How to Fix a pH Imbalance in Tap Water


man filling up water bottle with tap water

All water, no matter where it comes from, has a pH balance; this number references the acidity of the water.  The scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being acidic, 14 being basic, and 7 neutral.  Typically, for the tap water in our homes, that number should remain around a neutral number – 6.5 to 8.5 is the healthiest range for pH balance.  Not only does this provide the healthiest range, it also tastes the best.

Sometimes, the pH balance in your tap water gets thrown off – with a few simple suggestions, this can be fixed.  We will walk you through some of the easiest ways to get your tap water back to its safest drinking conditions.

Hard vs. Soft Tap Water

The terms “hard” water and “soft” water stem from the pH balance.  When it is more acidic, the water is considered soft – softer water often gives a more metallic taste, due to the presence of excess iron, manganese, and other metals.  Soft water, over time, has the ability to break your metal pipes – it also leaves bluish stains on things.

Hard water – or, more basic water – contains more magnesium and calcium.  Hard water is more common in American homes; in fact, about 85% of households have hard water.  Due to the buildup of the calcium and magnesium, household appliances need to work harder, causing a higher water bill.

Signs of harder water include white and chalky residue in your dishwasher, bitter tasting water, low water pressure from your appliances, dry skin and flat hair, and your clothes looking dull.

What Causes Unbalanced pH in Tap Water?

Tap water loses its pH balance from absorbing the minerals in the ground where the supply comes from.  As it moves through the ground, it picks up the elements of the soil, limestone, bedrock, chemical runoff, and other surroundings.  Rain is slightly acidic, so in especially rainy areas the water there may be slightly more acidic as well.

Although nature sometimes causes imbalanced tap water, that does not mean it cannot be fixed.

Problems of Unbalanced pH in Tap Water

While an unbalanced pH in your tap water will not cause enormous issues right off the bat, the smaller issues build up over time into larger ones.  For example, when your water has too much acidity, this corrodes the metal water pipes in your home.  After this happens, leaks may begin to appear and cause other bigger problems in the house.

On the other hand, hard water causes a buildup of calcium in pipes and other drains, which prevents these things from functioning properly.  The water flow gets blocked, decreasing water pressure – yes, even in your sinks and showers – and since your appliances work overtime to function properly, they break much faster.

As for health issues, consuming too much acidic water over time may cause tooth decay, kidney disease, nausea, and similar symptoms.  Excess hard water sometimes causes metabolic alkalosis – these symptoms include confusion, nausea, hand tremors, and muscle twitching.

tap water overflowing glass cup

How to Balance the pH in Tap Water

There are many ways to balance the pH in your tap water –  similar to fixing something as simple as the temperature in your home when it is uncomfortable.  The following are a few ways to neutralize the tap water in the house:

Filtration System

The first way to prevent tap water from getting out of balance is to place a neutralizing filter system in your home near the entry point of your water supply.  By doing this, any water that enters the home must run through the filter system and the neutralizing substance inside of it.  The filter will either use calcium carbonate or magnesium oxide to neutralize the water, depending on if it is more acidic or basic.

Water Injection

If a filtration system cannot be used, is it also possible to invest in a water injection of soda ash or acid.  This system, similar to the filtration system, goes near the point of entry of the water supply.  This method is much more hands on than the filtration system, as it is not automatic – so if you are worried about a faulty filtration system putting excess chemicals into the water, this may be a better option.

Water Softener

A water softener may only be used when water is too hard, but it differs from a normal water filtration system and injection.  The softener specifically removes the calcium and magnesium minerals from the water, which are the root cause of the problem.  These work by changing the properties of the water.

Call Whites Plumbing to Balance Your Tap Water Today!

If you are feeling uncomfortable adjusting your tap water’s pH balance on your own, need any other plumbing services, and are located in the Triangle area in North Carolina, Whites Plumbing experts are here to help!  We have been serving both residential and commercial customers for years, keeping their homes running smoothly.

Feel free to contact us by filling out the contact form below, and someone will be in touch with you shortly.  We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Request a Quote
Top Services

Request A Service Call

We’ll get in touch with you as soon as we can!