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Thread: How to give softener a thorough cleaning for iron and bacteria?

  1. #1

    Default How to give softener a thorough cleaning for iron and bacteria?

    I searched around and couldn't find the answer about giving our softener a really thorough cleaning that uses both iron remover and bleach. ...because I don't think bleach is supposed to be mixed with the acid ingredient of the iron remover so I'm not sure if one can be used right after the other. We are thinking to get something like "Super Iron Out" from the hardware store.

    I think we have IRB (Iron Reducing Bacteria) living in the softener of the new house we just bought. The 20 foot length of backflush hose is super tiny in diameter (looks like 1/4") which I think is preventing the softener from having proper backflush and so the iron has built up in the resin (we're going to swap out with a 3/4" hose). Not sure what if any maintenance the previous owner has done.

    Before we install the Filox filter ahead of the softener we'd like to give the softener a thorough cleaning.. to remove all the iron buildup in the resin and kill all the IRB. What would be the best way to do this cleaning to remove both iron, and to also use bleach? Also wonder if the softener is still ok after all that neglect from the previous owner. It is a nice new looking GE model and the water feels a lot different with the bypass on. So it must be working to some extent..

    The "Super Iron Out" product instructions state the following:

    Q. How do I clean my water softener?
    A.FIRST APPLICATION 1 cup (250 mL) REGULAR USE 1/4 cup (62 mL) All softeners on iron bearing water require Super Iron Out as preventative maintenance and to eliminate iron buildup. FIRST APPLICATION 1. Dissolve 1 cup in 1/2 gal. cold water. 2. Pour directly into brine well (for softeners with no brine well, pour directly into salt tank when salt level is low). 3. Manually regenerate softener. Repeat for heavily fouled unit. REGULAR USE Add 1/4 cup per 40 lbs. of salt. 2. Layer for continuous treatment. CABINET MODELS USE FOR PERIODIC CLEANING ONLY. Follow FIRST APPLICATION instructions above. Repeat regularly.

    Bleach step from the GE water softener manual:

    NOTE: Sanitizing is recommended by the Water Quality Association for disinfecting.
    Be sure to complete all installation steps, including timer programming.
    Pour about 3/4 oz. of common 5.25% household bleach (Clorox, Linco, Bo Peep, White Sail, Eagle, etc.)
    into the brinewell. Refer to illustration on page 6.
    IMPORTANT: Press and hold for 3 seconds the faceplate TOUCH/HOLD button to start an immediate
    regeneration. Recharge Now begins to flash in the display. The bleach is drawn into and through the
    water softener.
    Last edited by scorpionleather; 08-28-2009 at 05:45 PM.

  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I suggest you do a manual regeneration after adding 2 gallons of water to the water in the brine well in the salt tank; not through the salt. Let it sit for two hours, then do the manual regen. A good time to do that is on your way to bed.

    Next morning, as soon as you get up, dissolve a 1/2 cup (dry measure) of Iron Out or Super IO to 2 gals of warmish water and pour it down into the water in the salt tank, wait 2 hrs, then manually regenerate it.

    When done, add 1/3 cup liquid measure of nonscented bleach to 2 gallons of water, pour it into the water in the salt tank, wait 2 hrs and do a manual regeneration.

    You can use water during the 2 hr waits but not during a regeneration.
    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 08-29-2009 at 06:32 AM.
    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. #3

    Default

    great tip thanks!

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    DIY Junior Member allenNY's Avatar
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    Default Can Hydrogen peroxide be substituted for Chlorine?

    If so, how many quarts of Hydrogen Peroxide is needed?

    Thanks,
    AllenNY

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you do have IRB, the slime it produces can prevent bleach from penetrating very far, depending on the thickness of the coating. Can't hurt to try, but not sure how well it works. I know I get buildup in my toilets, but it takes about 3-4-weeks to show up after a cleaning with bleach. But, there, I get to scrub it off.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allenNY View Post
    If so, how many quarts of Hydrogen Peroxide is needed?

    Thanks,
    AllenNY
    I have no idea but I do hear that it doesn't work as well as chlorine. Why would you want to use less than the best?
    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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