Identifying Salt content in water

oberciJanuary 17, 2013

So, I have a water softener and have no way of checking which pipes go where. I'm scared that the spout outside under the kitchen window might contain soft water, and I've been using it to water my plants.

I understand how detrimental salt can be to plant growth, so does anyone know if there is some kind of water test or something that will tell me if the water from the outdoor spouts is softened?? I'm puttin in a couple rain barrels this week so ill use that water while its available, but I want to know what to do when I need an alternative. Thanks!

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

For under $30, you can get a TDS meter that will measure total dissolved solids in a solution. It won't tell the whole picture though. If you have an ion exchange softener, it replaces mostly Ca/Mg ions (but others like Fe and Cu, too) with Na ions. Even if the TDS level was appropriate, it would still be too high in Na.

Al

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 10:08PM
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calistoga_al

As far as determining if a particular hose bib is hard or soft water, a few drops of detergent and a quart jar half full of water, compared to water known to be soft, should answer your question. No outside bibs should be soft water. Al

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 9:28AM
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oberci

So I should add a couple of drops of detergent to both jars of water and then...what exactly am I looking for?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 10:56PM
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dsws

Shake them and see whether you get suds.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 2:22PM
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