Are you curious about what type of water you have? It’s definitely worth finding out and can make a big difference when it comes to your laundry routine, appliances and household fixtures..
Let me share a story with you to illustrate. The water was so hard at the last house we lived in that it broke down our water heater in just 2 years. The plumber told us he routinely replaces water heaters every 3 years or so in our area. Knowing our water was extremely hard helped alert us to problems like that, so that we could budget and save for an appliance that we knew would need periodic replacement. It also meant I started stocking up on Lime-Away to keep our faucets looking nice.
Knowing your water hardness helps answer other questions. What type of detergent should you use? (it works more effectively in soft water and less effectively in hard water). Do you need a water softener? (extremely hard water will not only wear out appliances but corrode your kitchen and bath fixtures).
Your local plumber might be able to give you a rough idea of the water type based on a “grains per gallon” measurement. The scale of hardness, as defined by the Water Quality Association, is as follows:
Soft: 0-1 grains per gallon (gpg)
Slightly Hard: 1-3.5 gpg
Moderately Hard: 3.5-7.0 gpg
Hard: 7.0-10.5 gpg
Very Hard: over 10.5 gpg
But there’s also a simple and free test you can do at home. It takes less than a minute. Request your free water test from Water Boss. They will mail it to you within a few weeks.
The test consists of a white paper test stick and a color chart which is printed right on the package. Stick it under running water for a few seconds.
Read the results by comparing the wet test strip to the color chart on the package. My test result was right in the middle – the brown color equates to roughly 7 grains per gallon. According to the above scale, our water is “moderately hard.”
Diaper Junction also sells a 3-pack of water test strips if you’re placing a cloth diaper order anytime soon. Shake off the excess water and then wait 15 seconds.
Is your water hard or soft, or somewhere in between? Have you ever considered doing a test to get a definite answer?