To find out the hardness of water in your area, call the city offices, visit a water-testing laboratory or use a test-strip kit. Hard water can cause mineral deposits in appliances and pipes.
Call the superintendent of water or the city offices if you are supplied by a municipal water company, and inquire about recent water testing results. The results are likely to be supplied in parts per million and need to be converted to grains per gallon to determine water hardness for home use. To do this, divide the PPM by 17.1.
You may have to test the water yourself if it is supplied privately. Contact the county or city health department to find out if it can do the testing for you. Alternatively, call local reputable water-conditioning companies to find out if they test samples for free or provide free test-strip kits.
Another option is to visit a water-testing laboratory with a sample of the water for testing. A representative can explain the results and recommend a course of action based on the results. Find an independent water-testing laboratory by contacting the state health department or water utility company.
It is especially important to test your water for safety and hardness if you have a well. Check for nitrates and bacteria at least once a year and at least one time for radon, lead and mineral content.