How to correctly measure water hardness using test strips

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rferoni
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Real Name: Ron
Equipment: Mazzer Major, Anita
Location: S.E. Michigan

Postby rferoni » Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:12 pm

Ok...this is probably a pretty ridiculous question but here it is..

Just got the Anita which is my first and only machine. I tested the water using the hardness strips Chriscoffee supplied with the machine. I also bought extra of these.

Chris' instructions state to dip the strip in water for one second then hold the strip horizontal for 15 seconds. If the water hardness is greater than 3 grains(according to the color matching key) you need a softener system.

So first I use regular tap water. On this strip there was a big droplet sitting on the strip during the 15 second interval. It showed somewhere between 7-15 grains water hardness.

The second time I used the pur filter on our faucet. This time though I sort of gave the test strip a little shake before holding horizontal. This time the reading was right on 3 grains, maybe even a little less.

So after all that my question...is that droplet of water supposed to be there? I'm thinking it just might be and that's why you have to hold the strip level. If thats the case I have to look at how to soften my water.

...Permission to laugh, but only after answering my question... :oops:

Ron

MDL
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Postby MDL » Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:10 pm

I think that you answered your own questions.

Yes, you do want the water drop sitting on the strip, and yes you do apparently need to soften your water.

I suggest that you consider these test strips (they are cheaper and have a clearer color range then the ones from Chris):

http://www.diywatertesting.com/sofchekx3.html

I bought the individually wrapped ones so that they are kept dry and ready for use.

Take care,
Mark

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iginfect
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Postby iginfect » Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:28 pm

Lowe's has free hardness testing strips in the water filters area of the plumbing section.

Marvin

rferoni
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Real Name: Ron
Equipment: Mazzer Major, Anita
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Postby rferoni » Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:23 pm

MDL:

I checked out that link you posted and read the directions on their strips. Believe it or not their directions are the exact same as Chris's except for one thing...they tell you to shake off the strip before holding it horizontally.

Now I understand of course these are different strips but it does seem promising.

Nonetheless, I will be doing other testing. No way I want to ruin a brand new machine. You know I couldn't wait though and had to fire her up!

Ron

BlueMINI05
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Postby BlueMINI05 » Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:22 pm

If I may ask a related question, what does one do if the water is indeed too hard and a water softener is out of the question? I live in a small condo with no way to install a household water softener. Is bottled water the only option, or are there smaller softeners out there? As in something that can be installed under the sink?

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Charlie Chan
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Postby Charlie Chan » Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:57 am

You could just descale your machine more often.
"If befriend donkey, expect to be kicked"

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iginfect
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Postby iginfect » Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:20 am

BlueMINI05 asked
If I may ask a related question, what does one do if the water is indeed too hard and a water softener is out of the question? I live in a small condo with no way to install a household water softener. Is bottled water the only option, or are there smaller softeners out there? As in something that can be installed under the sink?

Chris sells an under the sink water softener.

Marvin.

mgwolf
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Postby mgwolf » Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:46 pm

bottled water?

MDL
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Postby MDL » Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:00 pm

You can easily either assembly yourself, or buy from Chris, an undersink softener/filter system using generic 10 inch cartridge holders. The system "T"s off of the cold water shutoff under the sink very easily so that you can install and then remove it when you leave.