Do I need a water softener (10 signs to tell)

This is the question most people ask “do I need a water softener with city water or for well water, keep on reading to find out.

Do I need a water softener

How do I tell if I need a water softener?

  1. Test your water hardness

One of the best ways to find out whether you need a water softener is to measure water hardness at home. You can do the test yourself right at home using a water hardness test kit which you can buy at the most local store or online store. There are other simple methods you can use to test water hardness at home if you don’t want to use a water hardness test kit.

The other way to know water hardness is to request a water quality report from the municipal water department. You can send a sample to a testing laboratory in your area; some do for free, and others charge a small fee for testing.

After testing your water hardness how do you define whether your water is hard or soft? The below table will help you understand better. The water hardness is measured in either grain per gallon (GPG) or ppm (parts per million) or mg/L

1GPG= 17.118 PPM or mg/l

 GPGPPMmg/L
softbelow 3 gpgbelow 60ppmbelow 60ppm
moderately hard3-7 grains61-120ppm61-120ppm
hard7-10 grains121-180ppm121-180ppm
Very hard10-15 grains181-256ppm181-256ppm
Extremely hardAbove 15above 256 ppmabove 256 ppm

According to the above table anything above 3-grains you need an ion exchange system to treat your hard water.

Although testing water hardness is the best way to find out if you need a softening system some signs could tell your water is hard, and a water softening system could be an addition in your house. Such signs include:

  1. Soap is not lathering well

If you have a hard time getting a good lather when doing laundry or bathing that indicate your water is hard and you need a unit.

  1. Noticing build up on the appliances

If you have hard water mineral scale will start to form on a home appliance such as kettle and pipes

  1. Stains on sink and bathtubs

After showering or bathing using hard water white chalky residue will be left on the floor of the bathtub or on the sinks that is a good indication you have hard water and softening unit is needed.

  1. Faded and dull clothes

It is tough to rinse laundry detergent using hard water they leave them on clothes. Also, the laundry detergent does not dissolve well in hard water; the soap will remain on the clothes making them look faded and dull.

  1. Dry skin and hair

What happens when hard water come to a contact on your skin and hair the hard water mineral is left behind it absorbs the natural oil on your skin and hair making your skin dry.

  1. Constant repair of your plumbing and home appliances

Most pipes and home appliances are made of quality metal or material that doesn’t get spoilt more often. But when they come to contact with hard water mineral, they are easily damaged by the scale buildup causing you to keep on repairing the appliances more often.

  1. High utility bills

Hard water causes scale build up on your pipes and home appliances. Over time the buildup causes the clogging on the pipes or appliances. Your pipes will work hard to let your water pass through therefore increasing water bill. When it comes to heaters or boilers, the scale will affect energy efficiency leading to a high electricity bill.

  1. Stain on the kitchen utensils

Hard water cause kitchen utensils have stained all over them.

sign you need a water softener
  1. Low water pressure

After using hard water for a time, they foam build-up on the pipe causing them to clog this can cause your water has low pressure.

When you know you have hard water in your house, you should take appropriate action and invest in an ion exchange water softener or electronic water conditioner. If you are on restricted sodium diet in invest on a salt-free water softener.

At what hardness is a water softener needed?

If your water hardness is more 7 GPG (grains per gallon)/120mg/l then you need a water softener

Do I need a water softener with city water?

Every city water has different water quality. To determine whether you need a water softener you need to find out the hardness level of your water. You can test hardness at home using water hardness kit or contact local municipal council to find out.

Related articles:

  1. Buyers guide water softener
  2. Types of water softener
  3. Water softener installation
  4. How a water softener works
  5. How much is a water softener
  6. How to maintain an ion-exchange system
  7. Type of water softener resin
  8. How to clean water softener resin
  9. Turn off the water softener
  10. The benefit of a water softener
  11. Regeneration 
  12. How to program a water softener
  13. Effects of hard water
Do I need a water softener