Don’t Learn the Hard Way: 7 Signs of Hard Water

It’s not just soap scum, hard water can dry out your skin and make existing skin issues even worse. Knowing the signs of hard water can save you money and a lot of frustration.

You may experience some of these signs but not others. If you even see one you should check for hard water in your home. Keep reading to find out what to look for.

What Is Hard Water?

When we turn the water tap on we like to think it’s just pure water coming out, but sadly that isn’t usually the case. Depending on your water source, like wells, that water can carry a lot of extra minerals and bacteria.

Things like iron and limestone may be in your water, and while that isn’t harmful to a person by itself, it can carry bacteria and cause a lot of problems in your plumbing.

Signs of Hard Water

Knowing if you have hard water or not is fortunately easy. Dealing with it may not be as easy. Knowing the symptoms and knowing the difference between things like water softeners and filters will go a long way to getting your house back to healthy standards.

Check out these signs then examine your home and tackle the problems as soon as you identify them.

1. Toilet Stains

Unsightly stains in your toilet are super embarrassing and hard to clean. If you’re finding brown or red stains building up inside your toilet bowl that looks like rust, it could be caused by a high iron count in the water.

You can use chemical-based cleaners from the store or a household cleaner like vinegar to get rid of it, but it’s just going to keep coming back until you deal with the problem at the source.

2. Shower Issues

Is your soap not lathering very well? Are you having to squeeze way too much of it to get a good clean? Maybe the shower-head is acting more like a water faucet and not giving you that relaxing torrent of hot water.

These are all signs of hard water. From buildup in your pipes that reduce pressure to the difficulty of getting that clean feeling, these are frustrating issues. Everyone deserves a nice shower.

3. Clogged Pipes

Speaking of clogged pipes, this isn’t just a shower issue; it can happen throughout the whole home. Pipes in older homes can especially experience serious clogs that will cause major headaches.

If you don’t soften your water, your pipes will only get worse. If you’re already experiencing clogged pipes, you should get the problem fixed as soon as possible.

Scaling and buildup can not only reduce your water pressure but can lead to damaged pipes that need to be replaced, impacting your wallet and your faucets.

4. Laundry Woes

One of the areas that people don’t always think about hard water affecting is the washing machine. Hard water with a high count of calcium and magnesium makes it very hard for your laundry machine to rinse away the soap. This makes your laundry faded and dull.

Particularly hard water can even stain your clothes. Buying special detergents and using around 4 times more than average will help, but that is a major cost that is only fixing the symptom, not the actual problem.

5. Dirty Dishes

Just like your clothes not getting properly washed, hard water will also make it much harder to get clean dishes. While technically clean, hard water will make it hard for the soap to rinse and dry from your dishes, leaving spots that are unsightly, especially if you’re having guests over.

Not only will your dishes suffer, but your appliances like your dishwasher itself might also suffer. Particularly hard water can completely ruin your dishwasher.

6. Water Heater Not Heating

If your water heater has suddenly stopped heating the water, check for hard water before making the expensive choice to replace the heater. Hard water can cause a lot of mineral buildup on the heating element, making the heater useless.

Replacing or repairing a water heater is expensive and time-consuming, not to mention that a sudden lack of hot water in your home puts an immediate standstill on everything from laundry to proper showers.

When you think about everything that water runs through in your home, you’ll realize just how bad and widespread a problem hard water can be. The problem is if you don’t fix the problem, these problems will just keep happening.

7. Soap Scum

Maybe not the most expensive problem to fix on this list, but it is a frustrating one. Cleaning bathrooms is never fun, but reducing the amount of elbow grease needed to get a clean tub or sink can at least make it easier.

Soap scum is a common problem which is why you’ll find a ton of products in the cleaning aisle that claims to be the best at removing soap scum. Instead of spending a lot of money on these products, maybe stop the problem altogether.

Hard water means that soap residue will just stick around on your shower walls, the inside of your sink and your countertops. It doesn’t take long for this scum to buildup and it becomes very hard to remove. Softening your water will make your chores a lot easier.

Make It Softer

What do you do if you’ve got hard water in your home? The most common solution is installing a water softener in your home. This fixes the problem at the source, where the water is coming into your home.

Softeners fix most problems and you’ll see many of these issues disappear almost immediately. If you’re still seeing signs of hard water, you may need other solutions like a reverse osmosis system.

Your best option is to get a professional to check out your water and find the best solution for your home. They can test your water and get the right hardware installed right. If you think you’ve got a hard water problem, contact a professional today.

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