Hard Water: 6 Major Signs You Have Problems in Your Home

You just moved into a new place, and you notice something is not quite right. Something is going on, and you suspect it may have something to do with your tap water.

Hard water problems can be a hassle, especially for new homeowners that may be unfamiliar with its causes. Solving hard water problems with a water softener can vastly improve your family’s quality of life and get things back to normal again.

What is Hard Water?

We all learned that water is H2O: Two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom make up a water molecule. Many of us don’t realize extra elements and minerals can get into the water we drink and use. Some of these minerals are perfectly safe to consume, while others are unsafe water contaminants that negatively impact our health.

Hard water contains a high mineral count. These minerals are picked up through the ground as water percolates through limestone, picking up calcium and magnesium deposits. Drinking water can also come into your home with minerals such as iron, which gets picked up through soil, lakes, and rivers. In some areas, hard water may also contain manganese or aluminum.

If you get your water from a well, you most likely have hard water. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 85% of homes have hard water.

Here are six potential problems hard water causes:

Close-up of a kitchen tap and sink with hard water calcification.

1. Your Water Tastes or Smells Funny

A strange odor or taste to drinking water is often one of the first clues you have a water conditioning problem. It’s a sure sign there is hard water or some bacterial contaminant.

For example, if your water has a metallic taste, it probably has too much iron. On the other hand, if it smells like rotten eggs, there could be hydrogen sulfide gas or bacteria reacting with magnesium to form sulfates in the groundwater. If your water tastes like dirt, this could be due to algae, sediment, or old pipes. Algal blooms also give tap water a moldy aftertaste.

2. You’re Getting Strange Stains

Ugly brown or reddish stains on the porcelain are a big embarrassment. It’s no coincidence the stains look like rust spots. These stains are caused by iron in your water, which could be coming from rusty pipes. It would be best if you used vinegar to help clean and remove the stains. Unfortunately, the stains keep reappearing until you fix your hard water problem.

3. Your Pipes Keep Getting Clogged

Shower heads aren’t the only things that can get clogged up thanks to hard water. It can cause major plumbing issues, as well. Scale deposits build up inside your pipes. Like plaque inside an artery, hard water constricts the flow of water that eventually leads to backups and the need to call a plumber for help. Scale deposits are primarily an issue with older, steel pipes.

4. Your Clothes Aren’t Getting Clean

Hard water can harm laundry because of the rocky relationship minerals such as calcium and magnesium have with soap and detergent. Soap is used to wash away dirt and grime, but when soap doesn’t get rinsed off, it can increase soil build up on your clothes. Clothes washed in hard water often appear dingy and wear out faster. It can even make feel towels rough and scratchy.

5. Your Family Has Skin Irritation Issues

Mineral deposits left on the body can also remove moisture out of your skin. This causes a skin condition called eczema, which is relatively common among younger children. Research indicates that bathing in hard water could irritate and worsen eczema symptoms. Another study suggested exposure to hard water could increase the risk of elementary-school-aged children developing eczema.

6. Your Appliances Wear Out Quickly

A build-up of sediment in your water heater can make it far less efficient. The same goes for other appliances. Poor efficiency means more significant utility bills. The American Water Works Association says hard water can cause a washing machine to wear out 30% faster than usual. It’s not difficult to see how hard water can cost you money in the long run. It’s estimated hard water expenses could cost you $800 or more every year.

Contact Atlantic Blue Water Services

If you’re ready to look into the possibility of a water softener in your home or have questions about the options available, Atlantic Blue Water Services offers free water testing in your home or at our store, giving you instant results and an honest recommendation for treatment. Call us today at 410-840-2583.