Today, most municipal water supplies have a heavy level of filtration and conditioning before they get to your home plumbing. And if you’re using ground water through a private well, then you may have your own water treatment system on-site to filter out contaminants. Something most homeowners don’t realize, however, is they may be missing protection from hard water.
What’s hard water, you ask? It’s water with a high level of minerals in it—namely, calcium, magnesium, and iron. They’re all harmless to ingest, but can do a whole lot of damage to your plumbing system over time. Hard water should be taken care of with a whole-house water softener right when the water enters the home, before it has a chance to put your pipes out of commission. Keep reading to learn some signs that you may be suffering from hard water, and therefore would benefit from a water softener!
You Have Soap Scum Coating Your Bathtub
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you aren’t any good at keeping things clean. Soap scum can actually build up a lot faster in your bathtub when you have hard water. The minerals prevent soap from dissolving as easily as it otherwise would.
You See Water Spots On Your Glasses and Dishes
Do you pull dishes and glassware out of your dishwasher after they’ve dried only to see water spots on them? They’re harmless, but unsightly! They’re a sign that you may indeed be suffering from hard water, and as a result, your dishwasher can slowing be accumulating damage from the same molecules that build up in pipes and wind up costing homeowners thousands in unexpected repiping costs.
There Is White or Yellow Residue Building Up Around Sinks and Drains
This is a telltale sign of a potential plumbing issue. This same type of buildup outside your faucet is also happening inside the pipes. Slowly, these mineral deposits build up and restrict the volume inside of your plumbing pipes. Eventually, you may need to replace your faucet and your water pipes—and much sooner than you’d expect.
You Don’t Feel Refreshed After a Shower
Many people describe their hair as feeling dull after a shower with hard water—lacking in volume or movement. Perhaps you use a shampoo or conditioner you have used before in a hotel or a friend’s home with totally different results. What might be going on is that the hard water minerals in your home are diluting the shampoo or conditioner, causing this reaction.
The Showerhead Clogs Up Quickly
Over a period of time, mineral buildup can restrict water from flowing through your pipes. In less time than that, however, the minerals can keep water from flowing through your showerhead. It will clog the showerhead while also slowing the water pressure. Typically you can unscrew the shower head and clean out the aerator, but this is just relieving a symptom, not solving the overall problem.