Home Inspector Series, pH in Drinking Water


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Home Inspectors can get a better understanding of pH by reviewing this brief, easy to understand slideshow about pH
in drinking water.

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Home Inspector Series, pH in Drinking Water

  1. 1. Part of the Water Wisdom Series for Home Inspectors by: Scott J. Bradley Aquacheck Laboratory, Inc. www.Aquacheck-VT.com 1-800-263-9596
  2. 2. Home Inspector: What’s pH? <ul><li>pH is the relative strength or concentration of the hydrogen ion (H + ) in a given solution or matrix. </li></ul><ul><li>So – what exactly does that mean, and how does pH affect the water? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we control pH in drinking water? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the scale, and how do we test for it? </li></ul><ul><li>Hydrogen gas…. </li></ul><ul><li>www.rkm.com.au </li></ul>
  3. 3. The pH Scale <ul><li>The pH scale extends from the most </li></ul><ul><li>Acidic side - 0, to the most basic at 15. </li></ul><ul><li>At 7.0, the pH scale is in balance between the hydrogen ion (H + ), and the hydroxyl ion, (OH - ). </li></ul><ul><li>This means the water is pH balanced, and is neither basic, nor acidic, but neutral. pH can </li></ul><ul><li>change, sometimes rapidly, </li></ul><ul><li>depending on the reason for </li></ul><ul><li>change and the alkalinity of </li></ul><ul><li>the water. </li></ul><ul><li>Notice that the above two added = H2O! </li></ul><ul><li>www.science company.com </li></ul>
  4. 4. Home Inspector: pH Implications <ul><li>The USEPA maximum contaminant level (MCL), for pH in drinking water is 6.5 to 8.5. </li></ul><ul><li>The problem is often times low, or acidic pH. </li></ul><ul><li>This does not present a health issue so much but low pH can make water corrosive to plumbing. </li></ul><ul><li>Low pH can prevent calcium carbonate from being deposited on the inside of copper pipes, or scaling, and the corrosive water then dissolves the interior of the pipes. </li></ul><ul><li>A small amount of scaling (CaCO 3 ) is good for pipes for protection from corrosion. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Testing and Recommendations <ul><li>Home inspectors can help their clients understand the importance of pH as a potential indication of the longevity of the plumbing in the home. </li></ul><ul><li>Field testing of pH is recommended, if possible, because the pH can change in moments from the time the sample was taken. </li></ul><ul><li>Otherwise, testing at the laboratory is warranted. </li></ul><ul><li>Field testing: Lab testing: </li></ul><ul><li>www.alpinebiomed.com www.futurepkg.com </li></ul>
  6. 6. Remedies for low pH <ul><li>Home inspectors can recommend a professional water treatment company to add equipment to raise the pH. </li></ul><ul><li>Often times, a sodium hydroxide injector (NaOH), is used to raise the pH to a manageable level. </li></ul><ul><li>Once the pH is raised, some available calcium carbonate should coat the inside of the copper pipes, and create a protective coating, (scaling). </li></ul><ul><li>The lower the alkalinity, (carbonate and bicarbonate in the water), the easier it is to influence, or change pH the water. </li></ul><ul><li>If there is no available calcium carbonate, pipes can be coated with applications like polyphosphates. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Home Inspector Series: pH in Drinking Water <ul><li>I hope you have enjoyed this issue of Water Wisdom for Home Inspectors, brought to you </li></ul><ul><li>as a courtesy learning tool from </li></ul><ul><li>Scott J. Bradley at </li></ul><ul><li>Aquacheck Laboratory, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.aquacheck-vt.com </li></ul><ul><li>1-800-263-9596 </li></ul>