Signs of Hard Water and How to Fix It

As much as we all use water for various reasons throughout the day, it’s important to note that not all water is created equal. Some water is good for drinking; some is not. Some water contains a high concentration of minerals; some does not. The water that is mineral-dense is classified as “hard” water. Hard water usually contains a high concentration of calcium and magnesium, though some other minerals can be involved. Unfortunately for those of us in Northern Illinois, this area has some of the hardest water in the country, according to U.S. Geological Survey data.

Though hard water is not harmful to your health, it may cause damage to your plumbing system, appliances, and clothing. Below is a list of the most common signs of hard water in a home. If you notice any of these singns, we recommend scheduling a water softener installation appointment with our team. Give us a call by phone at (630) 968-0783 to receive support.

Learn how to spot the signs that your home has hard water and how you can fix it. 

Spotty Dishes

A common sign of hard water in your house is dirty dishes. The excess minerals in hard water cause your soap to perform poorly. More soap is required to get the dishes clean, and even then, they are left foggy or spotty. If you’re having a hard time getting your dishes to look truly clean, hard water could certainly be the culprit.

Unusual Taste

One of the first signs that may alert you to hard water can be its taste. The taste of hard water can vary depending on location based on geological factors, like the differing amounts of minerals. Regardless, some people notice a different taste in hard water compared to water with lower mineral levels.

Muted Clothing

Just as hard water decreases the performance of your dish soap, it does the same to your laundry detergent. So, how do you know if you have hard water in your area? If your clothes don't look as clean as they should after they are washed, this may be a sign you have hard water in your local suburb or city. Another common sign of hard water is a loss of color in your clothing due to being washed. Dark clothes may fade and bright clothes may lose their splash of color.

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Issues with Plumbing

Hard water often makes your plumbing work harder than usual to get the job done. An ordinary sign of hard water in your house includes clogged pipes. In addition, your water heater can be bogged down by the constant flow of hard water through it, causing it to work less efficiently. On top of this, the composition of hard water will eventually make its mark on your plumbing fixtures. The spots and stains that form in your bathtub and sinks from excess minerals are a clear sign of hard water in your home. 

How to fix it

Fortunately, fixing your hard water problem is not very difficult. Though there are quick fixes, such as using vinegar to clean appliances or plumbing fixtures, these all require regular maintenance. The best way to eliminate the signs of hard water is to install a water softener. Water softeners essentially remove the problem-causing minerals from your water before they enter your home’s plumbing. Many water softeners do this by exchanging salt for calcium and magnesium, while some use other methods.

Talk to a plumbing or HVAC professional to determine which type of water heater will be best suited to the particular needs of your home. Stephens Plumbing offers reliable and safe plumbing services in areas such as Bolingbrook, Plainfield, Wheaton, Naperville, and Aurora. Our team has served over 20,000 customers in your area and has the skills and resources to solve your problems.

If you need your water tested for hardness or a water softener installed to remedy the problem, Stephens Plumbing is here to do the job with expertise and care. Call (630) 968-0783 or schedule an appointment online. We offer services such as plumbing repair, water softener installation, water line repair, water heater installationbackflow testing, and drain cleaning.

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