Have you ever wondered what’s in your water? One of the most common water problems for residences and commercial businesses in Pennsylvania is hard water. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 85 percent of homes in the U.S. have hard water. Homeowners in Lehigh And Northampton counties experience higher levels of hardness in their water compared to other regions due to the bedrock geology of these areas.

Hard water is caused by calcium, iron or magnesium deposits found in underground rock layers. When you tap into groundwater wells, these minerals can find their way into your well or public water system. Water that contains over 120 parts per million (7 grains hard) is considered hard.

Signs You Have Hard Water in PA

Many people overlook common indications of hard water problems in PA because it does not emit any putrid smells — at first. Common signs you have hard water include:

  1. Mineral buildup and soap scum around water fixtures: Scum is a solid substance that forms when soap is used in hard water. Charged magnesium and calcium particles react with soap to form an insoluble substance. Scum builds up over time and can lead to mold and mildew deposits and clogged drains. In some cases, soap scum can also host bacteria, posing a health risk. You may also notice white residue on faucets, sinks, tile, and water-using appliances.
  2. Spotting on dishes, flatware and glasses: If you live in an area with hard water like Pennsylvania, you may experience limescale deposits in your tap water. When limescale attaches to glasses and flatware, it can cause a cloudy, rusty appearance.
  3. Stiff, rough clothing: If left untreated, hard water deposits can attach to fabrics, causing your laundry to feel stiff and rough, instead of soft. It can also cause gray or yellow discoloration on fabrics (colors may not be as bright) or even weaken them until they tear.
  4. Frequent plumbing repairs: Pipes and water-using appliances, like water heaters, can become easily damaged or corroded due to mineral buildup in your water. This can cause the need for frequent pipe repairs and drain cleaning.
  5. Increased water bills: Calcium and magnesium buildup in your pipes can cause leaks, cracked pipes and a host of other issues. Hard water can cause scale build-up, which can reduce your boiler’s ability to heat surrounding water, thus raising utility costs.

Fortunately, hard water is not proven to be a health hazard. The National Research Council recommends further studies on potential health hazards of hard water before any concrete conclusions may be drawn. If you aren’t sure whether you have hard water, you may need a water testing consultation before you invest in treatment options. At Long’s EcoWater Systems, Inc., we understand the importance of water treatment and free in-home water tests. Our experienced service technicians help you handle everything from installation to regular water maintenance.

Does Hard Water Make You Itch?

Another sign you have hard water is dry and itchy skin. The calcium salts that build up on your scalp as a result of hard water can cause dandruff — dry, flaky skin on the top of your head. Hard water also contains magnesium and iron, which can dry out your skin and clog pores. Hard water can react with soap to form salts — these, too can remain on the skin and cause uncomfortable sensations.

When skin pores become clogged, the body’s natural oils get trapped. This causes blemishes like pimples and zits to form. Hard water can strip moisture from your pores and prevent natural oils from lubricating your skin. If you are experiencing the adverse effects of hard water, don’t worry! Investing in a new water softener or repairing an existing one is a proven way to lessen the symptoms.

Test Your Water for Hardness With a Free In-Home Test

If you suspect hard water in your home or business, reach out to us to request a free water consultation, including in-home water analysis. You may need a new water softener or have to repair an existing one. Long’s EcoWater Systems is a premier EcoWater dealer recognized across the nation for excellent service. Since 1949, we’ve been ensuring safe water quality in Allentown, PA and the surrounding community. Whether you have well or municipal water, we’ll find a solution to meet your needs and handle everything from installation to regular maintenance.

We service well pumps, water tanks and water heaters. Your home’s water is a part of your everyday life. Let us perfect it.