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carbonate hardness titrations - which would you trust?
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > carbonate...  
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emradguy
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Posted Mon May 26, 2014, 8:01pm
Subject: carbonate hardness titrations - which would you trust?
 

So, I've often touted the benefits of my API GH/KH test kit. I just plumbed in my machine, and I installed a Mavea filter I picked up from CCS. I came with it's own KH titration kit. The filter has a table telling the user where to set the bypass percentage, based in KH. Unfortunately, the two titrations give me very different results. I got 12 grains on the API kit, and only 7 grains with the Mavea kit. For 12 grains, you're supposed to set the bypass at 30%, but at 7 grains it's 60%!

 
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yakster
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Posted Tue May 27, 2014, 5:20pm
Subject: Re: carbonate hardness titrations - which would you trust?
 

I would think that the kit provided with the filter would be best to use since hopefully they have tested against this kit and not the API kit.  You could either do that, or split the difference, but I really don't know which one would be more accurate, or correspond closest to Mavea's guidance.

 
-Chris

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emradguy
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emradguy
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Posted Tue May 27, 2014, 6:31pm
Subject: Re: carbonate hardness titrations - which would you trust?
 

Thanks Chris,

that's about what I was thinking too - even the part about splitting the difference. In the end though, I decided to go with the Mavea kit results, and adjust the bypass accordingly. I just wondered though about the possibility the API kit was more accurate, because people's aquarium life relies on it...and the Mavea kit's just for drinking water. What shocks me the most is how big the discrepancy is. The techs at CCS also agreed it's probably best to go with the Mavea kit, so I'll probably just drop the worry now. Of course, that'll mean dumping the rest of my API kit and no longer recommending it...eh, maybe I'll run another sample or two from the same faucet using both kits...just to make sure there wasn't something funky going on.

 
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,128
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri May 30, 2014, 6:37am
Subject: Re: carbonate hardness titrations - which would you trust?
 

Update:

Since my plumbing to the coffee bar was brand new, and I've now run several gallons of water through it, I decided to draw another sample from the faucet and retest with both kits. I drew 300ml into a Pyrex pitcher, then scooped out the requisite 5ml aliquots for testing. I repeated this 4 times with each kit to check consistency - which was quite satisfactory.  I noticed two things. First off, the Mavea kit no longer read only 7 grains KH, but instead, read between 10 and 11 grains. API kit showed 12-13. Second, in checking the tables from both kits, the corresponding ppm charts showed nearly identical readings for the two samples.  I can only conclude this is due to differing drop sizes from the two kits chemical droppers.  Anyhow, it's quite promising, in that the API kit is not at all faulty, and being how cheap it is and how easy it is to acquire one, it is still a great investment for the home enthusiast.

During this process, I contacted Mavea. I've found their service to be excellent. The person who replied to me, was not only quickly responsive, but he was also very polite and knowledgeable. He started by instructing me to check the kit expiration dates.  It was a step I hadn't considered...and no one else suggested. He also had me check the outflow from the filter, by grabbing a sample from the flush line, and told me what to expect, and how long to wait until I should get equilibrium in the filter from the new bypass setting.

 
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