Dealing with hard water problems isn’t easy, and for this reason, many people choose to install a water softener in their homes. Hard water often presents in a number of obvious ways, including filmy dishes, soap that doesn’t lather easily, soap scum, scale on fixtures, dry skin, tangled hair, and frequent water using appliance repairs. Before you take steps to deal with these problems, it’s a good idea to carry out a water hardness test. This will help you to understand the hardness of your water, which is important when you’re looking for the best solution. Let’s take a look at four easy water testing methods in more detail.

1.  Check with the City

If you receive your water from the city, there is an annual drinking water quality or consumer confidence report issued before July 1. This is available in an online notification, or you may get it in the mail. This will tell you where your water comes from what’s in it, and most reports will tell you the water hardness too. If you’re not sure about the water hardness, contact your local water municipality and ask them for more information.

2.  In-Home Water Testing

A simple in-home water test can confirm that you have hard water. Add a few drops of pure liquid soap to a clean, clear plastic bottle filled to one-third with tap water. Place the cap on securely and vigorously shake the bottle for a few seconds. If the water is milky or cloudy and there are not many bubbles, this means that the tap water is hard. If your water is soft, there will be a lot of bubbles, and the water at the bottom of the bottle will be clear. Many soaps are formulated with detergents, which are designed to lather in hard water. So, it’s important to use a pure soap, which is free of detergents, perfumes, and dyes for this test.

3.  Water Testing Kits

The basic plastic water bottle test will only give you a yes or no answer. For more accurate results, you can use a hard water testing kit which includes a color chart and test strips. Fill a glass with cold water, insert a strip for the specified time, and remove it. The strip will change color, compare it to the chart, and the colors will correspond to the water hardness measured as grains per gallon (gpg). There are more comprehensive tests that include an analysis for alkalinity, chlorine, nitrates, pH levels, and iron.

4.  Laboratory Water Testing

For the most accurate results, you need to send a water sample away for laboratory testing. More information can be revealed about the presence of bacteria, heavy metals, and more. This is a good idea if you suspect that you have other water quality issues and you want to install water filtration systems to fix them.

Around 85% of American homes suffer from some degree of hard water, and the average hardness is 13 gpg. This is considered to be very hard, and it will cause a lot of problems in your home. If you want to remove the hardness from your water, contact your local water treatment specialist.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.