checking for PH level

warno Posted By warno, Feb 5, 2018 at 11:20 AM

  1. warno

    warno
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 3, 2015
    1,067
    287
    Loc:
    illinois
    This sort of stems from the softened water thread that was posted recently. It got me thinking about my water in my system.

    I've been curious about the PH level of my boiler and storage water. They are 2 different systems tied with a plate HX. I drew up a sample from each source and brought to work to check the PH. I haven't checked them yet because our meter is getting calibrated but the samples in the bottles look completely different. The boiler water was from my garden hose (hard water) and the storage was from my friends water softener. The boiler has typical nitrate treatment in it from boiler solutions and the storage has no treatment at all. Boiler is open system, storage is closed pressurized.

    I did a 3 rinse and 4th draw I saved in each bottle and here's how they look.

    20180204_154005.jpg

    So 2 questions

    Why would my storage water have the brownish look to it?

    And what is a safe PH range to run at?
     
  2. mustash29

    mustash29
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 6, 2012
    596
    320
    Loc:
    SE CT
    I recall following your storage install thread as you posted it. Nice setup.

    I would say the storage water probably has a bit of corrosion particles in it. Draw a full bottle sample and let it settle for a few days to see if it is suspended solids that settle out or what.

    Our trash to energy boilers at work contain various steel & stainless alloys. We run coordinated phosphate control (mono, di & tri sodium PO4) with a pH of 9.8 - 10.2, 15 - 25 ppm PO4, and a conductivity of about 100 umhos in the water side. Make up water is city water via carbon filters, RO unit & anion / cation mixed demin polishing bed.
     
    warno likes this.
  3. warno

    warno
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 3, 2015
    1,067
    287
    Loc:
    illinois
    The bottle i put my sample in is still sitting on my bench from this morning. I'll look at it tomorrow morning and see if it has settled any to the bottom.

    That seems like a pretty advanced treatment system you guys run. To say the least. Lol

    Is that PH level pretty common in household boilers too then?
     
  4. jebatty

    jebatty
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 1, 2008
    5,560
    804
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    pH of 6.0 - 8.5 is pretty normal for potable drinking water. Usually it's pH below 7.0 that can cause problems with corrosion in boiler water. Additives normally are required to get potable water for a boiler above 8.5.
     
  5. warno

    warno
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 3, 2015
    1,067
    287
    Loc:
    illinois
    If my pH is way out of range what is best used to raise or lower the levels?

    Our meter at work still isn't calibrating right. I guess I'll have to take my samples somewhere else to test. After sitting for a whole day there still doesn't seem to be any settling going on in the storage water sample. Whatever is in there must be pretty tiny to stay suspended.

    Here's some pictures i took this morning. The close up is the bottom of the storage sample bottle.

    20180206_062155.jpg

    20180206_062216.jpg
     
  6. jebatty

    jebatty
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 1, 2008
    5,560
    804
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    A swimming pool water test kit usually includes pH test paper which probably is good enough.
     
  7. warno

    warno
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 3, 2015
    1,067
    287
    Loc:
    illinois
    Finally got the meter right at work. Here's the storage water sample. How's this look?

    20180206_110243.jpg

    I'll get the boiler sample later today.
     
  8. maple1

    maple1
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 15, 2011
    8,107
    1,463
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    I think I would be happy with that. Quite sure I wouldn't try to raise it - alkali can do damage also I believe. Thinking maybe right around 8 would be ideal, but not sure.

    Likely was a no-no, but I filled my system from our pool. It was about time to drain it & put it away for the winter, so I just spent a few days ahead of time cleaning it well & adjusting Ph to around 8, using pool stuff & test kit. I think Ph was pretty close anyway so didn't have to adjust much. Then in it went. Maybe it's been slowly digesting itself inside ever since, I wouldn't really know, but no screens or anything else have been plugging and everything is still transferring heat the same way. I have had to let a little water out of my upstairs zones a couple times to get rid of an airlock, water looked clean in the (dirty) bucket.
     
    warno likes this.
  9. warno

    warno
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 3, 2015
    1,067
    287
    Loc:
    illinois
  10. Bob Rohr

    Bob Rohr
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 9, 2008
    1,259
    194
    Loc:
    SW Missouri
    Ph will be changed if you added any chemicals or additives. Check the tap water you filled with, then look at the data sheet on any chemicals you added, it should give you the acceptable Ph range.

    TDS is another good number to check, it's the scaling minerals that you want to keep out, especially if you occasionally add water to the boiler.
    TDS shows all the positive and negative ions in the water. Softening water only removes some of the minerals, and can actually raise TDS from the ion exchange process.

    https://www.caleffi.com/sites/default/files/coll_attach_file/idronics_18_na.pdf
     

Share This Page