California’s municipally-sourced tap water is generally very safe to drink, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust yourself. There are a couple reasons why even the most meticulously processed and filtered water may seem unclean to you. Water may even become contaminated after it’s processed, while it’s moving through your home’s pipes.
It’s easy to get paranoid about your drinking water. The minute you feel like something’s wrong with it, you feel like you can taste the difference. Before you know it, you’re too freaked out to use your tap at all. The best way to avoid that unpleasant feeling is to find out about your water for sure. We’ll help you get started. These are four easy ways you can tell if there’s something wrong with your tap water.
It Looks Cloudy
Tap water that’s been properly cleaned should always look clear. If your water looks cloudy or “milky,” don’t use it. Instead, set it aside for a couple minutes to see if the cloudiness dissipates. If it does eventually clear, then a harmless build-up of trapped air probably created the cloudiness you saw. Pressurized water holds air bubbles inside it. When the pressure releases as the water flows out of your faucet, the air escapes into the water.
Cloudy water can also be a sign that your tap water is too “hard.” Hard water contains heavy minerals such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals aren’t necessarily dangerous, but they cloud your water. If you have a water softener and see cloudy water, make sure it’s working properly. Cloudy water can also mean your water delivery pipes have sand or dirt in them. If you think that may be the case, you should give us a call right away.
It Tastes Metallic
This is one of the most common problems affecting home water supplies. If the problem is severe enough, your water may even look rusty or discolored. Unsurprisingly, the most likely reason your water tastes metallic is because it… has metal in it! Specifically, deposits of iron, zinc, or manganese probably leached into your water. Metallic deposits usually leach into your water after it’s already been treated, so nothing stops them from getting to you.
If only your hot water tastes metallic, then it’s possible your water heater could be the problem. Flush your water heater to see if that removes of the smell. If all your water tastes metallic, then your water supply pipes might be rusted or corroded. As water travels through corroded pipes, it shears off tiny flakes of metal. Have a pro clean and inspect your supply pipes ASAP. We’ll be able to determine what the problem is and how to fix it.
Treated tap water should never smell. If it does, then it probably means something’s in your water that shouldn’t be. Different water contaminants produce different weird smells. The same minerals that make your water taste metallic may also make it smell metallic. Algae blooms in the water supply can create a lingering musty or moldy smell. Bacteria in your water heater can produce a gross rotten egg smell. Too much water softener salt produces a salty smell.
After you figure out what your water smells like, you can figure out the best way to address the problem. If your water smell like metal or sulfur, for instance, then you should flush your water heater. If your water smells salty, try turning down your water softener. Solving a musty smell on your own may be more difficult. Look up your water supplier to see if they’ve said anything about algae in the area. You could also thoroughly clean out your taps. If your water smells like something else (chlorine, dirt, etc.), let us know.
It Leaves Stains or Scum Behind
Tap water should never leave behind any sort of residue or stain. If your tap water stains sinks or tubs or leaves behind chalky material, then something’s wrong with it. The most common sort of stain your tap water may leave behind looks brown or orange-ish. These stains are a sign that iron or copper residue leached into your water. Your water supply pipes may have become rusted, clogged, or corroded.
The chalky residue your tap water may leave behind is made up of calcium and magnesium. It’s a sign that your water is too hard. Whether your tap water is staining or leaving behind scum, you should start by checking your water softener. If your softener is working properly, then the problem is probably your supply pipes. Supply pipes rust or corrode naturally over time, especially if your water’s hard. Consider having your pipes replaced to fix the problem permanently.
This is not an exhaustive list of everything that could be wrong with your tap water. If you don’t see your problem here, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a problem. Don’t panic, but don’t ignore your suspicions, either. The sooner you get closure about your possible water problem, the better you’ll feel.
If you want that closure right away, give Mike Diamond a call. Our experts can figure out what’s wrong with your water and propose the least intrusive fix. You should never have to worry about whether or not your water is clean enough to drink. Give us a call and we’ll put your worries to rest.