Today I measured 31 grains hardness using Hach 5B in my wildly-varying municipal supply. Is the test kit accurate at these higher hardness levels? I heard mention of diluting the test-tube-sized sample (perhaps with RO water?) and doubling the resulting drop count.
Is this necessary for accuracy?
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I've never hears of that. I use a 5B on water that hard and have no problems with it.
Hach says "Total hardness test kit with drop count titration covers a 1-30 gpg range with 1 gpg increments." I suggested the dilution technique a while back mainly to (a) comply with Hach's guideline, and (b) save titrating agent. If you're happy counting out 31 drops, experience suggests that's fine, but I'd be a lot happier diluting 3:1 and counting out 10. I've got a source of DI water, though.
I have tested the HACH 5B test kit to 80 grains without dilution and found it to be accurate within 2-4%. Not bad considering, but dilution method as mentioned above is preferred.
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Wow -- that's very good. Speaks well for whoever manufactures their dropper.