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Thread: Calcium buildup in water heater

  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    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

  2. #17
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    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.
    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.

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump View Post
    What is the PH before the filter now?
    bob...
    Just got a tester, pH -s 7.6

  4. #19
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Redwood slides the chips off the table while the dealer is distracted...
    11/07 is much to new for the dip tube defect...

  5. #20
    Previous member sammyhydro11's Avatar
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    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

  6. #21

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    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

  7. #22
    Previous member sammyhydro11's Avatar
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    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

  8. #23
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    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.
    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.

  9. #24

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    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?
    Last edited by Elliott; 10-20-2008 at 07:47 AM.

  10. #25
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    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...

  11. #26
    DIY Hillbilly Southern Man's Avatar
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    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.

  12. #27

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    Unfortunately the crap sticks to the sides of the tank and most of it won't come out when flushed.

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump View Post
    I see the neutralizing filter did raise the PH to over 8.

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

  14. #29

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    Does this look like iron?


  15. #30
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    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.
    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.

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