How to Check for Hard Water
The following is a list of steps that you can take to test your water for hardness:
- If you live in a municipal area, check with your local water company.
- If you live in a rural area, or some suburban areas, contact your local water company or a county extension agent.
- Have your water tested by a laboratory. You can have your household tap water tested for hardness, dissolved solids, iron, PH, and amount of corrosiveness by an independent, EPA certified laboratory. Water Softener - Determining Your Water Hardness
What is considered hard water?
- Soft water is 0-3 gpg (grains per gallon)
- Medium water is 3-7 gpg
- Hard water is 7-12 gpg. Anything over 12 gpg is very hard, and a water softener is recommended.
If you have the hardness in "parts per million" (PPM) or "milligrams per liter" (MgPL) and need to convert to "grains per gallon" (GPG):
- PPM / MgPL to GPG: Divide by 17.118.
- GPG to PPM or MgPL: Multiply by 17.118.
- Example: 300 PPM divided by 17.118 = 17.5 GPG
- Note: "Milligrams per liter" is the same as "parts per million"
View a short "What is Hard water?" video: