Los Angeles hard water, filtration recommendation.

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

#1: Post by Osanties »

Hi experts, so I am finally upgrading to a fancy double boiler (Bye Silvia, thank you for 14 years!) and I want to plumb it in. I have been reading a lot of marketing info about the BWT filters, particularly about the Bestmax premium and was pretty sold on it until I tested my water.

Yesterday I got the API titration test for GH and KH and these were my results for my cold tap water:
GH = 17-18
KH= 7
pH (on a strip)= 7.5-8

Below are some values from the city water quality report for my area:
TDS = 304 ppm
pH = 8.4
Total Hardness (as CaCO3)= 127 ppm
Alkalinity (as CaCO3) = 72 ppm
Chloride = 56 ppm (average)
Calcium = 30 ppm
Magnesium = 14 ppm
Sodium = 56 ppm
Potassium = 2.8 ppm

Will the Bestmax Premium be a good idea? if not which filter will be best?

I will be using this water for the machine and also as the main source of drinking water since I plan to put a tap on it. It goes without sayin that I want to to avoid the scale build inside my new $3k machine.

Thank in advance for all your help, and if you need more information, please let me know.

Oscar

User avatar
homeburrero
Team HB

#2: Post by homeburrero »

Osanties wrote:Will the Bestmax Premium be a good idea? if not which filter will be best?
If it were me, I would go with RO and a remin filter with this water. That would take care of the chloride, which is a corrosion risk. La Marzocco USA generally recommends RO when chloride ion is above 30 ppm, and Synesso is more conservative about chloride, recommending RO when the chloride ion is above 15 ppm.

Second best would be a conventional softener (sodium or potassium ion exchange). It would drop your hardness to a less scale-prone level and would keep the alkalinity of the incoming water. That alkalinity is a defense against chloride corrosion and you want to keep that.

The BWT bestmax would do a good job making the water less scale prone, but it uses a WAC resin that exchanges H⁺ ions for hardness ions, which lowers the pH and reduces the alkalinity, and you don't want that with this water.

BWT does have a conventional sodium ion exchange softener cartridge (called the bestprotect) but there are lots of options for that that you can get from coffee equipment vendors.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

Osanties

#3: Post by Osanties »

Thank you for your feedback Homeburrero!

Ideally I would go with an RO system but this seems complex for now. Even with my Alkalinity levels at 125 ppm will you be concerned with the pH drop and the chlorides? I was reading somewhere, I don't remember where since I've read way too many things, that WAC with Alkalinity above 100 and Cl- below 80 should be fine.

Again thank you,

Oscar

User avatar
homeburrero
Team HB

#4: Post by homeburrero »

Osanties wrote:Even with my Alkalinity levels at 125 ppm will you be concerned with the pH drop and the chlorides?
If it is that high on average, I would be less concerned. My advice was based on I thinking you might have an average alkalinity of 72 ppm per the water report. Generally speaking any chlorides may be harmful so there is no clear cutoff. If you have a vintage copper/brass machine then you have reason for more chloride paranoia.


Osanties wrote:I was reading somewhere, I don't remember where since I've read way too many things, that WAC with Alkalinity above 100 and Cl- below 80 should be fine.
That's probably from this Pentair article: /downloads/ ... pdated.pdf which is excellent info from people who know this stuff. It is more permissive than the advice we see from some vendors, and note that it's primarily about stainles steel corrosion. My understanding, mostly from rpavlis posts (Chemistry professor Robert Pavlis, rpavlis was a frequent contributor to HB who had vintage lever machines and shared a wealth of knowledge about physics, chemistry, and water) is that copper/brass is more susceptible to chloride related corrosion than stainless steel.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h