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Thread: Gravel Bed Question

  1. #31
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I actually bought the HW75 from a friend that was restoring an L4 to original military dress so he needed the money for the project. It originally had a Continental 65 which was underpowered to say the least. It's got a Lycoming 0235 in it now. Never had ski's on it that I know of.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  2. #32
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    Back to gravel, I found 2 bags of store-bought gravel in my shed as I prepare to overhaul my system. One looks like Florida Chatahoochee stone: rounded, mixed shades of brown; the other is sharp-edged, uniform and white. I guess the ideal underbedding wound be perfectly round, uniform, fairly heavy, and inert -- like gold beads. I see garnet is available -- is that special in some way? I found a 10" diameter mixing bowl in a garage sale for $0.25 a while back which is perfect for measuring out the right amount of gravel to fill the bottom dome of my tanks.

    Finally, most folks say to use "1/8in - 1/4in" gravel. I wondered exactly what that meant. (Yes, I do have too much time on my hands.) My first guess was the individual pieces of gravel were between 1/8" and 1/4" in some dimension or other, but that didn't seem very scientific, and measuring a bucket load of gravel would be tedious (although, believe it or not, they use lasers and digital imaging to do just that these days). But Googling eventually led me to "Sieve Analysis", which is probably what's really going on. (This is a Civil Engineering discipline. As an EE, I find it suspect from the get-go.) If so, the 1/8" - 1/4" size means that if you've got a bucket of gravel, and sift it through a 1/4" screen, and then sift the result through a 1/8" screen, you will be left with "1/4in - 1/8in" gravel on the top of the 1/8" screen, and can throw everything else away.
    You don't want uniform or garnet (IMO), 1/8" x 1/4" has been used for many decades because it is the best size and shape.

    You pour the gravel in the tank after plugging/taping the top of the distributor tube to keep gravel and resin out of the DT and putting the distributor tube in the tank and holding the it down in the tank so the pointy end of the bottom basket on the end of the distributor tube is in the dimple in the center of the bottom of the tank.

    When taking a plug out or tape off the DT You do not allow any gravel to get under the bottom basket or it will eventually break the bottom basket and allow gravel and then resin out into your plumbing and all fixtures. That can be a nightmare to clean up and expensive.

    You only add enough gravel to cover the top of the bottom basket by an inch and quit.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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  3. #33
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Your seive explanation is correct. Garnet is always better than traditional gravel, but from a cost point, it is considerably more expensive. (it is still extremely inexpensive though). The typical garnet for water softening is a 8-12 mesh. Many of our customers spec garnet over gravel, but it is purely for marketing reasons rather than actual function. The garnet is also much cleaner than even the expensive triple rinsed gravels.

    Sounds like you are good to go!

  4. #34
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Sounds like you are good to go!
    I hope so. I've been putting this off for years as I accumulated supplies and information. The first link in the chain is draining and pressure-washing the 120 gallon contact tank, but the %$#$ pressure washer won't start. It's one d*mn thing after another.

  5. #35
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Garnet is always better than traditional gravel,

    but from a cost point, it is considerably more expensive. (it is still extremely inexpensive though).


    Many of our customers spec garnet over gravel, but it is purely for marketing reasons rather than actual function.
    Your customers are mostly wholesale distributors that then sell to plumbing supply houses, that then sell to plumbers and well drillers etc. right?
    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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