Signs that you need a water softener
For some reason water hardness is eternally associated with big city living, even though this isn’t always the case. Whether you live in the countryside or the capital your water supply may be damagingly hard and there are certain obvious signs that you need a water softener.
Limescale build up
Limescale or scale, as it’s also known, is the hard chalky substance comprised of magnesium bicarbonate and calcium deposited from hard water. When hard water is boiled in a kettle the insoluble particles remain to form limescale build up on the element. Although these damaging deposits may be easy to spot in household appliances such as:kettles, irons, showerheads and coffee machines they are not so obvious in boilers and kitchen white goods.
If your skin is dry and itchy following bathing, showering and washing then it’s likely your water is hard. Sometimes people can mistakenly associate this discomfort with soap or incompatible skincare products when in actual fact it’s the high concentration of calcium and magnesium salts in the water that’s drying out the skin.
When hard water comes into contact with skin the deluge of minerals are not easily washed away, leaving a residue that can irritate and cause extreme dryness over time. These minerals can also block pores causing eruptions and blackheads.
Have you ever washed your windows and become frustrated by the smears left behind? If this is the case, you have hard water! The water spots are the result of the hard water evaporating, leaving behind the surplus calcium and magnesium particles to form unsightly stains. Same thing applies to sinks, bathtubs and cutlery:
- Do you take your knives and forks out of the dishwasher and find they’re covered in watermarks?
- Are your sinks, bathtubs and taps covered in stains?
- Are your mirrors and windows still smeared after washing?
If you can answer yes to these questions, you have a hard water supply.
If it takes twice as much soap, bubble bath and shampoo to get a decent lather then blame the water not necessarily the product. Shaving can be a real problem with hard water, and the guys at The Shaving Room have these tips to counteract the ‘lack of lather’:
“Hard water can definitely be an issue – particularly with true soaps (rather than synthetic detergents). Use more soap or try adding a small amount of salt or bicarb to your water for lathering – it might provide just enough excess sodium cations to prevent the magnesium/calcium ones from affecting your soap.”
Dull and faded washing
Do your sheets and clothes look dull and feel scratchy following a wash? The extra minerals deposited from the hard water can result in faded, scratchy linen.
Boilers, Pipes and Kitchen Appliances Require Extra Maintenance and Repairs
Although hard water affects steel pipes more than any other, copper and PVC are also susceptible to damage from hard water. The limescale build up will gradually cause the water flow to be seriously compromised. Once limescale coagulates around the valves in your kitchen appliances and taps, the valves cannot close completely, which can lead to water leakage.
Increase in water usage
Once limescale builds up inside your pipes they have to work harder to push the flow through, resulting in increased levels of water usage and an increase in water bills. So, try putting your glasses in the sink for a while with water and vinegar to get rid of stains. Of course, using a water softener to eliminate hard water stains is likely the most effective course of action.
It’s not all doom and gloom though as installing a water softener to your residential or commercial water supply will give instant soft water. The hard water is passed through plastic beads, removing the hardness and supplying soft water offering:
- Clear water pipes.
- Clean and soft clothing.
- Clear, soft skin.
- Thick, creamy lather.
- No smear windows and sinks.
In a later post we shall take a look at the things you might not know about water softeners, and uncover the truths about some of the myths. For more information about installing a water softener, contact one of our experts at Total Soft Water.