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Why the popping kettles?


16 Apr 2015
strong base so gives you more "bang for your buck"

I knew it from the early days, my dad was a painter he used it as paint stripper. Mom used it on blocked syphons under the sink.. Cabinet makers use it to preserve hardwood and give it patina. I know it's a strong base but it never occured to me that water companies use it on tap water.. But makes sense with all the copper pipes around. :) Now it is mentioned i still have a bottle horticultural pH+ left from my growing vegie days in case i droped in to much pH-. It contains KOH and KHCO3 actualy equaly agressive. I more often used it for cleaning off calcium deposit in the toilet than on the plants. :rolleyes:


7 Apr 2008
nr Bath
Hi all,
Now it is mentioned i still have a bottle horticultural pH+ left from my growing vegie days in case i droped in to much pH-. It contains KOH and KHCO3 actualy equaly agressive.
The potassium makes them more suitable for plant growing, but the raised pH would make other elements less available. Potassium hydroxide (KOH), and KHCO3, are pretty much the same as their sodium equivalents, but would cost more money.

I think there might be two more reasons why the water companies are using NaOH, one would be that they were already using it for waste water treatment, so have the storage facilities etc. The other would be that they've moved over to orthophosphoric acid injection to control plumbosolvency (it is cheaper than other sources PO4--- ions, like sodium phosphate).

I haven't had a look through it, but the <"DWI report for the Northern Region"> may have some relevant details for the OP in it.

cheers Darrel


Thread starter
27 Oct 2009
Thanks for that @dw1305 had a quick scan but I'll read it in full when I get home. I have attached my local water report, as it happens quite nice stuff as far as keeping softwater species. This was prior to the blending. Not sure what's coming out at the minute, tests were...

39 TDS
0KH (both with tests kits, even with a 10ml sample colour changed on first drop)
7.2 PH

New Tests
85 TDS

I'm from Whitehaven which is the most NW tip, my understanding is that while work is being carried out connecting us to Thirlmere the water company is using up some bore water from Egremont to top up. Previously all our water came from Ennerdale Lake, V soft, runs over granite and mainly moss and ferns out there. I don't supposed the local authority will be giving out reports other than to the people who are accusing it of making them ill or dry skin. They are only topping up as needed with the bore water so I guess the parameters are going to fluctuate anyway. I think it's down to rivers that are being drained by Ennerdale which contain protected species following some EU directive, plus the way they are building houses round our way the population has boomed over the last few years putting more stress on supply. The cynic in me says local builders are using up some incentives to build houses supposedly "affordable" but believe me they build far more high end stuff round here than affordable. I would say locally the amount of new housing runs into the thousands and there was plenty of empty houses for sale to begin with.


  • United Utilities Water Quality Report.pdf
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