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Thread: filter system help

  1. #1

    Default filter system help

    I am looking for some help on installing a new filter system. I had a softner and acid tank installed seven years ago but I don't think they are working properly now. I believe the acid tank maybe plugged with iron and the resin in the softner maybe worn out.
    I have four people living in the house with 2.5 baths. I had the pre filtered water tested at a lab and recieved the following results.
    Hardness 196
    PH 5.9
    Iron 16.0
    Magnesium 6.12
    Manganese 5.86
    Turbidity 21

    I have asked a couple of local filter/well guys about reducing the iron to an acceptable level and one guys suggestion I dig a new well and the other gave me a quote of $14,000 for a "Water Dog" System.

    Any suggestions? Thank you.

  2. #2

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    all the test results are mg/l which I believe converts evenly over to ppm.

  3. #3

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    Hay someone with worse iron problems than me. I don't see that every day. Mine is about 12 ppm. Anyway you can probably filter out the iron, but no all in one system is going to do that for you. I use a chlorine feed to oxidize the iron, followed by a 100 gallon retention tank to provide the chlorine contact time with the dissolved iron. I then use a Filox filter to remove the iron, then a Centaur carbon filter to remove any remaining chlorine and iron. IMO Filox is great stuff for removing iron, the only problem being that it is heavy and you need decent water pressure/flow to be able to backwash it. The entire system would cost about $2700 not including pipe and installation. You can also add pot ash to the chlorine feed mix to bump the PH a bit, although probably not as much of a bump as with the acid tank.

    Alternatively you might be able to use a chlorine feed pump and 100 gallon retention tank as mentioned above, but skip the Filox and rely on the Centaur carbon filter to remove the most of the iron. Then follow that with your water softener with new resin to remove any remaining iron. This might save you a bit of $$$ over using Filox and looking at your water analysis you are going to need a softener anyway because of the other impurities in it.

    And one last note, in general a water softener is limited to removing about 4ppm of iron. Anything higher and you need an iron filtering setup. I'd also avoid using greensand filters.

    -rick

  4. #4
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    If you use an oxidizer like chlorine, you should get all the iron, manganese and such things as IRB and H2S with it and not have to rely on followup treatment. If you need follow up equipment, the oxidizing and/or the retention is greatly undersized.

    I use an inline erosion chlorine pellet system that includes a special mixing/retention tank that is equivalent to a 120 gal retenetion tank. If needed, the chlorinator and the mixing tank both have a 21 gpm SFR.

    Never use Centaur to remove ferrous iron.

    For 23 years I have used a specially built softener to remove up to 5 ppm of iron and over the last few years, with a change in the specs, up to 13 ppm of iron.

    If they are not undersized you can rebed your AN filter and softener if resin cleaning wouldn't work.
    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.

  5. #5

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    In 2002 I had the water tested by two different labs within one month and got iron readings of 17.8 ppm and 8.46 ppm. After that I had the local filter guy replace the old softner with an acid tank followed by a new softner. I know each tank measures 10x54 with Fleck 2510 control heads. I don't know what is inside each tank. The system worked problem free up until the last several month to a year. The only maintance done on the tanks was a cleaning of an injector screen once a year. I know now that the acid tank should have been refilled probably every year or so. The tank is still half full with whatever is in there, but I have a feeling it is iron fouled and no longer doing its job. I am getting alot of corrosion around my copper pipe fittings.
    I know I need to rebed the acid tank, hopefully using the existing tank. What do I put inside? Cacilte? And will this go before the new iron tank? If so, won't it get iron fouled again?
    Next I need some kind of a iron removal system. I don't have to completely remove all the iron, just bring it down alittle. Right now there is a little discoloration in the toilet bowls and tanks, but its not that bad.
    And lasts I should rebed my existing softner. How do I know if it is sized correctly? What should be inside the tank?
    I was going to buy a new Well x trol tank to replace my existing rusted, 18 year old tank, but should I waiting until I find out what I'm going to do about the filter system? Or does the tank not play into this equation?
    AWS, my outside faucets a pre filtered water and I don't use them that much.
    Thank you everyone for your help!

  6. #6

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    When you say it worked well up to a certain time, what stopped working? Was the water still soft? Did the pH start to drop? Or was Iron starting to become more and more noticeable?
    The water is not as soft and I have noticed alot of corrosion around the copper pipe fittings. The iron has not become more noticeable, just the same.


    If you are using the outside water sparingly (not for irrigation or other high volume uses), then a flow-metered chemcal switch may not be needed if you go that direction.
    What is a flow metered switch?

    I would imagine the media in the AN tank would be Calcite, the seller should be able to tell you. Are both of these Flecks timered or metered systems?
    The seller over charged me for this system and I would rather not call him. The Flecks are timered. Are these ok?


    For that high of iron, I could recommend a chemical feed with adeqaute retention and flushing capabilities. A backwashing filter is required and the media can be a multi-media. I can send diagrams later (on the road now).
    What chemical? So I don't need a system that will add air to help remove the iron first?

    If you dom buy a ne wpressure tank and are going to adapter a chem-feeder pump to the pressure switch, get a standard 20-gallon tank. Oversizing the tank does mean better treatment.
    I have a 22 gal tank and I was told I should get either a 44 or 62 gal tank. Possibly a 119 gal tank if it will fit. I was told the larger the tank, the less cycling on and of the pump will do, which will extend the life of the pump.

    Thank you again.

  7. #7

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    Andy,

    Do you know if the PCMs tolerate iron okay? I have very high iron (around 12ppm) and use a lot of outside water for irrigation. Currently the irrigation controller is connected to a relay that stops the feed pump and thats fine, but sometimes I do use a hose for watering and would prefer that the feed pump not run. I was considering just adding a time delay relay to the feed pump but that might backfire if the pump is able to build enough pressure to reach cutoff and reset the time delay when using an outside faucet.

    One more question about the PCMs; How rapidly do they cycle the feed pump? I would suspect that PCM is paced so as not to burn up the motor in the feed pump through rapid cycling, but I have no experience with one.

    thanks,
    -rick

  8. #8

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    More question....
    1. Are SFR and flow rate the same? I found online instruction to determine my flow rate by timing the pump on/off and gallons of water used. I came up with 6 gpm. Is this enough to for all my future tanks: acid, chlorine, softner..?
    2. In what order would the tanks go after the pressure tank? Acid, chlorine and softner last?
    3. How do I know if my existing acid and softner tanks are to small?
    4. Should I get new tanks with new control heads that don't rely on a timer for regeneration?
    5. Is this a job for a do it yourselfer? I am very capable with plumbing but with chemical feeder switches I think I will be over my head. If I have to call a filter guy I want to know if he is trying to rip me off. Any recomendation on someone in the Mass/RI border area?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jas2218 View Post
    More question....
    1. Are SFR and flow rate the same? I found online instruction to determine my flow rate by timing the pump on/off and gallons of water used. I came up with 6 gpm. Is this enough to for all my future tanks: acid, chlorine, softner..?
    6 gpm is low. Generally 6gpm is not enough. How exactly did you determine this? Is this a drilled well? Offhand I would say your calculation is wrong. Did you bypass all your filtering equipment when you took this measurement? What is your cut in and cut out pressure of your pump?
    Quote Originally Posted by jas2218 View Post
    2. In what order would the tanks go after the pressure tank? Acid, chlorine and softner last?
    Chlorine is used along with a retention tank and a backwashing carbon filter to remove iron. The carbon filter removes iron along with any remaining chlorine. Chlorine can damage the resin in the softener.
    Quote Originally Posted by jas2218 View Post
    3. How do I know if my existing acid and softner tanks are to small?
    For 4 people anything under 1.5 cu ft is too small, and 1.5 cu ft is on the edge for a carbon filter, but you may not be able to backwash anything bigger. For AN I would think 1.5 is fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by jas2218 View Post
    4. Should I get new tanks with new control heads that don't rely on a timer for regeneration?
    For a softener you should regenerate on demand and not by timer to use salt efficiently, but a timer is fine for a carbon filter. I would repurpose your softener hardware as your carbon filter (you will need to switch out a couple of small parts on the control head) and buy a new softener. Try to reuse everything you can. No reason to spend money you don't have to.
    Quote Originally Posted by jas2218 View Post
    5. Is this a job for a do it yourselfer? I am very capable with plumbing but with chemical feeder switches I think I will be over my head. If I have to call a filter guy I want to know if he is trying to rip me off. Any recomendation on someone in the Mass/RI border area?
    If you are a capable do it yourselfer this is a DIY job. You don't need a PCM, you can use your well's existing pressure switch to start and stop the feed pump.

    -rick

  10. #10

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    1. To get 6 gpm I filled the pressure tank, measured the about of water I got from a faucet, pre filter, when the pump turned on, I closed the faucet and measured the amount of time it took to fill the pressure tank again. I got 4 gal from the pressure tank before the pump turned on and then it took 40 seconds to fill the tank back up. Isn't this 6 gpm? The cut in pressure is about 48 and the cut out 68. One of the well guys over the years may have bumped it up, or maybe this was the original setting, or maybe the guage is off.
    2. From what I have read the chlorine needs a contact time of around five minutes of more with the water in order for it to remove the iron. This seems like I would need a huge retention tank to hold enough water to be treated. What if I am using more water than the tank can hold, or allowed for the chlorine contact time. For example a shower, dishwasher, laudry, toilet flush, etc going at the same time. Does this mean the water will pass by the chlorine without being treated.?
    3. What is the formula for determing the size softner and acid tank I need, if there is one. I want to know what size to buy. Along with the proper on demand control head.
    THANK YOU!

  11. #11
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Proper retention is 20 minutes, not 5.

    My inline chlorinator's mixing tank is equivalent to a 120 retention tank. A 120 gal tank usually gives the average house much longer than 20 minutes.

    Solution feeders are a major pain to get to work right and require quite a bit of babysitting. I refuse to sell them. They cost more than my inline chlorinator and take up much more space; as shown in the pictures posted above.
    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.

  12. #12

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    When the pump was put it 18 years ago, the test paper work shows the 3/4 hp pump put out 8 gpm. Would the age of the pump have to do with it only producing 6 gpm now? I was hoping to take care of the pump after I fix the filtration system.

  13. #13
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Pumps come in two parts, the motor rated in hp and the wet end rated in gpm. What size pump do you have?

    There are many possible causes for a well water system to deliver less water today than just a few days ago or years ago.
    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. #14

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    The paper work I have from my town states a 3/4 hp pump was installed and it produced 8 gpm when tested. Whether that was true or not I don't know. I don't know who filled out the paper work. I could have always produced 6 gpm. Would a new pump produce more gpm? Wouldn't a higher gpm rate help with a new filter/softner system I need?

  15. #15
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Paperwork from the town... a lot of good that's doing you.

    Buy a larger pump after you figure out how many peak demand gpm you need.
    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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