6 Signs That You Have Hard Water & How to Fix It | 6 Signs of Hard Water in Your Home And How to Fix It
Hard water has higher concentrations of minerals coming from the layers of rock under the ground. These minerals, such as calcium, iron, and magnesium, are not hazardous to your health, but they can carry bacteria in the water with them. Moreover, hard water causes some minor inconveniences at home that you would rather live without.
As we discuss water softeners, here are the signs of hard water that you should look out for:
- Scum and mineral buildup
The minerals in hard water react with soap to form scum, which is why houses with hard water often have white scum buildup around their taps and drains. Apart from being unsightly, these buildups can host harmful bacteria, allow mold and mildew to accumulate, and cause clogged drains.
- Clogged pipes
Hard water can also cause clogs in your plumbing due to scale deposits making it more difficult for water to pass through the pipes. So if your pipes are constantly backed up, hard water may be the issue, especially if you have steel pipes.
- Strange odor or taste
When your water smells or tastes funny, do not drink it or cook with it until you solve the problem. Strange odors or tastes in your water usually means that you have hard water or another contaminant present. For example, water that smells like rust or tastes like metal indicates that it has too much iron. On the other hand, water that smells like rotten eggs usually means that the magnesium in hard water is reacting with hydrogen sulfide.
Aside from being unpleasant, these contaminants in your water can cause adverse health effects. Even if the minerals themselves aren’t essentially bad for you, the bacteria that they may bring can cause health problems, such as gastrointestinal issues and itchiness.
Spots on dishes, glasses, and silverware can be traced back to calcium carbonate in hard water. Not only do these spots make plates and utensils look unpleasant, but they can also be difficult to remove.
- Stained and stiff clothing
Hard water causes laundry to be stiff instead of soft, making clothes wear out faster than normal. Moreover, hard water can cause mineral stains on fabric, which manifests as gray or yellow discoloration.
- Reduced water pressure
Because of mineral deposits from hard water, pipes can become constricted over time. In turn, the constriction causes a reduction in water flow. So if your water is not coming out with enough pressure, you may have a hard water problem in your house.
How to fix hard water
The best way to fix hard water is to install a water softening system, which makes use of ion exchange to remove magnesium and calcium from the water. If you think that your house has hard water, have your water tested by a water system company before installing a water softener.
Hard water causes a lot of inconveniences in the house. Although most are minor, some can have negative effects on your family’s health when left ignored. If you suspect that you have hard water running through your pipes, address the issue immediately to prevent more severe problems from arising.