Do You Have Hard Water? Here’s How to Tell

A hazy film on glasses and silverware after a cycle in the dishwasher may be all you need to determine whether you have hard water at your home. Odds are good you do. San Antonio has some of the hardest water in all of Texas. Other telltale signs might be crusty white deposits around sink and tub drains, or on faucets and shower heads.

What it Does

Not only does this kind of water wreak havoc in kitchens and baths, it also harms your water heater and plumbing pipes. The biggest difference between hard and soft water is that the former has a high concentration of dissolved mineral solids. Over time, these solids collect and solidify inside pipes, water heaters, dishwashers and sinks.

These deposits narrow the insides of pipes, cause frequent slow drains and reduce water flow rates from faucets. When the sediment collects in the water heater, it takes the water heater longer to warm the water, which shortens its lifetime and raises energy bills. Inside the dishwasher, the film left behind due to water with a high mineral content reduces the cleaning power of dishwasher soaps.

A ring around the swimming pool could be caused by oily sunscreens, but if it’s chalky and hard to remove, it’s probably mineral in nature. Those deposits from the water can increase the amount of chemicals you need to keep the water clean and balanced, and are challenging to remove.

Managing the Problem

The most effective ways to manage hard water is through water softening. Fortunately there are a number of options available, depending on your preferences and needs. Some water softeners don’t chemically treat the water, but instead, reduce the tendency of the sediments to settle inside pipes, the water heater and the dishwasher. Softer water doesn’t require as much soap and won’t clog pipes.

It’s important to work with a licensed plumber when finding solutions for hard water so you find the best approach for your home, family and lifestyle. To learn more, contact Beyer Boys. We provide outstanding HVAC and plumbing services for San Antonio homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “valdis torms/Shutterstock”

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