We’ve talked in previous posts about the importance of good water treatment, and what hard water can do to your drains. Hard water, as a reminder, is water with high levels of minerals in it. These minerals include calcium, magnesium, and sometimes even iron—all of which are harmless to ingest (after all, we see them in multivitamins quite often!) but can do serious damage to your plumbing.
Unfortunately, these minerals create what’s called limescale, and this builds up within your plumbing pipes. It can not only create clogs, but because of its hardness, when it breaks off the lining of your pipe it can hurt the integrity of your plumbing, leading to eventual corrosion and leaks. So you know this—but do you know how to spot the signs of hard water? We’ve shared a few of the most common below.
You Constantly See Soap Scum in the Bathtub
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you’re bad at keeping things clean! Soap scum can build up faster in your bathtub when you have hard water. This is because the minerals we described above prevent soap from dissolving as easily as it otherwise would.
You Notice Water Spots on Glasses after Cleaning
This can be a frustrating problem for sure. These water spots appear often due to the presence of minerals. And while they’re harmless, they’re certainly annoying—and also they’re an indicator that your dishwasher is accumulating damage from the same hard water molecules that damage pipes.
You Find White or Yellow Residue Buildup around Sinks and Drains
This is that limescale we mentioned above and is a telltale sign of an impending plumbing problem. If you see this buildup outside of a faucet or drain, then it also exists inside the faucet or drain, and slowly restricts the volume inside the pipes. Eventually, you may need to replace your faucet and your water pipes—but far sooner than you would have had to otherwise.
Your Hair and Skin Feel Dry after Showering
Have you ever gotten out of the shower, dried off your skin and blow-dried your hair, only to discover your skin feels raw and dry, and your hair seems frizzy and brittle? Many people brush this off as just something they have to deal with, but what if we told you the solution may be simple? A whole-house water-softener can potentially solve this problem.
Your Showerheads Clog Up Quickly
Over a long period of time, mineral buildup can begin restricting water from flowing through your plumbing pipes. Even before that, however, these minerals can keep water from flowing through your showerhead or faucets, actually causing clogs until the problem is resolved.
Your Clothes Fade and Breakdown Faster
The way soap scum builds up due to hard water, it can fail to dissolve completely in the washing machine. As a result, your clothes won’t be able to rinse thoroughly, which can make the fabric fade and wear out faster once your clothes are dry. You might even notice discolored spots on your clothing from areas where the laundry detergent didn’t completely rinse out.