How Do I Know if I Have Hard Water or Soft Water?

If you were given a glass of water and asked to determine whether the water was soft or hard, you might have a tough time doing it. That’s because water’s hardness isn’t made most apparent by the way that it looks, but rather by the effects that it has on your body and your home. Today we’re going to help you identify your tap water’s hardness levels by answering the question, “How do I know if I have hard water of soft water?”

How do I know if I have hard water or soft water?

  • Look for limescale. One of the most tell-tale signs of hard water in your home is limescale. Limescale is a white, crusty substance that grows on faucets, sinks, tubs and other plumbing fixtures due to a large amount of hardness minerals in your water. If your home has limescale, it almost certainly has hard water.
  • Inspect your glassware. When glassware is washed in hard water, it tends to come out spotty and foggy. When glassware is washed in soft water, it comes out much more clear and sparkly. If your glassware comes out of your dishwasher looking streaky, spotty or foggy, there’s a good chance your home has hard water.
  • Feel your clothes. Hardness minerals can damage the fabric in clothing and make them feel rough and scratchy. In addition, clothes do not wash as effectively in hard water. If your clothes feel rough and/or are tough to keep clean, hard water could be to blame.
  • Evaluate your hair and skin. Showering in hard water can dry out your skin and hair because soaps and shampoos do not lather as well and hardness minerals and soap residue can clog up your pores. If your skin and hair do not feel smooth and silky after showering, the problem could be a result of hard water.
  • Consider past plumbing issues. Have you had problems with low water pressure in your home? Do clogs seem to be a common issue in your sinks and drains? Hardness minerals build up in pipes over time, making plumbing issues much more common and severe.
  • Take a look at your water heating bills. Homes with hard water have much higher water heating bills than homes with soft water. That’s because hardness minerals build up at the bottom of a water heater’s tank, making it difficult for the burners below to heat the water inside. If your water heating bills are higher than you think they should be, hard water is a likely culprit.

Get your water tested for free by EPA Water to know its exact hardness levels

Although the tips above are a great start for determining whether or not your home has hard water, the best way to find out is by having your water tested by a water quality professional. EPA Water offers free water quality testing for homeowners in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We can determine your home’s exact hardness levels and help you determine whether or not you could benefit from installing a water softener in your home!

If you have any questions about how to know if you have hard water or soft water, or if you’d like a water system serviced or installed in your home, contact EPA Water Consultants, your water softener and water filtration system dealer in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We provide service all over the Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including towns like Doylestown, Macungie and Malvern, PA.

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