Water testing is the best way to diagnose what’s going on with your water. But there are several signs that hint at common water problems in Southeast Pennsylvania that may need treatment.
Sign 1: Your Skin and Hair are Dry and Itchy
Hard water is extremely common throughout Pennsylvania, and can cause several issues with your hair and skin. If you’re washing with hard water, your skin may be dry and irritated year round. That’s because soap isn’t able to dissolve properly and residue gets left behind. Minerals may also be blocking your pores, causing blackheads.
Shampoo and conditioner won’t dissolve properly either, leaving your scalp itchy or flaky. Your hair may also seem heavy, unwashed, or extra dry. Luckily, installing a water softener will greatly improve your bathing experience.
Sign 2: There Is a White Buildup on Your Faucets and Fixtures
Hard water is caused by an excess of calcium and magnesium. These minerals cause a white crusty buildup on showerheads and faucets. This difficult to remove buildup is called limescale, and it’s a pretty good indication that you should consider installing a water softener. If you have limescale in your bathroom, you probably also notice a lot of soap scum on your shower walls, because soap isn’t dissolving properly in your hard water.
You might also notice a brown, rusty buildup in your toilet. This is typically caused by excess iron, which is another sign of hard water. Your showerhead or facets might look rusty too.
Any buildup on your kitchen or bathroom fixtures indicates that you should get your water checked out. Black stains may indicate the presence of dangerous bacteria. Green-blue stains may mean that low pH is corroding your pipes. Don’t just clean it and forget it. Water testing can diagnose the problem.
Sign 3: Appliance Trouble or Decreased Water Pressure
If you have limescale building up on your showerhead, it’s also probably lining the inside of your pipes. You may not see it there, but eventually you’ll notice its effects. Appliances hooked up to your water line – such as dishwashers, washing machines, hot water heaters, and even coffee makers or refrigerator ice machines – will start to work less efficiently and may eventually break down entirely. You may notice a gradual drop in water pressure.
Wearing out a water heater or a dishwasher before its time can be an expensive inconvenience. It’s best not to ignore low water pressure or warning signs from underperforming appliances. Installing a water softener can delay a lot of costly replacements.
Sign 4: Your Laundry is Stained
If your laundry comes out of the wash looking dirtier than it went in, your water is likely to blame. Dulled colors and grayed whites often indicate that your water is too hard – meaning your detergent doesn’t fully dissolve, just like your soap and shampoo. Clothes with new red or brown stains suggest your water has too much iron. You may need a water softener – or a water filtration system – or both.
Sign 5: Your Water Tastes or Smells Bad
Not every water problem in Pennsylvania involves hard water or too many minerals. There are a lot of contaminants that can make your water taste or smell bad. If your water smells like rotten eggs, for example, your sulfides may be too high, which is probably caused by bacteria.
Because well water isn’t regulated in Pennsylvania, there are a lot of things that could cause an unpleasant taste. City water is routinely tested and treated for certain contaminants, but some people don’t like the taste of the chemicals used to disinfect it. No matter which category you fall under, you don’t have to resign yourself to a life of bottled water. Water testing can help determine the best filtration system to ensure your tap water is safe and delicious.
Sign 6: Your Water Isn’t Clear
Tap water should be perfectly clear. If yours is cloudy, murky, or colorful, you should call for a water test immediately. If you notice an oily film on top of standing water – such as in your toilet – your water supply may be contaminated with oil or grease. And if your water is gritty or sandy, that may indicate a serious problem with your well that should be addressed right away. All these signs indicate that your water might be unsafe to drink.
Sign 7: Everyone in Your House Has Stomach Problems
If everyone in your house starts experiencing persistent stomach problems, it’s time to think beyond food poisoning. Your water may be infected by bacteria that can cause mild to serious digestive issues. It’s recommended that anyone with a private well test for total coliform bacteria once a year. But if your family is unwell, it’s better to move up that test.
You don’t have to live with water that’s unsafe for you, your appliances, or your wardrobe. Water treatment can address hard water, mineral imbalances, bacteria, or any other contaminants and ensure that your water is both safe and palatable. Don’t ignore the warning signs! If you’ve noticed any of the above, contact Dierolf Plumbing & Water Treatment today to schedule water testing and discuss your options.