Water … when you want it, you simply turn on the tap. Most often, we are greeted with a nice, cool, clean drink – one which we have come to expect as normal. However, sometimes the water we drink doesn’t taste just right.
A variety of factors can affect how your water tastes and smells. An aging water distribution system and a home’s plumbing can change your water from refreshing to revolting, and there are problems in the water that may not be as obvious as others.
Hard water contains dissolved calcium, magnesium and, in many cases, iron. You may not even be aware that you have hard water, except that you may be experiencing dry skin and hair, bathtub ring, spots on glass and silverware, dull, and dingy washed laundry.
Murky or grayish water is usually caused by dissolved or suspended solids in the water. Known as “turbidity” and caused by land disturbances, such as construction, storms and urban runoff, cloudy water looks nasty and should be tested.
Chorine Taste and Smell
Since the mid-1850s, chorine has been used as a disinfectant to kill harmful bacteria in water or in the pipes that transport it. Chorine in water is essential at the treatment plant and in the water distribution system, but it is not necessary once the water reaches your home. Chlorine tastes and smells bad. It dries skin and hair, fades clothes and can dry out the rubber seals in appliances, shortening their lives.
Tastes and Odors
Water, in its pristine state, is colorless, tasteless, and odorless. If your water tastes or smells funny, you should be filtering out whatever is causing it in the first place.
Earthy or musty taste and odor is generally the result of compounds released due to decayed vegetation and different forms of algae. While not toxic, they are unpleasant and can be offensive even at low concentrations.
Rotten Egg smell is caused by hydrogen sulfide. It is a colorless corrosive gas that can occur naturally from deep in the ground or can be produced by sulfate-reducing bacteria. It can affect the taste of food and beverages, making them unpalatable. In high concentrations, it can leave an unpleasant odor on hair and clothing.
The presence of metals, such as iron, copper, manganese, or zinc in the water can produce a metallic taste.
Iron or Manganese Staining
Depending on where you live, your water can contain iron or manganese, which can cause rusty orange or black staining. (It can even alter hair color!) If you have water that has a low pH, you may see telltale, blue-green stains. This type of staining can be very difficult to remove.
Bacteria and Viruses
Acute gastrointestinal illnesses are frequently caused by bacteria, viruses, and protozoa that make their way into the water supply. And unfortunately, these contaminants can survive in the environment for months.
As water travels through the earth, it picks up minerals, like calcium and magnesium, which are found in most water supplies. When the water eventually enters your home and is heated, it forms a rock-like scale build-up. Scale is obvious on shower doors and fixtures, but it will also form in places you can’t see like inside your water pipes and water heater.
What’s Happening in Our Area?
We have had an increasing number of calls from our customers in our local geographic area, who are reporting one or more of the water problems we’ve listed here. Most often, the “problem” isn’t identified until the water heater fails. It is clear that any of these water problems can cause corrosion and simply shorten the lifespan of even high-quality water heaters. Generally, you can expect a water heater to last 8 to 10 years; however, we are seeing water heater failure in as few as 4 to 5 years.
What is the Solution?
A whole house water filtration system is the best way to ensure that your water heater performs at its optimal best by eliminating contaminants in the water that cause a host of common problems. It can also neutralize or raise the pH of water to eliminate the problem of acidic water. A whole house water filtration system is designed to reduce scale, sediment, chemicals, chlorine taste and odors to provide great tasting water at every tap in the home. Once installed, it is virtually maintenance free. The homeowner simply needs to change filers as needed. It is environmentally friendly with no electricity needed, no wasted water or drain required. It can also eliminate the acceleration of corrosion of metal parts in appliances.
Not only will a whole house water filtration system produce clean, fresh, great tasting water, but you’ll save the cost of having to replace your water heater prematurely … and you won’t have to deal with water pitcher filters that constantly need refilling!