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The Hard Water Corner

Common sense information about a common problem.

Increased Water Heating Cost Associated With Hard Water

According to energy.gov your water heater accounts for up to 18% of your utility bill. Today we discuss the effects that extremely hard water has not only the life expectancy of water heaters but the ongoing heating costs. In Jacksonville Fl hard water effects both gas and electric water heaters causing premature failure problems as well as increased amounts of energy needed to keep the water heated.

Hard water in Jacksonville FL is a big problem for water heaters as well as other appliances. Calcium and Magnesium minerals from deep in the Floridian Aquifer are pumped up from underground and distributed into our homes via our local municipalities. These minerals are initially dissolved in solution and invisible, however when your water comes into contact with oxygen and heat these minerals turn into their solid state which is limestone. (In case you were wondering why it is so difficult to clean your kitchens and bathrooms it’s because you have to remove the limestone build up which is like cleaning off concrete from your surfaces.) Hard water build up inside water heaters makes them extremely inefficient because the scale build up insulates the heating elements thus insulating them which requires more energy to heat through the scale. Think of it as placing a ¼” thick piece of concrete over your stove and then trying to cook something. Eventually it will heat your pots and pans to cooking temperatures but it will waste a lot of energy in the process. It’s the same with water heaters.

3 Primary Water Heaters in Jacksonville FL homes are Electric, Tank less, and Gas. Studies show that Electric Water heaters use 50% more energy, Gas Water Heaters use 30% more energy and Tank Less water heaters use 10% more energy to heat hard water versus soft water.



$555 estimated annual heating costs X 50% = $832.50                      Increase of $277.50 per year



Tankless Water Heater Estimated CostTANK LESS WATER HEATERS ENERGY USAGE

$482 estimated annual heating costs X 10% = $530.20                      Increase of $48.20 per year

Note: Tank Less water heaters require an annual maintenance to remove/descale hard water build up. Most Plumbers charge $185 per year for this service.       



$233 estimated annual heating cost X 30% = $302.90                        Increase of $69.90 per year

Higher heating costs and increased maintenance charges are all apart of having hard water, a problem that is easily fixed with a water softener. But water heaters are not the only appliances that are affected by hard water, dishwashers, icemakers, coffee makers, washing machines, irons, all show a remarkable decrease in life span and poor performance when used with hard water. Water Softeners in Jacksonville FL is a simple permanent solution to hard water problems and in most cases, depending on who you buy a water softener from, will pay for themselves in a relatively short amount of time.  

*Water heater average annual heating cost’s noted above are from AO Smiths web site.

*Energy usage averages are from a University of New Mexico study on hard water.

*Tank less water heater service noted above is from a local plumbing company

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