What hard water is really costing you

What hard water is really costing you

From your pipes and appliances to your hair and skin, hard water touches just about everything in your home. Because water is involved in most of your daily routines, the effects of hard water are felt everywhere—your wallet included. In the short term the costs seem negligible, but over the course of a year they add up. Multiply that over a water softener’s lifespan, and you’re well beyond pocket change.

Hard water affects your wallet in four main areas. By using a water softener, a household can estimate these approximate savings over the course of a year:

  1. Cleaning and personal care (50% reduction in purchases of soap, lotion, detergent, etc.): $450 saved with soft water
  2. Gas and electric use (heat loss due to scale): $60 saved with soft water
  3. Washable items (clothes, towels, linens): $200 saved with soft water
  4. Plumbing and appliances (repair and replacement): $90 saved with soft water

Total potential savings per year: $8001

In 365 days, the little things do add up quickly. But hard water also has a big impact on your major water-using appliances. If you have hard water, you can expect to lose 30% to 50% of an appliance’s projected lifespan. Below is a look at the most common appliances and how they’re impacted by hard water.

Appliance Average Lifespan
Lifespan with Hard Water
Electric water heater 13 6.5
Gas water heater 11 5.5
Dishwasher 10 7
Washing machine 11 7.7
Toilet 6.5 2
Faucets 9 5.4

According to a study completed by the Water Quality Association, by using soft water in your home, you won’t have to replace major appliances as often or pay for costly maintenance visits nearly as regularly.

But I already have a water softener

Like other appliances, water softeners don’t last forever. Age and daily wear and tear take a toll, lessening the softener’s efficiency and contributing to higher household costs over time. If you’re curious about whether you’re due for an upgrade, you can review some common indicators. Otherwise, here are some simple steps to keep your water softener working longer and more efficiently.

1 Based on data from the Water Quality Association and a comparison of softeners manufactured since 2001.