No matter how hard you scrub, do you still have red or brown stains around your sinks and bathtub drains? If you do, you may have a problem with too much iron in your water supply. How can you know for sure that too much iron is flowing through your water, and what can be done about it? Below, Advanced Water Solutions will take a closer look at getting your water tested for high iron content as well as how to remove hard water buildup.
Signs of Iron in Your Water
Iron happens to be the fourth most common element on Earth. When rainwater falls, it’s not surprising that as the water penetrates the soil, it dissolves some of the iron from the bedrock. This then will seep into the groundwater and flow into lakes and streams. The iron-enriched water eventually makes it into your pipes, since traditional public filtration methods don’t remove all of it. It’s very common for iron to be found in household water supplies.
Iron forms tiny reddish particles that are often called rust. Here are some indicators that you may have too much iron in your water supply:
- Red staining on porcelain sinks, toilets, or tubs.
- Stains on clothes, linens, and anything else you run through your laundry.
- Reduction in water pressure from the iron buildup in pipes and water heaters.
- A metallic taste or odor to your water.
Removing the Stains
There are a few methods you can try to remove hard water buildup from hard surfaces:
- Let hot water run on the area for 15 minutes, and then leave it to soak for at least an hour.
- Scrub the area with plain white vinegar.
- Try pouring in a cup of bleach and a half a cup of powdered dishwashing detergent.
- If all else fails, it’s time to look into water softeners.
Testing Your Water’s Iron Levels
The best way for you to determine the iron levels in your home’s water supply is to have a water treatment professional come out to your house and conduct a water analysis. (Advanced Water Solutions offers free water evaluations – just call 805-263-1542!) You can also purchase a water testing kit to use yourself.
If it turns out that you have ferrous iron in your water, there are a couple of things you can do to correct the problem. You can install an ion exchange water softener, as well as a conditioner. This not only softens your homes water by removing excess magnesium and calcium, but will also remove low levels of ferrous iron in your water. A potassium chloride water softener is your best bet for removing stains. To learn more about how hard water affects your faucets, drains, and appliances, click here!
Whole Home Water Treatment
If you have a much higher level of dissolved iron in your water, you may need more than just a water softener to remove those unwanted minerals. You should consider having a whole home water treatment system installed. Placing a whole house water treatment system inside your home can stop the staining of linens as well as scale buildup that’s causing the stains around the drains of your sinks and bathtubs.
Talking to a specialist about all your options is the best way to go. Based on your home water analysis, they will be able to turn you in the right direction for reducing the iron buildup in your water and making sure your drains stay clean of stains and your appliances have a longer lifespan!