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Re: Low pH
Jason Daniels wrote:
> Thanks for your input. Something I should clarify which I found most
> baffling is the relationship between pH and hardness. My kits are
> telling me the hardness is > 300 ppm (which I'm treating with softening
> pillows) while the pH is about 4.5. I was always under the impression
> that a high hardness resulted in more basic water. This juxstaposition
> of of pH and hardness values is what I find confusing. Chemistry is not
> my first field of study. Am I wrong in this assumption or is there
> something else I'm overlooking?
There is no chemical relationship between hardness and pH. Typically high
hardness does come along with high pH, but that is only a sort of
statistical relationship and there are lots of exceptions. It appears
from your test results that you have extremely hard water with no
buffering and so a low pH. My tap water is the opposite; it has very
little hardness, but a lot of buffering capacity and comes out of the tap
with a pH of about 7.8.
> As far as the 'natural rocks' go, most of the orniments are sedimentary
> sandstones and limestone. Some slate and quartz. A few have trace
> amounts of iron. The substarite is made up of primarily carbonatious
> rock, as best as I can determine.
Pyrite could be found in sandstone, limestone or slate, but probably only
if these were mined or quarried stone. If you have a significant amount
of limestone either in the stone or the substrate, then that should
prevent the low pH readings you're reporting and I would have to wonder
about your pH test kit.
> With respect to the buffering capacity of the water, I've been using it
> for several years without incident. We have excellent water where I
> live, slighltly acidic (about 6.5) with mild chlorination as a
> contaminant trace. Ozonation is the primary disinfectant.
I would consider any pH drop to 4.5 to be an "incident." You need to get
a kit to test your buffer capacity, or contact your water supplier for
that information. The test kit you need would be for either
"alkalinity" or "carbonate hardness" - either will measure your buffering
capacity. If you get information from your water supplier, look for
or ask for the alkalinity.
If you have much alkalinity (say, more than a degree KH, or about 20 ppm)
then probably your pH kit is giving you bad results.