If you find yourself Googling “how to tell if my water is hard or soft,” then you’ve probably already noticed some signs of hard water in your home. You can test your water yourself to find out right away if your tap water is hard or soft, but it is best to let a professional do a water analysis for you.  

Here are some tell-tell signs you have hard water in your home:

1. You have low water pressure – Hard water is probably the culprit if you are experiencing low water flowfrom your kitchen or bathroom faucets. The hard water buildup is due to calcium, magnesium, and other mineral deposits, which may clog pipes resulting in a lower water flow in your faucets.

2. You can visibly see residue – The residue we are talking about is beyond normal soap scum. Hard water buildup causes a tough-to-get rid-of film. Hard water is also to blame for limescale deposits on your faucets, which cause a greenish tint. Rust-colored stains on your porcelain sinks and in your toilet bowl also indicate hard water.

3. Your appliances are suffering – Hard water can wreak havoc on your household appliances, such as your dishwasher or washing machine. When minerals from hard water build up on your appliances, the sediment may clog valves or cause other issues. Appliances may wear out a lot faster than they should as well. 

4. Your tap water doesn’t taste great – Hard water can have a metallic taste due to the excessive amount of minerals present in it. These minerals may make the water taste metallic. If your water pipes have accumulated a lot of hard water buildup, you may even feel that your water has a moldy or muddy taste.

5. Your skin is dry or itchy – Bathing or showering in hard water may be irritating, especially to those with sensitive skin. This irritation is due to the presence of all those minerals in the water. Soap residue is left on your skin, which is what causes your skin to feel dry, itchy, or taut. If you suffer from dry skin conditions, hard water may make your symptoms even worse.

6. Your hair seems dull or lifeless – The minerals in hard water make it more difficult to completely rinse everything out of your hair. If you don’t get shampoo or conditioner thoroughly rinsed out, the residue left behind can make hair limp, dull, or have an unclean appearance. 

7. Your laundry doesn’t seem clean enough – When you do your laundry in hard water, soap may still be on your clothes after a wash. Just like with showering and washing your hair, hard water doesn’t rinse the soap out as well as soft water. The result: Your laundry doesn’t feel like it is getting as clean as it should because hard water is not unable to get rid of stains or smells from fabric effectively. Additionally, this will make your clothes wear out faster because continuing to wash your clothes in hard water means more and more mineral deposits are building up on the fabric.

8. You have higher utility bills than you should  Hard water buildup will clog pipes, and that means your water heater cannot work as efficiently as it should. Your water heater will be using more energy which will increase your utility bill.

How to Get Rid of Hard Water

The best and most reliable way to get rid of hard water for good is to have a water softener installed. This is a system that filters out the minerals in your water, leaving it soft. RainSoft is the best water softener for improving your water quality immediately. Once installed, you will notice a drastic improvement in everything from laundry to showering to washing dishes. A water softener will prevent expensive appliance repairs or plumbing issues due to hard water buildup. 

Hard water can cause a slew of problems. If you’re still unsure if you have hard or soft water in your home, reach out to us today for a free in-home water quality test.