Hard water clogs showerheads
After just one week of constant testing with hard water, more than three-fourths of showerhead nozzles became clogged, according to laboratory results. Showerheads using softened water, meanwhile, performed nearly as well as on the day they were installed.
For an average household, the amount of testing and hardness was equivalent to fewer than 18 months of normal use, according to the researchers.
The results are part of a larger research project being conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute, a non-profit international science and technology enterprise. Tests are being conducted using independently developed and impartial methods. Batelle was retained in February by the Water Quality Research Foundation to develop and run tests.
The Water Quality Association (WQA), which promotes indepenedent research through its support for the Water Quality Foundation, is a not-for-profit international trade association representing the residential, commercial and industrial water treatment industry. Its membership consists of both manufacturers as well as dealers/distributors of equipment. WQA is a resource and information source, a voice for the industry, an educator of professionals and a laboratory for product testing.
In addition to the showerhead tests, engineers are examining the longevity of clothes washers, water heaters and dishwashers using hard water versus softened water. Batelle is also conducting tests to deteremine how much energy savings softeners can provide homeowners.
The final report is scheduled for September 2009. www.worldplumbinginfo.com will publish the results when presented.