When you experience hard water, it’s natural to consider alternatives to make the water easier to use. This is because hard water can damage your plumbing system and water using appliances. It inhibits the formation of soap suds, which reduces the efficacy of soap and detergent. Hard water can also dry your skin and nails and the minerals tangle in your hair, making it hard to manage. If you think that you may have hard water, there are three easy testing techniques to confirm your suspicions.
1. Check the Water Quality in Your City
Every city should produce a consumer confidence report on the quality of the drinking water in that municipality. This report is usually published on July 1 and it should be freely available online. This report should inform you about the sources of your drinking water, what it contains, and the levels of hardness. If you cannot find this report, contact your local water municipality and they can help you to find what you need.
2. A DIY In-Home Water Testing Kit
There are water testing kits available to purchase at your nearest home improvement store. They are not particularly accurate and they are not a replacement for laboratory water testing. But, if you only want to confirm that you’re receiving hard water, it’s possible to make your own DIY water testing kit. Find an empty and clean plastic water bottle with a cap and fill it with tap water to one-third full. Then add a couple of drops of pure liquid soap and shake the bottle for several seconds. If the water is soft, you should notice plenty of bubbles and a little water left in the bottle. But, if the water is hard, there will be few or no bubbles and the water may turn a milky color or appear cloudy. This test will only work with pure basic soaps that contain no perfumes, detergents, or dyes.
3. A Store Bought Testing Kit
If you want to learn a little more information on the makeup of your water, you can get the aforementioned water testing kit for around $5. Simply fill a clean glass with tap water, insert the testing strip, leave it for several seconds and then check the result. Don’t place the testing strip under running tap water because the results will be even more inaccurate. The included color chart will show you the water hardness represented in grains per gallon or gpg. More comprehensive water testing kits are available to determine the concentrations of chlorine, nitrates, iron, pH levels, alkalinity, and more.
Approximately 85% of American homes receive hard water and the hardness can vary a great depending on where you live. Once you know that you have hard water, it’s a good idea to get it laboratory tested to determine the gpg. This will allow you to make more informed choices on how to remove the hardness and other water treatment systems you may need. To put this into some perspective, water with 7 gpg or higher is considered to be hard and 13 gpg is “very hard” water.
If you want to remove hard water, contact your local water treatment specialist and ask about a water softener system installation.
By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.