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Thread: Iron Filter Spews Iron after Outdoor Sprinklers are ran

  1. #31
    DIY Junior Member branjo101's Avatar
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    There's 4 people in the house and water usage I would say is probably about average for a family of 4 - we have all low pressure heads on the shower, energy efficient washer....etc. We have a 10" X 56" Tank; it has 1.5 cuft of BIRM with a PROFLOSE valve on top. I'll go to a 2 day regen on the iron filter if the filter can't handle the line blowout.

    How many minutes should the backwash and rapid rinse cycles be?

    The house sat vacant probably about 9-12 months before we moved in. Hence, the inlet to the house was probably not flowing that much. We had 1 ppm iron coming out of the iron filter and then had it rebedded. The water conditioning company recommended us to increase the water softner by 5 grain in the event we had a .5ppm iron leakage out of the iron filter.

    The city is coming out Monday or Tuesday. I'll do the same test a couple of times and report back on what they said and my results. I would imagine if they blow the line out, things will be a little dirty until everything flows through. BTW, we do have a ice maker and I'm watching the toilets to see if tanks are dropping (will fix if I see drop) - good suggestion.
    Last edited by branjo101; 09-25-2010 at 11:51 AM.

  2. #32
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by branjo101 View Post
    There's 4 people in the house and water usage I would say is probably about average for a family of 4 -

    We have a 10" X 56" Tank; it has 1.5 cuft of BIRM with a PROFLEX valve on top. I'll go to a 2 day regen on the iron filter if the filter can't handle the line blowout.

    How many minutes should the backwash and rapid rinse cycles be?

    The city is coming out Monday or Tuesday. I'll do the same test a couple of times and report back on what they said and my results. I would imagine if they blow the line out, things will be a little dirty until everything flows through. BTW, we do have a ice maker and I'm watching the toilets to see if tanks are dropping (will fix if I see drop) - good suggestion.
    That's larger than I thought it was and it's big enough for 4 people. I'd set the first backwash for like 10 minutes and the second or Rapid Rinse (if you have one) for like 8 minutes and then Settle Rinse to like 5 (that just compacts the mineral). If not two backwashes, then 10, and 8 minutes.

    I might backwash every other night for a couple weeks and test before the softener for iron. If the filter gets all of it go back to the 3rd night and see if it does and if so then leave it.

    Run your outside faucet to get rid of any rusty water when you come home Monday instead of getting it into the filter. Maybe every day for a week to make sure all the rust is gone in the main line. That will help flush the line of rust build up until you shut off the sprinklers for winter. And any time you see rusty water.

    You have a Fleck 5000 control valve.
    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. #33
    DIY Junior Member branjo101's Avatar
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    I checked my settings and here's what I have:

    Step 1 - Backwash - 20 minutes
    Step 2 - Brine/Rinse - 1 minute
    Step 3 - Rapid Rinse - 15 minutes
    Step 4 - Brine Refill - 1 minute

    If I go w/ the every other day at 10 and 8, then I will be essentially be saving more water, but running more frequently. I asked the service technician (who rebedded the filter..or at least took it away and installed it) what these setting should be, but he didn't know (was new). I think the original bed had some pyrolox in it (had a cocktail of a couple of minerals), so maybe that was the reason for the long backwash and rinse. I felt like I was seeing money go down the drain w/ these long backwash and rapid rinse settings

  4. #34
    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by branjo101 View Post
    I checked my settings and here's what I have:

    Step 1 - Backwash - 20 minutes
    Step 2 - Brine/Rinse - 1 minute
    Step 3 - Rapid Rinse - 15 minutes
    Step 4 - Brine Refill - 1 minute

    The ProFlo SE (you correctly identified the valve on your Birm filter--it is not a Fleck 5600) can be set with 0 time for cycles and the valve simply skips those parts of the cycle. With Birm you do not regenerate or refill so Step 2 (Brine/Rinse) should be set to 0. Similarly Step 4 (Brine Refil) should be set to zero. The ProFlo SE does not have a second backwash.

    As to the times for Backwash and rapid rinse you will probably need to experiment to find good times for your water situation. Ideally you would be able to watch the backwash discharge to see how long it takes to get a (reasonably) clean discharge. Given you are presently using 20 minutes for backwash but still having problems I would stick with that value for now but cut the rapid rinse (also called settling rinse) to 5 minutes and set to clean every other day.

    If that solves the problem I would then experiment with a shorter backwash time but in no event less than 10 minutes. I would stick with 5 minutes for the rapid rinse no mater the time of the backwash cycle.

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  6. #36
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob999 View Post
    The ProFlo SE (you correctly identified the valve on your Birm filter--it is not a Fleck 5600)
    True it is not a 5600. Although no one said it was a 5600.

    When first introduced and then for many years it was called the 5000. And a number of dealers still refer to it as a 5000, as I did here. 5000 or ProFlo, it is one in the same. BTW, the SE timer has been replaced with the SXT so it is now the ProFlo SXT

    To prove that 5000 part, you can look at the names of some of its parts in the parts breakdown pages of the manual and you'll see 5000 mentioned. You can also see various 5600 parts.

    Here is a link to that manual, see pages 27 and 45;
    http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com...al%2042772.pdf

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob999 View Post
    As to the times for Backwash and rapid rinse you will probably need to experiment to find good times for your water situation. Ideally you would be able to watch the backwash discharge to see how long it takes to get a (reasonably) clean discharge. Given you are presently using 20 minutes for backwash but still having problems I would stick with that value for now but cut the rapid rinse (also called settling rinse) to 5 minutes and set to clean every other day.
    IMO twenty minutes of backwash is too long for 1.5 cuft of Birm. That will probably load up the mineral which will shorten the service run capacity allowing iron to get through the filter and into the softener.

    I would go with my 10 and 8 minutes now instead of fooling around watching the color of the drain line water and guessing how clear it is in probably an opaque drain line or having to disconnect it on the far end to look at the water coming out of it.

    Andy/Big Drip, he doesn't have a softener, he has a 1.5 cuft Birm filter.
    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.

  7. #37
    DIY Junior Member branjo101's Avatar
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    Hello All,

    The city came out to clear the inlet line. There wasn't much to what they did; I was expecting some type of equipment to be used in the process. They simply removed the water meter and connected a hose to the 1" inlet feed which drained into the sump pump. With the 1 inch feed, the water flow rate was pretty high (backed by 50psi pressure). No iron came out until he turned the valve on and off several times, which created a water hammering effect. He checked the water coming out and said it was clear. He did this a couple of times and said I was good to go.

    I wasn't convinced so I put a white bucket down into the sump pump (which was black) to see the water better. He repeated the process and then it was evident that there was a big plume of iron coming out. The water would eventually clear up, but I made him repeat the process until we didn't see anymore iron bursts. We did the entire process probably about 15-20 times. He said he's never seen something 'this' bad, but seemed somewhat confident that this helped to rid the inlet feed of loose iron on the pipes.

    It's been rainy here, so I have not had a chance to run the sprinklers. I'll give them a shot probably tomorrow. I can easily do this myself in the spring by opening up all outside water valves + sprinklers, while actuating the inlet valve. I'm hoping this solved my problems.
    Last edited by branjo101; 09-29-2010 at 12:01 PM.

  8. #38

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    Are those lines galvanized or copper? Sounds like iron build up in the lines. Mine where like that and I had the lines from the city feed (55') replaced with copper lines. Better pressure, flow and no more iron.

  9. #39
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by branjo101 View Post
    Hello All,

    The city came out to clear the inlet line. There wasn't much to what they did; I was expecting some type of equipment to be used in the process. They simply removed the water meter and connected a hose to the 1" inlet feed that drained into the sump pump. With the 1 inch feed, the water flow rate was pretty high (backed by 50psi pressure). No iron came out until he turned the valve on and off several times, which created a water hammering effect. He checked the water coming out and said it was clear. He did this a couple of times and said I was good to go, but I wasn't convinced it was enough.

    I wasn't convinced so I put a white bucket down into the sump pump (which was black) to see the water better. He repeated the process and then it was evident that there was a big plume of iron coming out. The water would eventually clear up, but I made him repeat the process until we didn't see anymore iron bursts. We did the entire process probably about 15-20 times. He said he's never seen something 'this' bad, but seemed somewhat confident that this helped to rid the inlet feed of loose iron on the pipes.
    He probably never used a white bucket before to actually see what he was doing...

    So now you've saved the money etc. for Wally's check valve and identified the cause of the rusty water and have an idea of how to prevent the build up.
    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.

  10. #40
    In the Trades Wally Hays's Avatar
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    So now you may or may not have solved the problem and you won't know until you run the sprinkler system. I'm guessing, probably not.
    Perception is 3/4 of reality

  11. #41
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    It would seem that a week later now he has run the sprinklers and found no problem with rusty water and sees no reason to post 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.

  12. #42
    DIY Junior Member branjo101's Avatar
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    Hello All,

    Sorry for not getting back quickly. I wanted to post so everyone could use this as a lessons learned. To recap, I was getting major amounts of iron or dirty water coming out of the house faucets/fixtures..etc after the sprinklers were ran. We're on a community well and my neighbors do not have the same problem, though they only have water softners. It took forever to narrow it down to this. I had my incoming feed line cleaned out about a month ago and there was a significant amount of iron that was rinsed out. I did not run my sprinklers for a while because it was rainy. Well, it did not fix the problem. It did help with the incoming water supply quality to the house after the sprinklers were ran; it wasn't as bad. However, I still had just really dirty water after the iron filter and water softner. So, I put my sprinklers to run for 1 minute each zone and ran all 10-11 zones. I went down in the basement and sat by the tanks. I could hear a little sloshing going on in the iron filter and noticed that the pre-filter started to get cloudy after about the first 3 or 4 zones; I was not running any water in the house. After everything was done, I had to regen the iron filter and softner again. I noticed some real fine sediment also in the prefilter; it looked like BIRM.

    To sum it up, the CHECK VALVE WORKED! It isolated the house plumbing from the irrigation system. The big water demand of the sprinklers caused a pressure drop on the main line and forced water in the reverse direction, maybe not much, but it had to be fast as it stirred things up. I ran the sprinklers 4 times in a row (all zones for a minute a piece) without any problems. I could tell the check valve was locked down right when the first zone ran. It just sounded differently....there was no noise around/in my water conditioning system. Also, I found out that it is code to have isolation on my house plumbing in my area.

    Thanks for everyone's help. I appreciate it!!!
    Last edited by branjo101; 11-01-2010 at 03:40 PM.

  13. #43
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Now who would have thunk it that a check valve would be the answer..................

    Who???

    Back flow though the system when that much water is used before it...

    This is much like a check/backflow between a water heater and a softener.. the heated water will push back through the system and unpack the media bed.

  14. #44
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=branjo101;276497] So, I put my sprinklers to run for 1 minute each zone and ran all 10-11 zones. I went down in the basement and sat by the tanks. I could hear a little sloshing going on in the iron filter and noticed that the pre-filter started to get cloudy after about the first 3 or 4 zones; I was not running any water in the house. After everything was done, I had to regen the iron filter and softner again. I noticed some real fine sediment also in the prefilter; it looked like BIRM. [quote]
    Sloshing water means the iron filter had air in it and that is a problem that the cause has to be found and fixed. If air was not being allowed to be sucked in, no water could have been sucked back through the filter and/or softener.
    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. #45
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Any irrigation system will require back flow prevention

    Comparing back flow devices

    What they look like
    Last edited by Terry; 11-02-2010 at 11:23 AM.

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