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Bette

Distilled, hard water vs softened water for glaze mix

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Hello and thank you for all the knowledge sharing here, which has helped me so much.

What differences should I expect in specific gravity and firing results with different types of water for mixing up a glaze dry mix?  My options are distilled water, very hard tap water, or softened water (a salt process). 

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Depending on the salts involved in your water softener, it could deflocculate or flocculate a glaze, which will not have any noticable affect on the specific gravity, but may change the consistency slightly.  Hard water will also have no noticable affect on the gravity, as the TDS of even hard water is generally on the order of hundreds of parts per million.  You can always test this yourself by measuring out 100 grams of distilled water, 100 grams of your hard water, and 100 grams of your soft water in the same size container and compare the water level.  They should all be pretty much exactly the same.

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2 hours ago, liambesaw said:

Yes, I forgot to add, if you want to be able to repeat a glaze exactly, use a distilled, or RO water.  The mineral content of hard water can change from season to season so it could potentially contribute to small changes in the chemistry.

Or if you live in a small, rural town, it can change day to day, especially when something in the main gets knocked loose.  Then there are the times the City forgets to change their filters, or they flush the hydrants.  I hope you want RIO in your glaze recipe, because that's what you're getting!

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2 hours ago, Bette said:

Hello and thank you for all the knowledge sharing here, which has helped me so much.

What differences should I expect in specific gravity and firing results with different types of water for mixing up a glaze dry mix?  My options are distilled water, very hard tap water, or softened water (a salt process). 

A small under counter RO system might turn out to be ideal as it should remove the metals, organics and lower the TDS. Years ago I built hundreds of Starbucks and it was standard practice to install a whole business RO system with the concept being anywhere you get your favorite latte it will taste virtually the same.

currently I believe they simply use the filter “RO” systems and have gone away from the repressurizing systems. Just a reminder, natural glaze chems change slightly as well so it’s hard to make a completely goof proof glaze.

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I have hard water, salt softened water and purchased distilled water and did some testing when I started mixing my glazes at my home studio.  I couldn't see any difference whatsoever.  I mostly use the tap water (softened) for glazes for the reason that was mentioned above, hard well water can change from season to season.  

Roberta

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