Testing for Hard Water in Tampa

Hard water in Tampa is a common complaint among homeowners. It can irritate your skin and cause scale buildup in pipes and any appliance that uses water. Plus, laundry and dishes don’t get as clean as they could with soft water. If you suspect you have hard water, here are three inexpensive (but imprecise) methods to test for it. For precise results, contact a professional.

Soapsuds Test

Fill a plastic bottle one-third full with water straight from the faucet—about 8 to 10 ounces. Add 10 drops of dish soap (not detergent), seal the bottle, and then shake well for 10 seconds. If the solution foams up quickly with a lot of suds and the water below the suds is relatively clear, your water is fairly soft. If the solution doesn’t foam well, creating only a shallow layer of suds, and the water below the sods is cloudy, you likely have hard water.

DIY Test Kit

Water quality test kits are often sold at home improvement and hardware stores, as well as online. Make sure the kit you buy tests for hardness and comes from a reputable manufacturer. Follow the instructions on your kit to determine your results.

Review the Data

If you receive city or municipal water, you can contact the utility company and request the latest water quality report. These reports are often also posted online. While the report won’t precisely reflect what’s coming out of your tap, it will give you an idea of the overall hardness level in your area. Look for “calcium carbonate” in the report and compare it to this scale:

  • Soft Water: 0-60 mg/L
  • Moderately Hard Water: 61-120 mg/L
  • Hard Water: 121-180 mg/L
  • Very Hard Water: Over 180 mg/L