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What is Hard water, and how you can test for it!

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What is Hard water, and how you can test for it!

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What is Hard Water?

Hard water, or water hardness refers to the mineral content within the water. As water falls from the sky it is considered soft, this is because it has yet to come in contact with minerals. The water that comes out of the tap has made a long journey to get there and along the way it picks up any number of contaminants, minerals and heavy metals which effect the “hardness”. Depending on the area and source the hardness differs.

Below is a map of Australia showing the general hardness in each state.

Hardness is determined by the amount of mineral content, this is measured in milligrams per litre.

  • 0 – 60 mg/l, soft
  • 60 – 120 mg/l, moderately hard
  • 120 – 200 mg/l, hard
  • 200 and above, very hard



Signs of Hard Water

It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that it would taste different, but thats not necessarily the case. If you can taste a metallic taste that is a given that the water is hard. There are other symptoms that you can keep an eye out on to see if you have hardness or not:

  • stains on bathtubs or toilets that keep reappearing after cleaning
  • deposits on faucets and fixtures
  • soap scum or residue that is hard to wipe away
  • difficulty effectively washing clothes or dishes
  • running out of hot water too quickly
  • persistently clogged pipes


Is it bad for me?

There are differing opinions on which is better for you. What we can tell you it’s not good for your fixtures. Limescale and build-up on fixtures is caused by minerals, and that white stuff that bubbles around the bottom of your kettle is a sign that hardness is effecting your appliances. If you’re spending your afternoons wiping down the shower screen, that’s another sign your water is hard.

In the video above, we show you the differences, and best of all this is a test you can perform at home.

Why would you want soft water?

Researchers from the University of Sheffield and King’s College London have discovered that exposing the skin to hard water damages the skin barrier – which is our defence against outside threats such as bacteria or sun burn – and increases the sensitivity of the skin to potential irritants found in everyday wash products such as soap or washing powder. Source: University of Sheffield

Studies show soft water to be beneficial to the skin, and especially those with skin conditions. Our customers often get back to us and tell us the differences it has made in their skin. On top of that the harder it is the more difficult it is to get your hands or hair clean as you’ll need more soap, and shampoo.

As mentioned above, your appliances and fixtures will last longer. It can also lead to blocked pipes and shower heads restricting flow due to ‘scale’ build up.

What can I do about it?

Our Complete Home Filtration system will not only remove contaminants but also softens your water. Our systems filter to 1 Micron and softened with up to 98.5% chlorine removal along with other chlorine by-products and a whole range of heavy metals. For more information on our systems click here, or see if you qualify for a FREE test.

We also recommend checking out this article on for more details on the effects and also some helpful tips on water hardness.