Monitoring pH levels... how ?


A

Adrian Brentnall

HI Folks
Or domestic water supply is from a private borehole.
To reach the borehole, the water's percolated through a peat-laden Irish
hillside - so it naturally pretty acidic.
Untreated, it attacks the copper in the hot-water tank and we get a nice
turquoise-colour in all the hot water.

So - we have a commercial metering/dosing system that injects an alkali
into the water as it's pumped up from the ground - to bring it back to pH7.

All's well - until the 5-litre container of alkali runs out (every 4
months or so).
The dosing box recognises that the alkali's out - and lights a helpful
little light. Dosing box is tucked away at the back of the mower shed...
so the light goes unnoticed. The dosing stops (though the pump will
occasionally pulse enough times to generate an airlock in the dosing
feed pipe.

Next thing you know - it's blue bath-water again - which takes a week or
so to clear, as the hot water tank is fed from a big cold-water storage
tank in the loft - and the 'neutral' water has to work its way through
the system. Said airlock also has an effect - requiring kneeling in the
back of the shed, manually pulsing the pump while loosening the
pipe-unions and getting strong alkali up your sleeves...

So - ideally - it'd be good to have a monitoring system that says 'pH
too acidic' - and - "dosing alkali about to run out".

Any bright ideas, please ??

Thanks
Adrian
 
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S

Scott M

Adrian said:
The dosing box recognises that the alkali's out - and lights a helpful
little light. Dosing box is tucked away at the back of the mower shed...
so the light goes unnoticed.
Open box, remove light, extend wires to house (or at least outside of
shed), reattach light.

(Or similar variants.)
 
C

charles

HI Folks
Or domestic water supply is from a private borehole.
To reach the borehole, the water's percolated through a peat-laden Irish
hillside - so it naturally pretty acidic.
Untreated, it attacks the copper in the hot-water tank and we get a nice
turquoise-colour in all the hot water.
So - we have a commercial metering/dosing system that injects an alkali
into the water as it's pumped up from the ground - to bring it back to
pH7.
All's well - until the 5-litre container of alkali runs out (every 4
months or so).
The dosing box recognises that the alkali's out - and lights a helpful
little light. Dosing box is tucked away at the back of the mower shed...
so the light goes unnoticed. The dosing stops (though the pump will
occasionally pulse enough times to generate an airlock in the dosing
feed pipe.
Next thing you know - it's blue bath-water again - which takes a week or
so to clear, as the hot water tank is fed from a big cold-water storage
tank in the loft - and the 'neutral' water has to work its way through
the system. Said airlock also has an effect - requiring kneeling in the
back of the shed, manually pulsing the pump while loosening the
pipe-unions and getting strong alkali up your sleeves...
So - ideally - it'd be good to have a monitoring system that says 'pH
too acidic' - and - "dosing alkali about to run out".
Any bright ideas, please ??
How about a security camera looking at the light on the dosing box?
 
F

F Murtz

Adrian said:
HI Folks
Or domestic water supply is from a private borehole.
To reach the borehole, the water's percolated through a peat-laden Irish
hillside - so it naturally pretty acidic.
Untreated, it attacks the copper in the hot-water tank and we get a nice
turquoise-colour in all the hot water.

So - we have a commercial metering/dosing system that injects an alkali
into the water as it's pumped up from the ground - to bring it back to pH7.

All's well - until the 5-litre container of alkali runs out (every 4
months or so).
The dosing box recognises that the alkali's out - and lights a helpful
little light. Dosing box is tucked away at the back of the mower shed...
so the light goes unnoticed. The dosing stops (though the pump will
occasionally pulse enough times to generate an airlock in the dosing
feed pipe.

Next thing you know - it's blue bath-water again - which takes a week or
so to clear, as the hot water tank is fed from a big cold-water storage
tank in the loft - and the 'neutral' water has to work its way through
the system. Said airlock also has an effect - requiring kneeling in the
back of the shed, manually pulsing the pump while loosening the
pipe-unions and getting strong alkali up your sleeves...

So - ideally - it'd be good to have a monitoring system that says 'pH
too acidic' - and - "dosing alkali about to run out".

Any bright ideas, please ??

Thanks
Adrian
Wire up a fire alarm bell to the indicator through a suitable interface?
 
D

Davey

HI Folks
Or domestic water supply is from a private borehole.
To reach the borehole, the water's percolated through a peat-laden
Irish hillside - so it naturally pretty acidic.
Untreated, it attacks the copper in the hot-water tank and we get a
nice turquoise-colour in all the hot water.

So - we have a commercial metering/dosing system that injects an
alkali into the water as it's pumped up from the ground - to bring it
back to pH7.

All's well - until the 5-litre container of alkali runs out (every 4
months or so).
The dosing box recognises that the alkali's out - and lights a
helpful little light. Dosing box is tucked away at the back of the
mower shed... so the light goes unnoticed. The dosing stops (though
the pump will occasionally pulse enough times to generate an airlock
in the dosing feed pipe.

Next thing you know - it's blue bath-water again - which takes a week
or so to clear, as the hot water tank is fed from a big cold-water
storage tank in the loft - and the 'neutral' water has to work its
way through the system. Said airlock also has an effect - requiring
kneeling in the back of the shed, manually pulsing the pump while
loosening the pipe-unions and getting strong alkali up your sleeves...

So - ideally - it'd be good to have a monitoring system that says 'pH
too acidic' - and - "dosing alkali about to run out".

Any bright ideas, please ??

Thanks
Adrian
I know that commercial pH meters that do exactly this are available,
I've used them at work. No idea what they cost, though, that was
somebody else's worry!
Google?

How about:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/Fish-Aquariums-/20754/i.html?_nkw=ph+monitor
 
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G

GB

Does the helpful light come on *before* the alkali runs out completely?
If so, you definitely want one of the excellent solutions given here
that monitors the helpful light, rather than a pH meter. The pH meter
only notifies you after the alkali has run out.

As Colin suggested, surely the lowest cost solution is just to diarise
to top up the alkali before it runs out?
 
HI Folks
Or domestic water supply is from a private borehole.
To reach the borehole, the water's percolated through a peat-laden Irish
hillside - so it naturally pretty acidic.
Untreated, it attacks the copper in the hot-water tank and we get a nice
turquoise-colour in all the hot water.

So - we have a commercial metering/dosing system that injects an alkali
into the water as it's pumped up from the ground - to bring it back to pH7.

All's well - until the 5-litre container of alkali runs out (every 4
months or so).
The dosing box recognises that the alkali's out - and lights a helpful
little light. Dosing box is tucked away at the back of the mower shed...
so the light goes unnoticed. The dosing stops (though the pump will
occasionally pulse enough times to generate an airlock in the dosing
feed pipe.

Next thing you know - it's blue bath-water again - which takes a week or
so to clear, as the hot water tank is fed from a big cold-water storage
tank in the loft - and the 'neutral' water has to work its way through
the system. Said airlock also has an effect - requiring kneeling in the
back of the shed, manually pulsing the pump while loosening the
pipe-unions and getting strong alkali up your sleeves...

So - ideally - it'd be good to have a monitoring system that says 'pH
too acidic' - and - "dosing alkali about to run out".

Any bright ideas, please ??

Thanks
Adrian
fit a reverse osmosis filter (+ ion exchange resin, if needed) so you
don't need the alkali dosing.
 
O

Onetap

On 23/09/2013 09:34, Adrian Brentnall wrote:
Microswitch under the container - sprung to enable once the container is

down to the last half litre...
Or a float switch in the container.
Or extend the warning lamp thing, via a relay if necessary, as suggested above.
 
P

Phil L

Adrian said:
HI Folks
Or domestic water supply is from a private borehole.
To reach the borehole, the water's percolated through a peat-laden
Irish hillside - so it naturally pretty acidic.
Untreated, it attacks the copper in the hot-water tank and we get a
nice turquoise-colour in all the hot water.

So - we have a commercial metering/dosing system that injects an
alkali into the water as it's pumped up from the ground - to bring it
back to pH7.
All's well - until the 5-litre container of alkali runs out (every 4
months or so).
The dosing box recognises that the alkali's out - and lights a helpful
little light. Dosing box is tucked away at the back of the mower
shed... so the light goes unnoticed. The dosing stops (though the
pump will occasionally pulse enough times to generate an airlock in
the dosing feed pipe.

Next thing you know - it's blue bath-water again - which takes a week
or so to clear, as the hot water tank is fed from a big cold-water
storage tank in the loft - and the 'neutral' water has to work its
way through the system. Said airlock also has an effect - requiring
kneeling in
the back of the shed, manually pulsing the pump while loosening the
pipe-unions and getting strong alkali up your sleeves...

So - ideally - it'd be good to have a monitoring system that says 'pH
too acidic' - and - "dosing alkali about to run out".

Any bright ideas, please ??
Why not use a 15 litre container and then you can top it up every Christmas
day, birthday, New years day or whatever....along the lines of using clock
forward/back days for changing smoke alarm batteries
 
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B

Bill

Huge said:
+2

It seems to be the simplest, quickest reacting and most accurate answer.

Either rewire it back to the house or fit a suitable sounder to it.
 
T

The Other Mike

So - ideally - it'd be good to have a monitoring system that says 'pH
too acidic' - and - "dosing alkali about to run out".

Any bright ideas, please ??
Get rid of all the copper and replace with stainless...or lead


--
 
A

Adrian Brentnall

Open box, remove light, extend wires to house (or at least outside of
shed), reattach light.

(Or similar variants.)
Thanks for the suggestion.
I should have said that the light's a small led -
and probably not visible in daylight.
Also don't really want to start hacking about with the electronics
of the dosing box.
The led indicates a bit 'after the event' - what's really needed is a
'you're about to run out of alkali'-indicator....
 
A

Adrian Brentnall

Fit a Kalaxon ...
Same as my reply to Scott (above)....
Can't see the led driver being very happy with driving a klaxon -
and can't see swmbo being very happy with it either!
 
A

Adrian Brentnall

+2

It seems to be the simplest, quickest reacting and most accurate answer.

Either rewire it back to the house or fit a suitable sounder to it.
Still doesn't really do the 'about to run out' warning
 
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A

Adrian Brentnall

How about a security camera looking at the light on the dosing box?
Could do - but then I'd have to watch the security camera..... <g>
I was looking for a 'you're about to run out' alarm.
The alarm bit's easy - it's the sensor that's bothering me
 
A

Adrian Brentnall

Wire up a fire alarm bell to the indicator through a suitable interface?
Again - not likely to win me too many 'brownie points' if it goes off @
2am.... - and not really a 'you're about to run out' warning....
 
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A

Adrian Brentnall

I know that commercial pH meters that do exactly this are available,
I've used them at work. No idea what they cost, though, that was
somebody else's worry!
Google?

How about:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/Fish-Aquariums-/20754/i.html?_nkw=ph+monitor
I see that probes on their own are available - don;t know what sort of
output they give, and whether they can be left immersed continually ?
I was looking to see if any of the 'aquarium' stuff had alarms,
but couldn't see one that did (cheaply!)
 

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