8 Signs That You Need a Water Softener or Water Treatment System

The quality of your home’s tap water depends on many things, such as the source of your water, how it’s disinfected, the condition of your city’s water delivery pipes, your well’s location, and more.

Many households deal with hard water, which is high in mineral content that deposits in your home’s pipes. The build up can, among other things, cause a shorter lifetime of your plumbing system, water heater and many other appliances, as well as negatively affecting your skin and increase your water bills.

Shiny bathtub faucet with white bathtub and mosaic wall insert

Solution? A quality Water Softener or Water Treatment System.

Water softeners replace extra calcium and magnesium ions with sodium or potassium ions, extending the lifespan of your plumbing system, your appliances and your clothes – saving you money in the long run. The Water Quality Association showed that installing a water softener system can on average save you nearly $1,000 every year. Considering all their benefits and that they will last up to twenty years, water conditioning systems make a great investment.

So How Do You Know if You Need a Water Softener?

  1. Scale Buildup on Your Appliances

If you notice scale or lime scale on your tea kettle, dishwasher or washing machine, or see stains on your sinks and bathtubs, you have hard water in your home.

  1. Gray and Faded Clothes

If your clothes and bed linen are graying, dull, or feel rough and scratchy, this is a sign that you have hard water.

You may be able to reduce this to an extent by using a liquid water softening detergent; however, washing powders’ effect on hard water may be limited.

  1. Your Skin and Hair Is Dry

Hard water doesn’t nourish your skin, it dries it out and makes it feel leathery. Untreated water can even block pores, causing blackheads and inflammation. Extra magnesium and calcium in your tap water also makes your hair and scalp dry and often itchy. Shampoo, soap, and moisturizers can only prevent this to a certain extent.

Extra minerals get deposited on your skin, and since soap doesn’t dissolve properly in hard water, it cannot wash them away.

  1. Your Water Smells Bad

When water is pure, it doesn’t have a smell. If your water smells like chlorine, metal, rotten eggs or any other strange odor, chances are there are contaminants in your water causing it.

Consider installing a water treatment system to get rid of the contaminants producing the smell.

  1. Your Water Tastes Bad

Water should not have any particularly strong tastes and should be easy to drink. If you find yourself choking down a glass of tap water because it tastes bad, it’s a clear sign that your home could benefit from installing a water treatment system.

  1. Plumbing System Needs Constant Repairs

Excess mineral deposits from hard water damage all pipes, especially copper and steel pipes, leaving your plumbing system ineffective and in need of continuous repair. If you have frequent pinhole leaks in your pipes, hard water may be the culprit.

  1. Your Water Bill Seems Too High

Your plumbing system has to work harder when there are mineral buildups in your pipes and appliances. This can cause a sharp increase in your water bill. If this is the case, it may be time to invest in a water softener.

  1. Your Professional Water Quality Analysis Showed Contaminants

The absolute best way to find out if your home needs a water treatment system is to schedule a professional water quality test. The technicians at UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can test your home’s water for many different contaminants and provide you with a report of our findings. (We’ll even do it for free if we’re already in your home for another service!)

You can then use that information to decide whether or not your home needs a water treatment system and, if it does, to choose the right system for your water’s particular quality issues.


UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing stands ready to provide the answers to all of your plumbing questions. Our team of trained and experienced technicians knows just what to do, and provides the experience necessary to repair or replace everything from your water heater to your water softener. We also provide boiler maintenance and repair, sump pump repair or replacement, and much more!

When our plumbing experts are in your home, we will take a complimentary water sample and provide a full report on the condition of your home’s water.

At UGI Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, our trusted team of HVAC experts bring decades of experience to make your home safe, comfortable, and more energy efficient.

We also understand that breakdowns are as unpredictable and inconvenient as stormy winter weather, so we make sure you are covered with a UGI Advantage Service Agreement. It guarantees priority service for breakdowns, any time of the day or night, even on holidays, even in the middle of a cold, Pennsylvania winter night.

We’ll guide you to select a custom Service Agreement that fits your needs, so you can feel confident that if things go wrong, UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing will fix the problem for you, without breaking the bank.

If you have hard water and want to benefit from a water softener system, UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing offers top-of-the line water softener installation, maintenance and repair. Our skilled technicians are here for all of your heating system needs in Lancaster, PA, Reading, PA, Harrisburg, PA, and throughout the Susquehanna and Lehigh Valley areas.

Don’t deal with pesky plumbing issues for another day! Make an appointment today.

21 Responses to 8 Signs That You Need a Water Softener or Water Treatment System

  1. Hannah Neilson January 17, 2018 at 12:49 am #

    I agree that if your tap water tastes bad, it would be a sign that you would benefit from water softeners. It would be good to consider this because your water may have harmful chemicals in it without treatment. You may also want to check with local professionals to see if anything like a boil water advisory has recently been issued in your area.

  2. Sutton Turner February 12, 2018 at 6:38 pm #

    I like how you talked about how gray and fading clothes can be a sign that you have really hard water and may need softeners. My parents recently noticed this change in their clothes. Thank you for the information on the signs that you need a water softener for your home.

  3. Deb Pearl February 13, 2018 at 4:12 pm #

    That is good to know that if I have scale or limescale stains in my sinks and bathtubs then I could have hard water in my home. I have noticed that a lot of my appliances and other things are developing stains. I will have to see if I can get a water treatment option. I would love to not have hard water.

  4. Khorae Olivier February 28, 2018 at 6:08 pm #

    Thank you for the great tips on why you might need a water softener or water conditioning system. My friend uses one and I’ve always been interested in how to know when you need one. What you said about clothing going gray, dull, and feeling rougher was very interesting to me.

  5. Ashley Turns March 13, 2018 at 12:41 am #

    My husband and I have been having issues with our water, so we are wondering if it would help to get a treatment system for it. So thanks for letting us know that we should get a treatment system if our water smells of anything like chlorine or metal.Since our liquid has been smelling like rotten eggs for a while, we will definitely have to get a machine to help filter it.

  6. Aleshire Mueller April 3, 2018 at 4:36 am #

    It was really helpful when you said that hard water does not nourish the skin and that it causes it to be leathery, dry, and unhealthy, so if this was the case, then we should get the water treated right away. I knew that the water was responsible when I noticed that the hair and skin of my sister are not healthy. The only difference is that back then, I thought there was no solution for it. I will get a water softener right away. Thanks!

  7. Ria Amelia Lawrence April 6, 2018 at 1:37 am #

    It was rather helpful when you said that if the water has a powerful smell, then it is a sign that something is contaminating it, and it is best to get a water treatment system to purify it. I knew there was something wrong when I started detecting a weird, rotten egg kind of smell from the water. Since we cannot drink contaminated water, I think we should get a water treatment system to fix it right away. Thanks for sharing.

  8. James Anderson April 6, 2018 at 5:39 am #

    I appreciate you helping me learn more about the signs that I should look out for in order to know if I need a water softener. One of the signs that caught my attention was when you mentioned that hard water dries out the skin and makes it feel leathery. My wife has mentioned earlier that she observes that her hair and skin feels like it is drier compared to before we moved to our house. I haven’t been noticing the same signs on my skin and hair, but I will definitely consider checking on a water softener. That way, I will be ready with a solution should my wife ask me about it.

  9. Tammy Houston April 11, 2018 at 1:21 am #

    I do agree with you when you said that water does not usually have a particular taste to it, so it when the time comes that the person is having a hard time drinking water, then it is time to get a water treatment system. If so, then it is about time we get something done with the water. We have been ordering water for a while now because we cannot drink the tap water. Anyway, thank you for sharing.

  10. Schiro Ackermann April 17, 2018 at 11:30 pm #

    It was really helpful when you said that water is not supposed to have any smell, so when the homeowner starts detecting a sulfuric, chlorine, or metallic smell, then there is something contaminating it. I was right when I said that my sisters should not drink the water since it has a weird smell, but we can not continue like this. I will get in touch with a professional to get a water treatment system installed in the house. Thanks!

  11. Gerty Gift May 24, 2018 at 6:31 pm #

    I’ve been noticing how our appliances and cups are covered in a weird film and my hair is more dry than it should be. I never thought that it would be because we need a water softener. I’ll be looking into this more, but it this seems like it could only do good things for us.

  12. Logan Edwards September 7, 2018 at 12:08 am #

    It got me when you said that I need a water treatment system if there is a constant need to repair the plumbing because the water itself is the cause of the problem. Since the business that I work for is required to use and handle water on a daily basis, problems with it can be a real headache. I will ask the boss to consider a water treatment system.

  13. Gabriel Ervin January 18, 2019 at 11:29 pm #

    With all these pollution that occurs in every place, we really need to be vigilant with the water we drink. So if you have extra money then add some filtration system over your water just to be safe.

  14. Bree Ward May 11, 2019 at 8:02 am #

    It’s true that when water is pure it doesn’t smell, and if it does smell then it’s a sign that it’s contaminated with chemicals. It’s a good thing that you recommended useful ways fo water filtration. My mother is looking for water treatment in our new apartment because the water smells funky. I hope she finds a reputable water treatment service in the area.

  15. Shayla Cademis July 26, 2019 at 1:58 pm #

    I never knew that hard water could dry skin out and block pores, which leads to blackheads and inflammation! My husband and I recently moved to a drier climate than we’re used to, and I’ve noticed that my skin has been breaking out quite a bit since then. We’ll have to look into installing a water softener; hopefully we can find a great local business who can help us do so.

  16. Dylan Peterson August 29, 2019 at 3:12 pm #

    I like what you said about needing a water softener if your skin dries out and feels leathery after you use your tap water. My brother has been telling me about how his skin is drier in his new house than it used to be, and I think that this could be why. I’ll share this information with him so that he can look further into his options for getting a water softener installed in the future.

  17. Carly Mckeen September 5, 2019 at 7:56 pm #

    Thank you for mentioning that hard water dries out your skin, and makes it feel leathery, so you should get a water softener. I’ve noticed that ever since my husband and I have moved into our new house, whenever I shower, my hair and skin get so dry. After learning about all of the many benefits of water softener, I will definitely consider getting one for my home.

  18. Sophia Slate September 18, 2019 at 5:30 pm #

    Thank you for stating if your water taste bad, you should get a treatment system. My water has been tasting gross lately. After learning more about signs of needing a water treatment, I will definitely consider getting one.

  19. water softeners October 10, 2019 at 11:37 am #

    I really impressed your article thanks for sharing such a nice post keep it up..

  20. Ellie Davis February 17, 2020 at 5:54 pm #

    I liked that you mentioned if your water has a strong taste its a sign that you need a water filtration system. My husband and I noticed that the water in our new apartment tastes weird, and we are looking for advice about what to do. I will let him know about your recommendations to choose the right water filtration system.

  21. Nelson Fogerty May 13, 2020 at 4:44 pm #

    It’s helpful that you point out that using a water softener in your home can help make your clothes last longer. I really care about keeping my clothes nice, so I’m thinking about buying a water softener for my house. I’m going to look for a good company in my area that does water softener installation.

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