Testing hard water is not very difficult but yes you should know all about them. After testing the hardness of water you’ll get to know whether your water is either extremely hard or hard so you can go for a solution or upto a bearable extent. Today in this article, I am going to tell you some easy and efficient methods for testing the hardness of water.
Why Testing Water Hardness Is Necessary❓
When water is hard and has more minerals in it, it will cause the change in pH balance of your skin weaks it as a barrier against harmful bacteria and infection. As a result, your skin becomes itchy and dry. Your hair strands also become dry and prone to breaking.
The water pressure of yo home’s pipeline and plumbing will also face a decline because the minerals form a scale inside pipe and cause the water returns as they come to faucet. So, if you notice these issues it is recommended to test your water hardness level and install a water softener.
An Initial Assessment – For Testing Your Water Hardness
Before you even test and measure the hardest level of your home’s water supply, here is an initial assessment to check whether your water is really hard or not. This assessment includes;
👉 Conduct a Visual Check
Conducting a visual check will include checking anything at your home where mainly your water comes in contact with.
- You can check your Dishes because they will have a layer of white spotting on their surfaces. Also, while washing them with tap water you need more soap to form suds. It means your water is hard.
- Similarly, while taking showers hard water causes the buildup of a soap scum on your skin which results in severe dryness and itching.
- The laundry of your washing machine will get a gray color and a scratchy texture if your water has more minerals and hardness in it.
👉 Water Pressure
If you think you have hard water, you can also check the water pressure of your faucets because when water is hard and has more minerals in it this makes water difficult to pass through your pipes at a fast rate. Because a scale will build up on the surface of the pipe and will act as resistance which drags the water back as it travels to your faucets.
Methods to Test Water Hardness – Easy and Efficient
Here, I am going to explain some detailed methods that you can easily adapt for testing the water hardness of your home water. Hope, you find these methods easy and understanding for you. Let’s just start.
1. Crude Home Soap Test – Quick In-Home Testing Method
The most simple and popular method to measure the level of hardness in your water supply at basic level is soap test. But beside its simplicity it is one of the true and efficient methods for this purpose.
- A water hardness test kit bottle that has a water level mark on it and is of ideal size. But you can also use a small glass bottle with a tight cap.
- Liquid dish soap
- Any measuring device such as a measuring cup that can either be marked in ml, cc’s or ounces. A 12-oz drinking glass can also be used.
If you are using a water hardness test kit bottle fill the bottle upto the mark line but if simple then put a mark on it by yourself upto 8 to 10 oues or ⅓ of bottle. Next, add a few drops of pure liquid dishwashing soap but not detergent. Tight the lid and shake water vigorously for at least 10 second then place the bottle on a flat surface to let water sit and observe the results.
Determining the Results:
If you observe the soapy solution foams up quickly forming a lot of suds and leaves the water relatively clear below the suds it means the water is fairly soft. But if soapy water does not foam up well and water below the layer of suds is cloudy then the water is likely to have a high hardness level.
Water Hardness Measurements – Crude Home Soap Test
|Test Water Volume||Soap Drops||Grains/Gallons Gpg of Water Hardness||PPM MG/L||Softness of Water|
|12 oz||10||0-1||0-17.1||Very Soft|
|20||1-3.5||17.1 – 60||Slightly Hard|
|30||3.5 07/13/2010 – 07.0||60 – 120||Medium Hard|
|40||7.0 – 10.5||120 – 180||Hard|
|50||> 10.50||> 180||Very hard|
2. Hard Water Test Kits – Advanced Method
This method is not just easy and simple to perform but also it can tell us the exact measurement of level of water hardness while soapsuds method doesn’t. So it is quite an advanced and efficient method. These kits are easily available in home improvement and hardware stores and online at Amazon.
A DIY water hardness test kit by a reputable manufacturers
These diy kits use either water hardness test tablets, paper test strips or chemicals to measure the level. For a water hardness test tablet, you have to fill the glass water bottle of the kit up to the specified amount of water as instructed in manual or to the line marked on the bottle. Then you add the tablet in water and if the color of water plus tablet changes for instance green or red then you have to compare the color with standard provided with the hard water test kit.
Note: If the color of the water sample comes out as is green (of any shade) then water is below 20 mg/L of hardness. If the water sample is red then the hardness level is 20 ppm or above.
For the Paper test strips, dip the strip in testing water and after it gets wet or changes the color then match the color of strip against the color chart given with kit to measure the hardness level of your water sample (as measured in ppm or grains). A typical water hardness test strip can measure hardness level from 0-1000 ppm or from 0-59 grains.
Similarly is the case for Chemicals, you need to add chemicals drop by drop in testing water samples. And based upon the final color you can measure the hardness of water level by comparing with standard charts given by manufacturers.
Best Overall Recommended Water Hardness Testing Kits:
1: The Original Watersafe Premium Drinking Water Test Kit
2: Safe Home® Select Water Quality
3. Digital Titrator
Water hardness test kids that use a digital titrator are a bit complex to perform but more precise and accurate than chemicals, tablets or paper strips because they dispense the EDTA solution in very small increments with more accuracy and higher precision. They use a Manver indicator for measuring water hardness level.
First take a sample of water in a flask. Also an EDTA titration cartridge corresponding to the expected total hardness as CaCo3 concentration from your kit. You can use a given table with a kit for concentration. Next, insert the clean delivery tube into the titration cartridge and attach it to the titrator body.
Turn the knob of the delivery tube to emit a few drops into the water then reset the counter and wipe the tip with a clean piece of cloth. Next add the contents of Manver 2 hardness indicator pillow into water and whirl it. Insert the delivery tube tip into the solution. Whirl the water (which in the flask) while titrating EDTA solution from red to pure blue.
Record the no of digits required. And measure the level of water hardness by using give table standard recordings.
Best Overall Recommended Digital Titrator for Water Hardness Testing:
1: Hach 2447500 Hardness (Calcium) Reagent Set
4. Send Your Water to Lab or Get the Professionals to Come
Almost 8 out of 10 cities have labs that can test and measure the hardness level of your given water sample with high degree of accuracy. You can also get in touch with your local health department through the official websites of centers for disease and prevention.
Local water softener installers can stop your home and test for water hardness. And you can call the labs to send their person to you who gets the water sample of your home and then sends you the report.
5. Refer to Municipal Numbers – What’s Your Number
Over 85% of all households experience water hardening to some degrees. But once you test your water testing sample with diy water hardness testing trips or tablets you can compare the results with reports that most municipalities release yearly detailing their hard water test results. No doubt, local numbers will provide you a good baseline understanding but still you have to know how to test water hardness in your home.
Note: Average hardness level of water measured in the U.S is 13 grains which is “very hard” and level over 14 grains is considered “extremely hard”. Even if you are not living in zones where water is not high hard still your water will have a level of water hardness at around 7 grains.
What to Do About Hard Water – Tackling
After you perform a water hardness test on your home water and now know that your water has a high concentration of minerals that causes issues to you. What will be the next step to perform? How to tackle the water hardening issue?
The simplest solution is to install a best water softener in your home. Because they are especially designed to remove magnesium and calcium entirely from your water that causes the hardness.
Water softener are atonsignly advantageous to your home because:
- They prevent build up of scale in your home pipes and faucets that reduce the water pressure.
- Keep your skin and hair healthy by maintaining pH level.
- Provide you overall better and improve the quality of drinking water for better health.
- Prolong the life of appliances which saves your money.
- Reduce cleaning time, as no more layer of whute spots will be on dishes and sinks.
Here are some best and recommended water softeners that you can buy for your home if you are planning to.
1: Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000 Grain Softener
2: Aquasure Harmony Series 48,000 Grains Water Softener
You can use the above mentioned method in the article to check the level of water hardness. So if you come up with hard water, you should go with the installation of a water softener in your home and if the water is soft you can go ahead without making any changes to your home water system. Hope you find this article beneficial for you.