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The pH of Water and Your Plumbing

The pH of Water and Your PlumbingYou probably encountered the term pH or pH levels back when you were still studying chemistry in school. Who would have thought that these terms would be coming back to haunt you now as a home owner?

But do we really know what the word pH really means where plumbing is concerned? What does the pH of water and your plumbing have to do with each other?

pH of water and your health

To remind everyone of what they learned in high school, pH stands for Power of Hydrogen. The capital letter H stands for the chemical symbol of Hydrogen, “H”. The pH measures the concentration of hydrogen ions in water. In a pH scale of 0 to 14, 7+ is a strong base and a value of 7- indicates a strong acid. The strongest acid has a value of 0, and 14 is the strongest base.

Pure water, meanwhile, has a value of 7, which is considered neutral. It doesn’t have basic or acidic properties. The water that comes out of our taps and shower heads, however, often contain minerals and gases that contribute to the basic or acidic level. This is why groundwater often has a pH value of 6 and can go as high as 8.5. Surface water can range between 6.5 and 8.5.

Our health can also get impacted by pH levels. Water that’s too high or too low on the pH scale can cause health issues. For example, acidic water can cause neurological and reproductive problems. Drinking water with a pH level of 11 can lead to skin, eye, and mucous membrane irritation.

What can it do to your plumbing?

Acidic and basic water can have adverse effects on your plumbing. Acidic water can be corrosive, while the alkaline state of basic water can damage your plumbing. The latter may not be corrosive, but it can cause deposits that will build up overtime. These sediments or deposits can also cause stains when you do your laundry with basic water.

Stopping the problem

Water filtering is available for both basic and acidic water, like countertop filters, tap filters, water containers with built-in filters, and under-the-counter filters. You can even purchase whole home water filters if you can afford them. Most of these filtering options are easy to install, you would probably need the help of a professional plumber if you’re getting a whole home water filter installed.


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