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Thread: Vortech Distributor

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    DIY Junior Member zientm's Avatar
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    Default Vortech Distributor

    I am in the market for a Neutralizing filter and came across the Watts Vortech distributor (see http://www.watts.com/pro/whatsnew/whatsnew_vortech.asp) It seems like their claim of better backwashing of the media would be the biggest benefit. I was wondering if anyone has used this, any problems, comments, etc.

    TIA

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    I have been to a seminar on them. I like what I saw. I have not yet sold or installed one.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    The problem with the Vortech is if there is a problem with the distributor tube, you have to replace the whole tank; and they cost more than a regular tank and a gravel underbed.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Kinda like the Brunner setups years ago in that it had a table at the bottum of the tank and the distributor is of an odd size, their valve is the only one that will work.
    If that distributor breaks or the table breaks out with the whole tank.. and there is no reusing the tank in another job, or changing the distributor size for increasing the flow rate through the tank.

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    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
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    In my experience they work very well with heavy media and do reduce backwash flow requirements. Both disadvantages cited above are real--they cost more and if they break it is a single unit and the whole unit must be replaced--there are no separable parts.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Another problem is you can not get the distributor tube out when replacing the media. That requires emptying the tank by pouring the media out or using a small wet shop vac tube instead of a tool meant to pump the media out with water pressure.

    Bob, how long have you used a Vortech tank and how much water do you think that type tank 'saves' over a gravel under bed?

    Do you sell that type tank or did you buy one as a consumer?
    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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    DIY Junior Member zientm's Avatar
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    So the main cons seem to relate to the fact that it is not removable - a problem if it breaks or you need to change the media. Being new to this I have to ask - how often do either of these happen?

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    It is not changing the media, but if the distributor breaks, the bottum table breaks or if there is heavy sand that gets into the system, Iron that builds up.. then there are the challenges that most likely mean the tank will have to be replaced. Now the chances of that happening?
    It may never happen, then again some thing could happen some time with in the next x number of years... it is any one guess as to when.

    Any time that you have man and machine some thing is going to happen.

    Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989, Tug ran aground on the same point in 2009.... go figure.
    Last edited by Akpsdvan; 01-14-2010 at 08:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zientm View Post
    So the main cons seem to relate to the fact that it is not removable - a problem if it breaks or you need to change the media. Being new to this I have to ask - how often do either of these happen?
    Just about never.

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zientm View Post
    So the main cons seem to relate to the fact that it is not removable - a problem if it breaks or you need to change the media. Being new to this I have to ask - how often do either of these happen?
    With heavy mineral like AN media its more likely to break or be broken when adding or replacing the mineral.

    I wouldn't want to have to remove the mineral without being able to get the distributor tube out so I could use my mineral 'pump' which is the easiest and least messy way to get the mineral out of any tank.

    You must believe the marketing and think you'll save enough water to justify the additional cost to buy one. If I sold the filter with a Vortech tank, I would not risk a dissatisfied customer by reducing the gpm of the backwash and you wouldn't save any water.
    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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    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
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    I have searched the web for information about Vortech tanks and for actual experience reports. I have not found reports of failures of Vortech tanks.

    So my opinion at this point, based on the information I can find, is that the concerns about failures are theoretical.

  12. #12
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Well of course it is. I don't know how many times you have replaced mineral or resin but without getting the distributor out of the way it is much more difficult and a DIYer would have a real problem doing it with the Vortech tank.

    I don't know how many split or cracked distributor tubes you've seen either but it happens.

    And you aren't answering my question about how much water you think a Vortech tank will save and if there is no savings why go with a Vortech tank.

    You have two dealers here telling you our opinions based on years of experience and it seems as if you still support the Vortech tank. So what is your experience with any type tank?
    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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    I'll admit right up front that I have zero experience with them other than a factory demonstration seminar. If the unit performs to it's specifications than It is a viable piece of equipment, just like every other piece of equipment on the market. Would I dump my current line and sell nothing but? No, I would not, but I have no problem adding it to my inventory. I think there is a place on the lot for economy, middle range and high end product.

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    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Well of course it is.
    It is nice when we can agree!.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    And you aren't answering my question about how much water you think a Vortech tank will save and if there is no savings why go with a Vortech tank.
    Watts characterizes the water savings as up to 30%. My experience casts no doubt on that claim.

    In the same installation I have seen a 12" Vortech tank with Filox media that is backwashed at 10 gallon per minute and the media is lifted with the 10 gpm flow. By comparison a 12" tank with traditional distributor, gravel underbed, and Calcite media is backwashed at 13 gpm and the bed is not lifted.

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    This system might be great for medias that do not have much weight to them and few if any change outs of media, but if one is using media with weight and removing some thing like Iron and changing out often.. I would not trust it.

    If using a 12" or larger tank one should be using a larger end of the distributor, one for more flow rate and not one for a smaller tank.

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