How to Tell if You Have Hard Water in Your New Home

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If you have never had to wonder whether you are having a hard water problem, then you are a lucky homeowner. Experiencing the consequences of incoming hard water at home is not fun. It could scale your surfaces and even go as far as damaging your plumbing system. To prevent this, you need to learn how to tell if you have hard water in your house.

Suffering thanks to hard water is not uncommon. At least 85% of U.S homes have incoming hard water every day. Even when your city treats the water, they are never doing this process to remove hardness in the water.

In case you don’t know the meaning, hard water is the water that carries a lot of calcium and magnesium minerals. The best way to solve this issue will be purchasing a water softener that can eliminate all these minerals and provide you with better water quality. However, it is important first to be sure that you are experiencing a hard water problem. There are various ways you can find out.

How to tell if you have a hard water problem

Before testing your water, you could look at some of the signs that could tell you if you are indeed getting hard water at home.

  • Soap scum is sticking to your bathtubs, sinks, dishes, and even your shower curtain. You can quickly identify it since it looks like a white solid cover.
  • It is not easy to clean your dishes because hard water will leave behind soap spots.
  • Appliances, which are supposed to last for years, such as your dishwasher and your washing machine, are damaging, which means you are paying for more repairs.
  • The appearance of your skin is changing. If you used to have smooth skin and now it feels very dry, this could be due to hard water.

 These are some of the most common consequences of hard water. But, if you want an in-depth look into how hard water can affect you, visit this site.

Check around your house, and if you are experiencing any of the situations mentioned above, it is time to test your water for hardness.

How To Test Water Hardness

There are three options to find out if you have hard water at home. You can rely on your city’s data, perform a DIY home test, or purchase a test kit. We will explain each of them below.


Usually, you will receive a report from your city at some point during the year telling you about your water quality. This report could be online or paper-based. In there, you will find the composition of the water, where it is coming from, and most of them will have your water hardness. In case you don’t see your water hardness in that report, you can call your municipality, and they will tell you.

DIY Hard Water Test At Home

This is the easiest way to determine your water’s condition. In this guide, we will tell you how to test for hard water at home with just a few items. All you will need for this little experiment is a clean plastic bottle, liquid soap, and tap water from home.

  1. Take the plastic bottle and fill one-third of it with tap water.
  2. Then you will need some liquid soap. The best choice will be pure soap, which means that it does not have any additives or perfumes, which will influence our test results. Also, make sure not to pick a soap with detergent. Otherwise, the results will be inconclusive.
  3. Take the plastic bottle and pour 10 drops of the liquid soap of your choice into the water and close the bottle.
  4. Shake the bottle for ten seconds to mix the water and the soap.
  5. Check the results.

 Once you shake your bottle, there are two possible results. 

  • Your bottle can be full of bubbles at the top, and at the bottom, you can see clear water. If there is a visible separation between both substances, then you can relax. You have soft water.
  • The other option is that there is no clear separation. Instead, you get cloudy water and maybe a few bubbles on top. If you want to know how hard your water is after this process, you can add more soap. The more soap you need to add to produce bubbles at the top, the higher is your water hardness.

Sophisticated Testing Method

A DIY test can only tell you so much. If you want to get an accurate result, you will need to purchase a hard water kit. Don’t worry. These tests are not expensive. You can buy them for $5 or $10 maximum.

How to Test Hard Water with a Kit

Once you have the test kit at home, you will notice it comes with some strips and a colour chart. For now, we are only going to need the strips.

  1. Take a glass and fill it with water. Preferably, collect the water sample from your bathroom sink.
  2. Put one of the strips inside the water you collected and leave it for some time.
  3. Now you can take the colour chart that came with the kit. Look at how the strip changes its tone and find a closer one on the chart. This chart will show you your water hardness in grains-per-gallon (GPG).

 There you go, this test will tell you an accurate water hardness. When you are purchasing a water softener, you can just say to the seller your water hardness in GPG, and they can give you some water filter options that will work for your household.

How To Test Water Hardness: Final Thoughts

Now that you know different ways to test for hard water at home, you can use this information to improve your water quality. You don’t have to keep dealing with the consequences of hard water. There are several water filtering options you can choose from with a wide price range. You are just one step away from having soft water every day.




Ref number: THSI-1932

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