What Plumbing Issues Can Tell About A House’s Water Quality?

Plumbing is inarguably among the most important parts of any home. You rely on it for a seamless supply of water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, bathing, cleaning, and loads of other household uses. But did you know that plumbing can affect the quality of your water and vice versa? Read on to find out how, plus some plumbing issues that say a lot about your home’s water quality.

How Plumbing Can Affect Water Quality

From clogs to rust, and leaching, plumbing can impede the quality of water flowing through the pipes. These and other issues can not only affect the smell, color, and pH of water, but also its suitability for various uses. This, however, largely depends on the plumbing materials used, as well as its age, and the quality of maintenance.

The Importance of Engaging a Professional Plumber

Engaging a local plumbing professional is one of the best ways to ensure your plumbing system stays in the best possible condition. Since they understand the local climate and plumbing issues better, Los Angeles plumbing experts from ARS would recommend working with pros with decades of plumbing experience. They can also help you to better understand the nuances of water quality and other aspects related to plumbing.

Plumbing Issues That Indicate Water Quality Issues

Below are some common plumbing issues you might come across, and what they mean to your home’s water quality.

1. Inefficiency or Frequent Breakdown of Hot Water Appliances

There’s an old age phenomenon referred to as boilers’ scales, which is commonly used to explain why water heaters, boilers, and similar appliances become inefficient or break down faster than their recommended lifetime, often way far from what the user would consider efficient and reliable.

If you’ve been changing your heated shower head for more than two to three times a year, the high chances are that you are using hard water. Try using the same water on your kitchen kettle or hot jug, and you’ll probably notice corrosion after a few weeks

2. Clogs and Residues on Plumbing

Clogged plumbing lines may happen for a wide range of reasons. For instance, throwing the wrong things down the kitchen or bathroom drain could eventually end up causing disturbing clogs at some point down the wastewater system. But, unbeknownst to many, a similar scenario could also occur in the main water supply inlets and other plumbing channels within your home.

In most cases, residues on inflow plumbing lines, faucets, and fixtures indicate the presence of hard water. Over time, the lines may accumulate what is known as mineral build-up along the surfaces, eventually reducing the flow or pressure of water coming out of your faucets. Some mineral build ups are actually enough to result in leaks and even burst pipes.

3. Leaking Pipes

Pipe leaks are by far one of the most commonly encountered plumbing problems. While some of them are caused by clogs and exceedingly high water pressure, pipe leaks could be an indication that your water has low pH levels. Especially if you’re using metal pipes, acidic water is usually corrosive and can, over time, corrode your pipes enough to start causing pinhole leaks.

Similarly, contaminants like zinc and sulfur in water can gradually corrode your pipes, ultimately causing damage. The next time you see some springing leaks on your plumbing, consider speaking to a plumber about having your water quality tested in a lab. This is not to mention that leaks can sometimes be enough to cause insurmountable losses in water damage on the property.

4. Reduced Water Pressure

Low water pressure can be a huge nuisance to any homeowner. It makes it quite difficult to smoothly undertake chores like washing, cleaning, showering, or even flushing the toilet. And, while low pressure is often caused by leaks, water hardness minerals could also be to blame.

Deposits of these minerals tend to accumulate along the pipes, eventually reducing the space available for water to flow through. An inexplicable reduction of water pressure could indicate that you have a hard water problem. And, again, an experienced plumber can help you determine the exact cause of pressure reduction, testing your water for hardness and contaminants if necessary.

5. Strange Smells from Plumbing

In some instances, your plumbing problems might just not show up in your water quality test report. If you happen to notice a peculiar smell coming from your water sources, one crucial explanation is possible. There could be a buildup of bacteria in your plumbing channels. It could be caused by refuse water from your sinks and drains, which provide a great environment for bacteria to thrive.

The foul smell you sense once you turn your taps on could be the hydrogen sulfide gas produced by the bacteria sitting in your drainage system. As much as the strange smell doesn’t necessarily come directly from your taps, it’s important to consult your plumber about a solution for this before you place an order for bathroom wall tiles.

And there you have it. Many plumbing issues can indicate a problem with your water quality, from acidity to hardness, and the presence of contaminants.

Diego Martinez

Diego Martinez, with a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, has been a leading figure in maintenance and facilities management for 16 years. He joined our editorial team in 2020, sharing his expertise in preventative maintenance, system optimization, and energy efficiency. Diego’s previous roles include engineering manager in manufacturing and consulting for facility management. He has provided practical advice and problem-solving strategies for maintenance issues. He is an enthusiastic cyclist and volunteers in community tech education programs.

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