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When it comes to water-related problems, hard water is usually the culprit.

And it is especially prevalent in areas close to gypsum or lime deposits. But despite that, many people do not understand what hard water means. Hard water is water containing many minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. It may even contain iron from lakes and rivers.

Hard Water

While not all these minerals are harmful, hard water often contains harmful bacteria that can cause different problems. And the issue is not restricted to rural areas but is highly prevalent in urban households.

But the good news is that detecting hard water problems is not very difficult, and certain signs can help you do so. And this guide will help you determine such problems by identifying them.

This will help you take adequate steps to resolve the problem effectively.

Signs Indicating Hard Water Problems

Signs Hard Water Issues

1. Water Tastes Or Smells Strange

If the water in your home has a strange smell or taste, it is one of the first signs indicating such a problem. It may mean some bacterial contamination, which may be one of the causes of hard water. For instance, water with a metallic taste may contain a large quantity of dissolved iron.

Photo Hard Water Glass

Similarly, if the water smells like rotting eggs, it may contain bacteria causing the formation of sulphates by reacting with magnesium. Alternatively, there may be hydrogen sulphide gas near the source of the water.

As for the taste, water may contain algae or sediments, which can give it a mouldy or dirt-like taste.

2. Water Causes Stains On Surfaces

Hard water containing iron is responsible for reddish or brown stains on your porcelain surfaces, such as sinks and bathtubs. This iron may have dissolved into the water from old, corroded pipes or other similar components within the plumbing system. While it may be possible to remove such stains by using substances like vinegar, this won’t solve the problem permanently.

For that, it is essential to address the root cause of the problem.

Hard Water Toilet

3. Frequent Deposits Of Soap Scum

This is another common sign that can indicate a hard water problem. You may notice white spots caused by the water evaporating and leaving behind calcium deposits. Soap scum generally accumulates because soap doesn’t work very well with hard water.

Also, this is not restricted to the bathroom floor but can even be seen on dishes that do not become completely clean even after rigorous washing. Soap scum can also collect on the shower curtains and may lead to the formation of a bacterial biofilm that can lead to bacterial diseases.

4. A Poor Showering Experience

Hard water can affect your showering experience since the high amount of mineral deposits in such water prevents the soap from being effective. It is challenging to lather while showering with hard water, making it difficult to remove the soap from your body. In such cases, it is common to have a film of soap left behind on the skin.

Additionally, hard water can cause deposits to clog up the showerhead in your bathroom, resulting in lower water pressure. Thus, having an enjoyable showering experience might be difficult if your home has a hard water problem.

5. Frequent Clogging Of Pipes

Plumbing problems like clogging of pipes can become very common with hard water. This is because mineral buildup can happen inside the pipes, restricting the water flow and leading to the backing up of the water. In such a situation, you will need to call up a plumber to resolve the issue.

However, this issue is more common in the case of older steel pipes and not with copper or PVC pipes.

Photo Hard Water Shower

6. Clothes Not Getting Cleaned Properly

Minerals like calcium and magnesium make it difficult to clean your clothes properly using laundry detergent and soap. Since soap cannot be rinsed off properly, it can cause the build-up of dirt on the clothes. Washing clothes in hard water can cause them to wear out quickly and even makes them appear dingy.

Similarly, hard water can make towels rough and scratchy. In such cases, you may need to get a detergent specially developed to water softening. However, such detergents and hotter water must be used in greater quantities.

Hard water can also stain clothes, causing the yellowing of white clothes, which is produced by iron in the water. Iron oxidises when it comes into contact with bleach.

7. Causes Irritation Of The Skin

Washing or showering in hard water leaves soap residue, making your skin itchy and dry. Also, minerals in the water get deposited on the skin and can suck away its moisture. Hard water can even cause conditions like eczema, especially among children.

8. Faster Wearing Out of Appliances

One of the most expensive problems caused by hard water is the faster wearing out of appliances. Appliances like dishwashers and a hot water heater can be severely affected due to sediment build-up, reducing efficiency. Similarly, hard water can affect the working of other appliances, and reduced efficiency will result in higher electricity bills.

In the case of refrigerators, the valves can get clogged up with scale deposits, preventing the icemaker from operating normally. Washing machines can also wear out faster in households with hard water.

Don’t Let Hard Water Ruin Your Plumbing

Hard water problems are quite common but are not taken seriously by many people, leading to a range of problems later on. This is true even though dealing with such issues is not very complicated.

Installing a water softener is the most effective way of dealing with hard water problems. Such devices are designed to remove minerals like magnesium, calcium, and iron from the water entering the home. Or you could opt for other water conditioning products, such as a reverse osmosis system, which works to eliminate contaminants from the water.

So, if you’re dealing with hard water problems, getting a water conditioning solution may be the best way of dealing with them. And if you need assistance, reach out to our Melbourne plumbers at WP Plumbing!

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