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Hard Water, Softer & Test Kits

I have a raised ranch with hard water and, according to the inexpensive test kit I bought at Home Depot, hardness is about 120 part per million. We have a water softener installed, which according to the same test kit, reduces the hardness to 0 parts per million. If it's of any help, the same Home Depot test strips measure the pH as 7.5 and Alkalinity of 240 - these particular measurements are the same with and without the softener.

I'm aware of the problems with hard water, but I'm also become concerned with the problems of having soft water too. Things like leaky faucets which require somewhat frequent replacement of rubber rings, washers or seals and rubber toilet flappers that seem to warp much too frequently. The scaling on the faucets and fixtures need to be soaked or cleaned with vinegar or the like. :(

I'd be interested in testing my water regularly and adjusting/maintaining my water softener myself; I think I have most/all the documentation. So, here come a few questions...

  • What's the ideal hardness for water; not too hard and not too soft so as to avoid scaling or corrosion? I've heard 50 parts per million is ideal. True? :confused:
  • Can anyone recommend a water hardness test kit? Everything I've found uses strips which only ballpark these numbers. I'd be willing to pay a few dollars for a decent kit if it provided more precise measurements. I was thinking of something like a test kit you'd use with your pool with drops and such.

I'd appreciate any recommendations, suggestions or help anyone might have.

Thanks in advance.

Re: Hard Water, Softer & Test Kits

The ideal pH for water is 7.0 and 0 ppm of any kid of minerals or pollutants. The mineral content could be what is causing the scaling. I dont know about any kits though. Agricultural extentions and health departments may be able to help you there.

Re: Hard Water, Softener & Test Kits

Is it possbile for water to be too soft?

If so, what are the types of problems you would expect?

Thanks for the reply.

Re: Hard Water, Softer & Test Kits

I suppose, but I've never dealt with it. And usually the treatment/softeners balance themselves so that it is not an issue. :oI shouldnt really speculate and you can research it at easily as I. Personally though I wouldn't concearn myself with it untill it prooves necessary to deal with it. I've never heard the complaint.

I know that your laundry soap will work better and your clothes will be brighter but that about all I know. And, I could live with that result.:)

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