How to tell if you need a water softener?

Shawer head with flow of water spilling out on blue background

Hard water is caused by calcium and magnesium in the ground and surface water. If these minerals are present in the water that comes out of your tap, your home’s water would be considered hard water. In Alberta cities like Calgary, these minerals come from rocks like limestone that dissolve in the river where water is sourced.

Hard water is not dangerous to drink, by any means, but it can wreak havoc on your appliances and plumbing system. It can also have a strong taste, can make washing difficult and cause you to have itchy and irritated skin. Read to learn how to determine you have hard water and some information on water softeners.

You’ve noticed a lot of soap scum.

Soap can build up and stick to your tub, tile and shower door or curtain. If you have hard water, this scum will accumulate much faster. This is because all of those minerals in the water make it difficult for soap and residue to dissolve.

It’s not just the bathroom that will get this yucky build up of soap scum. You might find you have spotty dishes after you pull them out of the dish washer or that you have detergent residue on your clothing after they’ve come out of the wash. This is because hard water doesn’t do a great job at dissolving and rinsing away that soap.

Your appliances are damaged.

If it is sticking to your dishes and clothing, you can bet that soap residue it’s getting into the working parts of your appliances. Over time, this build up of residue could cause the need for appliance repair or replacement. Appliances that can be damaged by hard water include your dish washer, washing machine, hot water heater and the ice maker in your refrigerator.

Your water tastes funny.

Those minerals hiding in your water might not be bad for your health, but they most definitely taste bad! Hard water usually tastes or smells sour, like metal, or worse, like sulfur. If you like drinking from your taps, you should consider installing a water softener from professional Calgary plumbers.

It’s difficult to get a good rinse in the shower.

Just like it is difficult to rinse soap off of your dishes or laundry with hard water, you’ll have a hard time rinsing soap of yourself in the shower! The mineral deposits in hard water make it difficult to work up a good lather and even more challenging to rinse that soap away.

You have dry and itchy skin.

Because hard water usually leaves behind a scummy residue on your skin after washing, many people find it causes them to feel itchy, dry and irritated. For some, you might find your pores are clogged and that can lead to other skin issues.

The solution? Install a water softener.

Water softeners replace the minerals in your hard water with sodium and potassium. Adding sodium and potassium will soften your water, but the amounts are pretty insignificant compared to what you would normally ingest from your food and shouldn’t cause any health concerns.

If you think you have hard water, your plumbing system could be taking on damage every day. Avoid a costly repair in the future by having a water softener installed. Not only will you prolong the life of your household plumbing and appliances, you’ll also find that washing and bathing is much easier and that your skin will feel less dry too.


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