Many people are taking advantage of the housing market to purchase or build a new home or invest in home renovations.
Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to negative discoveries when relocating, building, and upgrading. Discovering hard water is one of those downsides.
Hard water is named for the prevalence of minerals in the water source, which impacts the overall quality.
Hard water can have a detrimental impact on clothing and appliances. Fortunately, a water softener can help.
Here are seven signs you need a water softener in your home.
Your Hair Is Crunchy and Dry
One of the most notable signs that a water softener is needed is the impact on one’s hair and skin.
While certain minerals can be beneficial to the hair and skin, hard water is not.
You’ll likely notice your hair getting dry and crunchy, no matter how well you take care of it.
You may also notice your skin feeling dry and cracked. If you color your hair, you may notice that it fades quickly or becomes discolored— hard water is bad for blondes.
Water softeners offset the negative impacts of excess calcium and magnesium in the water.
If you install a water softener and still experience issues with your hair, it could be related to the salt content. Consider washing your hair with filtered water instead.
Your White Laundry Turns Yellow
One of the most frustrating aspects of having hard water is watching your white laundry get stained an ugly yellow.
Depending on your washing machine and how the wet laundry settles, you may even get big rust stains on your clothes.
While the difference is most obvious in white laundry, colored and dark clothes are susceptible as well.
You’ll notice your colors fade quickly, and the quality of your clothing degrades.
Soft cotton shirts become stiff and ratty, blacks fade to gray, and no amount of fabric softener or color-safe laundry detergent corrects the damage.
Your Drains Are Stained
Unfortunately, you’re not likely to do a load of laundry or wash your hair before buying a house.
Investing in water testing is a must when purchasing a new home. However, there are also signs of hard water that you may notice before putting in an offer.
One of the most common signs is stained drains. If you notice what looks like rust discoloration around drains in the sinks, tubs, showers, and even the toilets, the house has hard water.
It’s entirely possible that the current owners have installed a water softener and maintained it, but it’s also integral to consider the underlying damage.
If the drains are stained and degraded, the pipes likely are as well.
Your Water Pressure Decreases
The minerals in hard water cause build-up in the pipes and can degrade them over time.
If you notice a sudden dip in water pressure— especially in conjunction with the other issues on this list— call a professional immediately.
A decrease in water pressure could just be build-up, but it could also mean a leak.
Even if it is a partial mineral blockage, your pump will have to work harder to move water through the pipes.
As such, you’ll experience excess wear and tear that could diminish the lifespan of your pump, and you’ll likely see your next utility bills skyrocket.
You Notice Limescale Build-up
You may notice visible signs of mineral build-up around faucets and showerheads.
Additionally, you may notice that your dishes never seem clean and have a white residue.
The minerals in hard water impact how well soap works and leave a trace on your glassware.
Excess minerals can also degrade your dishes, making them break at the slightest contact with a hard surface.
If you notice any of these issues, it’s time for a water softener.
In the meantime, you can soak your dishes in boiled water with vinegar to help remove the build-up and get them squeaky clean.
Your Water Heater Fails
Hard water is rough on a water heater and can take years of its life. If you notice that your water heater isn’t running efficiently or starts to break down before its typical lifespan of 10-15 years, it’s time for a water softener.
Your Water Softener Is Ten Years Old
If you already have a water softener in place, but you’re starting to notice these issues, check to see when it was installed.
The typical water softener is designed to last 10-15 years.
However, the wear and tear from dealing with salt and other minerals can cause a poorly-manufactured softener to break down quicker.
It’s also important to consider that technology evolves quickly, and there might be a better option available for your home.
If you notice any of these issues, you should invest in water testing.
Finding a home with hard water doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, but it’s important to understand what you’re committing to.