How to Determine if You Have Hard Water and What You Can Do About It

How to Determine if You Have Hard Water and What You Can Do About It

How to Determine if You Have Hard Water and What You Can Do About It

Is Your Water Giving You a Hard Time? 

Is the water in your home causing you frustration? Have you noticed limescale buildup on your faucets and shower heads, or is your skin feeling dry and itchy after showering? If so, you may be dealing with hard water. But what exactly is hard water, and what can you do about it?

In this article, we will help you determine if you have hard water and provide you with practical solutions. Hard water is caused by high levels of minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium, in your water supply. This can lead to a variety of problems, including clogged pipes, reduced water flow, and damage to your appliances and fixtures.

To determine if you have hard water, we will walk you through some common signs to look out for, such as soap scum residue, dingy laundry, and low water pressure. We will also explore the negative effects of hard water on your skin and hair. Most importantly, we will discuss effective solutions to combat hard water, including water softeners, descaling agents, and other alternative methods.

Don't let hard water continue to be a headache in your home. Read on to learn how to deal with this common issue and enjoy the benefits of clean and soft water.

What is hard water

Hard water is a term used to describe water that contains high levels of minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium. These minerals are naturally present in many water sources and can impact the quality of the water you use in your home. When water has high mineral content, it can lead to a range of issues that affect both your household appliances and your personal well-being.

One of the most noticeable characteristics of hard water is the difficulty it presents when trying to create lather with soap or detergent. Hard water prevents soap from effectively dissolving, leaving behind a residue known as soap scum. This residue can build up on your skin, hair, and bathroom fixtures, creating an unattractive and unsanitary environment. Additionally, hard water can make it challenging to achieve clean and spotless dishes and laundry.

While hard water is not harmful to consume, it can have negative effects on your appliances and plumbing system. The minerals present in hard water can accumulate in pipes and fixtures, leading to blockages and reduced water flow. Over time, this can result in costly repairs and decreased efficiency of your plumbing system. It is important to be aware of the signs of hard water and take steps to address the issue before it causes significant damage.

Signs and symptoms of hard water

Determining if you have hard water can be done by observing some common signs and symptoms. These indicators can help you identify if the water in your home is causing issues and if you need to take action to address the problem.

One of the most common signs of hard water is the presence of soap scum residue. When you wash your hands, do you notice a sticky film on your skin that is difficult to rinse off? This can be a clear indication that you have hard water. Similarly, if you notice a buildup of soap scum on your shower tiles, bathtubs, or sinks, it is likely that hard water is the culprit.

Another symptom of hard water is the effect it has on your laundry. Do your clothes come out of the washing machine looking dingy and faded? This can be a result of the minerals in hard water bonding with the detergent and depositing on your clothes. Over time, this can cause colors to fade and fabrics to become stiff.

Low water pressure can also be an indicator of hard water. The mineral buildup in pipes and fixtures can restrict the flow of water, leading to reduced pressure. If you find yourself constantly dealing with weak water flow, it may be a sign that hard water is present in your home.

The effects of hard water on household appliances

Hard water can have significant negative effects on your household appliances. The minerals in the water can accumulate in pipes, appliances, and fixtures, leading to a range of issues.

One of the most common problems caused by hard water is the buildup of limescale. Limescale is a hard, chalky deposit that forms when the minerals in hard water are heated or evaporate. It can accumulate on the heating elements of appliances such as kettles, coffee makers, and dishwashers, reducing their efficiency and lifespan. Additionally, limescale can clog pipes and reduce water flow, leading to plumbing issues and costly repairs.

In washing machines and dishwashers, hard water can interfere with the effectiveness of detergents and cleaning agents. The minerals in the water can react with the detergent, preventing it from properly dissolving and cleaning your dishes and laundry. This can result in dishes that are not thoroughly cleaned and clothes that are not properly washed.

Hard water can also affect the lifespan of your water heater. The minerals in the water can accumulate in the tank, reducing its efficiency and potentially causing it to fail prematurely. Regular maintenance and descaling of your water heater can help mitigate the effects of hard water and prolong its lifespan.

Testing for hard water

If you suspect that you have hard water, there are several methods you can use to test its hardness level. These tests can help you determine the severity of the issue and guide you in choosing the appropriate treatment method.

One simple way to test for hard water is to observe the lather formation when using soap or detergent. Fill a glass with water and add a few drops of liquid soap or a small amount of detergent. Shake the glass vigorously to create suds. If the water is hard, you will notice that the soap does not lather easily and leaves behind a scummy residue.

Another test involves the use of a water hardness testing kit. These kits are readily available and typically include test strips or tablets that change color depending on the hardness of the water. Follow the instructions provided with the kit to obtain an accurate reading of your water's hardness level.

If you want to find out exactly what's in your water, request a free water test. A Dupure representative will do a free assessment in your home at your convenience. From there, we’ll recommend the right products to help you have a safer, healthier home.

Understanding water hardness levels

Water hardness is typically measured in grains per gallon (GPG) or parts per million (PPM). The hardness level of water can vary from region to region, with some areas having naturally softer water and others having significantly harder water.

Water hardness is categorized into the following general ranges:

  • Soft water: 0-1 GPG or 0-25 PPM
  • Hard water: 2-7 GPG or 26-100 PPM
  • Moderately hard water: 7-10 GPG or 101-180 PPM
  • Very Hard water: 10-14 GPG or 181-250 PPM
  • Extremely hard water: 14+ GPG or 251+ PPM

Knowing the hardness level of your water can help you determine the appropriate treatment method. For example, if you have slightly hard water, you may only need to implement simple DIY remedies, whereas if you have very hard water, you may need to invest in a water softening system.

How to prevent and treat hard water

Fortunately, there are several effective methods for preventing and treating hard water. From water softeners and water conditioners, you have options to choose from based on your budget and the severity of the issue.

Water softening solutions - water softeners and whole home water filters

Water softeners are the most common and effective solution for treating hard water. These devices work by removing the minerals responsible for water hardness, such as calcium and magnesium, and replacing them with sodium or potassium ions. The water softener is typically installed at the point of entry into your home, ensuring that all the water flowing through your plumbing system is treated.

Water softeners require maintenance, including the periodic addition of salt or potassium pellets to recharge the system. However, they provide long-term benefits by preventing limescale buildup, improving the efficiency of your appliances, and making cleaning tasks easier. Water softeners are available in different sizes and capacities, allowing you to choose the one that best fits the needs of your household.

An alternative to traditional water softeners is the use of whole home water filter. These devices do not remove the hard water minerals from the water but alter their structure, preventing them from causing issues. Whole home water filters are can be smaller in size, making them a convenient option for homeowners who want to address hard water without taking up as much space.

Professional services for treating hard water

If you have severe issues with hard water or prefer a hassle-free solution, then give us a call at (877) 534-5837 or schedule your free water assessment through our website.

Dupure specializes in providing tailored solutions for treating hard water. We can assess the severity of the problem and recommend the most suitable treatment method for your specific needs. This may involve the installation of a water softener, whole home water filter, or other advanced water treatment systems.

It is very important that your treatment method is properly installed and maintained, giving you peace of mind and long-term benefits. This is why Dupure not only manufactures, but installs each and every water system we offer. Water filtration systems will save you money in the long run by preventing costly repairs and extending the lifespan of your appliances.


Dealing with hard water can be frustrating, but it is a problem that can be solved. By identifying the signs and symptoms of hard water and understanding its effects on your appliances and plumbing, you can take the necessary steps to prevent and treat the issue.

If you choose to invest in a water softener, we have solutions available to help you enjoy the benefits of clean and soft water. Don't let hard water continue to be a headache in your home. Book your free water test today and say goodbye to limescale buildup, soap scum residue, and the negative effects of hard water on your skin and hair. Your household appliances and your well-being will thank you!

What's In Your Water?

Find out how clean your water is (or isn’t) with our Free Water Assessment, and learn more about the Dupure water filtration, conditioning and softening systems that will help you make your house a safer, healthier home.

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