How to Know If You Have Hard Water or Not

If you've just moved into a new home and you’ve noticed some strange signs that you can associate with the water, you need to know if you have hard water or not. Hard water is essentially water that contains a high amount of minerals like iron, calcium and magnesium.

One of the main ways for water to get hard is when groundwater flows through limestone and picks up magnesium and calcium deposits. Although not all the components of hard water are bad, the sediments in hard water can easily carry harmful bacteria. Here are some of the ways to know if your water is hard or not.

1. Ugly Stains on the Toilet Bowl

Hard water that contains iron will leave unsightly reddish stains on the porcelain toilet bowl. These stains sometimes appear like rust spots and they will not come off without a lot of effort. Even after applying a lot of vinegar to remove them, hard water will cause them to appear again.

2. Soap Scum in Your Bathroom and Kitchen

Hard water with calcium deposits will leave white spots behind after the water evaporates. You will discover that soap scum just keeps showing up all over your bathroom. The soap scum in your bathroom could also be a place for bacteria to grow.

In fact, if your dishes always have spots, your dishwasher may not be the problem. It is most likely your water. You will end up trying to clean your kitchenware and sink more often while using an extra amount of cleaning product to achieve this.

3. Clothes Are Dirty After Washing

You mostly like have hard water if you notice any of the following:

  • Soap does not wash your clothes properly when you use hard water with magnesium and calcium
  • Your clothes and towels start to appear dingy and rough and they wear out faster
  • You need to use more detergent and hot water before you get the clothes clean
  • Your white clothes start to have a yellow tint (usually due to iron in the water)

4. Clogged Pipes and Shower Heads

Hard water will block your shower heads with mineral deposits and the water pressure will automatically drop. Plumbing issues could also arise in different water pipes as they become clogged with scale deposits. This occurs more in older steel pipes than in copper and PVC pipes.

5. Skin Irritation

Washing with hard water usually leaves soap on the body. This film of soap irritates the skin and it will eventually become dry and itchy. The deposits in the water will also affect the moisture content of your skin. In children and some adults, eczema develops quickly on the skin due to exposure to hard water.

6. Appliances Wear Out Faster

Unfortunately, the scale deposits that form in home appliances can make them wear out at least 30 times faster due to hard water. So, your water heater and dishwasher will become less efficient and noisy, causing your energy and water bills to rise. In some cases, hard water can increase your utility bills by hundreds of dollars annually.


If you've noticed any signs of hard water in your home, you need to act quickly. Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Syracuse offers one of the most effective hard water treatment and water conditioning solutions in the industry.

Give Mr. Rooter Plumbing a call now and one of our service professionals will perform a free hard water evaluation.