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Raising the Standard – Episode 27: How to Test and Treat Your Water to Ensure it is Healthy

Ep. 27: How to Test and Treat Your Water to Ensure it is Healthy

In this episode, our fearless BOSS leader, Jeff Street, talks to WSJM’s Spencer Rivers about an important topic: Your home’s water condition.  Sometimes water issues can be hard to detect unless you know what to look for.  So let’s get into how you can determine if your home’s water is in good shape or possibly may need some additional help to get it back into a healthy condition.

Step 1: Test Your Water

No matter if you’re on well water or municipal water, your water probably needs some type of treatment, but before we get into that you should probably start with a water test.

Depending on your concern, you can get most water tests at Home Depot or Lowe’s.  Most of these home improvement stores have a rack that says, “Test Your Water for Free.” Here you can send in a sample of your water, and they will run it through a test for you.  

With these tests, they’re looking for a hardness and other issues, determining if you need a water softener or not. If you’re looking for more of an in-depth test, then BOSS can take a sample and there’s some labs around here that will also look for bacteria and address different microbiology potential dangers in your water.

What is Hard Water Anyway?

One of the most common water problems is having hard water, which isn’t when you take a shower and your skin gets bruised (dad joke, sorry). So how can you determine if you have hard water? When you take a shower or wash your hands and you feel like the water just sucked all the moisture out of your body. You have to go take another bath and lotion afterwards to recover from your shower – that’s likely a hard water problem. Additional signs of hard water are spots on your dishes after you wash them and stains on your sinks and toilets. What those signs indicate are calcium buildup as a result of mineral deposits in your water. These stains are different than rust stains, which are the result of iron build-up in your water.

If you have rust stains in your toilet or around your sink, you can treat iron issues with something as simple as a sediment filter, or you might need to get a sediment filter with a water softener. If your iron is really bad, there’s an iron reduction system that you can add in which will pull all the iron out of your water before it goes into your house. Based on the size of your home, 90% of the water softeners we install will cover a three or four bedroom and three bathroom house. However, once you get into larger houses, there are larger systems for larger water flow.

Seeing Rust Inside Your Water Heater?

Rust inside of your water heater indicates a lot of iron build-up.  Basically, in your water heater, there’s an anode designed to attract the minerals and build up so it doesn’t end up on the walls of your water heater and on the heating elements. When build-up occurs, the anode rod likely was eaten away by iron in your water, causing particles to sink to the bottom of your water heater. This results in its capacity getting smaller within your water heater, making it more difficult to heat.

The more you can maintain your water heater, the longer it’s going to last and your water will be in better condition. So you should flush your water heater once a year. It is as easy as hooking up a spigot or hooking up a hose to that spigot on the bottom and turning it on, assuming that you have a place to drain it in your basement. Also remember to shut the water off and let it just drain down and then fill it all back up. 

How Do You Treat City Water?

With a home running on a well, every home with well water is going to need a different treatment plan. Different cities have different aged pipes. So you’re going to need a unique treatment plan based on the age and condition of those pipes and the condition of your city’s water. Most cities get their water through older pipes, so at the very least city homes should probably invest in a sediment filter and likely a carbon filter as well. The logic behind that is that your water comes from a water treatment plant and they put chlorine in it to protect it. As chlorine travels through the pipes, it acts as a banana peel over a banana. When it comes into your house, you need to take that peel off of it to make it better for drinking. So carbon strips the chlorine from your water.

Need Us to Perform a Water Test?

Curious about the health of your water? Give our office a call at 269-468-6682 for us to come out and test your water and recommend solutions for your unique situation.  You can also visit this page to learn more about water filtration:  

We have expert plumbers who will travel throughout Southwest Michigan to make sure the water you’re drinking is safe and healthy!

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