Treating hard water is the most common problem faced by homeowners. Hard water is the type that makes getting a good lather of soap nearly impossible. Your washing machine will also experience problems creating a lather, which in turn can leave clothes looking gray and dingy. Hard water leaves soap scum rings in the bathtub, shower, and sinks. Further indicators are a white build up in your faucets, shower heads, coffee pots, and other water fixtures.The simplest solution to fix a hard water problem is to install a water softener. The water softener will remove the magnesium and calcium that lead to hard water problems. This should restore the water quality and also serve to save your plumbing from damage.
Be aware that water softeners add sodium to the water supply. This can be unhealthy for persons on a low sodium diet. An alternative is to only treat the hot water supply. You could also install separate plumbing for the water that will be consumed, e.g. the kitchen sink.
Fixing the problem of rust in your water can also be solved using a water softener. Rusty water will appear as stains around the drains of your sinks, bathtubs, and inside the toilet. The water itself will often have a reddish color. Clothing will often have rust stains. You will need to attach a oxidizing filter or chlorination feeder and an activated carbon filter. There are also types of salt that can be added to your water softener which remove the rust.
In addition to rust, some homes will also have green stains around the drains. Typically you will also find that your metal pipes are corroded. This is a sign that your water is acidic and has a low pH level. To fix this water quality problem you will need to install a neutralizing particle filter. If the problems continue, you will need to install a continuous feeder with an alkaline solution. Be sure a qualified plumber inspects your pipes to make sure the corrosion has not gone too far.
If your water has a rotten egg smell, your water contains hydrogen sulfide. This water problem will often leave silverware tarnished. You also may find that your water appears black. You should install an oxidizing filter. If the problems continue, you need to install a chlorination feeder system, a particle filter, and an activated carbon filter. Hydrogen sulfide in your water can corrode your metal pipes and damage appliances. Have a professional plumber do a complete inspection if you find the water problem has resulted in pipe damage.
If your water has a yellow or brownish color as well as an unpleasant taste, the problem may be caused by algae or another organic material in the water supply. The fix for minor water problems caused by algae is a particle filter. In more significant cases, you will need to install a continuous feeder to add a chlorine solution to the water. Be sure to also use an activated carbon filter.
Well water will often have a cloudy or dirty appearance. This is a result of silt, mud, sand, or dirt in the well water. Typically a particle filter will restore the water quality. In some cases, you may need an activated carbon filter to remove any odors in the water.
The water quality problem most feared by homeowners is a bacterial contamination. Disease producing bacteria in the water supply can lead to diarrhea, dysentery, nausea, or hepatitis. The source of the contamination must be determined before the water can be properly treated. Your local health department can advise you where to have your water tested. Be sure to choose a lab that is properly certified to test drinking water. Homes using well water should test their water supply at least once a year.Given the potential harm to your health, you likely will want to consult with a water quality expert to discuss ways to fix the water problem. In some cases chlorination can kill the bacteria. There are also ultraviolet water purification lamps (UV lights) which can kill the bacteria in the water. Be sure to ask about the proper class of the UV light and make sure it has a sensitivity monitor.