Best solution for my 150 TDS tap water?

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.
boshk

#1: Post by boshk »

Any recommendations?

Current tap water 150 tds (using my aquarium test kits, Alkalinity 4dkh, GH=4dkh, pH 7)

For espresso, I use Brita Jug, tds out 115

I also have a RO filter for the aquarium, tds 4

Best option?
1) remineral RO with Epsom salt and Baking Soda (cheapest since I already have the RO filters)
2) Install Brita C50/C150 filter (Rocket retailer said it should reduce my tds, make my tap water drinkable, do away with Brita jug) ($200usd)
3) try and source a BWT Bestmax filter (no idea how much tds it reduces but it seems to be the go-to in the US for espresso machine filters) (Most expensive)

luvmy40

#2: Post by luvmy40 »

Try adding potassium bicarbonate. 0.4g/gal to your RO water.

2g of KHCO3 in 5 gal. distilled water gives me about 70 ppm TDS and a ph of 8-8.5 as measured with the cheapest electronic meters available on Amazon. I don't even weigh the bicarb any more. 1/4 tsp(a "Tad")= 1g.

The KHCO3 is cheap, available at any wine/beer making supply and mixes very easily, almost instantly.

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homeburrero
Team HB

#3: Post by homeburrero »

boshk wrote:Current tap water 150 tds (using my aquarium test kits, Alkalinity 4dkh, GH=4dkh, pH 7)
That water is not much above the hardnss recommended in the VA Prima manual, which recommends 3 - 5 French degrees (equivalent to 1.7 - 3.8 ˚dH). Especially if you plan not to descale, it will need some softening.
boshk wrote:Best option?
1) remineral RO with Epsom salt and Baking Soda (cheapest since I already have the RO filters)
2) Install Brita C50/C150 filter (Rocket retailer said it should reduce my tds, make my tap water drinkable, do away with Brita jug) ($200usd)
3) try and source a BWT Bestmax filter (no idea how much tds it reduces but it seems to be the go-to in the US for espresso machine filters) (Most expensive)
Options 2 and 3 are pretty much the same. Both are decarbonizing filters with adjustable heads that allow you to dial in a small amount of softening. They lower both the alkalinity and the hardness by about the same amount and tend to acidify the water, which makes them effective at reducing scale. In situations where your alkalinity is low and you have some chloride ion in the water they may not be a good choice.

In your case, a fourth option would be a conventional softener that replaces hardness ions with sodium (or sometimes potassium) and does NOT reduce alkalinity may be your best option. It would give you very low hardness water and keep all that 4dkh alkalinity (appx. 70 mg/L CaCO3 equivalent). They are a simple and inexpensive option that can be found at many coffee equipment suppliers. That's what I would use for plumb-in, especially if there was some chloride ion in my tap water.

boshk wrote:1) remineral RO with Epsom salt and Baking Soda (cheapest since I already have the RO filters)
That's a good option here; it takes care of any concerns about possible chloride or other undesirables in your water. And you can choose other recipes like rpavlis that have zero hardness and good alkalinity like the one luvmy40 recommended below.



P.S.
luvmy40 wrote:Try adding potassium bicarbonate. 0.2g/gal to your RO water.
People who use this recipe typically shoot for around 0.4 grams per gallon. That's works out to the same as your:
luvmy40 wrote:2g of KHCO3 in 5 gal. distilled water

See Easiest way to make rpavlis water?
Pat
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atao

#4: Post by atao »

I have very hard water myself.

I got an RO system that has a remineralization cartridge that takes the TDS to about 30.
I used to add 70/30 minerals to this to take it a bit higher, but i don't really notice much difference and it's a little bit extra work, so i often don't do it.

There is, however, night and day difference between the raw tap water and using the water out of my RO + mineralization system. The RO makes much better coffee.

luvmy40

#5: Post by luvmy40 »

homeburrero wrote:...

P.S.
People who use this recipe typically shoot for around 0.4 grams per gallon. That's works out to the same as your:
See Easiest way to make rpavlis water?
Thank You! I should have said .4g/gal. Nice catch!

edited original post

boshk (original poster)

#6: Post by boshk (original poster) »

homeburrero wrote:That water is not much above the hardnss recommended in the VA Prima manual, which recommends 3 - 5 French degrees (equivalent to 1.7 - 3.8 ˚dH). Especially if you plan not to descale, it will need some softening.

Options 2 and 3 are pretty much the same. Both are decarbonizing filters with adjustable heads that allow you to dial in a small amount of softening. They lower both the alkalinity and the hardness by about the same amount and tend to acidify the water, which makes them effective at reducing scale. In situations where your alkalinity is low and you have some chloride ion in the water they may not be a good choice.

In your case, a fourth option would be a conventional softener that replaces hardness ions with sodium (or sometimes potassium) and does NOT reduce alkalinity may be your best option. It would give you very low hardness water and keep all that 4dkh alkalinity (appx. 70 mg/L CaCO3 equivalent). They are a simple and inexpensive option that can be found at many coffee equipment suppliers. That's what I would use for plumb-in, especially if there was some chloride ion in my tap water.

That's a good option here; it takes care of any concerns about possible chloride or other undesirables in your water. And you can choose other recipes like rpavlis that have zero hardness and good alkalinity like the one luvmy40 recommended below.

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Well I went ahead and installed that Brita C50 Quell filter and it did pretty much nothing.........maybe I installed it wrongly....not sure but at least i can get rid of my 2 other filters I use for drinking.

As the to RO and remineral, I may continue to use a combo of both Brita and RO and see how things taste.

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homeburrero
Team HB

#7: Post by homeburrero »

boshk wrote:Well I went ahead and installed that Brita C50 Quell filter and it did pretty much nothing.........maybe I installed it wrongly....not sure but at least i can get rid of my 2 other filters I use for drinking.
If you set it per the manual's recommended 70% bypass for your 4 °dKH water you won't see much effect unless you use a high precision test kit. It should be maybe half to one German degree lower in both alkalinity (KH) and hardness (GH) and have a lower pH than the incoming water. Those three things together would tend to reduce limescale deposits.

If you are testing your water with the API GH & KH drop titration kits you can get better precision by stretching the sample: Get a larger test tube or vial that holds a 10 ml sample and use that instead of the 5 ml sample in the test instructions. Then each drop will correspond to a half German degree of GH or KH.

P.S.
For converting these German degree (°dH) measurements ...
Multiply German degrees by 0.562 1.78 to get French degrees (which they use in many Italian machine manuals).
Multiply German degrees by 17.8 to get mg/L or ppm CaCO3 equivalent (which is most often used for hardness and alkalinity discussions).
Multiply German degrees by 1.04 to get grains per gallon (often used in hardness and water softening discussions).


Edit fix: :oops: My original post had the French conversion upside down. :oops: One French degree is 10 mg/L CaCO3 equivalent. So you either divide German degrees by 0.562 or multiply by 1.78 to get French degrees. For those who prefer online calculators here's a nice one: https://www.lenntech.com/calculators/ha ... rdness.htm
Pat
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