There seem to be new stories about contaminated water hitting the Internet and being covered by the media each week. All of the accusations and claims can make you start to wonder if your water is safe to drink. But most homeowners are pretty complacent about taking the time to examine their water. They assume that their water is perfectly safe to consume unless they see a news story about Viking Plumbing. But in reality, there are some very obvious clues you should always be watching for to tell you that there could be an issue with your water’s safety.
Water That Tastes Like Metal
Just the thought of water that has a metallic taste can make you upset. It sounds like it would be a grave issue. And with all of the concerns about lead and other metals causing long-term damage to the body, you could easily panic. But this odd taste is not all that uncommon in older homes. As metal pipes age, very tiny metal pieces or shavings can break off the pipes inside and get into the water. Some are also dislodged by rust or corrosion on the inside of the water lines.
The best way to determine if your water is safe is a visit from your trusted plumber. An inspection of your home’s water lines and the materials used in your water system will provide a great deal of information. The age of the pipes, the type of solder used to connect the pipes and fittings, and the water quality in your area are all taken into consideration. A professional cleaning will often help to scrub away look particles and remove the metal taste from your water. In other cases, the piping needs to be replaced to eliminate the contamination and altered taste of your home’s water.
Does Your Water Have An Odd Odor?
Fresh drinking water should not have any foul odor. Some water that has a high mineral content will have a slight metallic odor. But that can often be corrected with a water filtration system or water softener. Any other smell such as mold, algae is a sign of unsafe water.
Water with a sulfur or rotten egg odor is likely to be contaminated by bacteria. If only your hot water has this odd smell, the culprit is your water heater. The temperature on your water heater should be set at 135 degrees or above to kill bacteria. Increase the temperature, and the odor should subside as the bacteria is killed. If the odor persists, call your plumber for a professional water heater tank cleaning to remove any residual contamination.
If your cold water also has a sulfur odor, the bacteria could be in your water lines. Your plumber can also professionally clean the pipes to remove any bacteria in them. It is also helpful to ask your neighbors if they are noticing a sulfur odor. That could indicate that the issue is with the city water supply, and you need to contact your water provider.
Water Leaves Behind Stains Or Residue
Water that is leaving orange or brown stains has a high copper content. Water that leaves a chalky white residue is rich in calcium or magnesium. These are both signs of rust contamination in your water pipes. A pipe cleaning is a short-term solution. But it is time to begin planning on repiping your home to eliminate these contaminants.
To learn more about possible contaminants in your water, call (208) 571-4089. The license plumbers at Viking Plumbing can provide you more accurate information after examining your water lines.