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Thread: Want to Test Total Hardness in home water supply

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    Want to Test Total Hardness in home water supply

    For the sake of calibrating my water softener I am trying to test the Total Hardness of the water coming to my home. I have read that the standard Calcium Hardness test uses of R-0010 (Sodium Hydroxide) as a base/buffer is to avoid interference with Magnesium. As I understand it at high pH the Magnesium will precipitate out. In order to measure Total (Calcium + Magnesium) Hardness can I simply not use R-0010 leaving the pH at about 7.5 and the Magnesium in solution?

    Thanks,
    Mike
    10K Gal IG Plaster, 1 HP Pentair WhisperFlo Pump, 100 sq ft Pentair Clean & Clear Cartridge Filter, AquaRite SWG, Paramount PCC2000 pop-up cleaner, Rheem/Raypak 266 heater, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir

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    Re: Want to Test Total Hardness in home water supply

    I can't help with the chemistry but you might get those answers from the water company. Our water district posts the annual water test online and I think it may have those values. A phone call to that office might help you otherwise.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Want to Test Total Hardness in home water supply

    Thanks anonapersona. I spoke to our local water utility office and they were no help. They said they don't measure hardness and don't need to report it. If I want to know what the Total Hardness is they said I should buy a test kit and measure it.

    Mike
    10K Gal IG Plaster, 1 HP Pentair WhisperFlo Pump, 100 sq ft Pentair Clean & Clear Cartridge Filter, AquaRite SWG, Paramount PCC2000 pop-up cleaner, Rheem/Raypak 266 heater, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir

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    Re: Want to Test Total Hardness in home water supply

    This sounds like a question for Chem geek! I'll get the signal set up!
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    Re: Want to Test Total Hardness in home water supply

    According to the instructions in the Taylor K-1722 that tests for Total Hardness as well as Calcium Hardness, it doesn't appear to be as simple as just not adding the R-0010 Calcium Buffer (sodium hydroxide). Instead of the R-0011L (triethanolamine 77%, isopropyl alcohol 23%, Calcon < 1%), they use the R-0854 instead (same ingredients except instead of Calcon it says a different chemical). I think they use a different though related dye. I suspect that you'd get an approximate reading of Total Hardness by skipping calcium buffer step, but it might not be as accurate as using the real test for Total Hardness. You could try it on tap water with known Total Hardness from your water quality report and see what happens.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Want to Test Total Hardness in home water supply

    Thanks Chem Geek!
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    Re: Want to Test Total Hardness in home water supply

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemctx View Post
    For the sake of calibrating my water softener I am trying to test the Total Hardness of the water coming to my home. I have read that the standard Calcium Hardness test uses of R-0010 (Sodium Hydroxide) as a base/buffer is to avoid interference with Magnesium. As I understand it at high pH the Magnesium will precipitate out. In order to measure Total (Calcium + Magnesium) Hardness can I simply not use R-0010 leaving the pH at about 7.5 and the Magnesium in solution?

    Thanks,
    Mike
    wonder if this may help you out: http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/calciu...jFWY1mMs_D_BwE
    15k gal inground Viking fiberglass pool; Hayward Variable 1.5hp pump (Maxflo VS); Hayward swimclear 325 sg ft cartridge filter; Raypak 206A 199k btu nat gas heater; Aquabot Bravo robotic pool cleaner

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    Re: Want to Test Total Hardness in home water supply

    Thanks all. I'm good at this point. Talked to my water softener installer (who I trust and has been servicing my area for decades) and he confirmed that there is virtually no magnesium in our water supply. Thus by measuring Calcium Hardness I'm effectively also measuring Total Hardness.

    Mike
    10K Gal IG Plaster, 1 HP Pentair WhisperFlo Pump, 100 sq ft Pentair Clean & Clear Cartridge Filter, AquaRite SWG, Paramount PCC2000 pop-up cleaner, Rheem/Raypak 266 heater, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir

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    Re: Want to Test Total Hardness in home water supply

    In most cases, it will get you more than close enough. Check with your guy, but it should be making soft water to the quality of 3 grains or less, all the way to the end of the run. That conversion to PPM is 17.1

    So if you have 3 GPG (grains per gallon) it will be 51.3 PPM.

    It's a great idea to monitor your softener for sure. Somewhere on it's display, it should show you gallons remaining. When it regens, this starts over. Lets just say yours can process 450 gallons after regen. You would want to check it as close to zero gallons remaining to really understand how well it is doing. You should be just as soft here as you were on the front end. If not, contact your guy and let him know you are leaking hardness on the end of the run.
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    Re: Want to Test Total Hardness in home water supply

    We have hard water here and have to clean out the water heater about every year because the heat makes the calcium settle in the tank. Once the calcium gets to the bottom heating unit it will burn it out. Your water heater will eventually tell you if your water softener is working good or not is what Im trying to say here.
    18,000 Gallon Aboveground. Sand Filter with 2HP 2 speed Pump.

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    Re: Want to Test Total Hardness in home water supply

    If you don't mind spending a little money, the Hatch 5b kit is pretty much the standard for home water hardness testing. Bought the kit back when I was trying to properly size my whole water softening system. The kit pretty much backed up the numbers I already got from my water company.
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