meter for hard water

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Are there devices that measure the hardness of water - a meter, not a st of chemicals or test strips? One designed for hardnes, not TDS (Total Disolved Solids).
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Jan,
It would help if you could define "hardness" and tell us what you are doing. Often folks use hardness to mean calcium. There are ion-selective meters to measure calcium. These meters are affected by other ions to some extent. Without knowing what you are doing it's hard to say that an ion-selective meter would work for you.
Dave M.
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On Tue, 4 Jun 2013 08:09:31 -0400, "David L. Martel"

Hardness includes any disolved solids as well - A TDS meter is available. You want to measure calcium, magnesium, iron,among others.
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On Tue, 04 Jun 2013 12:48:59 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I have a TDS meter, but according to it, our water softener isn't doing much, but the chemical test shows that it is. The water softerer company says that it takes out calcium, iron, and magnesium, as you said, but not the other things, which is why the TDS meter doesn't really measure water hardness.
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water softeners, at least the common ones, replace the calcium ions with sodium ions.
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On Tue, 4 Jun 2013 15:17:16 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net"

I didn't know that, which explains why the TDS meter doesn't really work.
The water softener uses salt (sodium cloride), but I thought that the ions stuck to plastic beads or pellets as the water goes through the device. The plastic beads will get saturated with ions but then when it regenerates with salt, that gets the ions off the plastic beads and flushes them away (from my understanding).
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On 6/4/2013 5:12 PM, Jan Philips wrote:

Water softeners I am familiar have sodium zeolite. The sodium in the zeolite can exchange places with calcium and similar ions in the water. I forget which chemical law it is, but the concentration of sodium in the water will become the same as the concentration of sodium in the zeolite if the water is there long enough. So the zeolite slowly turns into calcium zeolite. Flushing with sodium chloride in water turns the zelite back to sodium zeolite. I believe sodium salts and resulting products are soluble in water. Zeolite is like a sponge and has an immense surface area.
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wrote:

OK, so it does replace the calcuim with sodium. And I suppose there is some chemical reason I don't understand why sodium doesn't make water hard the way calcium does.
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On Wed, 05 Jun 2013 16:35:01 -0400, Jan Philips

And speaking of that, does it put enough soduim in the water that you shouldn't drink too much of it?
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On Wed, 05 Jun 2013 16:36:49 -0400, Jan Philips

I figured that out last year, but don't have the numbers handy. In general, though, you would have to drink many gallons per day to get enough sodium from softened water to causes someone on a low sodium diet to exceed their limit.
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After I asked here, I found the following. It can be too much for someone on a low-sodium diet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_softening#Effects_of_sodium
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On Wed, 05 Jun 2013 21:50:37 -0400, Jan Philips

But even that article admits it is talking about a worst case situation - extremely hard water and a person with a severely restricted diet. 126 mg in 2 liters isn't much for a normal person with a 2300 mg daily recommended intake. I am not saying a person who needs to avoid salt shouldn't make a reasonable attempt to avoid softened water, but the websites that talk about it like it is a horrible health hazard are being rediculous.
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On Thursday, June 6, 2013 8:58:06 AM UTC-6, Pat wrote:

The amount of salt in softened water is miniscule...my houseplants thrive on it.
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wrote:

Same here. My wife has a green thumb and uses both softened and hard water on the plants based on where the nearest faucet is located. After many years, she notices no differences between the two.
Pat
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Then I guess that would be a 'yes' then. White bread is one of the things I avoid because it is so high in sodium. The way my house is set up, and this was done by the previous owners, is the softener is bypassed for the outside faucets, a drinking water faucet, and the hot water heater. That was because they just didn't like the taste of softened water.
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On Thu, 06 Jun 2013 10:59:04 -0500, Mark Storkamp

I wouldn't bypass the water heater!
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i dont like the slimey feeling of showering in softened water, I assume people get used to it
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wrote:

But it makes your skin feel so good. I can't stand the effect of hard water in a shower. If it weren't for the effect on showers, I wouldn't bother with a water softener.
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On Thu, 06 Jun 2013 18:53:27 -0400, Jan Philips

I agree. When you realize what Bob calls slimey is just the feeling your skin has when fully rinced, you can't live without it. I feel sticky in the shower when the softener isn't working.
But, that is my opinion and nothing more. To each, their own. Pat
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On Thu, 06 Jun 2013 10:59:04 -0500, Mark Storkamp

It makes no sense to me to bypass the water heater. The time you need it most is when taking a bath or shower. Second most probably when you are washing clothes or dishes.
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