestone buildup (from the calcium) on the faucets around your home.

How Does It Affect Your Hot Water Heater?

The impact of hard water on your water heater can be detrimental. It can cause the water heater to lose some efficiency, meaning that it works longer and harder to heat the water. As a result, the water bill and the electric bill may increase.

When enough of a buildup occurs, there is less space for the water within the heater. The heating element gets coated in the mineral buildup causing the water heating cycle to take longer.

What Can You Do About It?

Install a water softener. By filtering out the minerals before it makes it into your home’s water supply, you won’t have to worry about a buildup of mineral deposits in the water heater. This is just one of the many benefits of soft water in your home.

Flush the water heater. This is done by emptying the water heater so that the limescale buildup rinses out of the tank. Generally, a stream of cold water can aid in the removal of minerals that have built up in the bottom of the tank. While you can do this yourself, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

Lower the water temperature. You may be unable to prevent the buildup from happening entirely. While it won’t stop the mineral buildup, turning down the water temperature may slow down the process so that you don’t have to worry about replacing it right away or flushing it out all the time.

Is Hard Water Affecting Your Water Heater in Guelph?

If you find yourself dealing with the effect of hard water on your water heater in Guelph, know that you aren’t alone. This issue affects most of the population with hard water ranging from 359 to 564 mg/litre, which is very high when you consider 180 mg/litre as very hard water.

Contact Aire One Heating and Cooling at our Guelph office with any questions that you might have about your water heater and/or dealing with mineral-dense water.


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