Standard Historical Last Updated: Apr 30, 2012
ASTM D1126-02(2007)e1

Standard Test Method for Hardness in Water

Standard Test Method for Hardness in Water
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Significance and Use

Hardness salts in water, notably calcium and magnesium, are the primary cause of tube and pipe scaling, which frequently causes failures and loss of process efficiency due to clogging or loss of heat transfer, or both.

Hardness is caused by any polyvalent cations, but those other than Ca and Mg are seldom present in more than trace amounts. The term hardness was originally applied to water in which it was hard to wash; it referred to the soap-wasting properties of water. With most normal alkaline water, these soap-wasting properties are directly related to the calcium and magnesium content.


1.1 This test method covers the determination of hardness in water by titration. This test method is applicable to waters that are clear in appearance and free of chemicals that will complex calcium or magnesium. The lower detection limit of this test method is approximately 2 to 5 mg/L as CaCO3; the upper limit can be extended to all concentrations by sample dilution. It is possible to differentiate between hardness due to calcium ions and that due to magnesium ions by this test method.

1.2 This test method was tested on reagent water only. It is the user's responsibility to ensure the validity of the test method for waters of untested matrices.

This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

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Book of Standards Volume: 11.01
Developed by Subcommittee: D19.05
Pages: 4
DOI: 10.1520/D1126-02R07E01
ICS Code: 13.060.50