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zientm
01-13-2010, 05:41 PM
I am in the market for a Neutralizing filter and came across the Watts Vortech distributor (see http://www.watts.com/pro/whatsnew/whatsnew_vortech.asp) It seems like their claim of better backwashing of the media would be the biggest benefit. I was wondering if anyone has used this, any problems, comments, etc.

TIA

Peter Griffin
01-13-2010, 06:55 PM
I have been to a seminar on them. I like what I saw. I have not yet sold or installed one.

Gary Slusser
01-13-2010, 09:28 PM
The problem with the Vortech is if there is a problem with the distributor tube, you have to replace the whole tank; and they cost more than a regular tank and a gravel underbed.

Akpsdvan
01-13-2010, 09:38 PM
Kinda like the Brunner setups years ago in that it had a table at the bottum of the tank and the distributor is of an odd size, their valve is the only one that will work.
If that distributor breaks or the table breaks out with the whole tank.. and there is no reusing the tank in another job, or changing the distributor size for increasing the flow rate through the tank.

Bob999
01-14-2010, 07:11 AM
In my experience they work very well with heavy media and do reduce backwash flow requirements. Both disadvantages cited above are real--they cost more and if they break it is a single unit and the whole unit must be replaced--there are no separable parts.

Gary Slusser
01-14-2010, 11:30 AM
Another problem is you can not get the distributor tube out when replacing the media. That requires emptying the tank by pouring the media out or using a small wet shop vac tube instead of a tool meant to pump the media out with water pressure.

Bob, how long have you used a Vortech tank and how much water do you think that type tank 'saves' over a gravel under bed?

Do you sell that type tank or did you buy one as a consumer?

zientm
01-14-2010, 07:10 PM
So the main cons seem to relate to the fact that it is not removable - a problem if it breaks or you need to change the media. Being new to this I have to ask - how often do either of these happen?

Akpsdvan
01-14-2010, 08:02 PM
It is not changing the media, but if the distributor breaks, the bottum table breaks or if there is heavy sand that gets into the system, Iron that builds up.. then there are the challenges that most likely mean the tank will have to be replaced. Now the chances of that happening?
It may never happen, then again some thing could happen some time with in the next x number of years... it is any one guess as to when.

Any time that you have man and machine some thing is going to happen.

Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989, Tug ran aground on the same point in 2009.... go figure.

Peter Griffin
01-15-2010, 02:29 AM
So the main cons seem to relate to the fact that it is not removable - a problem if it breaks or you need to change the media. Being new to this I have to ask - how often do either of these happen?

Just about never.

Gary Slusser
01-15-2010, 12:11 PM
So the main cons seem to relate to the fact that it is not removable - a problem if it breaks or you need to change the media. Being new to this I have to ask - how often do either of these happen?
With heavy mineral like AN media its more likely to break or be broken when adding or replacing the mineral.

I wouldn't want to have to remove the mineral without being able to get the distributor tube out so I could use my mineral 'pump' which is the easiest and least messy way to get the mineral out of any tank.

You must believe the marketing and think you'll save enough water to justify the additional cost to buy one. If I sold the filter with a Vortech tank, I would not risk a dissatisfied customer by reducing the gpm of the backwash and you wouldn't save any water.

Bob999
01-15-2010, 02:10 PM
I have searched the web for information about Vortech tanks and for actual experience reports. I have not found reports of failures of Vortech tanks.

So my opinion at this point, based on the information I can find, is that the concerns about failures are theoretical.

Gary Slusser
01-15-2010, 02:53 PM
Well of course it is. I don't know how many times you have replaced mineral or resin but without getting the distributor out of the way it is much more difficult and a DIYer would have a real problem doing it with the Vortech tank.

I don't know how many split or cracked distributor tubes you've seen either but it happens.

And you aren't answering my question about how much water you think a Vortech tank will save and if there is no savings why go with a Vortech tank.

You have two dealers here telling you our opinions based on years of experience and it seems as if you still support the Vortech tank. So what is your experience with any type tank?

Peter Griffin
01-15-2010, 03:11 PM
I'll admit right up front that I have zero experience with them other than a factory demonstration seminar. If the unit performs to it's specifications than It is a viable piece of equipment, just like every other piece of equipment on the market. Would I dump my current line and sell nothing but? No, I would not, but I have no problem adding it to my inventory. I think there is a place on the lot for economy, middle range and high end product.

Bob999
01-15-2010, 03:55 PM
Well of course it is.

It is nice when we can agree!.



And you aren't answering my question about how much water you think a Vortech tank will save and if there is no savings why go with a Vortech tank.


Watts characterizes the water savings as up to 30%. My experience casts no doubt on that claim.

In the same installation I have seen a 12" Vortech tank with Filox media that is backwashed at 10 gallon per minute and the media is lifted with the 10 gpm flow. By comparison a 12" tank with traditional distributor, gravel underbed, and Calcite media is backwashed at 13 gpm and the bed is not lifted.

Akpsdvan
01-15-2010, 06:08 PM
This system might be great for medias that do not have much weight to them and few if any change outs of media, but if one is using media with weight and removing some thing like Iron and changing out often.. I would not trust it.

If using a 12" or larger tank one should be using a larger end of the distributor, one for more flow rate and not one for a smaller tank.

zientm
01-15-2010, 08:01 PM
You must believe the marketing and think you'll save enough water to justify the additional cost to buy one.

I have to consider the total cost that someone will sell the system to me, though. I have looked around the internet for what seemed to be reputable dealers (including checking them out with the Better Business Bureau) and have come up with the following options for a 1.5 cu. ft. neutralizer with automatic back flushing (all prices including shipping and tax, if applicable):

$535 with Fleck 5600 valve and gravel bed (not quite as confident in this company)
$620 with Autotrol valve and gravel bed
$649 with Fleck 2510 or Clack WS1 valve and Vortech distributor
$670 with Clack WS1 valve and gravel bed
$1218 with Fleck (non-electronic) valve and gravel bed, includes installation (quoted by local dealer)

I am leaning towards the Clack valve, and it appears I can get a system with it cheaper if I go with the Vortech system. Of course, there are issues of after-sales support and the like, which are hard to discover before the fact. And maybe I just have not found the company offering the best deal yet...

Akpsdvan
01-15-2010, 08:54 PM
And I will not bid on it because you are there and I am in Alaska. While I might have some ideas as to what could be done, I do not know the water there and what works best and what does not really work.

As for Valve choices,,, 2510 or the Clack as both can be programed for different time frames of the cleaning cycle.
Autotrol and 5600 can not be.

With any valve choice I would not have the Vortech Distributor, I just could not trust it yet.

zientm
01-16-2010, 06:43 AM
The info I have seen for the Clack says that it there are two options for Backwash/Rinse times: 14 and 8 minutes or 16 and 10 minutes. Not a whole lot of flexibility. I have been unable to find info on the Fleck - how adjustable is it?

And my point on the Vortech is that it appears I would have to pay more to not get it.

Bob999
01-16-2010, 07:20 AM
The info I have seen for the Clack says that it there are two options for Backwash/Rinse times: 14 and 8 minutes or 16 and 10 minutes. Not a whole lot of flexibility. I have been unable to find info on the Fleck - how adjustable is it?

And my point on the Vortech is that it appears I would have to pay more to not get it.

There are many different versions of the Clack valve electronics and the ability to adjust depends on the version you get.

I think the minimum adjustment is offered on the TC version of the valve and when used as a backwashing filter there are three options for backwash/rinse:
6/4, 10/6, and 14/8.

On the other hand, if you get the EE version of the valve the backwash and rinse can be set within the range of 1-20 minutes for each.

Peter Griffin
01-16-2010, 07:33 AM
You can't go wrong with either the Clack or Fleck heads. Both are very good pieces if equipment indeed. I sell a crap load of Fleck heads but that is more of a price thing than anything else ( lots of cost conscious folks around these parts) But I like the Clack's ease of service and adjustability. As far as the Vorteck, like I said, good idea, it works and I just don't have enough experience with them to quantify it yet.

Akpsdvan
01-16-2010, 09:51 AM
It is the timer wheel and the moving of pins on the non sxt 2510.

For the filter..
More pins in the first set, longer backwash.
a few spaces for what would be the brine draw and rinse.
Then some pins for the rapid rinse.
Then 2 spaces for what would be the brine refill and 2 pins for the end..

I have been moving pins to change the setting on Fleck units for so long I don't even really think abou it any more, I just do it when needed.

What is this Pay More Not to get it?

zientm
01-16-2010, 05:18 PM
I understand. What is the resolution of the spaces? Is each space worth a couple minutes?


What is this Pay More Not to get it?

The prices I have found so far (with a Clack valve) are $649 with Vortech distributor, $670 without. So I would have to pay $21 more to get the standard gravel bed.

Gary Slusser
01-16-2010, 05:42 PM
It is nice when we can agree!.
I meant it was your opinion.


Watts characterizes the water savings as up to 30%. My experience casts no doubt on that claim.
What is your experience?


In the same installation I have seen a 12" Vortech tank with Filox media that is backwashed at 10 gallon per minute and the media is lifted with the 10 gpm flow. By comparison a 12" tank with traditional distributor, gravel underbed, and Calcite media is backwashed at 13 gpm and the bed is not lifted.
IIRC Filox is quite a bit lighter than "calcite" but comparing two different minerals is not a true comparison of the two different types of tanks.

Bob999
01-16-2010, 06:13 PM
IIRC Filox is quite a bit lighter than "calcite" but comparing two different minerals is not a true comparison of the two different types of tanks.

Not sure what you are basing your statement on. Filox runs about 114 lbs per cubic foot and Calcite runs about 90 lbs per cubic foot.

zientm
01-16-2010, 06:15 PM
IIRC Filox is quite a bit lighter than "calcite" but comparing two different minerals is not a true comparison of the two different types of tanks.
Filox is actually a bit denser at 114 lbs/cu ft versus 90 lbs/cu ft for Calcite.

Gary Slusser
01-16-2010, 07:20 PM
I have to consider the total cost that someone will sell the system to me, though. I have looked around the internet for what seemed to be reputable dealers (including checking them out with the Better Business Bureau) and have come up with the following options for a 1.5 cu. ft. neutralizer with automatic back flushing (all prices including shipping and tax, if applicable):

$535 with Fleck 5600 valve and gravel bed (not quite as confident in this company)
$620 with Autotrol valve and gravel bed
$649 with Fleck 2510 or Clack WS1 valve and Vortech distributor
$670 with Clack WS1 valve and gravel bed
$1218 with Fleck (non-electronic) valve and gravel bed, includes installation (quoted by local dealer)

I am leaning towards the Clack valve, and it appears I can get a system with it cheaper if I go with the Vortech system. Of course, there are issues of after-sales support and the like, which are hard to discover before the fact. And maybe I just have not found the company offering the best deal yet...
You should know that the BBB must be joined by the dealer etc.. IMO that taints the info about the business.

Are all of those using a top dome hole tank?

Do they all include a by pass valve?

Are the Clack WS-1 valves the same version?

Since you have my AN filter listed, you know I include the top dome hole tank, the by pass valve and gravel but not that I also include a 50' coil of drain line and the Clack Wrench and that I use the CS version which allows me/you to select the length of time the backwashes and rinse positions run for. BTW, there are many more than just two choices as someone has said. And I am probably the only one that has real customers posting their experiences in a forum where anyone could contact them. That's comparing some web sites that have a list of customer "testimonials" that look to me as if they are made up. And I think you know where you would get the better after the sale service if needed.

The non electronic version of the 5600 is a poor choice for that size AN filter. You can not change the length of time for the backwashes and rinse on it. And without knowing what version Autotrol control valve there's no way to compare Autotrol to Fleck and Clack valves.

If you look at DIYer repair, you can't beat the ease and low parts prices of the Clack WS-1.

Gary Slusser
01-16-2010, 07:45 PM
And my point on the Vortech is that it appears I would have to pay more to not get it.
That sounds as if you think all dealers should sell at the same delivered price.

The weight of Filox, I've never sold it. Does the Vortech come with a top dome hole?

Akpsdvan
01-16-2010, 10:25 PM
I understand. What is the resolution of the spaces? Is each space worth a couple minutes?



The prices I have found so far (with a Clack valve) are $649 with Vortech distributor, $670 without. So I would have to pay $21 more to get the standard gravel bed.

There are 2 Fleck timer wheels, one that each space is 2 minutes and another that each space is 1 minute..

From when the timer starts its run each pin or empty space equals some part of time , 2 minutes or 1 minute.

So by adding pins one adds time to a part of the cycle, by adding spaces ,,, or by removing pins or spaces one removes time from the parts of the cycle.

The Elect or computer control is done by increasing or decreasing the minutes for each cycle.

The non computer is more simple, fewer different ways of doing, but there is only the motor and 2 micro switches, the computer control has more ways to doing things today than years ago, cheaper that 10 years ago to replace, but the whole computer board has to be replaced if it goes bad..

I use the SXT of Fleck as often as I do with their older timer today and feel good about either of them when I put them in for my customers.

The only thing that I can think of is that the dealer that you are using the price from has gotten a better deal on the new Vortech distributor so they are able to charge less for the setups than with the older setups.

Akpsdvan
01-16-2010, 10:30 PM
Dome Hole and Clack 1190... What a sweet setup.......

Have many a up flow neutralizers set up that way and happy customers.

But I really only pull this off if there is little to no iron in the water....

Changing the Ph of the water with high(over 3ppm)iron gets the iron to oxidize and fall out of the water.

zientm
01-17-2010, 04:55 PM
You should know that the BBB must be joined by the dealer etc.. IMO that taints the info about the business.

Are all of those using a top dome hole tank?

Do they all include a by pass valve?

Are the Clack WS-1 valves the same version?

Since you have my AN filter listed, you know I include the top dome hole tank, the by pass valve and gravel but not that I also include a 50' coil of drain line and the Clack Wrench and that I use the CS version which allows me/you to select the length of time the backwashes and rinse positions run for.

As far as I know, the BBB does not require membership to log and publish complaints against the company.

All include the same size tank, top dome hole, and bypass valve. None of them state that they include drain line, and I would probably plumb it in PVC anyway so I can control the slope of the drain better.

None of the sites specify which version of the Clack WS-1 valve. Your site does not specify that (or the fact that you include drain line and wrench). You may want to add that to your site if that is the case. The company selling it with the Vortech distributor uses the EE version of the valve, which gives you complete flexibility of the times, which, in my estimation, is better than the CS version.

Gary Slusser
01-18-2010, 07:37 AM
As far as I know, the BBB does not require membership to log and publish complaints against the company.
I said the company must join the BBB, and pay a fee to belong. I did not say anything about a consumer voicing a complaint.


All include the same size tank, top dome hole, and bypass valve. None of them state that they include drain line, and I would probably plumb it in PVC anyway so I can control the slope of the drain better.
That's why I include 50' of drain line, IMO I'm a better choice than the other dealers but....

What do you know about installing an AN filter? You should use regular water treatment equipment drain line so you do not reduce flow which is already flow controlled and any reduction will cause the filter to fail. And why would not be able to slope a piece of regular drain line? Frankly it usually is easier than PVC because you run it all in one piece with no fittings in the run.


None of the sites specify which version of the Clack WS-1 valve. Your site does not specify that (or the fact that you include drain line and wrench). You may want to add that to your site if that is the case. The company selling it with the Vortech distributor uses the EE version of the valve, which gives you complete flexibility of the times, which, in my estimation, is better than the CS version.
Well some do mention what version of the Clack and as soon as I can I will be changing my site and I probably will include my 'extras' that I have been including since 2002. And as I have told you, the CS version allows setting the length of time of the cycle positions also. And if it were not for me and my posts, you wouldn't know to look at the Clack control valve but... do you really think you are going to know enough about setting up a control valve for an AN filter to be able to set those times correctly?
I don't think so.

You should be leaning on the dealer and he should be telling you how to program the valve and you should leave it alone. Problem is that most of my competition with the Clack do not tell their prospective customer how to size or, their customer how to program the valve. That includes softeners also. They also don't include the 3-7 pages of very detailed assembly, set up, programming and installation instructions that I do. IOWs, you get much more if you buy from me. I doubt that any of my customers are contacting my competition for info on how to do things with the equipment they bought from me; but I hear from their customers fairly frequently.

zientm
01-19-2010, 04:55 PM
I just wanted to thank everyone for the information they provided. It was a very enlightening exchange.