Dry Skin and Hair? Ask Your Plumber About a Water Softener!

Dry skin and hair? Believe it or not, a call to your plumber could be the solution! Hard water wreaks havoc on your skin, hair and even your home’s plumbing fixtures and appliances, but with a water softener, all these problems are a thing of the past.

How Hard Water Causes Dry Skin and HairHard Water Dry Skin

Hard water contains minerals like calcium and magnesium that interact with the chemicals in bath products, preventing them from dissolving completely. Products that don’t fully dissolve don’t lather as they should, and they leave behind a residue that makes skin and hair feel dry.

Hard water combined with shampoo residue creates a goopy mess that leaves a film on your hair and makes it feel dry and straw-like. As it continues to build up, the hair becomes dull and limp.

The minerals in hard water clog the pores, especially on sensitive areas like the face. When combined with a build-up of soap residue, the effect is even worse. The skin often becomes dry, flaky and itchy. People who have skin that is thin, reddened or irritated from other conditions may experience worsening symptoms when bathing or showing with hard water.

How a Water Softener Helps Dry Skin and Hair

Water softeners remove traces of minerals and metals from your water supply, making it softer. With soft water, soaps and detergents dissolve with ease, and there is no hard water residue left on your skin or hair. With a water softener dry skin becomes moisturized when you shower instead of becoming dryer.

In addition, soft water reduces scaling and scum on your plumbing fixtures and even extends the life of your appliances, like your washing machine. You’ll use less soap to get the same results, and you’ll spend less time scrubbing hard water stains.

Water softeners are energy efficient, and they drastically improve the quality of your home’s water. Is a water softener right for your Hagerstown home? Contact Larry & Sons today to find out! Call 301-733-5428 to learn about Hagerstown water softeners.

Hard Water Problems: The Cholesterol of Plumbing

Solve Your Hard Water ProblemsAside from ice, what is hard water?  All jokes aside, the difference between hard and soft water lies in the number of dissolved minerals your water contains.  Water dissolves the metals and other minerals surrounding it, which means untreated ground-water will typically have higher mineral concentrations in the form of magnesium and calcium ions.

As more and more minerals are added to the water, the number of grains per gallon (GPG) increases.  Water is rated as soft when it contains less than one GPG dissolved minerals, while higher GPG numbers mean harder and harder water qualities.  The highest levels will leave the largest quantities of scale and mineral deposits, as well as being considered the worst tasting water you can find.

Effects of Hard Water

In all honesty, hard water isn’t unhealthy (it may even have some moderate health benefits) leaving taste as the only major drawback for humans.  However, when it comes to industrial settings or any kind of equipment, hard water is the cholesterol of plumbing.  There are far worse things you can have in your pipes, but you’re more likely to find hard water running through the plumbing than any other problem.

Limescale deposits in a pipe.
Limescale deposits in a pipe.

As hard water travels through plumbing it leaves behind mineral deposits (commonly referred to as scale) which build up on pipe walls, filters, and equipment.  Eventually, this kind of build-up can decrease water flow and affect water pressure.  It becomes evident on faucets (clogging the spout) and can even cause problems in appliances such as dishwashers, by coating the heating element, impairing the efficiency of the heating coil and reducing the effectiveness of your appliance.

Beyond the damages to plumbing and appliances, hard water makes cleaning difficult.  The mineral buildup of hard water creates a tough and nasty layer on surfaces.  These hard water stains can take a great deal of effort to remove if allowed to build-up over time.  If you choose not to soften your water, it’s best to clean-up hard water stains frequently, before allowing them to become a cleaning nightmare.

Hard Water Faucet
Calcium deposits left from hard water. Image borrowed from wikimedia commons.

Identifying Hard Water

While it’s best to get your water quality tested professionally, you can also purchase smaller testing kits or examine the results of your water on surfaces.  Hard water stains and calcium build-up on faucets are strong indicators of hard water.  When hard water is used with soap it forms a white scum instead of the regular foamy lather, which is another clear identifier of hard water.

Water Softening

Softer water can come with its own issues (mostly that it’s not as useful for irrigation or watering plants) but it’s much better for indoor plumbing.  Fortunately, if your home is supplied with hard water, there are ways to soften it by lowering the mineral GPG content:

  • Reverse Osmosis Filtration: RO filtration reduces the number of particles in water, typically reducing the GPG of water to below one GPG.
  • Ion-Exchange: Ion-exchange resins work by replacing the magnesium and calcium ions with salts (sodium and potassium). This is a very common and simple way to soften water, but is also a poor choice for irrigation water due to the salts added.
  • Lime Softening: A small amount of lime-treated water is added to soften it. Limewater has the benefit of killing off micro-organisms too, but the cost of disposing and cleaning the waste portion from this process can be expensive.

Whole house treatment systems, regardless of what method you use, are perfect for ensuring that all of your appliances, plumbing, and surfaces stay clean and hard-water free.  Softer water usually tastes better too, leaving you with an overall positive benefit from a water softening system.

Call Larry & Sons for professional water treatment installations and water softening systems.

Whether you need a home zoning solution, are interested in sustainable energy solutions, or are simply looking for a new high-efficiency air conditioner, look no further.

We’re happy to answer all of your questions! Just give us a call today at (301) 733-5428.

We stand behind our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and are committed to providing top quality HVAC installation and plumbing services in Hagerstown, Frederick MD, and the surrounding areas.

We service Hagerstown, Frederick, and the surrounding Maryland areas. We also service parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

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Know the Water You Drink! Install a Home Water Filtration System

As a consumer, you may prefer bottled spring water to tap water. You’re able to drink with the peace of mind knowing that the water you’re putting into your body comes from the purifying waters of natural streams or springs. Well…maybe. Probably not.

whole home water filtration purification

Besides the possibility of spring water contamination, as just occurred with Niagara Bottling, the water in your water bottle is less regulated and tested than the water flowing from your tap.

Tap water is better regulated

If you think the standards of purity are higher for bottled water, think again. Bottled water is regulated by the FDA, whereas city tap water is regulated by the much more stringent EPA. The FDA doesn’t monitor things like E.coli or force brands to submit water quality reports, unlike the EPA. In short, you can be more confident with the quality of your tap water than with the quality of your bottled water.

E.coli Contamination in Niagara Bottling Water

ABC US News | World News

The latest incidence of contaminated spring water involves Niagara Bottling where evidence of E. coli was discovered in one of their spring sources. Since bottled water brands aren’t regulated for E.coli, Niagara Bottling voluntarily recalled their own bottled water products. The company issued a voluntary recall for all bottled water manufactured in Pennsylvania between the dates of June 10th-18th.

States impacted by the recall include:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

The “best by” dates on the affected water bottles are:

BEST BY 08DEC2016  to BEST BY 16DEC2016

The affected water bottle brands are:

Acadia Spring Water
Acme Spring Water
Big Y Spring Water
Best Yet Spring Water
7-11 Spring Water
Niagara Spring Water
Nature’s Place Spring Water
Pricerite Spring Water
Superchill Spring Water
Morning Fresh Spring Water
Shaws Spring Water
Shoprite Spring Water
Western Beef Blue Spring Water
Wegmans Spring Water

For Wegmans Spring Water Only:

A1 BEST BY 13JUN2016
A3 BEST BY 10JUN2016
A3 BEST BY 15JUN2016
A3 BEST BY 16JUN2016
A4 BEST BY 15JUN2016
A4 BEST BY 16JUN2016

For more information on the recent Niagara Bottling recall, visit niagarawater.com. You can also contact them directly at (888) 943-4894.

Water Testing for Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia

Although tap water is better regulated, you may have internal contamination sources, which is why it is important to have your water tested at least once. The best time to test is when you first move into a home. Water testing will help you decide if you need a water treatment system and which system is best for your individual needs. The different systems and subsystems available to you are meant to address specific water quality issues, like chemicals, metals, and sediment. Your choice should be based on what’s in your water and a professional testing is the only way to find out.

Home Water Filtration and Softening Systems

We base our home water treatment systems, including softeners, filters and treatments on the report you get from having your water tested. From simple to whole house, we have the home water filtration system for you. No matter your needs, we promise to meet them.

You’ll benefit greatly from a home water filtration system – that’s a promise. You’ll love your new water filtration system so much that you’ll never want to drink manufactured bottled water again! Not only will you prefer your tap water, but if you get a whole-house water softening system, your appliances will last longer, your skin will be healthier, and you’ll have zero limescale, white spots, and mineral buildup on your fixtures and dishes.

Other home water filtration benefits include:

  • Purified water to drink
  • Extends the life of your appliances, such as fixtures, faucets & pipes
  • Keeps out heavy metals
  • Filters out chlorine & other chemicals
  • Saves you in instances where your local water supply becomes polluted
  • Eliminates stains, tastes & odors

Say goodbye to bottled water forever and hello to a healthier home and family!

If you’d like to find out more information on home water filtration systems, feel free to give us a call anytime: 301-733-5428

We’re committed to providing the best home water filtration systems to Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

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