hard water and dishwashers

Learn why hard water is hurting your dishwasher

Depending on where you live in London or across the country, you may be dealing with a hard water problem. This can also occur over time depending on what is going on with your local water supply and your own system. Often this is something people notice if they live in an area with safe drinking water and the water starts to taste different, or when they are struggling to get soapy suds.

Past these inconveniences, the problem with hard water is that it can begin to cause damage to your dishwasher. This may become evident when you notice that your dishwasher isn’t performing as well as it used to do so. At Repair Aid, we’ve had to perform repairs and restoration to hard water-hit dishwashers around London so we know first-hand how expensive this problem can end up being for people.

But that’s why we’re also here with some advice on how you can actually cancel the effects of hard water on your dishwater by regular cleaning it to get rid of any deposits.

What is hard water?

Despite the name suggesting otherwise, hard water isn’t something that the majority of people are going to be able to ever identify by sight. It’s just ground water that has happened to move through dirt, stone or rocks and has picked up minerals – such as calcium or magnesium chloride – along the way.

Hard water has grades and it is measured by grains per gallon. The more grains per gallon, the more problematic hard water is going to be for your dishwasher to handle. As far as drinking goes, it’s generally fine to consume water that is quite hard; but the build-up of salt is what creates problems inside your dishwasher.

hard-water in a dishwasher

Why hard water is so bad for dishwashers

As we said above, the salts start to affect the internals of the dishwasher – particularly the surfaces. Salt can rapidly increase the levels at which metals start to rust at. Given that the internals of dishwashers primarily consist of metals, this isn’t good. The rust can eventually end up affecting the heating elements or the pumps.

They also have a bad effect on your dishes, glasses and cutlery too. While it doesn’t necessarily destroy them, it can end up staining them. That’s what causes those white spots on glasses – it’s actually little salt deposits.

white spots on glasses

Combating hard water

Once you’ve identified that you have a hard water supply, it’s time to make some changes to try and prevent it from destroying your dishes. First of all, you need to strip away the deposits that have currently built up. One way to do this is by using citric acid, vinegar or a dishwasher cleaner. Just put some in the rinse aid compartment.

After the deposits are gone, it’s time to invest in some preventative measures. You can buy specific detergents for dishwashers that also act as softeners to help soften the water as it runs through the system. Rinse aid can also help to stop the water from clinging to glasses, cutlery and dishes – but doesn’t do anything to help with the hard water affecting the wider internals of the dishwasher.

Alternative solutions

Should you wish to invest some money, there are more permanent ways to solve the hard water problem. One such way is to have a water softener installed into your plumbing system. They mostly work away in the background without need for intervention and use beads to remove the salt from the hard water to make it softer.

The last possible solution is to get a new dishwasher instead. While this won’t solve the problem of hard water, it will ensure that it’ll be some time before you have to deal with a dishwasher that doesn’t dry properly again. If you’re in the London area and need your dishwasher installed, don’t forget to give Repair Aid a call on 020 7183 6944 or get in touch via our online form.

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