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Elliott
10-16-2008, 07:54 AM
Hello Everyone, this is my first post here.

I built a new house that has a private well and moved in about 6 months ago. Right after moving in I noticed the water heater was making sizzling noises kind of like water being boiled. I was surprised at how loud the noise was. The water heater is an 80 gallon Rheem "self cleaning" electric.

Recently the plumbing in the house has been getting clogged with calcium particles. A while ago I started noticing a decrease in water pressure and found the screens were getting clogged with whitish particles that break down when rubbed between my fingers. Over time the frequency of the clogs increased to the point where they would get clogged within 30 seconds after cleaning. At this point I installed a whole house filter on the output of the water heater. That has pretty much solved the problem with the calcium particles fouling the fixtures. I'm still concerned about the amount of scaling that is occuring in the water heater.

I've had the water tested on several occasions by water specialists in the field and 2 independent water labs. I also had the particles microscopically examined which confirmed they were calcium. The field test indicated total hardness of 3-4 gpg and the two water labs were 47 and 66 mg/l. Everyone I have talked to has said my water is only slightly hard and I should not be seeing this level of calcium buildup. I'm in the Seattle area where hard water is not particurlaly common.

An iron filter was recommended and installed after some field tests indicated iron was present in the water. The filter is a Water-Right backflushing model with Calcite/MC-10 media in it. It also has a retention tank and aerator. Recent water lab tests found iron levels to be <0.3 mg/l. The sample was taken before the iron filter. When I told my water specialist who installed the iron filter about the lack of iron in the water he said he was sure there was some when he tested it. This was based on the color of the water and field test of the water.

I'm suspicous that the iron filter has something to do with this calcium problem and I'm wondering if I still need the iron filter at all.

I had another water specialist out who ran some field tests and while he can't explain why I'm seeing so much calcuim buildup is recommending a water softener to solve the calcium problem. His field test also showed a slight amount of iron which he said would be enough to stain fixtures over time.

At this point I'm not sure how to proceed.

Thanks,
Elliott

speedbump
10-16-2008, 08:18 AM
With water as low as 3 - 5 grains per gallon, you should have practically no calcium deposits. As for iron, .03 is practically non existant. Yes it can stain, but it's certainly not bad.

You said your water specialist installed a filter with Calcite/MC-10 media in it. The only Calcite I'm familiar with is a PH correction media. It has nothing to do with removing iron. However it could add to your hardness somewhat.

Putting a whole house filter in after your water heater might be a bad idea. I'm not sure it can stand the heat for long. By the way, these things are not really whole house filters. They are one faucet filters. This is demonstrated by the size of it and your actual Calcite filter.

I would have some more testing done to see what your actual PH is before the Calcite filter or any others for that matter.

bob...

Elliott
10-16-2008, 09:06 AM
You said your water specialist installed a filter with Calcite/MC-10 media in it. The only Calcite I'm familiar with is a PH correction media. It has nothing to do with removing iron. However it could add to your hardness somewhat.

I'm not sure why he selected this media. When I questioned him he said it didn't have a high concentration of calcite in the mix and has worked successfully in the past. I currently have the filter bypassed and am planning on having it removed.


Putting a whole house filter in after your water heater might be a bad idea. I'm not sure it can stand the heat for long. By the way, these things are not really whole house filters. They are one faucet filters. This is demonstrated by the size of it and your actual Calcite filter.

You're right, I checked the label and it's only rated for 100 degrees. Are there any filters I can use that are designed to work at higher temperatures? I currently have the thermostat set at 130 degrees.



I would have some more testing done to see what your actual PH is before the Calcite filter or any others for that matter.


I had the water PH tested when the well was initially installed and I recall it was in the low 7's. I had it tested again a couple of weeks ago post filter and it was 8.1.

Elliott
10-16-2008, 09:28 AM
Would something like this work with a pleated sediment filter? It's rated for 165 degrees and 20gpm which I'm sure is more than my water heater can put out.

http://www.freshwatersystems.com/p-692-10-standard-high-temp-housing-34-fpt-red.aspx

speedbump
10-16-2008, 09:40 AM
I do not like in line filters at all and the one you have in your link even though it will handle the temp and pressure is still a 10" filter.

I have trouble understanding why your getting this only in the hot water. It makes no sense to me.

I can understand why your PH is higher after the Calcite filter. That's what the Calcite does. It raises the PH. What is the PH before the filter now?

bob...

Elliott
10-16-2008, 10:07 AM
I don't like the situation either but until I can figure out what's going in the water heater a filter is needed to keep the calcium particles from plugging up the house plumbing. How large does this filter need to be? Would this 20" filter suffice?

http://www.filtersfast.com/Pentek-150111-High-Temp-Filter-Housing.asp

The water specialist that conducted the test last week didn't measure the pre-iron filter PH level. I should probably get a test kit so I can do it myself. Any recommendations?

speedbump
10-16-2008, 10:11 AM
The thing wouldn't plug up so often.

Get a test kit for a swimming pool. It has a PH test and a chlorine test. They are inexpensive. Most grocery stores in my area sell them, but in Florida there are a lot of pools.

bob...

Gary Slusser
10-16-2008, 09:41 PM
Calcite will not over compensate low pH; in other words it usually does not raise the pH above about 7.2 but.... Corrosex will. Calcite or Georgia Marble will remove some iron as the pH is increased.

You may have a well that has fluctuating water quality. I have seen serious scale build up in water heaters with very little hardness in the water and very little scale with very high hardness. I think it has to do with the ratio of calcium and magnesium, they make up hardness and if there is more calcium than magnesium you get more scale, but that's just a guess.

Back in the mid/late 1990s a large number of water heaters had dip tubes that eventually disintegrated and the small pieces blocked things up. And hardness scale in water heaters rarely is soft, but dip tube plastic was. Another symptom of that is not having much hot water, it goes cold quickly.

I'm with Bob on filtering the hot water and the disposable cartridges. Have you drained and then repeatedly flushed the heater? If not you should and don't forget to turn off the power or gas/oil first.

hj
10-17-2008, 07:24 AM
One factor that could cause it is the self cleaning heater. Normally faucets do not flow enough water to even actuate the feature, but if they do, and a bathtub/shower or washing machine could, then the self cleaning feature is SUPPOSED to pick up the calcium in the heater and send it to the faucets. Where else could it go, unless it was atomized somehow?

sammyhydro11
10-17-2008, 02:56 PM
You should post your water test results. If you have 4 gpg in your water you would notice some build up. You will also see alot in the water heater because the hardness minerals basically get baked out of the water when heated and precipitate. Why on earth someone would install acid neutralizer to combat water hardness is beyond me. An acid neutralizer, if the ph is low, will create up to 8 grains of hardness depending on how low the ph is. So he could have made your situation much worst. A water softener will resolve the problem but before coming to that conclusion you need someone that knows what they are doing to look at the water test report. If the ph is low then an acid neutralizer followed by a water softener will do the trick.

sammy

www.tylerwell-pump.com

Redwood
10-17-2008, 05:06 PM
You may have something from your water heater other than calcium giving you grief.

Check this link out! It may be a water heater diptube that is defective.
This link explains the problem very well and lists the manufacturers and serial numbers of affected units...

http://www.rustylayton.com/htmlxtra/diptube.html

Elliott
10-17-2008, 07:41 PM
Here's the results of my water tests.

8/16/06 Test sample taken directly from well pump

Arsenic - None Detected
Barium - None Detected
Cadmium - None Detected
Chromium - None Detected
Mercury - None Detected
Selenium - None Detected
Beryllium - None Detected
Nickel - None Detected
Antimony - None Detected
Thallium - None Detected
Total Cyanide - None Detected
Fluoride - None Detected
Nitrite - None Detected
Nitrate 1.4 mg/l
Iron - None Detected
Manganese - None Detected
Silver - None Detected
Chloride - None Detected
Sulfate - None Detected
Zinc - None Detected
Sodium 5.8 mg/l
Hardness (CaCO3) 47 mg/l
Conductivity 95 umhos/cm
Turbidity - None Detected
Color - None Detected
Lead-GF - None Detected
Copper - None Detected
pH 7.65
Aluminum- None Detected
Calcium 12 mg/l
Magnesium 4.2 mg/l

9/25/08 Sample taken from house hot water fixture after the iron filter was installed. These tests were recommended by the chemist at a local water lab after I explained my problem.
Total hardness 66 mg/l
pH 8.1
Silica 14 mg/l
Iron bacteria - None Detected
Sulfur bacteria - None Detected

A microscopic examination of the particles revealed: Monoclinic particles producing gas with the addition of acid most probably Calcium Carbonate. Flat crystals resembling silicates.

I just flushed my water heater last night. Here's what the elements look like after only 5 months of use.
http://home.avvanta.com/~sesmith/elements.jpg
I replaced them with some Camco ultra low watt density elements.
http://www.camco.net/Menu.cfm?SupCategoryId=10200&SubCategoryId=233&ProductId=2344

Here's what my contractor said about the acid neutralizer. He's agreed to take it back if it's determined I don't need an iron filter.
"We used the acid neutralizer unit for the tank and control head, but it was
supplied without media. We added MC-10 media which we have used extensively in MacClean iron filter which we no longer sell. MC-10 does contain some Calcite, but high concentrations are only used to raise the pH to 7.5 for removal of manganese. We haven't noted the problem you are having with MC-10 in (many) other installations."

Has anyone used one of these water heater scale inhibitors? Seems too good to be true. http://aquapure.com/apspecs/AP430.pdf

The self cleaning water heater may be compounding my problem. From what I understand the cold water inlet is directed at the bottom in a way to prevent the scale from settling to the bottom. That keeps all these particles to be suspended in the water and sends them through the house plumbing. What kind of solution is that? I also have a hot water recirculator pump, maybe that's what's sucking this stuff up out of the water heater?

Gary Slusser
10-17-2008, 09:12 PM
The larger pieces that fall off the elements will not make it up to the top of the tank and out into the plumbing because of their weight. Your hot water recirculation is probably sucking them off the bottom and spreading the stuff throughout the entire hot water system.

You need to find out if your well water quality has a fluctuating iron content or, install a softener and remove this aeration/iron/acid neutralizing filter. BTW, air increases pH. You can use a dip strip iron test kit to do an iron test every week for some time to see what the iron content is over time.

The Aquapure is a sacrificial polyphosphate sequestering agent that is supposed to encapsulate hardness ions. I don't suggest it.

Cass
10-18-2008, 02:43 AM
Could you post the water heater Model and Serial #s.

Redwood
10-18-2008, 05:01 AM
Could you post the water heater Model and Serial #s.

Slides the big pile of chips onto "Perfection Tube" diptube...:cool:

This long shot is going to pay off well...
Cause it's actually a lot better than even odds!:cool:

Elliott
10-18-2008, 08:27 AM
The larger pieces that fall off the elements will not make it up to the top of the tank and out into the plumbing because of their weight. Your hot water recirculation is probably sucking them off the bottom and spreading the stuff throughout the entire hot water system.


I looked at how the recirc system is plumbed and the return line is connected to the top of the water heater. There aren't any lines connected to the bottom.



You need to find out if your well water quality has a fluctuating iron content or, install a softener and remove this aeration/iron/acid neutralizing filter. BTW, air increases pH. You can use a dip strip iron test kit to do an iron test every week for some time to see what the iron content is over time.


Any recommendations for a water test kit that wil do iron, pH, calcium, magnesium?

If there is no iron present is a softener still recommended for the calcium?


Could you post the water heater Model and Serial #s.

The water heater is a Rheem 83XR80-2 s/n RH1107R00004

Gary Slusser
10-18-2008, 01:01 PM
You can get a test kit at most hardware and big box stores or take a sample to Sears or any water testing lab, or maybe a water treatment dealer. Or the county extension office, or call a local treatment dealer to come out to do the tests but...

You aren't testing for calcium and/or magnesium, you test for hardness. It is made up of both calcium and magnesium.

Elliott
10-18-2008, 04:10 PM
What is the PH before the filter now?
bob...

Just got a tester, pH -s 7.6

Redwood
10-18-2008, 09:10 PM
Redwood slides the chips off the table while the dealer is distracted...
11/07 is much to new for the dip tube defect...:cool:

sammyhydro11
10-19-2008, 07:49 AM
The first thing you want to do is get rid of the guy who installed the iron filter to remove the iron that isn't present in the water. You don't remove water hardness with a filter,it should be removed with cation exchange resin. To put an end to your water quality problem, just install a good quality water softener.

sammy

www.tylerwell-pump.com

Elliott
10-19-2008, 09:09 AM
I've had 2 different water specialists out to test the water in the field. They both used a test kit which had a little packet that was emptied into a test tube. The first one was the guy who installed the iron filter right after he installed the pump about 6 months ago. He measured 8ppm iron.

The second guy from a different company came out last week and found about 1ppm iron. That was before the iron filter. He recommended not bypassing the current iron filter or I would see staining. We compared samples of the water pre and post filter. The pre-filter sample had a yellowish tint to it. The post-filter sample had a bluish tint. So it seems like I'm getting some kind of benefit from the iron filter.

I've also had 2 iron tests from certified water labs who found no iron present. I'm inclined to believe the certified labs over the field test from people who want to sell me equipment. However, the area I'm in is well known for having iron and manganese in the water.

Gary Slusser recommended getting purchasing an iron test kit and monitoring the water to determine if the iron content is variable. I can't find anything locally so I'm going to order on online today.

When I showed the the second guy both lab tests he said the field tests were more accurate because they were done with fresh water. Is there any truth to this?

He recommended a water softener and provided the following quote with very little detail.

Performa Softener System $1,595
Post filter (20" 1 micron) $100
Delivery, labor, install, setup, media, flushing $300
Total $1,995 +tax

sammyhydro11
10-19-2008, 09:29 AM
Forget the test kits. Go with the raw water analysis from the certified lab. My recomendation is based on the results that you posted form the certified lab. The results from that analysis indicates hard water. If someone is telling you that a field test is more acurate than a lab test, he doesn't know what he is talking about. Most companies that do the field tests will offer a free water analysis cutting out the guy that wants to do it right because the right way is more costly. Why you would pre filter a water softener unless the water is turbid is a joke.

sammy

www.tylerwellandpump.com

Gary Slusser
10-19-2008, 10:46 PM
Elliott, that type test the water treatment guys used is used by most labs and water companies and probably is made by Hach Co Loveland CO and used all over the world and have been for decades. They are very accurate. I've used them for 18 years and used the results for the VA and FHA. And all on site tests are more accurate than any done hours to days later by a Certified Lab.

As you see, two guys say there is iron and the lab results say none. There is no way to fake the tests to show iron when it isn't present in the sample; it was your water that they tested right? Do you know for sure the lab tested your sample, or didn't confuse someone's results (0 ppm) for yours? I say no because you weren't there to witness what or how they did it. Recall when hospitals couldn't keep track of what baby belonged to which mom? Well, labs aren't any better in keeping sample records or data entry straight. Pharmacies don't have a good accuracy record in filling prescriptions either.

The Performa is an Autotrol control valve. They are not as good as a Clack WS-1 or Fleck.

Elliott
10-20-2008, 07:44 AM
I was present when the field tests were done, both guys were using Hach color wheel kits. Of course I have no idea how the lab tests were handled. But they were sent to 2 different labs with the same results. I talked to one of the chemists and asked him why the field tests were positive for iron and the lab wasn't. He said the field tests are easily fooled. Would it make any difference if the samples were taken after the aerator and retention tank?

Since testing the water will be an onging thing where can I purchase one of these Hach kits? Are they very expensive?

I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a softener but first would like to figure out 3 things:

How hard is my water without running it through the filter containing calcite? I put the filter on bypass last week.

How much if any iron is in the water?

How difficult is it to install, setup, and maintain a softener. Can I do it myself?

It's hard to know what to do when everyone is telling me something different. Who should I trust?

speedbump
10-20-2008, 08:52 AM
Just got a tester, pH -s 7.6

9/25/08 Sample taken from house hot water fixture after the iron filter was installed. These tests were recommended by the chemist at a local water lab after I explained my problem.
Total hardness 66 mg/l
pH 8.1

I see the neutralizing filter did raise the PH to over 8.

bob...

Southern Man
10-20-2008, 09:04 AM
I had a 30 gallon electric on a hard water well that literally filled up with calcium deposits. I don't know how the self cleaner works but it seems to me that you might just crank the drain valve weekly to keep the deposits flushed out.

Elliott
10-20-2008, 09:27 AM
Unfortunately the crap sticks to the sides of the tank and most of it won't come out when flushed.

Elliott
10-20-2008, 09:28 AM
I see the neutralizing filter did raise the PH to over 8.

bob...

Yep, now I'm wondering how much it raised the hardness.

Elliott
10-20-2008, 09:30 AM
Does this look like iron?

http://home.avvanta.com/~sesmith/temp/toilet%20tank.jpg

Gary Slusser
10-20-2008, 06:51 PM
The lab samples for iron had to be taken before the aeration/calcite filter. If not redo the tests because the aeration/filter will be the removing iron, manganese and H2S.

Aeration raises the pH. That is probably why the pH is as high as it is, whatever the air is responsible for is added to the calcite increase because it raises pH by being dissolved into the water by any acid or anything else in the water that makes it aggressive; like dissolved oxygen (from the aeration) or CO2.

Yes the residue in the bottom of the toilet tank is ferric iron (rust). It may be from iron getting through the filter and being oxidized after the water is aerated and depressurized in the toilet tank or, ferric iron getting through a filter or, coming from a build up of rust in the plumbing. That is not the way to gauge how well your equipment is working. You can only do that with a water test on treated water taken from right after the equipment.

The only part of your equipment that can increase your hardness is the calcite.

I say trust the one that you think is the most knowledgeable.

Elliott
10-21-2008, 07:42 AM
The lab samples for iron had to be taken before the aeration/calcite filter. If not redo the tests because the aeration/filter will be the removing iron, manganese and H2S.

Gary,

The aerator is installed before the pressure tank so I'll have to wait until the iron filter is removed to get more samples.

I spoke to the chemist at the water lab yesterday. They did a microscopic exam of the particles I collected from hot side of the house plumbing. He said there was some calcium but most of it was silica. The silica level was 14mg/l is that enough to cause problems like this?

Southern Man
10-21-2008, 08:23 AM
Unfortunately the crap sticks to the sides of the tank and most of it won't come out when flushed. I ended up replacing my 40 gallon electric with a Bock direct oil fired unit. It was glass lined and had a decent sized hand-hole to clean it out. In four years it never accumulated much, and I assume because of the lining. That little guy was only 22 gallons but could make hot water faster than we could use it. Although it was five times the cost of an electric it paid for itself in less than two years, due to the high cost of electricity in Upstate NY. I did the install myself, and had the oil tank and chimney right there.

I priced the same unit for here (low electric rates, no fuel oil tank and no vent nearby) and it won't pay for itself any time soon. :(

Elliott
10-21-2008, 08:30 AM
Is this snake oil?

http://www.sfes.com/hydroblend.PDF

Gary Slusser
10-21-2008, 09:36 AM
Gary,

The aerator is installed before the pressure tank so I'll have to wait until the iron filter is removed to get more samples.

I spoke to the chemist at the water lab yesterday. They did a microscopic exam of the particles I collected from hot side of the house plumbing. He said there was some calcium but most of it was silica. The silica level was 14mg/l is that enough to cause problems like this?
I think I told you before but I'll repeat in case I didn't, the filter has to be on the house side of the pressure tank. Otherwise, when the pump is not running and the filter is in backwash, the water flow from the pressure tank to the filter goes into the OUTlet of the filter and that won't work well or for long. And it will mess up your water quality. Then when the pump comes on, the water to the filter goes in the filter's INlet as it always should.

If you want a sample just after the aerator/filter, use the boiler drain valve on the pressure tank or, shut off the pump and undo the outlet plumbing connection of the filter and collect a sample from there.

If you want a raw water sample, get one by shutting off the pump and the main water shut off valve past the pressure tank and then take the solution feeder injector out of its fitting in the plumbing and drain water out of the pipe until it quits flowing and then turn the pump on and get your sample.

Hydroblend is another polyphosphate sequestering agent. Any of us water treatment dealers can sell you the generic version of most brands. In the same type housings.

I don't know much about silica but you should have a test for it on a raw water sample. It is a serious problem in boilers, but I've never heard of it causing a problem in domestic water heaters; including tank less heaters where I would think it would be more than in a tank type.

Elliott
10-21-2008, 09:57 AM
I think I told you before but I'll repeat in case I didn't, the filter has to be on the house side of the pressure tank. Otherwise, when the pump is not running and the filter is in backwash, the water flow from the pressure tank to the filter goes into the OUTlet of the filter and that won't work well or for long. And it will mess up your water quality. Then when the pump comes on, the water to the filter goes in the filter's INlet as it always should.


The filter is on the house side of the pump but the aerator is not. Starting from the well pump the main line comes into the well house and has an in-line blue plastic aerator installed. From there it connects to the retention tank, then it connects to the pressure tank and finally to the filter which connects to the house. I'll take a picture of the plumbing when I get home tonight and post it.

PS, thanks for the help.

Gary Slusser
10-21-2008, 09:58 PM
Then you have an air injection system, and an acid neutralizing filter and the injector and the retention tank should be on the house side of the pressure tank and then the filter and then the softener and any prefilter for a UV light and the UV.

Pictures would be good.

Elliott
10-22-2008, 07:04 AM
I didn't have a chance to take the pictures last night so I'll have to do it tonight.

Are you familiar with Langelier saturation index?

The Langelier Saturation Index (LSI; also called Langelier Stability Index) is a calculated number used to predict the calcium carbonate stability of water; that is, whether a water will precipitate, dissolve, or be in equilibrium with calcium carbonate. Langelier developed a method for predicting the pH at which water is saturated in calcium carbonate (called pHs). The LSI is expressed as the difference between the actual system pH and the saturation pH.

LSI = pH - pHs

If the actual pH of the water is below the calculated saturation pH, the LSI is negative and the water has a very limited scaling potential. If the actual pH exceeds pHs, the LSI is positive, and being supersaturated with CaCO3, the water has a tendency to form scale. At increasing positive index values, the scaling potential increases.

There's a calculator at http://www.edstrom.com/Resources.cfm?doc_id=161
I tried pluggin my info into the equation but I don't know what the total alkalinity is. What's interesting is increasing the pH, temperature, or alkalinity while total hardness remains constant dramatically increases the scaling potential.

I wonder it that's why I'm seeing scale buildup in the water heater. My total hardness before the iron filter was installed was 47mg/l and pH was 7.65. After the filter was installed it went to 66mg/l and 8.1 which according to the LSI are enough to significantly raise the scaling potential. Another factormay be the air injection system increasing the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water.

Gary Slusser
10-22-2008, 10:53 AM
Are you familiar with Langelier saturation index?

[I]The Langelier Saturation Index (LSI; also called Langelier Stability Index) is a calculated number used to predict the calcium carbonate stability of water; that is, whether a water will precipitate, dissolve, or be in equilibrium with calcium carbonate. Langelier developed a method for predicting the pH at which water is saturated in calcium carbonate (called pHs). The LSI is expressed as the difference between the actual system pH and the saturation pH.

LSI = pH - pHs
Not really...

The LSI was invented to determine IF concrete water pipe would be dissolved by water and allow the asbestos reinforcing fibers to be added to the water.

It is a poor choice to use to determine if a water is aggressive to materials other than concrete water pipe etc.. There are other indexes that are much better. For more on that and a list of better choices, check out
www.corrosion-doctors.org and then Search this site for LSI. Here is one link discussing the use of the LSI from my search there.
http://corrosion-doctors.org/Cooling-Water-Towers/corrosivity.htm

The calcite is increasing your hardness, it is supposed to. Hardness scale is formed when water containing hardness is heated.

Elliott
10-22-2008, 07:30 PM
http://home.avvanta.com/~sesmith/pumphouse.jpg

Gary Slusser
10-22-2008, 08:38 PM
All those galvanized fittings and nipples on the blue pressure tank are probably adding iron to your treated water.

I don't think the tank back in the corner is a vent tank.

I can't make any sense out of the plumbing. I only see one line going into the retention tank and one at the filter. I think the injector is behind a pipe in the picture and in the line behind the retention tank. And there's lin through the floor...

The stuff is not plumber anything like I would have done it. And I would not use galvanized anywhere.

There is no drain on the retention tank and I don't see any way to vent air out of it.

Maybe you can use the Paint program to label everything.

Elliott
10-23-2008, 10:58 AM
I don't think the tank back in the corner is a vent tank.

I don't know the difference between a vent tank and retention tank. The label on the gray tank says it's a retention tank. According to the installer it's purpose is to expose the water to air in order to oxidize the iron so it can be filtered.



I can't make any sense out of the plumbing. I only see one line going into the retention tank and one at the filter. I think the injector is behind a pipe in the picture and in the line behind the retention tank. And there's lin through the floor...

I added some labeling, hopefully you can see how everything is connected now.



The stuff is not plumber anything like I would have done it. And I would not use galvanized anywhere.

I'm going to be re-plumbing after the iron filter gets removed. What should I replace the galvanized with?


There is no drain on the retention tank and I don't see any way to vent air out of it.

There's some kind of vent on the side of it about half way up.

Gary Slusser
10-23-2008, 01:59 PM
Where does the aeration line to the retention tank enter the retention tank?

IMO it should be on top where the plug is now. And there should be a diffuser so the column of aerated water entering the tank is broken up in smaller streams to expose more surface area so the air can do a better job of oxidizing the iron etc..

The vent on the side of the ret. tank, does it actually allow air out of it? If not it's probably due to it being blocked. If it is blocked the water will be absorbing the air into it and that leads to less air to be used for oxidation. I'd want the vent on the top of the tank with a pipe going done to the water level; using a Honeywell float vent valve. That then sets the level of air and water in the tank always insuring proper aeration.

A retention tank hold water for a period of time for proper contact time between an oxidizer and the water. A vent tank does too but it is set up as I describe above; a retention tank is not set up that way and will not work as well as a aeration vent tank will.

The aerator injector should be 1" on 1" tubing. The oxidation process will load up the tubing past it with rust, and it can close off the ID of the tubing to like a 1/4", from the injector all the way to the ret. tank inlet. So that line should be very short and have the bare minimum of elbows in it.

Is teh backwash line from the filter 1/2 PVC (white) or 1/2" or 3/4" Cpvc (tanish/gray/off white)? If it is CPVC, it has to be 3/4", not 1/2" and I wouldn't have used it, I would have used 1/2" ID PE tubing with no elbows. That water flow is flow controlled and we don't want any further flow restriction because it will prevent proper backwash and that will kill the mineral in the filter real quick.

Elliott
10-23-2008, 05:32 PM
Where does the aeration line to the retention tank enter the retention tank?

It's on the back towards the bottom.


The vent on the side of the ret. tank, does it actually allow air out of it? If not it's probably due to it being blocked. If it is blocked the water will be absorbing the air into it and that leads to less air to be used for oxidation. I'd want the vent on the top of the tank with a pipe going done to the water level; using a Honeywell float vent valve. That then sets the level of air and water in the tank always insuring proper aeration.

I have not seen anything ccome out of it.



The aerator injector should be 1" on 1" tubing. The oxidation process will load up the tubing past it with rust, and it can close off the ID of the tubing to like a 1/4", from the injector all the way to the ret. tank inlet. So that line should be very short and have the bare minimum of elbows in it.


It is 1" but is several feet away and has 2 elbows.



Is teh backwash line from the filter 1/2 PVC (white) or 1/2" or 3/4" Cpvc (tanish/gray/off white)? If it is CPVC, it has to be 3/4", not 1/2" and I wouldn't have used it, I would have used 1/2" ID PE tubing with no elbows. That water flow is flow controlled and we don't want any further flow restriction because it will prevent proper backwash and that will kill the mineral in the filter real quick.

It's 3/4" PVC.

Gary Slusser
10-23-2008, 08:34 PM
The bottom line, the guys that sold you this equipment don't know what they are doing and they are not using industry standard equipment. I'd have them take it out and then I'd start over after a water analysis of the raw water.

I would use a brass pressure tank tee and a brass switch nipple to replace the galvanized and, I'd move the pressure tank over by the line from the well and all treatment equipment should be after it.

Elliott
10-24-2008, 07:03 AM
Ok, Ill post up my raw water test results after this stuff gets taken out.

Thanks for the help.

Gary Slusser
10-24-2008, 08:47 AM
Or call me.

You're welcome.

Elliott
04-28-2009, 07:05 AM
Update:

The company that installed this iron filter removed it and gave me a refund. It's been several months since it was removed. No more noisy water heater or calcium buildup in the screens.

Now I am getting reddish brown sediment in the toilet tanks and toilet bowls. The wife is starting to complain about it being hard to clean this stuff off. When I had the water tested several months ago by a local certified water lab there was no iron detected. I bought an iron strip test kit and have been monitoring the water but haven't had a single positive test result. Is it possible there is a small amount present that doesn't register with the test kit but is enough to show up in the water that sits in the toilets?

How do I figure out what kind of iron this is so I can get the appropriate filter?

Steve

Gary Slusser
04-28-2009, 06:06 PM
Update:

The company that installed this iron filter removed it and gave me a refund. It's been several months since it was removed. No more noisy water heater or calcium buildup in the screens.

Now I am getting reddish brown sediment in the toilet tanks and toilet bowls.

How do I figure out what kind of iron this is so I can get the appropriate filter?

Steve
It's very odd that removing an "iron filter" would cause the little steam explosions in hardness scale in a gas or oil fired water heater stop. But then if the scale was getting softer, by being dissolved by a water softener's soft water, that isn't softening the water now, that may explain it.

Reddish brown is always ferric iron which is oxidized ferrous iron.

So you were going to get a water analysis, if you haven't, do so and see what the iron content is with a test other than the dip strip type test.

Elliott
04-28-2009, 06:44 PM
It's an electric water heater. The filter they installed had some calcite media in it which raised the hardness. I have no idea why they decided to use that. I've had 3 water lab test over the last 18 months. None of them have shown any iron present.

Gary Slusser
04-28-2009, 07:11 PM
That would only add hardness IF the pH was low causing acidic water.

Elliott
04-28-2009, 07:34 PM
The good news is that problem wnt away when they removed the filter. Now I just need a remedy for the iron.

Gary Slusser
04-29-2009, 09:21 AM
To me, although I haven't read the whole thread over again, it seems that removing the AN filter treated the symptom rather than the cause, and now you get to deal with acidic water IF the AN filter was needed; and an AN filter is not an iron filter.

What iron, you haven't measured any yet. If you have a softener, it should be removing the little iron it seems you may have. If you have one, it isn't working. That will allow more hard water scale formation in the water heater and that seriously increases the cost to heat water and replace elements.

Elliott
04-29-2009, 10:19 AM
I know the history of this is hard to follow... I don't have a water softener, never did.

Here's a summary:

When I built this house and had the well pump and pressure tank installed the well contractor performed a field test of the water. He said I had iron in the water that needed to be treated and recommended a filter specifically to remove the iron. A month or so after moving in is when I started having all sorts of problems with sizzling noises and scale forming in the water heater and ending up in the house totally clogging all the fixtures.

At that point the well contractor was dumbfounded. I took water samples and sent them into the lab. No iron was found. I called the well contrator wanted to know why he installed this filter when there was no iron present. He claimed his field test showed there was iron but after showing him the water lab test results he agreed to remove the filter and hive me a refund.

Right after removing the filter the water heater quit making the sizzling noises and no more scale was showing up in the fixture screens. I don't understand why but that filter is definitely what was causing the scale problem. Hard water is not that common in my area.

What I am confused about is why the water tested negative for iron but it is showing up in the toilets. Is it possible that the amount present is below measurable limits or they were testing for the wrong kind of iron?

Should I have the water tested again? I have strip tests for iron, hardness, and PH.