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Thread: What You Love - Water Softener, Sandtrap, Iron FIlter?

  1. #16

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    Synthesis

    Cyanuric acid (CYA) was first synthesized by Wöhler in 1829 by decomposing urea and uric acid at high temperature.[1] Today industrial manufacture of CYA for use as a precursor in the manufacture of such products as bleach, disinfectant and herbicide.....

    Applications

    FDA permits a certain amount of cyanuric acid to be present in some non-protein nitrogen (NPN) additives used in animal feed and drinking water.[4] Cyanuric acid has been used as NPN. For example, Archer Daniels Midland manufactures a NPN supplement for cattle, which contains biuret, triuret, cyanuric acid and urea...

    Thanks, Bob - all I know is I live in a rural setting, with farmers and cattle ranchers all around me. I won't worry too much about the cyanuric acid for now, but what is your opinion on the necessity of the sandtrap? Would you, based on my readings, choose the iron filter or sandtrap or both? (along with the softener)

    thanks~


  2. #17
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    I still have no idea why you would need a sandtrap. If you don't have a sand problem, no sandtrap is needed.

    Cyanuric Acid is a Stabilizer and is used in Swimming Pools. I have to add it to my pool occasionally since I quit using the three inch tablets which use a chemical that I won't attempt the spelling of here. The three inch tablets have the acid in them, I now use a Chlorine Generator to keep the pool disinfected and therefore have to add Cyanuric Acid.

    If you live in a Farming Community, I would be more worried about Fecal Bacteria and Nitrate/Nitrites in your water. There is the possibility of other chemicals that could be in your water due to the proximity to Farms that can't be tested for at a Swimming Pool Company. That's what the Labs are for.

    bob...

  3. #18

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    I don't understand why you would want to just remove the iron from the drinking water and the icecubes. Iron is good for you.

    I believe it is sometimes hard to communicate things on an internet forum. I truly want your educated opinion. We have lived in our home 22 years. We recently replaced all the copper piping in our home due to more than a dozen pinhole leaks over the years. Now is a good time to soften the water, along with doing away with the inline filters.

    The estimate I received suggested a Fleck 5600 softener, a sandtrap and R/O - using a special faucet at sink with a connection to fridge water line. I didn't want softened water coming out of the (main) kitchen sink faucet, as I have alot of indoor plants that I don't wish to water with softenend water.

    I am just trying to determine the best way to filter the water at my sink (the main faucet, not the faucet for R/O should I go that route).

    Speedbump, (Bob) - you suggested the iron filter as pretreatment for the softener as iron is bad for the resin bed. Now, you are telling me iron is good and why would I not want it in my drinking water? I never said that. If I don't need the iron filter, fine- I just want to filter (make it better)the water at my sink and the water leading to my fridge, as I plan to bypass those two areas (no softened water) along with exterior faucets. If I ran the softened water there, I would need the R/O. I do not want R/O.

    I don't mean to sound confusing...I just want advice on how to best filter the water that is not being softened. These two lines (sink & fridge) will run straight to main pipe after the holding tank (or possibly to iron filter/sandtrap)if they are installed).

    And, I am a gal.

    thanks

  4. #19

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    I could not locate a convenient water testing lab and I wanted quick results. Can anyone suggest a source - I live upstate SC.

  5. #20
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    Ok, your making this harder than it needs to be.

    I like softened water. And I like Iron free water. I like both for my clothes, my fixtures and other things that would otherwise stain. Iron in your water is good for YOU not your clothes or your fixtures. It will stain. Softened water is lacking in calcium and magnesium. Hard water is good for YOU not your shower walls, laundry and fixtures. Iron can foul your softeners mineral bed. This is why I recommend a hard water drinking water faucet at your kitchen sink. You can water your plants with that water and also drink this water. Now you won't need Geritol to get iron back in your system.

    Iron filters are backwashable filters as are water softeners. In line cartridge filters are not. You have to change the cartridges often depending on your water. I say again. These filters in my opinion are useless.

    Testing labs are all over the place. Your local Health Dept will do Nitrate/Nitrite and Fecal Bacteria testing for you sometimes for free. It's ten bucks here in my County. You go get the bag, read the directions, get the sample and take it back. You will have an answer in less than a week usually.

    You want to take the sample at the pump or well, not after filters.

    For Laboratories, Google water testing laboratories.

    bob...

  6. #21
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump View Post
    Iron filters are backwashable filters as are water softeners. In line cartridge filters are not. You have to change the cartridges often depending on your water. I say again. These filters in my opinion are useless.
    bob...
    Bob (Speedbump) doesn't like cartridge filters.

    They are effective in removing what they are designed to remove. If you have to change the filters it is because they are removing what they are supposed to remove. If you are changing them too often it is because the filter is too small for the flow rate (not enough filter area) or for the dirt load in the water. If there are too many very fine particles you must either decide to not remove the very fine particles or add more filter area.

    Cartridge filters are widely used in industry because they are effective in doing what they are supposed to do, which is to remove the stuff they are rated to remove.

    Backwashable sand-type filters are rarely used in the process industry because they don't remove small particles of the size that the industries want removed from their product. Backwashable sand-type filters are widely used in large-scale water treatment because they are very effective when special chemicals are added to the water to cause the small particles to coagulate so they can be collected in the filter bed. The same kinds of chemicals are added to swimming pools so that the sand filters will be effective. It is not practical to add such chemicals to small residential systems.

    An ion exchange water softener does some filtering but it is a poor device for removing suspended solids (dirt). Any particle removal is incidental to its ion-exchange function.

    Quote Originally Posted by inforapeek View Post
    I am just trying to determine the best way to filter the water at my sink (the main faucet, not the faucet for R/O should I go that route). . . .

    I don't mean to sound confusing...I just want advice on how to best filter the water that is not being softened. These two lines (sink & fridge) will run straight to main pipe after the holding tank (or possibly to iron filter/sandtrap)if they are installed). . .
    If you want to do the best job of just filtering (removing sediment from) water that goes to the sink and fridge, then get a cartridge filter. Check the link to Harmsco that I posted above (my post # 10). You can get whatever size and micron rating you want or need. Send me a PM if you need help finding what yo need.

    If you ever get a Reverse Osmosis system it will be necessary to filter the water ahead of the RO system, but the system will probably have its own filter.

  7. #22

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    Softened water is lacking in calcium and magnesium. Hard water is good for YOU not your shower walls, laundry and fixtures. Iron can foul your softeners mineral bed. This is why I recommend a hard water drinking water faucet at your kitchen sink. You can water your plants with that water and also drink this water.

    Speedbump, Bob - I understand this - I prefer hard water for drinking - this is why I am choosing to bypass my sink and fridge. I shall be using my sink water for other things besides watering plants - such as cooking. Just because my well water has nothing deadly in it does not equate to not wanting to make it better. You still have not recommended anything to do that. If I don't use the inline carbon filter, my water does have a bit of a less desirable taste and odor



    In line cartridge filters in my opinion are useless... I agree and do not wish to continue using these, but I do not want the sediment (dark gray colored grit - is this sand?) flowing through to my sink, dishwasher and icemaker either. How do I prevent this?



    Your local Health Dept will do Nitrate/Nitrite and Fecal Bacteria testing for you sometimes for free.

    Yes. I once had DHEC test my water about a dozen years ago. Let's just say, theoretically, there are high nitrate levels, how would you treat the water to make it suitable for drinking? Is R/O of softenend water my only choice?

    I may be misinformed, but I thought iron filters, besides removing iron, also treat the taste, odor and a few other things.

    bob...

  8. #23
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    Softened water is lacking in calcium and magnesium. Hard water is good for YOU not your shower walls, laundry and fixtures. Iron can foul your softeners mineral bed. This is why I recommend a hard water drinking water faucet at your kitchen sink. You can water your plants with that water and also drink this water.

    Speedbump, Bob - I understand this - I prefer hard water for drinking - this is why I am choosing to bypass my sink and fridge. I shall be using my sink water for other things besides watering plants - such as cooking. Just because my well water has nothing deadly in it does not equate to not wanting to make it better. You still have not recommended anything to do that. If I don't use the inline carbon filter, my water does have a bit of a less desirable taste and odor
    That's why I recommended a third faucet for just hard water. The mixer valve for your Hot/Cold can be soft. If you do have a taste odor problem, you will need to know what that odor and taste is to deal with it. Carbon filters are not cure alls.



    In line cartridge filters in my opinion are useless... I agree and do not wish to continue using these, but I do not want the sediment (dark gray colored grit - is this sand?) flowing through to my sink, dishwasher and icemaker either. How do I prevent this?
    You will have to have someone look at this sand/turbidity to determine what it is. You may end up needing a cartridge filter like BobNH suggests. And I fully agree that his Harmsco recommendation be the one you use as opposed to the big box varieties.



    Your local Health Dept will do Nitrate/Nitrite and Fecal Bacteria testing for you sometimes for free.

    Yes. I once had DHEC test my water about a dozen years ago. Let's just say, theoretically, there are high nitrate levels, how would you treat the water to make it suitable for drinking? Is R/O of softenend water my only choice?
    I have never had to deal with Nitrates so I'm not the one to answer this question. I believe they can be removed by a fine mesh resin used in a softener, but don't hold me to that. I would have to do a little research first.

    I may be misinformed, but I thought iron filters, besides removing iron, also treat the taste, odor and a few other things.
    Not true. The only way an Iron Filter can remove odor is by the oxidizing properties of Potassium Permangenate (Used with the filter to oxidize the iron) helping to remove a small amount of Sulphur usually a half part per million and no more.

  9. #24
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    If you do not have visible dirt/sediment in your water you DO NOT need a sand or iron or sediment filter of any kind. They can cause problems for a softener and all resins remove iron to some degree, some better than others but, for your slight amount of iron, less than 1 ppm, which all resin manufacturers say their resins will remove, and I say they will remove iron to 5 ppm, you should use a softener to remove it.

    You need to treat your acidic water. Although there are many causes, that is probably what caused the pin hole leaks in your copper tubing. The best way would be a backwashed acid neutralizing sacrificial mineral filter. That will add hardness to your water and teh softener will have to be sized to remove that level of hardness. You don't use 17.1 to convert all those things to gpg. There is a different formula for that and you don't need to do that.

    An AN filter will remove dirt/sediment to like 20 microns or less. We can't see particles below about 45 microns in size.

    You should have the water tested for more than hardness, iron and pH. Coliform bacteria, sulfates, chlorides, nitrates, nitrites and TDS. Sodium too to show how much sodium raw unsoftened water can contain; all natural untreated waters do contain sodium.

    A softener uses the sodium or potassium part of softener "salt" only, none of the chloride part of salt or salt substitute is used by a softener (cation resins).

    The added sodium for softened water is 7.85 mg/l, roughly a quart of water, per gpg of ion exchange. I.E. 10 gpg * 7.85 = 78.5 mg of added sodium, if you don't use potassium chloride, salt substitute, and raise the salt dose of the softener to use it. That 78.5 mg of added sodium is usually less than half the sodium content in a slice of white bread. You can reduce your sodium intake by eating one slice of white bread a day and drinking a quart of your softened water. An 8 oz glass of V8 Juice usually has over 500 mg of sodium. A glass of skim milk has a few hundred mg of sodium.

    The human body gets little benefit from the "mineral content" in drinking water.

    IMO it is a dumb idea to run hard water to a 'fridge or kitchen sink. Your water contains iron, and carbon filters and iron do not mix well.

    If you want hard water for house plants, put a boiler drain (outside type faucet) on the plumbing before the softener, on the inlet plumbing and fill a plant watering container once every few days.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  10. #25

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    You need to treat your acidic water. Although there are many causes, that is probably what caused the pin hole leaks in your copper tubing. I agree The best way would be a backwashed acid neutralizing sacrificial mineral filter.

    I have read about these, but I am not familiar with how they work. Is it something that will require regular maintenance? Is it something that most water treatment companies would be familiar with and be able to provide?

    You should have the water tested for more than hardness, iron and pH. Coliform bacteria, sulfates, chlorides, nitrates, nitrites and TDS. Sodium too to show how much sodium raw unsoftened water can contain; all natural untreated waters do contain sodium. That 78.5 mg of added sodium is usually less than half the sodium content in a slice of white bread.
    I am not worried so much about the sodium content - I just do not like the taste of softened water, and it is not good for houseplants.


    The human body gets little benefit from the "mineral content" in drinking water. I believe the minerals are what give hard water its good taste, though.

    IMO it is a dumb idea to run hard water to a 'fridge or kitchen sink. Your water contains iron, and carbon filters and iron do not mix well. What you are telling me then, is that I should run softened water to my side by side Kitchenaid icemaker and water dispenser, even though I prefer the taste of hard water?? I replace the PUR filter in it every 6 months - I believe it is a charcoal filter - what would that do to the taste of the softened water?


    If you want hard water for house plants, put a boiler drain (outside type faucet) on the plumbing before the softener, on the inlet plumbing and fill a plant watering container once every few days.

    This would entail going under my house to the dirt crawlspace (where all the plumbing is located) to retrieve water in the winter and carrying it upstairs (2 story home) every time I wish to water. That seems impractical to me. I could get by in the summer by taking the plants outside to an exterior faucet, but, again, impractical in winter. I have a couple dozen plants (some very large). That, along with preferring the taste of hard water is why I thought I might bypass the sink and fridge.

    I appreciate everyone taking the time to reply...thanks so much. By raising the pH with the acid neutralizing mineral filter, I can also remove the sediment -which is a big problem. The hardness (and extra hardness caused by raising the pH) will be taken care of with the softener. But, other than R/O, or using softened water for my ice and water dispenser - do you have an alternative should I still decide to keep hard water going to my icemaker/dispenser?

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by inforapeek View Post
    I appreciate everyone taking the time to reply...thanks so much. By raising the pH with the acid neutralizing mineral filter, I can also remove the sediment -which is a big problem. The hardness (and extra hardness caused by raising the pH) will be taken care of with the softener. But, other than R/O, or using softened water for my ice and water dispenser - do you have an alternative should I still decide to keep hard water going to my icemaker/dispenser?
    An acid neutralizing filter WILL NOT remove sediment from your water. An acid neutralizing filter is a tank of calcite pebbles (marble chips) that are dissolved by the acid in the water. They may be sitting on a bed of sand that will remove some large particles.

    One of the reasons for backwashing an acid neutralizer is that naturally occuring calcite is sometimes used and insoluble materials are released when the calcite is dissolved.

    The sediment that you have in your water is probably clay-like. You can't see the individual particles but if you have collected some in a cartridge filter it will probably seem like mud. If you want to remove those particles you need a good filter.

    One reason for filtering and even softening water for your icemaker is related to the way ice cubes freeze, and what happens to dissolved salts in the water. When water freezes the dissolved substances remain in solution and are excluded by the salt crystal. As the ice cube freezes from the outside they collect in the unfrozen water and tend to become concentrated in the last drop that freezes. That is why the center of the cube often looks dirty.

  12. #27

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    An AN filter will remove dirt/sediment to like 20 microns or less. We can't see particles below about 45 microns in size.

    Gary and BobNH disagree then - I was going by Gary's statement that sediment would be removed by the AN mineral bed. Although, BobNH - what I see when I change the sediment filters is not usually clay (only occasionally if we wait too long to change them) - but, small dark gray grit. I stated in an earlier post that my property (this area) lies over a bed of rock (granite I think).

    One reason for filtering and even softening water for your icemaker is related to the way ice cubes freeze, and what happens to dissolved salts in the water. When water freezes the dissolved substances remain in solution and are excluded by the salt crystal. As the ice cube freezes from the outside they collect in the unfrozen water and tend to become concentrated in the last drop that freezes. That is why the center of the cube often looks dirty
    As far as the icecubes - I am a bit confused. You are saying that filtered, softened water is best for ice, but the cubes will look dirty in the center? Will they be better than if made with pure, hard water?

  13. #28
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Info, I have installed many residential AN filters, softeners iron filters UV lights and turbidity filters and carbon filters. Never a disposable cartridge filter for POE whole house filtration.

    I doubt that BobNH has ever seen an AN filter or the other types used in residential applications. He talks about municipal systems, the ydo not use any pressurized type filtration; they use gravity flow, not pressurized flow. As far as I know, he is not in the residential water treatment business as I have been for 21 years.

    An AN filter is a nominal type filter and works better for small particulates as they build up on the surface of the AN mineral between backwashes. AN filter mineral is lime stone that is FDA approved for potable water use. Dirt collects on and in the top part of the bed and is then backwashed out of the bed. They work very well for ferric iron, household rust from oxidized ferrous iron. In many cases with acidic water, as the pH is raised, ferrous iron is converted in the bed and then backwashed out on a timely basis like every 2-6 days; that schedule depends on a number of things.

    Any dirt/sediment that were to get through the AN filter would be trapped on and in the top of the resin bed in the softener. A Clack or Fleck control valve does not gag on that dirt. I suggest Clack as the best control valve, especially for a DIYer that will want to change a part themselves when needed. You can buy online from dealers like me and if you don't install it your self you can hire a plumber. You'll save hundreds to maybe a couple thousands if comparing to a local dealer.

    Your Pur filter is it? IIRC it contains some carbon and anion and cation resins and possibly a bit of other things.

    Your 'fridge filter will not like the iron in your water and if you don't use softened water to the 'fridge, or kitchen sink, how well do you expect that filter to work and for how long? I hear they are quite expensive.

    The vast majority of people with softened water can not tell any taste difference between their hard and softened water. And IMO, many of those that say they can are simply thinking themselves into that decision.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  14. #29

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    Gary, I don't know that much about the valves, other than I've read about them and heard you and many others mention that the Clack valve is the best, but is it not a digital valve? The main reason the water treatment company (owner) suggested Fleck is because, in the south, we have high humidity. The humidity often plays havoc with the digital readings. He stated he could get me the Clack, should I request it, but feels that the Fleck is of good value.

    I am not a DIY -I need someone to install and set it up - otherwise I would opt to purchase systems and parts from you or any of the reputable professionals on this site. I am in a position that I want someone to come to my home once a year or so to make certain that everything is in running order. That is why I asked about maintenance of the AN mineral bed.

    I have benefited from all the advice given, and, after weighing and discussing these alternatives with the the water treatment owner, I may be back with more questions. If I decided on an addtional hard water line (with separate faucet) to the sink - could this be connected directly to the ANfilter under the house? I really need one indoor faucet with non-softened water.

    thanks

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