Hard water: What it is, its impacts, and what you can do about it

It’s commonly known that hard water is bad for your home’s plumbing and pipes. Over enough time, hard water can even clog pipes and lead to major plumbing problems. But, what is hard water, and why does it impact your home in this way?

In this blog, we’ll review how the state of the water coming out of your tap can impact everything in your home, including your fixtures, appliances, pipes, and more.

Pictured: Hard water can cause a restricted water flow to your kitchen or bathroom sink.If you suspect you have hard water problems, call our team to schedule an in-home estimate on a new water filtration and softening system.

What is hard water?

Hard water is water that contains a high percentage of minerals, especially magnesium and calcium carbonates. As water moves through stone in nature, these minerals break off and head downstream in the water.

Is the water in Lake Havasu City hard?

Here in Lake Havasu City, we get our water from two sources: the Colorado River, and from groundwater wells. Given that the Colorado River was formed by water eroding rock, the surface water we drink is relatively hard. Groundwater is even harder, as the water is coming from underground aquifers and is constantly moving between rock.

According to the city, our water hardness is 325 parts per million (PPM). According to national standards, anything over 180 PPM is considered “very hard”. Lake Havasu City’s water supply is so hard that it’s basically off the scale!

Is this water safe to drink?

Let’s bust a myth: hard water is safe to drink, even if it tastes somewhat “off”. In fact, your body needs some of the minerals found in hard water. There may be other contaminants in the water that make a water purification system a good idea, however.

However, it’s your appliances, pipes, and fixtures you need to worry about when it comes to the hardness of water.

How does hard water impact my home?

You can actually see the impact. Over time, your shower and sink fixtures take on a white or yellow flaky buildup. That’s the calcium from your water being deposited. The buildup of calcium deposit makes the fixtures look dirty.

It’s easy enough to clean up calcium on external fixtures. But, the buildup elsewhere can be far more sinister.

Your home’s pipes

Take, for instance, your home’s pipes. Over time, more and more calcium will be deposited within the pipe, eventually forming a partial clog. This reduces water pressure until the clog completely restricts the flow, blocking the pipe and leading to the need for major plumbing repair.

Your home’s appliances

The same thing that is happening to your home’s pipes is also a war being waged against two of your most important appliances: your dishwasher and your washing machine. Not only can the pipes connecting both of them to your home’s main water supply also become clogged, but hard water can increase the wear-and-tear on internal components.

Your water heater is also under attack. The minerals corrode the inside of the water tank faster, burning through the sacrificial anode rod. This decreases the lifespan of your water heater and puts the unit at a greater risk of a tank burst.

What’s the best way to deal with this problem?

The simplest and the best way to treat hard water problem is to call our professional plumbers for installation of a water softener. Whether you rely on municipal water supply or groundwater through a pump or well, a water softener will perfectly help in treating hard water problem.

How do water softeners work?

Most water softeners are installed into the water supply system of the house. The softener removes minerals from the water using ion exchange. It trades minerals in the hard water with either potassium or sodium.

The exchange of minerals takes place inside the water softener’s tank. The water flows through the small resin beads inside the tank. This results in the exchange of hard ions (magnesium and calcium) with soft ions (potassium or sodium). Overtime, the resin beads exhaust, and need to be recharged by adding salt bags in the tank.

Call Air Control Home Services for your water filtration solutions

Hard water can cause serious plumbing problems over time, and the only remedy is to soften your water. If you live in Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City, or other parts of Mohave County, call our team today for an in-home estimate on a home water filtration and purification system.

Our plumbers can meet with you and talk you through any further questions you have about your water.

Here are the three big signs you need a new water heater

Having your water heater stop working when you least expect it is a pain. However, a water heater almost never fails without some indicators. In this blog, we’ll review the signs you need a new water heater.

signs you need a new water heaterNot sure if your water heater needs to be replaced? Give our team here at Air Control a call. We offer plumbing services in Lake Havasu City.

Sign #1: Rusty water coming from the faucet

Any plumber can tell you that rusty water is one of the most common—yet too often ignored—signs of a water heater that is on its way out.

Homeowners often just assume it’s something wrong with the municipal water supply. Here’s one way to test that: fill a few containers with both hot and cold water. If you see that only the water in the containers filled with hot water is rusty or not as clear as it should be, this is proof that the problem lies in your water heater.

Why is this an issue?

Rusty water is often an indication of rust building up in your water heater. If the issue isn’t dealt with as soon as it is noticed, chances are that your water heater will soon start leaking due to the damage caused by the rust.

Don’t let that happen. Instead, give our team a call.

Sign #2: Cracks and leaks on the tank

Cracks and leaks are another sign of impending water heater problems that you should look out for—especially if you have a water heater that’s getting up there in age.

With time, it is common for sediment to accumulate at the bottom of the tank of your water heater. If sediment begins to build up in your water heater, you may find that the water in your taps is sandy or muddy.

This sediment eventually hardens until it reaches the point where most of the energy being used by your water heater is wasted on heating the hardened sediment. This does not only cause your water heater to become inefficient, but you will also notice that your hot water supply is depleted much quicker than ever before.

Why is this an issue?

As more time is required for your water to heat up, your water heater might become damaged from this overheating, resulting in cracks and leaks which are commonly accompanied by rumbling or banging noises.

Obviously, a cracked or leaking water heater is a major problem and puts your home at risk of a tank burst. Shut off your water and immediately call us.

Sign #3: Something is off about the texture and temperature of the water

For this one, you’ll have to trust your gut—and your taste buds.

If you notice that the hot water from your tap tastes or feels metallic, this is a sign that your water heater is about to fail. The metallic taste, texture, and smell of water are often caused by the deterioration of the inner tank mixing with the water.

Additionally, if you feel like the water in your tap is only warm at best and not exactly hot, this is a sign that your water heater is no longer able to heat water like it once used to and needs repair or replacement.

Call Air Control Home Services when there are signs you need a new water heater

At Air Control, our experienced plumbers are water heater inspection and repair experts. Give us a call at (928) 680-0600 or contact us online.