(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: High iron in water questions.

  1. #1

    Default High iron in water questions.

    Hi folks.

    First let me explain our situation and then ask a few questions I have about solving our problem.

    When we bought the house about 4 years ago, the previous owner had to install a softener due to high iron content in the well water. It appears that it is a Culligan system (I say appears because it's a Culligan control head, but everyone that's seen it says it's not a Culligan tank.) that has never really been up to snuff. At first it would burn through a ton of salt and require forced regen cycles and such. It was a complete mess. Anyway, it has completely failed now. The iron in the water is horrible. The toilets and sinks are all getting stained orange, the water feels horrible and has a very strong metal smell, and is fouling up our appliances. If you shower or wash your hands, the metal smell stays on your skin for hours. Know those kitchen sponges....one use and it's completely stained orange. It's some pretty nasty water.

    We had a few companies over to test and give us options for treating our water. The pH is 6.8, the Iron is 2.5 and the hardness is 3. We decided to go with a company that will install a Kinetico 60 system and chlorinate the lines in the whole house. Knowing all that, I still have a few questions...

    1. Given my situation does the Kinetico system sound effective enough?

    2. Does having Iron this high indicate a problem with the well? The house is roughly 30-40 years old.

    3. Is there a temporary fix that I can use to at least lessen the impact of the iron? They can't make it out till the 7th, and this water is really bad. They are going to do their best to get out sooner, but they are booked solid and hoping for a cancelation.

    4. Has the iron done permanent damage to the plumbing in the home? It's mostly 3/4 copper.

    5. Is there any harmful health effects from the iron that anyone knows of? I've searched the net for any references, but it seems to be more of and annoyance problem than anything else.

    Any answers and tips you can provide would be great. I really want to get this fixed once and for all.

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default

    Sammy- The softener installer suggested installing the softener and chlorinating the lines, then retesting the pH in a week or so to see where it's at. I'm under the impression that they're doing this because my water has tested higher in the 7's for pH in the past and they are trying to save me some money. He actually stopped out again to test the pH to make sure. I also plan on draining the water heater as I can imagine the disaster that brewing in the tank as we speak. Does that sound like a decent plan?

    Sheza- Not to sound like a dunce, but how do I tell exactly what kind of well it is? I've done many plumbing projects in the past but never messed with wells or softeners.

  3. #3

    Default

    Hmm...good question. He was refering to all the lines in the house, this I know. I'll certainly give him a call tomorrow to clarify.

    Is there a sure-fire way to know if it is bacteria? Besides what I described above, I can tell you that if you were to clean the toilet, a few hours later the water would take on an orange color and start staining the bowl. If you lift the tank lid it looks like a coat of rust lining the tank. It's not slime like though, if you wipe it with your finger it appears almost silt like.

  4. #4

    Default

    Sheza- Everything above ground is plastic. It has a big green plastic cap covering what used to be a large white plastic pipe and a smaller plastic pipe. Now how's that for a hillbilly description? And I say "used to be" because it's also covered with orange stains.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sammyhydro11 View Post
    They have probably already pinned down the type of iron it is but i'm just curious as to why they want to chlorinate the lines. If you run the water into a clear glass does it show any suspended strands of organics or does it stay discolored? Did they have the water tested by a certified lab?

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
    They tested it on site and I've had it tested by a lab and both came out with almost exactly the same results, though the lab had slightly higher pH and iron.

    No, there is nothing suspended in the water if you poor it into a glass. You can smell it though and the water will turn orange over time, leaving an orange ring around the water line and if you were to boil it, you get "ring around the pot". If I were to take a white t-shirt and soak it, it would look like it got into a fight with a gallon of Tang and lost after awhile.

  6. #6
    Radon Contractor and Water Treatment 99k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    Posts
    460

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sammyhydro11 View Post
    Sounds like the softener will do the trick for the iron and again i would just flush the lines after the system is installed.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
    I agree. If the water is clear and turns orange over time, the softener should do the trick. I'm curious where the backwash line is going to be plumbed and if you are on city sewer or a septic

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member upper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    154

    Default

    Thier inlies another question,are we redepositing the salts of the ocean?Could be a bad deal......Upper

  8. #8
    Radon Contractor and Water Treatment 99k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    Posts
    460

    Default

    In CT you can no longer plumb backwash into a septic.

  9. #9

    Default

    We have septic and the backwash WILL NOT be pumped into it. It will drain out into the woods into a small underground stone field. The drain line runs down from the system into the crawl space and then out. I dug a small trench and then a field into the woods for it to drain.

    I've had more than my fair share of problems with our septic system and I just got that under control too. No way will I pump the backwash or the waste water from my washing machine into it.

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,790

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KingDaddy View Post
    We have septic and the backwash WILL NOT be pumped into it. It will drain out into the woods into a small underground stone field. The drain line runs down from the system into the crawl space and then out. I dug a small trench and then a field into the woods for it to drain.

    I've had more than my fair share of problems with our septic system and I just got that under control too. No way will I pump the backwash or the waste water from my washing machine into it.
    The water from a softener or backwashed filter is usually not much more than a large load of laundry or a tub bath. Sodium and chlorides don't harm a septic system. So says the EPA and WQA based on two sets of research studies, one was run for two yrs, over the last 30 yrs, and they are doing another study now or very soon, that there is no problem with the water going into a septic system.

    Anyway, a dry well inside the recovery area of your well can eventually cause pollution of the well. And in the vast majority of states, they are illegal because they are considered to pollute the groundwater, which they do.
    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.

  11. #11
    Water system engineer riverside67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Riverside California
    Posts
    186

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KingDaddy View Post
    We have septic and the backwash WILL NOT be pumped into it. It will drain out into the woods into a small underground stone field. The drain line runs down from the system into the crawl space and then out. I dug a small trench and then a field into the woods for it to drain.

    I've had more than my fair share of problems with our septic system and I just got that under control too. No way will I pump the backwash or the waste water from my washing machine into it.
    What is the problem with sending the softener backwash into a septic system?

  12. #12
    Water system engineer riverside67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Riverside California
    Posts
    186

    Default

    I live in an area that only has septic, there is no other alternative.

  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member upper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    154

    Default

    Riverside,I believe Sheza was refering to dumping the grey water and salt contaminated water on top of the ground.No can do in CA. either

  14. #14
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,790

    Default

    That is where it should go, in the normally correctly operating septic system.

    I don't think that before Sheza cagey one has enlightened us that I've heard that softener discharge has to go into a dry well in the great state of MI. I think we should see the reg requiring that.
    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.

  15. #15

    Default

    Thanks for everyone's replies.

    Well the water softener company surprised us yesterday and did the install several days ahead of schedule. Good deal!

    Now I have another question...

    They chlorinated the lines and I'm trying to flush the system out. The chlorine smell seems to be gone from the cold water completely, however the hot water still smells. I've opened up the hot faucets the same as the cold and even flush the hot water tank. What gives? Is it the fact that the water is being heated and causing the smell? It doesn't smell horrible, just like city water. Guess it goes to show you how much chlorine the city puts in their water. Heh.

    The cold water though....wow, is it nice. No more orange and no more metal smell. Nice!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •