How to Test for Hard Water at Home

If you suspect your home may have hard water, you’ll want to be proactive about it. Hard water scale wreaks havoc on plumbing and makes even the simplest chores more complicated than they need to be by leaving residue behind. 

Fortunately, testing for hard water is a pretty simple process. Read on to learn how and discover what you can do about it. 

The Difference Between Hard and Soft Water

Hard water is water with high levels of magnesium and calcium. Minerals are great for drinking, but they can be frustrating to deal with in appliances like dishwashers, showers, and the like. 

Soft water is water with the absence of these minerals. Though not as great for drinking due to its infamously salty taste, it’s easier on your home’s plumbing and better for cleaning. 

Is My Water Hard or Soft?

In many cases, the hardness of your home’s water will be pretty obvious if you know what you’re looking for. Hard water:

  • Leaves dishes looking dingy.
  • Coats tubs and sinks with a film.
  • Decreases your water pressure by leaving mineral deposits behind in the plumbing.
  • Leaves spots on dishes and mineral stains on clothes.

If you’ve noticed any of these issues, it’s a good chance your water is hard. If you have soft water, you won’t have any of these issues. Your clothes and dishes will be clean, and your water pressure will be normal.  

How to Detect Hard Water at Home

Still not sure and wondering how to test for hard water at home? No worries. These three tests will help you definitively determine your home’s water type. 

The Soapsuds Test

Fill a bottle (plastic or glass) one-third of the way with tap water. Add a few drops of liquid dish soap to the water and place the cap on the bottle. Then, shake it up! 

Now check out the water. If there are lots of bubbles, then your water is soft. If bubbles are few and the water looks cloudy, you’ve got hard water. 

Ask the City

If your water comes from the city and not from a private well, you can ask your water provider. Their answer isn’t always accurate as the water may become hard on the way to your home, but it can give you a good idea of the water hardness scale in your area. 

Use a Water Hardness Test Kit

Home test kits are the easiest and most effective ways to know whether your water is hard or soft. These small, single-use strips are easy to use and give you the most accurate information regarding your home’s water. 

What Can You Do About Hard Water?

A water filter installation is the best way to eliminate problematic hard water. These filters eliminate the minerals that cause hard water before the water reaches your tap. Water filters also eliminate: 

  • Hydrogen sulfate
  • Acid water
  • Iron

With a water filtration system in your home, you can rest assured that your water is free of chemicals and contaminants, making it safe for your family. 

Say Goodbye to Hard Water with Hearn Plumbing Heating & Air

At Hearn Plumbing Heating & Air, we’re no strangers to hard water problems. Contact us today to find out how a water filtration installation can benefit your home.