How to Test Ph of Water in 4 Simple ways

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How to Test Ph of Water

Why should you test the Ph of your water? Knowing how to test Ph of water makes it possible to tell whether water is pure, acidic, or alkaline. Pure water has a Ph of 7, while acidic will reflect a value below 7 on the Ph scale. Alkaline water will have a Ph of more than 7. The value can go up to 14 depending on how polluted the water is.

Testing the Ph of water is a precaution to avoid human and animal contamination. Prevalent dangers of drinking acidic water include suppressing the immune system, diarrhea, abdominal pains, and general body weakness. 

While some people view acidic water as safe, it can also be detrimental to your stomach’s health. It lowers the stomach’s acidity, inhibiting its ability to fight germs.

In this article, we are going to highlight the following:

  • Ph and drinking water
  • Ph and groundwater
  • Importance of Ph in Water
  • How to test Ph of water (3 Most Common Ways)
  • Hoe to test Ph of water without a kit (Using Red Cabbage)

Ph and Drinking Water

Generally, Ph measures the electrically charged particles in an element. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) views water Ph as an aesthetic preference. Even so, they still recommend Ph values of between 6.5 and 8.5 for municipal water supply. 

This range is the typical safe Ph for human and animal consumption. Different waters have varying Ph, depending on the source, weather patterns, and human activity.

The Ph levels for prevalent drinking water include:

  • Distilled water- Ph of 5 to 7
  • Ordinary bottled water- Ph of 6.5 to 7.5
  • Alkaline bottled water- Ph of 8 to 9
  • Acid rain- Ph of 5 to 5.5

It is vital to note that drinking water with too high or low Ph signals heavy pollution. It can either be from strong chemicals or heavy earth metals. Acidic water corrodes metal pipes hence can cause further contamination. While it can be hard to tell whether the water Ph is acidic by merely looking at it, alkaline water has a characteristic foul smell and taste.

Test Ph of Water

How to Know if Your Home Piped Water Is Acidic

Acidic water is corrosive, and you can quickly notice its effects. Besides testing a kit or sending a sample to the laboratory, watch out for the following signs:

  • Bluish-green stains emanating from copper plumbing
  • Reddish stains for iron plumbing
  • Visible corrosions
  • Plumbing leaks

Ph and Ground Water (Well Water)

The Ph of groundwater largely depends on the ground materials found within the well. Different regions have varying earth metals and pollutants. For instance, a well near greenhouses and vast plantations will likely have a lower Ph because of herbicide pollution. Moreover, most underground rocks and soils are acidic. When water filters through them, it becomes acidic as well.

Even so, groundwater is essential, especially in remote areas with limited municipal water supply. You can still treat your well water to make it safe for drinking and home use. Prevalent solutions for groundwater with a lower Ph include installing a neutralizing filter and feeding a soda solution. 

Neutralizing filters contain magnesium or calcium to raise the Ph of water as it passes through. Soda solution contains sodium carbonate, and it also increases the Ph of water.

Test Ph of Water

Importance of Ph in Water

What’s the importance of Ph in your drinking water? To answer the question, you need to understand how the human body works with Ph. Averagely, your body has a Ph of about 7.4. 

The Ph should remain at this level to enable body organs to function optimally. Remember, most organs like the stomach are acidic to help fight bacteria. Most body processes also release acid, which may end up in the lungs and kidneys.

Through the homeostasis process, the human body always strives to keep a balanced Ph. The kind of food and drinks you take can significantly alter your body’s Ph. Drinking water with a Ph of about 7.5 to 8 can also help maintain an optimal Ph balance in the body. 

However, drinking too much pure water with a Ph of 7 can be detrimental. It lowers the body’s Ph, creating a safe harboring environment for bacteria and fungi.

How to Test Ph of water

The most accurate way of measuring the Ph of your water is by using commercial kits. It is advisable to test the water on-site (groundwater) or immediately from the tap (piped water). 

Transferring the water into multiple containers can contaminate it further. That means you’ll be ending up with inconsistent results that can’t tell the water Ph. It is also crucial to note that different testing kits may have slightly varying results.

Standard kits that you can use at home to measure the Ph of water include the following:

Ph Meter

Using a Ph meter will give you accurate results if you calibrate it properly. You’ll need to use a solution with a known Ph. It is also advisable to do the calibration several hours before testing your water source’s Ph. However, if you’re carrying out your tests from an equipped laboratory, you can quickly jump into testing after calibration. To get consistent results, follow this procedure:

  • Rinse the meter’s probe thoroughly with double deionized water before dipping it into the water. You can also use pure distilled water. Wipe the probe with a tissue and leave it to dry in an open space.
  • Collect your water in a clean, dry container. Ensure the level is high enough to immerse the meter’s probe completely. Let the water settle for a few minutes to gain room temperature.
  • Measure the water’s temperature with a thermometer to match it to the meter’s. Kindly note that the Ph meter’s accuracy depends on temperature consistency.
  • Place the probe into the container. Give it enough time for the meter to balance at equilibrium.
  • Read the Ph of your water.

Litmus Paper

Litmus papers will not tell you the Ph of water but will only determine its concentration. They are ideal if you’re testing water for acidity. Low-quality litmus papers may not give accurate results. 

To get consistent results that can help you determine the exact nature of your water, follow this procedure:

  • Collect the water in a clean container directly from the source. Ensure that the water is deep enough to submerge half to three-quarters of the litmus paper.
  • Take one stripe and deep it into the water for a few seconds.
  • The litmus paper will either turn its color to blue or red. A blue color change signals an acidic solution. Conversely, a red color change shows an alkaline solution. If the water is neutral, there will be no color change.
Test Ph of Water

Ph Paper

You can also use Ph papers to tell whether your water is basic or acidic. Unlike litmus papers, Ph papers will give you an accurate value of the Ph. Follow this procedure:

  • Collect your water in a clean container, preferably directly from the source. Ensure the water level is deep enough to immerse the Ph strip.
  • Take one strip and deep it into the water for a few seconds.
  • Observe the Ph paper as it changes its color momentarily. Wait until you experience a permanent color change.
  • Compare the exact color changes with the Ph chart. The chart will help you determine whether the water is too acidic or alkaline.
  • Read the Ph value from the matching color.
Test Ph Of Water

How to Test Ph of Water without a Kit

Do you know How to Test Ph of Water with a simple DIY process? You only need to budget for red cabbage and distilled water. Follow this procedure when testing water for acidity:

  • Chop or grate the red cabbage into smaller pieces and put them in a clear bowl.
  • Measure two cups of distilled water and boil it in a separate bowl. Heat the bowl until the water reaches its boiling point.
  • Add the boiled water to the red cabbage pieces.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon and leave the mixture to settle for about 30 minutes. During this period, continue stirring occasionally.
  • Observe the color change of the boiled distilled water to purplish red. This colored water is now your pH indicator solution.
  • Collect the water you’re testing into a clear container.
  • Add a few drops of the indicator solution into the water.
  • Observe any color change. If you see red or pink, the water is acidic. Alkaline water will turn either blue, greenish-yellow, or bluish-green. Neutral water with a Ph of 7 will turn purple.

The Bottom Line

Knowing How to Test Ph of Water is essential for safe water. It ensures that you keep your body’s Ph balanced. Drinking too much acidic water is bad, just as drinking too much alkaline water. 

Drinking too much neutral water is not good either. It will help if you leverage our Ph measurement tips to enhance your water’s safety. Good health starts with the precautions you take towards preventing avoidable complications. Test the Ph of your water today and lead a stress-free life. After all, who gets stressed by knowing that they are healthy?

The H2Home Lab team is dedicated to helping you find the best solutions to your specific water needs, as well as provide troubleshooting tips and guides for water filtration, heating, softening and plumbing. We hope you will find the info you need on our site from any one of our buying guides or subject matter articles.

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