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.