Hard Water: What to Know About This Plumbing Problem

Water pouring into a glass

Hard water can be an issue that is hard to identify at first. After all, the water that comes from your faucet will look the same whether it is hard water or soft water. However, there are some ways to tell whether the hardness of your water is a problem, and there are solutions to remedy the issue.

What Can Cause Hard Water?

Problems with hard water are caused by minerals that have found their way into the local water supply. Minerals like magnesium and calcium are responsible for creating hard water and can damage your appliances and plumbing fixtures if you don't do anything to soften your water.

While many people associate hard water with well water, hard water can also come from a municipal water source. Having water supplied by your city doesn't make you safe from this problem.

How To Know If You Have Hard Water

There are a few ways to tell whether your home has a problem with hard water:

  • Trouble getting your dishes fully clean: Have you noticed that you are having issues getting your dishes completely clean? This applies to both dishes that are hand-washed and ones that have gone through your dishwasher. Hard water will cause dishes to look foggy after you clean them. Your dishes may even look like they’re covered in a kind of dry powder that is difficult to remove. The minerals in the water are what is leading the residue, and you will never be able to get the dishes as clean as you like with your existing water.
  • Sediment buildup on faucets, showerheads, and other plumbing fixtures: The water fixtures in your home may have low water pressure due to sediment buildup. Buildup happens because the minerals have problems passing through the small holes in your sink aerators or showerheads. This sediment buildup can ruin appliances and faucets, and it might not be possible for you to completely clean all of the sediment buildup off the faucets.
  • Difficulty fully washing soap off your body: Hard water can also cause problems with bathing since the water is oversaturated with minerals. The water won't be capable of washing the soap away, so when you finish bathing, minerals might stay on the skin, where they lead to clogged pores, itchiness, and dry skin.

How Can Hard Water Problems Be Fixed?

Eliminating hard water will always come down to water filtration. There are three ways filtration is typically done in a home:

  • Pitcher Filtration: A pitcher filtration system will be the best solution if you are concerned only about water filtration for your drinking water. You can buy a pitcher that has a filter built into it and that all water passes through. After a couple of months of regular use, you will replace the filter with a new one. This solution is affordable and easy, so anybody can easily do it for their home.
  • Faucet Filtration: Sometimes you just want water filtration in a single room of your home. Thankfully, there are water filters that can be installed at the faucet level. While some filters attach directly to the faucet, others can be placed on the hot or cold water lines before the water reaches the faucet.  Faucet-level filtration can be used for a kitchen when you place the filtration unit under the sink, but a filter could also be used for the water going to your washing machine, dishwasher, or shower.
  • Whole-Home Water Filtration: A whole-home water filtration system will be best when you want to filter the water going to every faucet in your home. A comprehensive system will help ensure that all of your appliances are safe from the damage that hard water can cause and make the filtration process something you do not even have to think about.

Burton's Plumbing & Heating can assist you with installing a whole-home water softener in your home. Contact us today to get started.