Approximately 85% of American households are dealing with hard water and its negative effects. Hard water can affect your health, your appliances, and your plumbing system. Your house isn’t as clean as it should (and could) be and your appliances struggle, working less efficiently. Even the laundry isn’t as soft and white as when washed in soft water. Hard water can damage your home and your wallet, which could lead to a plumbing emergency.
How to Tell if You Have Hard Water
You should keep an eye out for these tell-tale signs of hard water issues at your home.
- Strange taste or smell - A funny taste or odor is one of the first signs of hard water or some kind of bacterial contaminant. Minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium or even aluminum can make water unpleasant for drinking.
- Strange stains - If you spot some reddish or brown stains, hard water is the one to blame. And there’s a good reason the stains remind you of rust spots – the iron in your water. It could be coming from your rusty pipes.
- Spots on your dishes - If you have hard water at home, you’ll notice chalky streaks and spots left behind on the rinsed dishes. Whether you use a dishwasher or you hand-wash your dishes, hard water will interfere with your rinse cycle, making it difficult to rinse detergent.
- Soap scum - Soap scum doesn’t only accumulate on your dishes but also all over the place: on your kitchen counters, tub, tile, shower curtains, and walls. You’ll find yourself cleaning your kitchen and bathroom more often and using more cleaning products. Regardless, you’ll still have a hard time getting rid of the hard water deposits and calcium buildup.
- Decreased sower pressure - By leaving minerals behind, hard water can clog up your showerhead, which is weakening water pressure. The mineral deposits also make it difficult to wash the soap off your body, leaving a soapy residue on your skin.
- Bad hair & skin days - Hard water could also be responsible for your frequent bad hair days. Mineral deposits and the soapy film that hard water leaves behind make your hair difficult to manage and cause dry skin problems. The skin can become dried out and itchy, with the increased risk of developing eczema in children.
- Laundry problems - Yet again, you’re faced with the rocky relationship between soap and detergent and the minerals in hard water. When the soap doesn’t get rinsed off, your clean clothes appear dull and dingy, even after a good wash. Also, iron in water can leave stains on your clothes.
- Clogged pipes - Hard water cannot only clog shower heads but your pipes, as well. Mineral deposits can build up over time, constrict the water flow and eventually cause backups. At this stage, the only thing left to do is call your plumber.
- Appliance damage - Minerals will eventually build up on your appliances. Water heaters, refrigerator ice makers, dishwashers and washing machines are some of the appliances at risk. All appliances that use water will work less efficiently. Hard water will cause damage and shorten their life.
- Increase in water bill - Estimated hard water expenses could cost you up to $800 or more every year. How’s that possible? For example, your water heater tries to keep up with the task but just can’t do its job without the little help of soft water. Therefore, reduced efficiency means both a higher bill and an appliance replacement in the near future.
Benefits of Water Filtration
There are lots of benefits of water filtration. It is a big but valuable investment, worth the time and money. With a water softener system, you’ll get the good aspects of hard water without the bad ones. Call Plumbing Plus to find out everything you’d like to know regarding water filtration and hard water.