Small Business Success: Early Operating Hurdles

5 Signs You Need A Water Softener System

Dealing with water that's not ideal for drinking or washing is a challenge. Water softening equipment can be a major difference-maker, but most people will want to know it's worth the effort before they make the investment. Here are five signs you may want to install a water softener system.

Mineral Deposits on Coffee Pots and Tea Kettles

When you boil water, it causes all the stuff that's in the water to separate. In particular, magnesium bicarbonate and calcium have a tendency to separate from the water and then attach to the insides of tea kettles and coffee pots when they cool. You'll see a white or slightly yellowish film on the inside of the pot after it dries.

Even if this film just seems slight, it might be time to invest in a water softener system. Bear in mind that minerals like these aren't just showing up in your appliances. They're flowing through the pipes in your house, and they'll eventually damage something like your hot water heater or dishwasher.

Faded Clothes

Minerals in the water hit clothing in three ways. First, they cling to the clothes the same way they do the insides of coffee pots. Second, they change the mixture of detergent in the wash to reduce the effectiveness of cleaning. Finally, they can react with chemicals in the detergents, altering how they act. It is possible to use softening products just in your wash, but it's best to treat these issues as signs of bigger problems that should be addressed throughout your house.

Endless Plumbing Problems

Minerals can cause clogs or even corrosion in pipes and plumbing systems. If you're dealing with seemingly constant plumbing problems, it might be time to consider whether the real issue is the water.

Staining in Fixtures

Sink basins and bathtubs also tend to be among the first indicators of hard water. If you see a brown ring around the drainage hole in your bathtub or sink, for example, then you may be dealing with minerals in your water that are adding up. It's also a good idea to look for white deposits that form around the edges of faucets and across shower heads.

Dry Skin and Hair

People in your house may encounter problems with flaking due to salts and minerals from the water. You should especially consider hard water as the culprit if you're encountering itchy, dry skin after you shower.