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How to Tell if You Need a Water Softener

drainHard water is one of the most common, and damaging, issues to affect plumbing systems across the country. It also happens to be an issue that most homeowners aren’t even aware of. If you have hard water in your plumbing, and you don’t do anything to treat it (like installing a water softener,) you may end up replacing large parts of your system. Let’s have a look at the various indications that you have a hard water issue in your home, and what to do about it.

What is Hard Water?

Before we get into specifics about hard water symptoms, we should go over what hard water actually is. Hard water is water with a high level of calcium and magnesium particles in it. It’s not harmful to your health, but it can cause serious issues for your plumbing system. Prolonged exposure causes mineral deposits called lime scale to form in the pipes. Lime scale restricts the flow of water through the pipes as it grows, eventually hardening if it’s left alone long enough. Once lime scale has hardened, it is nearly impossible to remove without damaging the pipe. The only real way to treat the pipe at that point is to replace it entirely. This is why it’s important to protect your system from hard water.

Symptoms of Hard Water Exposure

The signs that indicate your home has a hard water problem are not always obvious. However, there are some ways that you can tell, if you know where to look, whether or not you need a water softener. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Visible Lime Scale Deposits: Lime scale growth isn’t limited to the pipes. It can happen on practically any surface that is exposed to hard water over a long period of time. Look in your shower, and around the faucets throughout your home. If you see a white crust in those areas, that’s lime scale. If you have it in those areas, you almost certainly have it in your pipes.
  • Decreasing Water Pressure: The main issue with lime scale is that it restricts the flow of water through the plumbing system. If you start to notice that the water pressure in your system is steadily declining over time, it’s a good idea to have a professional check out the pipes. That might mean that you have advanced lime scale growth.
  • Low Water Heater Output: Lime scale isn’t limited to the pipes in the plumbing system. If your water heater is having trouble providing enough hot water for you, it might be because you have lime scale built up in it. Lime scale can actually insulate the storage tank or heat exchanger in the water heater, preventing the heat from reaching the water inside. Call a professional if you notice this happening.

Lutz Plumbing, Inc. provides a full range of water softener installation services in Kansas City, MO. If you need a water treatment system installed in your home, we can help you out. Contact us today for an appointment.

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