Lowe's Home Improvement

Recognize and Treat Water Problems

Healthy Water for Your Home

Healthy water is critical to your family's health, so it is important to make sure the water in your home is clean. Tap water can contain contaminants, and well water sometimes has bacteria present. Some of these contaminants will affect only the taste of your water, but others could be dangerous for your family's health. Filtering and checking your water for problems is easy, and following these simple tips will help you keep your water clean and healthy.

Spot Water Problems

One of the easiest ways to tell if your home needs water filtration is to taste your water. If you detect an "off" taste or smell, you know that there are impurities in your water. It is also easy to spot rust in your water. If you see particles floating in the bottom of a glass or residue in your dishwasher, you may have rust in your water. Lead can be more difficult to detect, since it is odorless and tasteless. If your home was built prior to 1986, you should have your pipes tested by an independent laboratory to see if they are made of lead.

Other problems include red stains in your tub. This indicates that there is iron in your water, and a water softener can help. Since municipal water is often treated with chlorine, it sometimes has a smell that is distasteful to some people. Let your water stand prior to drinking it, and the chlorine smell will dissipate. Cloudy water is not necessarily an indication that your water is not clean. Instead, you may have air bubbles in your water from the tap.

Water Filter Options

Instead of paying exorbitant prices for bottled water, it is easy and affordable to filter your own water. Whole-house water filters remove sediment and impurities before your water ever even enters your home, while faucet-mounted or under-the-sink models are inexpensive options for point-of-use filtration.

Make sure you choose a filtration method that will allow fluoride to remain in tap water, as this nutrient is essential to healthy teeth. Also, make sure you change your water filter regularly to keep it working effectively.

Install a Water Softener

While hard water is not dangerous to your health, it can make it difficult to clean your home. The minerals in hard water can cause limescale to build up in bathtubs and clog pipes, and surfaces can be left with a stubborn, slimy film. Bathing in hard water can dry out your skin or cause other irritations. A water softener, which will replace the mineral ions with sodium ions, is an easy solution to hard water problems.

Installing a water softener can extend the life of your appliances that use water, such as washers and dishwashers, by preventing mineral buildup. It can also reduce the time you have to spend cleaning and scrubbing, since hard water is more difficult to rinse clean.