All household fixtures have their lifespan before they show signs of deterioration. For those that are especially always exposed to water, continuous exposure can damage them over time. The most common victims of this are other bathroom amenities, as they are regularly used and are always exposed to water during these times. While they may be made to endure water exposure, not all plumbing fixtures are created “equally” – that is, they are not entirely immune to water damage, and some can get affected earlier or faster than others.
Generally, bathroom fixtures (and other water-using fixtures) are primarily damaged due to hard water – mostly water that has a high concentration of dissolved minerals like magnesium and calcium. There may also be manganese, brass, iron, or copper in the water, aside from magnesium and calcium. These elements are picked up by groundwater as it passes in and around soil and rocks. The Water Quality Association considers water to be “hard” if it has more than 17.1 pp (parts per million) or 1GPG (grains per gallon). In fact, according to a U.S. Geological Survey, 85% of the water in the United States is considered hard water.
Here are some problems that you may encounter due to water damage on your bathroom fixtures: clogged showerheads. Especially if coupled with hard water buildup around the openings in your shower head, soap scum, or soap curd on tubs or showers and other surfaces. Permanent damage to plumbing fixtures such as discoloration due to chemicals eating through the coating. Leakage, which, when not addressed after long, can slowly damage areas where the water leaks, permanent damage to glass shower doors due to chemicals, and increased water heater energy consumption.
However, not all hope is lost. Despite the inevitability of water damage over time, you can prolong the usability and ‘life’ of your bathroom fixtures by using one or more of these several methods for maintaining your bathroom fixtures: water conditioning systems, reducing water pressure, and water heater maintenance.
Find out more about how you can help fixtures last longer and perform more efficiently with this infographic: