We’re all told at some part in our lives, that there are some things simply out of our own control. One of the facts of living in the Valley of the Sun is that our life-giving water is not of the highest quality. In fact, many experts refer to our water as “hard water”. Hard water refers to water that is high in minerals, especially calcium and magnesium. These minerals do not dissolve easily, leaving tough residues, and also do not react well to soap. This is how hard water got its name; because it is “hard” to clean with.
Like most of the southwest, the water in Scottsdale, Arizona has an especially bad rep for being hard. It tastes bad, leaves hard water spots on faucets, sinks, bathtubs and showers – that can be a literal pain to remove. Excessive build up of hard water and calcium can also contaminate water appliances such as faucets, sinks, and shower heads.
Like most of the southwest, the water in Scottsdale, Arizona has an especially bad rep for being hard.
If you live near Scottsdale and are wondering if you have hard water, then keep reading. Here are the 7 most common signs of hard water in Scottsdale you should look for.
1. Chalky White Buildup
A major indication that you have hard water inside your home is the appearance of a chalky white substance on items that frequently involve the movement of or storage of water. If you have what is called “scale” or “limescale” around your drains and on your appliances such as coffee pots, then you have hard water.
Scale is a form of mineral deposit made of calcium and magnesium bicarbonate. The residue is left behind when items are exposed to water high in these minerals. This residue is one of the tale-tell signs of hard water.
Look for white chalky substances in your tub, sinks, faucets, and appliances that use water. If you see them, it’s time for a water softener. You’ll need a potassium chloride water softener to do the job.
You may be wondering what the big deal is. Well, mineral deposits from water can get clogged in your pipes and drains causing plumbing issues. Not only that, but hard water spots and limescale deposits can also clog your water lines – which builds up excessive pressure and can cause water lines and hoses to break, reduced water pressure inside the home, and even excessive water consumption. It is best to avoid plumbing repairs and maintenance services if you can, so being proactive about removing the potential of limescale is a smart investment.
2. Brassy and Dry Hair
We spend a lot of money and effort on product – right ladies? One of the major reasons why hair product exists is to reduce exposure to harmful contaminants that negatively impact the quality and health of our hair. If you’ve noticed your hair has turned brassy tones such as orange, red, or yellow, then hard water is likely the culprit.
While the sun can also golden-up hair color, the minerals in hard water work quicker and are stronger. Another way to be sure is to check your hair to see if it feels dry. Dry skin after washing is another sign of hard water. Maybe that’s a reason why we use so much lotion in the Phoenix Valley?
What happens is the minerals in the water are made up of sodium. Sodium has a bleaching and drying effect.
To prevent this from happening, install a water softener. While purple and blue shampoos can provide temporary toning effects on the hair, it will not help with the dryness or fading.
3. Faded Clothes
A major household expense is purchasing new clothing when it wears out. But did you ever consider the impact that our water we wash clothing in has on the longevity of our favorite wardrobe items? A statement of fact, as we noted above, is that hard water has a bleaching effect. While it’s accepted that this can cause damage to our hair and skin – since hard water has a bleaching effect, it can also fade your clothes.
If you’re noticing your dark clothes are coming out of the wash faded, then you have hard water. Another sign is dry, scratchy clothing as the minerals offset fabric softener.
You can purchase a water softening detergent or use liquid detergent to help offset this effect. Another method is to add vinegar to the fabric softening area of the washing machine. However, the most effective method will be installing a water softener.
4. Constant Plumbing Issues
If you’re consistently having drainage issues or clogged pipes, it is likely from the buildup of limescale from hard water. Buildup prevents water from flowing through the pipes sufficiently. Clogged drains and pipes are one of the most common signs of hard water.
Hard water buildup can clog washing machine and dishwasher pipes, leading to leaks and broken machines. While it can be fixed by unclogging, the issue will significantly lower the lifespan of your appliances.
Plus, having to have plumbing services on a regular basis can become expensive. While it is important to maintain your plumbing system through routine service and maintenance, a lot of major repairs and complete plumbing system replacement services can be avoided by being proactive and installing a water softener system.
5. High Water Bill
That water bill never seems to go down – does it? A statement of fact is that water is indeed a precious commodity. But, have you ever thought about what really impacts the rising price? In most cases, it’s consumption. If your water bill is getting higher and higher, it could be due to hard water.
Hard water can clog your pipes due to the mineral deposits that coat the pipes. This happens more often if you have older or metal pipes. When your pipes have residue or clogging, they have to work harder to push water through.
This leads to using more water and more energy, and ultimately increased costs.
So, high water bills paired with appliance issues and plumbing repairs mean even more expenses all because your water may have too many minerals.
You can have your local utility company test your water to find out the level of hardness. If it is hard, they will recommend installing a water softener.
6. Brittle Glassware
If you’ve noticed your glasses have white chalky stains on them and are also easily broken, then hard water is likely the cause. Mineral deposits on glassware cause them to become more fragile. It can also become a headache trying to remove the chalky stains.
You can try adding 1/2 cup of vinegar in the dishwasher instead of soap. This should help remove the deposits on glass and silverware. It can also be used to simply clean your dishes while preventing the limescale deposits. Vinegar is a safe and effective cleaning solution.
Make sure not to use powdered soap because it will not dissolve in hard water. You can also install a water softener and that should eliminate your issues and keep your glasses strong.
7. Poor Showering Experience
Hard water can reduce the water pressure of your shower head. It also can clog your shower drain, meaning unpleasant showering experiences.
Even more importantly, hard water does not clean as effectively as soft water. The minerals in hard water do not react well with soap. This is why hard water does not lather up and become “sudsy” when washing dishes or yourself.
This means that showering in hard water can leave you feeling like you have a soapy residue on yourself or in your hair. If you experience this as well as dry or itchy skin after showering, then you should invest in a water softener.
Do You Have Signs of Hard Water?
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again – and expecting different results. Well, if you’re tired of the frequent hard water spots, excessive dry skin and hair, clothing that wears out sooner than it should – and inflated water bill costs – the issue might just be the quality of water flowing into your home. If you find you are experiencing some of these signs of hard water, then it’s time to hire a professional. You don’t have to live with the hassles and frustrations of hard water.
At Hays Cooling, Heating, and Plumbing, we offer quality solutions for hard water. From plumbing fixes and drain cleaning due to hard water clogging, to installing water purification systems to soften and purify your water, we’ve got you covered in Scottsdale.
Contact us today to learn more about our services, get a free estimate, or schedule an appointment.
Are you frustrated with the effects of hard water on your home? Contact Hays, a top-rated plumbing company in Scottsdale, to learn about all of your options. Email us or call (602) 661-9350 now!