After experiencing the signs of hard water in the home, it’s natural that you want to determine the next steps to fix the problems—and fast. And as a quick reminder, hard water usually presents itself in the following ways:
The first step to solving hard water problems is to implement a water hardness test so you can find the best water softener solution. Here are a few ways to get you started:
Without having to go too far out of your way, one of the easiest options for a hard water test is with a clear, clean, empty bottle with a cap, pure liquid soap and water right from your tap. Fill the bottle one-third full, add a few drops of pure liquid soap and shake vigorously for a few seconds. If there is a distinct lack of fluffy bubbles and the water appears cloudy and/or milky, your water is hard. Soft water would have copious bubbles, and the resting water at the bottom of the bottle would be clear. Keep in mind that because most soaps are formulated with detergents, they lather regardless of your water type. For the best results, use a basic soap, such as Castile, which is free of dyes, perfumes and detergents.
The water bottle test may work well as a basic assessment, but it isn’t the most accurate way to determine your water hardness level. For that, a more sophisticated hard water test is required. A hard water kit includes test strips and a color chart. After filling a glass with cold water from your bathroom sink, insert the test strip for several seconds and then remove it. Also, it’s important to note that you should not just stick the strip under running water, as this can provide inaccurate results. As the strip changes color, compare it to the color chart included in your kit. Each color on the chart corresponds to the hardness of your water, with results measured in grains per gallon (gpg).