I can understand if the term “Hard Water” is alien to you. It’s the type of water that’s heavy in mineral deposits. You’ll find magnesium, Calcium, Manganese, and silicone among other elements within this type of water. This specific type of water will damage your water heater if you’re not careful.
I went into detail about the process in the next bit of the article that I wrote. Although normal heaters take damage and lose their efficiency over time, the best water heaters for hard water are the answers to all your woes. Yes, they are water heaters. But they are specially designed to counter mineral-filled liquid.
Now, the big question is… “Where to find these things?”
“In this specific article,” would be the answer. I’ve also tucked in a buying guide at the end just to help you find alternatives should you choose not to go with my recommendations.
Do I Really Need a Special Water System for Hard Water?
We all know, every matter has 3 states; solid, liquid, and gas. But when it comes to water, the term ‘Hard Water’ does not mean its solid form or ice.
Instead, hard water simply means water that is high in mineral content. As water comes to your tank through a long journey through the ground, it brings about minerals such as limestone and chalks with it, which dissolve easily in it, but later gather at the bottom due to gravity.
Now the question is how to tell if you have hard water? There is a simple way of knowing this is. Check if your soap lathers up with a lot of foam and washes up easily, or leaves you with soap scum all over the place. If you get an adequate amount of foam, then your water is good to go. If not, then you have hard water.
Hard water, or high mineral content water although it doesn’t affect the quality of the water flowing out of your tank or doesn’t harm your health in any way.
But… it has the potential of gradually damaging your water heater and bathroom fittings. But do not worry; there’s a solution for preventing this from happening. Yes, you’ve guessed it. Tankless water heaters.
Top-Rated Water Heaters/Systems for Hard Water
When it comes to hard water, normal water heaters or systems won’t do. You need to go to specialized products. In this section of the article, I’ll be telling you about my recommendations when it comes to the best water heaters for hard water or full-fledged systems. Let’s get on with it, shall we?
1. EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater
Needless to say, tankless water heaters do not have any place for storing water. They heat the water that is directly provided to them from your plumbing system. They are point-of-use water heater solutions that you plug in, and start using right away.
Since they are electric, you don’t have to worry about the gas and stuff. They run completely on electricity. And of all the electric tankless water heaters I have used so far, the one that made a lasting positive impact on my life is the EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater.
You must be thinking, “How being tankless can help you protect your water heater from hard water?”
Well, it’s a simple process. Limescale deposits dissolve quickly into water and mix with the groundwater that flows into your tanks. But after getting to the tank, the water slows down a bit for the heater to heat it up to your requirement.
Meanwhile, the lime scale and calcium deposits get pulled down to the bottom of the tank by gravity and get stuck there. This causes chemical reactions inside the tank that eventually damages the tank and affects the water heater.
So, the best solution for lime scale problems in the tank is to go tankless. No lime scale deposit can damage your tank if you don’t have a tank in the first place, right?
But there is a catch. Not all types of water heaters can go tankless. The water heater needs to be electric in order to rid of its dependency on the tank.
The EcoSmart Eco 11 is a brilliantly designed and well-crafted electric water heater that does everything you’d expect from a product such as this while being completely tankless. You can set it up at ay place where there is a faucet or a showerhead, and the heater will heat the water flowing from it.
This will not only help you fight lime scale deposits but will also help you save water and electricity by a huge percentage in comparison to its other counterparts.
This thing is great in day-to-day activities as well. Eco Water Tank helps with quick water heating and saving space. While doing that, this little product saves you some space and energy as well.
You get the basic perk of saving electricity with it too. This is all thanks to the “Self-Modulating” technology that adjusts the temperature according to how much it needs at a point of time. This thing is an environment-friendly device to the core. It will cut down the heating cost for water as well.
2. Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater
If you’re really not sure about tankless water heaters and at the same time, don’t want to give up so much space to tanks, here’s a good option for you: The Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater.
It has mini-tank in its name, so it doesn’t need saying that it comes with a tank, but a much smaller one than usual.
It is a hardwired electric water heater that gives the tankless water heaters a tough competition despite having a tank of its own. And not just that, the tiny little monster has the capacity of heating water at a maximum temperature of 65°F – 145°F, at 12A / 120V of electricity.
And speaking of efficiency, this water heater has a water pressure range of 1 – 150 psi with a pressure relief valve included. The storage tank may be small in size, but it can store up to 7 gallons of water. While keeping the whole thing compact.
I have to tell you about this new feature this thing is equipped with. It has a unique thick CFC-free foam insulation which maximizes energy efficiency better and quicker. And the tank is glass lined, which ensures a long lasting life and quality performance.
The compact design of this water heater will allow you to mount it on the floor, or the wall, whichever suits your interior best. And if you’re still not satisfied with the design, it comes in two other size variants, 4 gallons and 2.5 gallons.
Both are equipped with the same functions and technology to meet all your demands.
Here’s a little perk of using this thing that you may come across if you use it for a certain period of time. You might notice that the tank has started leaking. Well, I thought the same.
But later on, I found out that is no leak at all. It’s actually the moisture that had escaped the valve and started gathering at the brim of the tank.
This happens in rare cases if the pressure release valve is not linked to the drainage as instructed. An easy way to prevent this from happening is to use an additional drain pan or vessel to release the pressure. That’s only a minor inconvenience. But other than that, the heater is top notch.
3. 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Scale Inhibition Inline Water System
Enough about water heaters, let’s talk about an inline water system that pledge to help you fight scale buildup no matter what kind of water heater you use. Scale is calcium and magnesium deposits that often form when hard water is heated.
Hard Water is responsible for most scale formation in pipes, water heaters, finishes, and flat surfaces, and other water using appliances. Over time scale build-up can significantly shorten the life of any water-using appliance.
Also, scale buildup inside pipes causes loss of water pressure as the interior gets smaller and smaller over time.
Let me present to you the 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Scale Inhibition Inline Water System AP430SS. A fine little tool that is designed to prevent any sort of scale development in your pipes or tank, no matter how hard the water is. Come and have a closer look at it.
First things first, let’s get to the dimensions of his thing. You probably have noticed how small this thing is. I mean, seriously, it’s no bigger than my can of deodorant! It’s just 2.8 x 2.8 x 13 inches in dimension and weighs only 1.9 pounds, which makes it ideal to carry around and fit into any sort of interior.
Are you curious to know exactly how this thing works?
Well, it contains polyphosphate that prevents any scale buildup in your tank. And don’t worry about safety; this thing is tested by NSF International to NSF/ANSI Std. 42 and has been certified to be safe.
Material is an important factor when it comes to buying the best water heaters for hard water (or the entire system). You gotta be extra careful and recheck everything twice.
Not with this thing. This inline scale inhibition water system is made from the finest 304 stainless steel and corrosion-resistant materials that are ideal for use with copper pipes in your home.
If we break it down to numbers, the specifications of this tool will blow your mind. For a tiny little thing, as it may seem to be considering its size, it has the capacity to sustain in flow rates as high as 10 GPM, and has a pressure range of 25-125 PSI (862 kPa), with an operating temperature of 40-100F (4.4-37.8C).
Pretty impressive, huh? Well, there is more.
The package comes with a 3M Aqua-Pure AP431 that is easy to replace. The AP431 can be adapted to various pipe sizes by using reducing adapter on either end. Installation fittings can be sweated or threaded.
4. Corro-Protec CP-R Water Heater Powered Titanium Anode Rod
While we’re at it, let me tell you that inline anode rods are a thing now. Almost every home has one. And they do more than just prevent scale buildup. For instance, check out the Corro-Protec CP-R.
What makes it special among its counterparts is that while most other inline anode rods just prevent lime scale from developing inside your plumbing, this little baby eliminates the terrible odors that develop inside your system caused by hydrogen sulfide.
While it may look like a humble little anode rod, it has the potential of providing your water system a permanent protection from corrosion.
No matter how hard the water is, this has the capability of defending your system from it, and can easily replace your 40-80-gallon water heater’s hex head anode rod.
The design of this thing is also a big saver for energy. It reduces mineral accumulation in the tank which on one hand improves the water quality, and on the other, reduces stress on the tank which eventually reduces energy costs.
This product extends the life of your reservoir by forming a protective layer on the walls and providing the water heat with permanent protection from rust and corrosion. This happens because of the high electron levels that the product undergoes during the making of it.
Installing this thing is super easy. The package comes with a step by step instruction sheet which is easy to follow even if you are complete novice. I did it all by myself for the first time without anyone’s help simply by reading the instructions!
The anode rod reduces lime scale deposits in your system such efficiently that it minimizes the risk of clogs, breakage, slow water output, damage, and even premature wearing out which ensures safety and efficiency in the long run.
These anode rods are manufactured and packaged in America, ensuring a North American quality and a 20-year warranty.
5. InnoMax Thermal Guardian Quantum Solid State Waterbed Heater
Don’t you just love waterbeds? Well, I do! Nothing like a well heated, cozy waterbed that would keep you warm as you float over the cold water of the pool on a hot summer drink.
A lot of people enjoy swimming or sunbathing, but this is hands down my favorite pool activity and I do it almost every weekend. And the best way to keep the temperature of your waterbed well balanced is a good heating pad.
Here is a heating pad that has caught my attention with its quality performance, and I assure you it’ll catch yours even if you aren’t a big fan of these. They have named the product ‘thermal guardian’, and I dare to say it is no exaggeration to call it so. It’s an 18-gauge waterbed heater with a 6 feet long cord that has the capacity of working under waterbeds as shallow as 9 inches.
The heater pad is equipped with 32 different settings that allow you to set the heat to the temperature which is perfect for your level of comfort. The state-of-the-art electronic control panel can hold the temperature to a more or less 1/8 degree set point.
This ensures an accurate temperature sensing and readout.
Let me admit, I’m usually skeptical about putting electric equipment directly into water, even if they are meant to be used that way. Because we all know water carries electricity faster and even magnifies it. My high school physics teacher is to be blamed for creating this phobia in me. So, I was worried about using this thing at first.
But nevertheless, I decided to give this heater a shot. I soon realized that my fears were indeed irrational because this thing is certified by the Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) #1445 for Waterbed Heaters for meeting their safety standards.
The surface coverage of the pad is specially formulated and highly plasticized, which gives it a rugged texture while keeping it and water-resistant. Inside the 64-gauge thermal fused Duraflex black vinyl there is a 32-gauge nickel/copper flexible precision circuitry (w/compensator) that seals the heat shield ensuring your safety.
One thing you do have to make sure is that it’s used in a rigid side box or wooden waterbed frame just for extra precaution.
6. Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG Indoor Tankless Water Heater
Back to water heaters again. This one here is a tankless water heater, but with a twist. Instead of running on electricity, this one runs on natural gas. It does more than just heat water. This versatile little appliance can be used for indoor radiant heating. You can say goodbye to your old bulky radiator and the money that it cost you every year for repairing purposes!
The first thing I noticed when I got this is the fact that it’s small and light. And being the curious soul, I opened it up to see what’s inside. I was just stunned of actually how much room is not being used inside the case too!
It’s a feat of engineering that you are able to get 6+ gallons per min of perfectly hot water from this unit without end.
The tiny and lightweight unit can heat 6 or more GPM of water, no matter how hard it is. It has an energy factor of 0.81-0.83, with inlet, outlet thermostats for constant temperature monitoring.
What’s even more surprising is that this tiny little thing requires no batteries, and even has an Energy Star certification for being energy efficient. No electricity, no batteries, pure natural gas and you’re all warm and cozy. Isn’t that amazing?
When I keep saying tiny, you must be thinking it’s a heavy thing with all the machineries concentrated in a combusted little space and it ought to be heavy. Well, absolutely not! Even though it is small in size, it’s also lightweight. The thing weighs only 37 pounds.
Much less than your ordinary water heater and radiator put together considering it would do the job of both. It not only saves your system from damages caused by hard water, but also saves the space, time, and money you previously had spent behind your water heater and radiator.
One thing that I would recommend is, using flexible water and gas lines with valves for all in and out piping to make it easier to install. I would also recommend using valves between the Heater Service Valves and the unit so you can easily remove the heater if you ever need to.
7. Calesco Full Watt Hard Side Waterbed Heater
Another good heating pad for your waterbed is the one made by Calesco. Calesco is a trusted brand for heating appliances, and this one is no exception. It’s a hard side and deep fill soft side waterbed heater with 325 watts of capacity, much more than its competitors.
The brand boasts of simplicity. Setting this thing up is super easy. No issues with cord or settings, just one plug and you’re snug!
You don’t even have to drain your waterbed to put it on the bottom of the mattress. The manufacturers believe the lower the magnetic field, the less energy it takes. So, this heater is a saver in terms of energy efficiency. The temperature regulation is around 70 to 100 degrees.
Along with the control panel, heating pad, and power cord, the package includes a small patch kit and a 5 oz Premium Clear bottle of conditioner for free.
How to Get Rid of Hard Water
You can’t actually get rid of hard water, per say. It’s just something you’d have to make peace with. But what you can do is, take measures that would prevent your water system and your appliances from getting ruined because of the hardness of the water.
Besides using the best water heaters for hard water, I’d take the following measures if I were you.
Remove Hard Water Buildups
To remove hard water stains from your water system, you should start by breaking the system down into individual parts, and take care of the deposit that has developed in each part separately.
For example, if you want to clean the scale buildup in your bathroom faucet, first you need to unscrew the end of the faucet. You’ll notice there is a small removable filter at the end.
All faucets have that, regardless of the brand and model. Remove any rubber gasket (if there is any), then with an old toothbrush, manually give the faucet a good old-fashioned scrub under running water. This should remove all surface deposits.
If there is calcium and rust, heat up some white vinegar just to enough temperature that you can stick your finger in it. Put the faucet in it, and see it works its magic. The liquid will start bubbling, and in no time, you’ll have your faucet shiny again.
This happens because calcium is an alkaline earth metal (meaning it has two valence electrons in its outer shell), it’s highly reactive with acids, like vinegar. And the chemical reactions happen because of the energy the heat produces. It’s no magic, actually, just simple high school chemistry.
Get Rid of Hard Water Stains
The process of getting rid of hard water stains is pretty much the same. Just combine a mixture of one-part vinegar with one-part lukewarm water in a spray bottle and spray on the area you want to clean.
Leave it for 15 minutes or so for the vinegar to work its chemical reaction, then wipe it off with a warm rag or sponge. No need to open up the whole thing.
Use A Water Softener
The last resort in fighting water hardness is a water softener. A water softener is like a magnet that attracts calcium and magnesium in hard water. It’s a negatively charged resin, usually made of compressed salts such as sodium or potassium chloride; to attract the positively charged minerals in the water.
Resins have to undergo periodic regenerations by passing through concentrated brine. These concentrates often contain sodium, potassium, or hydrogen chloride. The calcium and magnesium become bound to the resin, making the water soft.
Last Few Words Before I Part Ways
As you can see, finding the solution to your “Hard Water” problem is not so difficult after all. Nowadays, people have access to specific ways to combat this thing and make water safe for use.
One of the ways is to use the best water heater for hard water. Personally, I trust Eco Water Heater for the ease of use and how smooth the controls are. You can always have alternatives in mind. If the products alone don’t combat the phenomenon, you can follow my guidelines in the post.