Water softener effect on pH

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Reach4, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    IL
    http://www.harveywatersofteners.co..../does-softening-water-cause-any-changes-in-ph says
    When water is softened by sodium exchange, the pH rises slightly by about 0.2 to 0.3 units. This is because sodium is a stronger alkali than calcium, magnesium or other multivalent ions present in the water and which are replaced by sodium.
    This statement was surprising to me. Not a big deal, but I found it interesting. However I find even more statements that softening does not affect pH. I don't know what the reality is. If there is an effect, I wouldn't think that 6 pH, 7 pH and 8 pH would all go up by 0.2 to 0.3 units. When I get my new pH paper, I plan to see if I can detect an effect. That's a pretty small difference to detect.
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    IMO such a small difference... in layman's terms would be no change. But then if I ever checked for a change after a softener, it's been a very long time ago. Also, a softener adds sodium as it removes the 'hardness' and other positive charged ions in the water, which increases the TDS in most cases.
  3. Smooky

    Smooky Member

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    When water has a low pH it is corrected by adding hardness, so doesn’t it make sense that to lower the pH you would reduce hardness?
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    IL
    It seems to me that you could also raise the pH by adding sodium bicarbonate or even sodium hydroxide. I know sodium bicarbonate, AKA baking soda, is often used in swimming pools, and sodium hydroxide is used in some water treatment.

    Adding calcium carbonate is probably done instead because it will not overshoot the pH desired. Using either of the first 2 would require some kind of metering system and maybe even a feedback system to avoid getting too alkaline. But if you could do that effectively, it would not raise the hardness leaving less for the water softener to do.
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,493
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    delete...
  6. truckkerjoe

    truckkerjoe Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Greensburg, MD
    Hello,Just read the link obove..it didn't say any thing about Iron filter medias?maybe someone might help,recently installed my Iron filter with only 3 backwashes as of yet,but my PH,Alkalinity,Stabilizer are off the charts(pool-tester) was wondering does it take several backwashes,and how many times to improve?
    Looked at M.S.D.S. and no info under Ecological??? Thanks.
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    2,493
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    IL
    What do you measure pH of the incoming water as? What is the pH of the water out of the filter? If off of the charts, which way off of the charts, and where does the chart end? What technology is your iron filter.
  8. truckkerjoe

    truckkerjoe Member

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    37
    Location:
    Greensburg, MD
    Wow that was fast!! Incoming PH=7.5 OUT=THINKING 14? Alkalinity 120 out obove 240 ALL HIGH
    Was told it will take maybe 5 backwashes?? Technology??? This is Katalox Light fleck7000SE
  9. truckkerjoe

    truckkerjoe Member

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    Greensburg, MD
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Location:
    Ontario California
    Katalox Light uses Calcium hydroxide as the binding agent in the manufacturing process. This can and usually does affect the pH but it is short lived. We have used Katalox light in a couple of municipal type applications and the pH normalizes fairly quickly. It is also important to take a proper pH test. The water that has been sitting in the media for any length of time will have a very high pH, same as water that has ben soaking in calcium carbonate or magnesium dioxide. In order to do a proper test, the water should be run for at least three bed/tank volumes at a specified flow rate. Katalox Light, should be tested at around 3 GPM per Cubic Foot.

    Try that and let us know what the test comes back with.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  11. truckkerjoe

    truckkerjoe Member

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    37
    Location:
    Greensburg, MD
    Ditto,Thank you and I'am sick of saying that,LOL
    Ok The part were you wrote ;;to do a proper test, the water should be run for at least three bed/tank volumes at a specified flow rate. Katalox Light, should be tested at around 3 GPM per Cubic Foot.
    If I have 1cft and a 10x40 tank and a PSI of 27 how long must one run it for?Then I will get a laboratory for a final test and any reply coming from you always helps.If you seen the filter and housing?I have to manual rub off the poly.cotton off the inside and it's the 3rd one thus far.This media is really top-of-the-line. Thank you for your time Sir.
  12. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,871
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The standard for testing is three bed volumes at rated flow, then test. This is not so critical for ion exchange, absorption, or many other medias, but it is very important for medias that alter the pH. As the water sits in the tank, it continually absorbs the medias that alter pH. If you had a calcite bed, the pH coming out of the tank after the water has sat in it for a few days can be very high, same goes for medias that use calcium hydroxide as the binder. I would recommend running the water through your system at 3 gpm for no less than 15 minutes prior to doing a pH test. Also be aware that the pH rise across many of these hybridized medias is temporary and will dissipate quickly.

    Hope this helps!
  13. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,493
    Location:
    IL
    That Katalox Light having the calcium hydroxide is surprising. Since it is so short-lived, I wonder what its function is. I first thought it might be to keep the media dry until you first add the water. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_hydroxide, among other things, says it "aids in the removal of smaller particles from water." Possibly that would include fine particles of the media what had worn off during shipping. Just speculating. The image is a snip from the MSDS.

    Edit... Ahh. binder.

    Attached Files:

  14. truckkerjoe

    truckkerjoe Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Greensburg, MD
    You 2 members are excellent teachers for the DIYs and this forum works well,I'll do all my shopping here!!
    Dissipate quickly?Thats what we mainly wanted to understand (timetable) wise.We will wait awhile before a PH test.Some people like myself over think and worry over little stuff,and I'am sure others here think the same,team players including the both of you help us tremendously.THANK YOU.
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