Do You Have Hard Water?

by Roger on July 24, 2009

The majority of houses in the U.S. have hard water. While hard water poses no known health risks, it can be quite damaging to both your home and your wallet!

So how can you tell if you have hard water? Well, there are plenty of “symptoms,” which include:

  • Water spots on your dishes/glassware
  • White stains/sediment on your faucets
  • Clothes (particularly white ones) that look dingy and/or have rust-colored stains after washing
  • Fabrics feel “rough” or “hard” after washing, and they wear out faster (although, as a symptom, this may not be as readily apparent)
  • Soap may not lather as much, although some soaps are manufactured to lather a lot, even in hard water, so this may not be an accurate measurement
  • A “ring” around your tub or shower that is very difficult / nearly impossible to clean

While all of these signs indicate that your home has hardwater, you can find out definitively by having your water tested. If you have city or municipal water, you should first try calling your water supplier; the municipality or county should be able to tell you if your water is hard.

To test the specifics of your hard water, use a home water-test strip kit. These tests are extremely easy to use and usually provide immediate results. Although each has its own specific instructions, typically the test features a strip that turns different colors depending upon the minerals in the water, when it is dipped in the water for a minute or so. The test includes a color-coded chart to identify which minerals are present in the water. Any company that knows what it is doing and is trying to help you solve your hard water problems will need to know how many grains of hardness they need to treat to solve your water problem. That is the information that this test will provide.

You should be able to buy these inexpensive strips at any local hardware store or supermarket. As you discover the hardness of your water, you will need to research options to treat your home’s hard water problems, and you may find it interesting to research the more environmentally-friendly, salt free water softeners available today on the market like Scalewatcher, manufactured here in the USA.

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