Everything You Need To Know About Hard Water

3 min read

Have you ever wondered where the limescale on your beautiful bathroom tiles comes from? The answer is hard water. Recent research we commissioned from polling agency Opinium has found that 50% of people didn’t know that they lived in a hard water area. Over half of the UK live in hard water areas – that’s a whopping 13 million homes. But why does it matter? Read on… 

Ever get that funny film on your tea or gunge at the bottom of your kettle? It occurs because of hard water. Put simply, hard water has a high mineral content. Calcium and magnesium are picked up by water as it percolates through deposits of limestone, chalk, and gypsum down into the water table. This is the water that ends up in rivers and reservoirs and eventually comes out of the taps in your home. Soft water doesn’t have these minerals, but hard water can cause the limescale build-up you find in your home. 

What Else Did We Find? 

In our research, the most commonly identified issues from hard water were damage to kitchen appliances (66%), followed by damage to household plumbing (59%), boilers (58%), blocked pipes (48%), and inefficient heating systems (46%). Less mentioned were more physical issues, such as undrinkable water (34%) and skin irritations (32%).  

Hard water can shorten the life and reduce the performance of washing machines, dishwashers, showers, taps, and water systems in your home, which means higher energy bills as well as costly repairs and replacements. Significant limescale deposits in the pipes and appliances can lead to further issues and even more expense. 

The True Cost 

But how can this alter your regular household bills? Limescale makes your boiler and heating systems less efficient, and our research shows that average costs are 28% higher per annum in hard water areas. That’s a massive £180 a year extra on your bills. 

That’s why we’ve created a Hard Water Explainer below, which provides some insight into how you can elongate the life of your household appliances and save on your energy bills. 

How To Tell If You Have Hard Water 

There’s a range of water hardness, from soft to aggressively hard, so the best way to check is on our hard water index, or if you book a demonstration for your home, then our water experts will do a check for you. If you want a quick, non-specific but ‘quite fun to find out’ answer, then you can try this simple experiment –  put some washing-up liquid in a glass and add water from your tap; if it goes cloudy then you have hard water, if it remains clear with bubbles on top, you have softer water.  

About Harvey Water Softeners  

We are the largest water softener manufacturer in Europe, designing and building thousands of domestic water softeners in our purpose-built factory in Woking every year. Water softeners help to prevent the build-up of limescale, with wide-ranging benefits: from less time cleaning to longer-lasting appliances such as boilers and even cheaper energy bills, making it a more sustainable option. Opt for a water softener and you’ll really notice the difference. And, you’ll have no weird tea film or limescale on your prized shower tiles.  

Softened water is a great choice as you’ll notice lower costs and it’s more energy-efficient. You are also protecting your family’s skin, as softened water can help to calm aggravating conditions such as eczema, keeping the whole family happy and healthy. So, what are you waiting for? 

Would you like to try a softener for yourself with our no-obligation three-month trial? If you’d like to book a demo, you can find further information here.