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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Water - filters...  
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moosepucky
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Posted Mon Jul 1, 2013, 1:12pm
Subject: Water - filters - testing - etc - again
 

I have a question about testing and what to test for.  What should I test for :-)

I am on a municipal water supply (reservoir/lake) of a small community of around 60k people.

the "city water" is on the soft side..

I have a Whirlpool WHKF-WHSW - 5 Micron Sediment Water Filter (large whole house filter) at the street inlet to catch anything big and chunky that might come thought.

Below the kitchen sink I have another large housing with a 3M Aqua Pure AP117 carbon/charcoal filter that goes to a separate faucet at the kitchen sink.

I change these filters regularly and have never noticed any build up or staining on the filters or on any of the appliances (faucets, tubs, etc).

The water taste GREAT (better than any bottled or spring water I have tasted).

Should I even bother testing?
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takeshi
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Posted Fri Jul 5, 2013, 4:26pm
Subject: Re: Water - filters - testing - etc - again
 

Without testing your actual hardness is still an unknown and you're left with guessing on descaling intervals.  Your call.  If you're happy with the taste and comfortable with that then by all means.
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Posted Fri Jul 5, 2013, 4:48pm
Subject: Re: Water - filters - testing - etc - again
 

If you want to know, you test.  If you want to guess, you don't.  Test kits are not that expensive.  You can pick up an API GH/KH test kit for somewhere around $10 from an aquarium supply. I bought mine online, here... Click Here (www.aquacave.com)

It's one of the ones suggested in Jim Schulman's Insanely Long Water FAQ, but there are others you can get, and if you have an aquarium supply near you and you prefer, you can stop by and pick one up. It's super easy to use.  Fill the supplied test tube to the line on it's side with water to be tested, count the number of drops needed to get a color change, then look up the numbers on the provided chart. Bam! you're done.  If you like the results, great!  If you don't, figure out what else you need to do to your water before it gets to your machine.

Seems like a no-brainer to me.  Test your pre-treated water supply along side of what ends up in your espresso.  You can even do it by letting some fresh water flow through a clean group head and allowing it sufficient time to cool.

 
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moosepucky
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moosepucky
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Posted Fri Jul 5, 2013, 5:30pm
Subject: Re: Water - filters - testing - etc - again
 

This is what the city says in their water quality report about hardness

"The hardness of finished water in the City water system averages 24 mg/L which is equivalent to 1.4 grains per gallon.  This is mainly Calcium.  The water may be described as soft to moderately hard."

they test the water from 30 random private residences to put together their water quality report.

Now to find out what 1.4 grams (24 mg/l) of calcium per gallon means.  I;ll see if I can find the "insanely long water FAQ" to see if it helps out while I wait for the sun to come up tomorrow.

And to see what my filtration system does to change this base value.

Thanks!!!!  for the heads up to aquarium supply stores.  I'll see what I can find tomorrow morning
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frcn
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Posted Fri Jul 5, 2013, 8:27pm
Subject: Re: Water - filters - testing - etc - again
 

For scaling there has to be two things present. Carbonate hardness and general hardness. That is KH and GH. I am no expert, and that is what I took from reading the Water FAQ:
http://www.big-rick.com/coffee/waterfaq.html
At least to say, I have been sharing that conclusion for a couple of years and have not been corrected by those far more knowledgeable on the subject than I (which is just about everyone else).  ;-)

The API kit that uses the liquid test with the vials does the job remarkably well and economically. The kit will test many dozens (if not 100's) of sample. There are inline filters that can remove either GH or KH, or mixed bed cartridges that can do both. The filters you have now will improve the life of the appliances and the taste of the water, but will not significantly or effectively change the propensity of the water to scale.

 
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Zevi
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Posted Mon Jul 29, 2013, 10:00am
Subject: Re: Water - filters - testing - etc - again
 

frcn Said:

... reading the Water FAQ: http://www.big-rick.com/coffee/waterfaq.html ...

Posted July 5, 2013 link

That webpage is not loading... Is there another link?

Thanks!
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Posted Mon Jul 29, 2013, 10:17am
Subject: Re: Water - filters - testing - etc - again
 

here's another place to get it...

http://users.rcn.com/erics/Water%20Quality/Water%20FAQ.pdf

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Zevi
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Posted Mon Jul 29, 2013, 7:28pm
Subject: Re: Water - filters - testing - etc - again
 

emradguy Said:

here's another place to get it...

http://users.rcn.com/erics/Water%20Quality/Water%20FAQ.pdf

Posted July 29, 2013 link

Wow - that was quick!  Thanks for the link. From an initial scan, I agree with the author - that IS Insanely Long Water FAQ...

As I'm waiting for my new espresso machine, I'm trying to understand and evaluate my water-supply options. We have well water and I have a whole-house softener. I will first get a test kit, and once I have the numbers -- I'll probably post with more specifics.

Thanks!
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