Tell-Tale Signs of Hard Water
Hard water and soft water are terms that get thrown around a lot, especially when talking about plumbing, but a lot of people don't exactly know what they mean. Simply put, the "hardness" of water refers to its level of mineral content, especially minerals like calcium and magnesium. Soft water has a low mineral content, while hard water has high enough levels of mineral content to adversely affect the water quality.
Water hardness varies a lot depending on the region. Here in the Sacramento Valley, the water quality is hard, and many locals are used to this water quality. However, hard water can have adverse effects on your property that would be best addressed by installing a water treatment system to reduce the mineral content. Here are some common signs which indicate that you've got hard water!
Mineral Buildup Around Plumbing Fixtures
Do you notice white, crusty residue building up around faucets, or scummy residue left behind in your shower? When hard water dries, it can leave behind lime deposits that are tough to clean up! Additionally, the minerals in hard water combine with soap to create that stubborn "soap scum" that gets left behind in your showers and tubs.
Similarly, hard water often leaves water spots behind on glass and porcelain. Do your dishes and glassware come out of the dishwasher looking blotchy and opaque, even though they've just been washed? That's another telltale sign of mineral deposits being left behind in the water.
Dull, Dry Hair and Skin/Itchiness After Bathing
When hard water leaves mineral residues behind on everything else, it leaves it on your body too. High mineral content in the water can leave your hair and skin dry and dull. Additionally, hard water can cause itching among people with sensitive skin.
Laundry That Doesn't Feel Clean
Does your laundry look dull and feel filmy even after you've washed it? The water's high mineral content can interfere with your detergent's cleaning abilities, leading to less effective washing as well as- you guessed it- leaving behind mineral residues in your fabrics.
Water-Using Appliances Wear Out Before Their Time
Hard water mineral deposits build up over time inside plumbing and inside appliances that use water- dishwashers, laundry machines, water heaters, etc. This can slow or stop water flow, jam up internal components, decrease energy efficiency, and cause appliances to wear out faster than they should.
Low Water Pressure
If you're dealing with low water pressure or slow flow from your showerheads and faucets, there could be hard water mineral deposits in the pipes reducing water flow.
Find a Fix For Your Home's Hard Water
Because the water in the Sacramento Valley area is naturally high in mineral content, most properties that aren't already using a water softener likely have hard water. If you'd like to be certain, though, you can run an at-home test with a hard water test kit, which you can purchase for cheap online or at your hardware store.
Plumbing and appliances damaged by hard water can be repaired or replaced, but the best long-term fix is to invest in a water-softening system, such as an ion exchange unit or a dual-tank softening system. Having a professional plumber install a water treatment system for your home will greatly improve water quality throughout your property.
Heritage Plumbing is Sacramento and Vacaville's go-to plumber for installing cutting-edge water treatment systems. If you're ready to make the switch to soft water, call us at 707-631-1047.