High pressure misting systems are extremely useful. They stop odors and bugs, and of course, they cool down the area they’re installed in. They can also add humidity to the air if you live in a particularly dry area.
They’re also extremely low-maintenance for the most part, and they don’t require any major alterations to your property to install.
Unfortunately, there’s one thing that you’re going to have to deal with regardless of how well you install the system or the quality of the system you buy. Hard water is the bane of every misting system on the market.
It’s also not something you can control easily. There are some instances where you can affect the water, but usually, you’re running on the municipality’s water, and it’s packed with however many chemicals and minerals they want to put in it.
Let’s discuss the effects of hard water on misting systems, the problems hard water causes, and how you can resolve them.
What is Hard Water?
Before we get into the effects of hard water on misting systems, you need to know what hard water is and how to tell if it’s a problem for you.
Hard water is water that contains an excessive amount of chemicals and minerals. Obviously, those things are in all types of water unless you distill it, but hard water is so poorly filtered that it not only tastes horrible, but it also leaves trace amounts of those contaminants behind in everything it touches.
How to Tell if Your Water is Overly Hard:
Not every municipality has hard water that is going to constantly produce problems. Well-maintained water systems are actually fairly gentle on piping and high pressure misting systems.
Luckily, there are ways you can check your water supply without any fancy tests or making any phone calls.
Primarily, look for calcium deposits along valves or seams in your home’s plumbing. Calcium is one of the most commonly found minerals in hard water, and it tends to build up fast. So, if you have to clean calcium deposits off your shower head or plumbing fittings frequently, this guide is going to be extremely relevant to your situation.
Problems Caused by Hard Water and Their Solutions
Hard water causes 3 main problems for high pressure misting systems. We’re going to go over each problem, why it occurs, and how you can resolve that problem before it causes permanent damage.
1: Clogged Nozzles
This is the first problem you’ll likely notice.
Since hard water leaves calcium and other deposits behind as it flows, yournozzles will start to get clogged up. On a high pressure misting system, the nozzles are so small that it doesn’t take much, either. At first, this isn’t a huge deal, because you will have more than a single nozzle installed, but they’ll quickly start to clog one-by-one, and eventually, you’ll notice a dramatic decrease in the performance of your misting system.
Luckily, this is a very easy problem to fix, and it won’t take you more too much time to resolve.
All you need is a distilled white vinegar or any other manufacturer approved de-scaler liquid. Do not use harsh chemicals.
Now, close water and remove nozzles from your system. Next, disassemble each nozzle and place in a plastic or glass container. Pour over de-scaling liquid and leave it to soak. Make sure there is plenty of liquid in the container so that it may have enough capacity to absorb all of the calcium. If using white vinegar, leave it soaking for a few hours. Next, wash with soap and water and finally rinse with water.
After nozzles are de-scaled, re-assemble and re-install.
2: Premature Tubing Damage
This is a problem that can occur over a long period of time, but it’s a lot harder to deal with if you allow it to happen.
The inside diameter of your tubing is much larger than the holes in the nozzles. So, the pipes won’t clog quickly. However, if you allow water to sit in the pipes after you turn the system off for the season or uninstall it until next year, that water will evaporate and leave behind plenty of minerals and chemicals that harm it.
The best way to prevent this is to properly flush and dry your misting system before you put it up for the season. If you have an air compressor, you can even spray out the inside after you flush it to truly minimize mineral buildup. Another alternative is to also de-scale your entire system from time to time.
3: Pump Issues
If you thought issues with the pipes and nozzles sounded bad, the misting pump can suffer much worse. A well-made pump is going to last for a long time, but when you’re pushing hard water through it, every little deposit that builds up can create major performance issues.
There are two solutions to this problem. First, you can simply focus on regularly cleaning the pump like you do the nozzles. That should be a part of your basic maintenance routine, and while you might not be able to fully disassemble the system to clean every part, you will prevent the majority of pump issues this way.
You can also install a filtration system on your water line that helps soften the water as it enters the system or one that inhibits scale build up.
This is a great idea because it doesn’t just help the pump; it helps the entire system.
Commercially available filters that won’t impede the function of the system aren’t likely to fully get rid of your problems, but they will help a lot.
Just make sure you replace the filter regularly to keep it from becoming ineffective against mineral deposits. Installing a water softener or scale inhibitor filter will help you prevent and reduce so many issues that hard water can cause.
Get a High-Quality Misting System
The effects of hard water on misting systems can be minimized and prevented with proper maintenance. Of course, the better your misting system is, the less you’ll have to worry about these problems. A high-quality system will have options for dealing with hard water in place to minimize the impact, and you’ll get better performance after all.