Do you have a water softener in your home? If so, you may have a well water system. However, it is possible to have hard water if you receive your water from a municipality. Water softeners can last a number of years when they are properly maintained. However, at some point, they need replacing. As a homeowner, it is a good idea for you to know how to determine if your water softener is failing or has failed. This can protect your appliances that require water to operate. It can also ensure that your water is safe enough to drink.
If you notice that your water suddenly tastes different, your water softener may be the culprit. Your water should not go from tasting clean to having a metallic aftertaste. Sometimes it can be dangerous to drink water with metal traces. This is the case if the metal content is high. Traces of metal may mean that it is safe to drink the water, but if you dislike the taste, you would probably prefer to replace the water softener. Water tests can determine what metal traces and contaminants are in your water supply.
Stiff or Rough-Feeling Clothing
Perhaps you use fabric softener when you wash clothes. However, if you have a water softener issue, you might notice that your clothes are not as soft as you would like. Hard water can cause your laundered items to feel stiff or rough to the touch. This can cause skin issues or exacerbate existing skin issues, such as eczema. Keep in mind that using fabric softeners will not correct the hard water damage that can happen to your washing machine. You may want to replace or repair the water softener.
Soap is supposed to lather. If you notice that your soap does not lather well, you likely have excess hard water and your water softener is not performing sufficiently. You will likely also notice that your laundry and dish detergents do not lather well either.
A plumber is a good resource to use to determine whether you need to upgrade your water softener. They may also be able to determine what may have caused it to malfunction. This can help you to extend the lifespan of the next water softener you get installed. In some cases, it is just a matter of water softeners aging and needing to get replaced.