Acid water is water with a potential hydrogen (pH) of less than 7. pH refers to the amount of hydrogen ions mixed in with the water. pH is measured on a scale from 0 to 14, and 7 represents neutral where the water is neither alkaline nor acidic. Zero through 7 indicates acidity, the lower the number the higher the acidity. Seven through 14 indicates alkalinity, the higher the number the higher the alkalinity.
Like the Richter scale for measuring earthquake intensity, the pH scale is logarithmic. A solution with a pH of 8.0 is ten times more alkaline than a solution with a pH of 7.0. A solution with a pH of 9.0 is 100 times more alkaline than a solution with a pH of 7.0.
Although there are many beneficial uses of acidic water -- it is a natural astringent for washing your face, it can relieve dry and itchy skin, it can expedite the healing of skin problems, it can kill bacteria when washing produce, etc. -- a low pH of less than 6.5 can wreak havoc in your home.
The corrosive nature of acidic water causes metal ions such as iron, manganese, copper, lead and zinc to leach into the water, causing elevated levels of toxic metals in your water. Signs of acid water are corrosion of fixtures, blue staining (from copper pipes) or rust staining (from iron pipes). Acidic water can also cause pinhole leaks and pipe failure over time. It may also cause aesthetic problems, such as a metallic or sour taste.
One of the most convenient methods to raise pH is to use a calcite, which is a crushed and screened white marble media which can inexpensively be used to neutralize acidic or low pH waters to a neutral, less corrosive effluent. A Calcite filter will typically raise the pH of the water to around 7.0 and add 1-3 grains of hardness (30 to 50 ppm of hardness) depending on the alkalinity level and the amount of calcium and magnesium (hardness) of the water. Calcite has the same properties of Himalayan rock salt in that when salt rocks are added to water, the rocks stop dissolving when the water pH hits 7.0. When all the calcite has been dissolved, that means it is time to add more calcite.
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