What Are the Signs of Hard Water?

What Are the Signs of Hard Water?

A hand pulls out clothing from a washing machineFor homeowners, dozens of phrases and terms can cause instant dread. One of those terms is “hard water.” Many aren’t entirely sure of what hard water consists of, but just hearing the term can make inexperienced homeowners panic that something is wrong with their plumbing system. The good news is that understanding and learning the signs of hard water is easy and might even save you a big headache in the future.

What Is Hard Water?

To identify hard water at home, it’s essential to understand what the term means. Many are confused by the designation of hard versus soft when it comes to a liquid, but the term refers to mineral content. Any water typically has some dissolved minerals, and home water is no different. When it comes to hard and soft water, the essential minerals are calcium and magnesium, and the balance of these two chemicals will determine its designation. Water that is particularly hard will have an undesirable amount of magnesium and calcium, whereas soft water may lack mineral content.

Common Symptoms of Hard Water

If you’re worried that your home might have hard water, there are a few common signs you’ve probably noticed around the house. These include:

Stiff, Crunchy Clothing

When you remove your clothes from the dryer, do they feel slightly off? Are your previously soft garments feeling a little crunchy? These problems are likely due to hard water. The minerals from the water can build up in your clothing and make them feel stiff.

Lack of Lather

Do you notice a frustrating lack of suds when you shower or wash dishes? Hard water often causes soap to produce less lather and be less effective.

Rust-Like Stains

Have you seen red, rusty stains on your plates, silverware, and kitchen equipment? This annoying discoloration probably isn’t rust. Instead, it is likely a byproduct of hard water, which can carry and deposit red-toned iron sediment from the inside of rusty pipes.

Appliance Issues

Any appliance that is connected to your home’s water supply can be negatively affected by hard water, as the minerals in hard water can accumulate and cause limescale buildup. If you’ve noticed your dishwasher, washing machine, or coffee maker acting up, it might be caused by hard water.

Is Hard Water Dangerous?

You might be slightly concerned to learn that hard water is typically the result of excess magnesium, calcium, and other minerals. The good news is that hard water is rarely dangerous on its own—although it may lead to unpleasant problems down the road. The average homeowner with a municipal water supply usually has nothing to worry about regarding water potability. However, homeowners with water from wells and other sources should consider having their home water tested professionally.

Get Help From Local Professionals

If you’re convinced that your home is suffering from the effects of hard water, there’s a simple solution—turn to an experienced residential water contractor, like Florida Energy Water & Air. Contact us today to find out more about our hard water treatment services.
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