I went through a “rock” phase when I was a kid. I’m not talking about punk rock or heavy metal, though I’ve always liked blasting guitar riffs from my speakers. I’m talking about the year we spent studying minerals and rocks in Earth Science class. After the first lesson, I was hooked and went home and begged my parents for a tumbler and rock collecting kit. I spent that year hiking all the great trails around the Sacramento area with my parents collecting stones. Then, I’d come home and put the rocks that I found along the trail up on the shelves in my room.
Recently, I happened to be talking with a homeowner about hard water, which is actually caused when your area’s natural water supply has relatively high amounts of natural minerals, like calcium or magnesium, in it. I told this homeowner about how hard water over the years can be a bit rough on fixtures. So, of course, this homeowner wanted to know: Does Sacramento have hard water?
Now, I may not collect rocks anymore, but when it comes to minerals getting into your water, I still fancy myself a bit of an expert—I am a professional local plumber after all. That’s why, for the benefit of this homeowner, and for all you Northern California folks out there reading this, I’d like to talk today about whether or not Sacramento has hard water, why it matters for your plumbing, and what you can and should do about hard water in your own home. Navigating hard water doesn’t have to be so rocky with a little expert help on your side.
Does Sacramento Have Hard Water?
Does Sacramento have hard water? Yes, many homes in Sacramento do have hard water. Sacramento homeowners either draw their water from local groundwater sources or from our local rivers, which usually means the American River. Any house that draws from groundwater is all but guaranteed to have hard water in our region, while proximity to the American River often also makes a difference in water quality for other homeowners.
Yes, many homes in Sacramento do have hard water.
Now, I’ve worked in homes in Sacramento for many years, and I’ve noticed the pattern on my own. Don’t just take my word, however, because we’re lucky enough to have had researchers at Sac State do an official study. What they found is that Sacramento has softer water than towns to the west and north, but harder water than the towns in the foothills. They also learned that homes on the south side of the American River tended to have softer water than those on the north side of the American River.
Why Sacramento Having Hard Water Matters
Now, hard water is easy to identify because it tends to leave little spots on your glasses and plates. If that was all it did, we could probably skip this section. Those little spots are harmless, but living in a home that has hard water circulating into it for many, many years can start to cause problems for your pipes and plumbing. As a side note, I’ve suggested getting a home plumbing inspection whenever you buy a new home in the past, and I’d like to do so again now as any plumber worth his or her salt will be able to tell you if you have hard water—and suggest solutions right then and there.
…living in a home that has hard water circulating into it for many, many years can start to cause problems for your pipes and plumbing.
Anyway, as the lime and mineral deposits that cause hard water continually pass through your pipes and plumbing, these deposits start to build up and can restrict the flow of water, sometimes leading to weaker showers or even clogs. Over a long period of time, mineral build-up will cause unnecessary wear and tear on your pipes or require you to get a professional drain cleaning.
What Homeowners in Sacramento Should Do About Hard Water
There is, however, a solution for homeowners who don’t want Sacramento’s hard water to damage their plumbing—which, my guess is each and every one of you reading this. My advice is to invest in a residential filtration system. These systems have many benefits including better tasting water, fewer fixture and piping repairs, and, of course, softer water.
I’ve talked about dealing with hard water via a filtration system in the past, but I really think it bears repeating. Here’s one last quick rundown of the problems that stem from hard water that you can avoid:
- Pipe scaling: When hard water coats the interior of a pipe, it’s called pipe scaling. Over time, this build-up will create a reduction in water flow that can severely damage your plumbing.
- Ruined appliances: Things like countertop water filters and coffee makers will take a beating with hard water. Coffee makers are especially vulnerable to damage.
- Skin and hair: Okay, this one may not have much to do with your home, but my wife has told me time and time again that living with hard water is also bad for your hair and skin.
So, there you have it. Yes, Sacramento does have hard water, and no you shouldn’t just ignore this in your home, not with the potential it has to reap costly problems on your pipes and plumbing. You should definitely look into having a water filtration system installed.
Here at Bell Brothers, we have years and years of experience installing water filtration systems. We’d be happy to have one of our technicians come out and give you an estimate. You may have had hard water for a while now, but it’s never too late to get it fixed. Ready to give us a call? Rock on!
If you have hard water in your home, or even if you just suspect that you might, don’t wait for a plumbing problem to bubble up. Contact the plumbing experts at Bell Brothers to get a full inspection. And, while we’re visiting, let us give you a whole house assessment for energy efficiency and offer recommendations and upgrades that are sure to increase your year-round comfort—and decrease your power bills.
Wondering how to finance an HVAC system, windows, or plumbing in a new (or well-loved) home? HERO is a unique financing option that helps California homeowners afford energy efficient upgrades to their home. Contact Bell Brothers, a HERO approved contractor, to learn more. Our local HVAC, plumbing, and window specialists will walk you through the entire process, from applications to installation.
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