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Thread: Greensand Filter - Frequent Clogging

  1. #16
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan View Post
    How old is the Santizier?
    What media was used?
    I didn't sell it, but as far as I know it has the media that Water Rite makes. IIRC it's a manmade zeolite of sort. The age when I started delivering salt was about 2 years old and that was 3 years ago. It has not worked to remove the h2s but keep the water soft.

  2. #17
    DIY Member rjh2o's Avatar
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    Water right sanitizers need to be checked every few years. The KDF media is what kills the iron bacteria and neutralize the chlorine. I have found many dealers do not put the KDF (min-plus) in the softener for several reasons.
    1. They find the cost of KDF too expensive
    2. They do not understand its use in the system
    3. KDF requires high backwash flow rates so it it mis-applied frequently.

    If the system was applied for PH adjustment the media is sacrificial and has to be topped off after several years.
    The chlorine generator is used to sanitize the media and prevent buildup of iron bacteria on the media. Sanitizers use a form of zeolite media so it is impervious to chlorine. There is also a max amount of H2S that a sanitizer will remove.

    If their sanitizer is the old ASC (2510 valve) the chlorine generator may not be working properly especially if they have run out of salt frequently.

    Shock chlorinating the well is BIG band aid and as you stated causes more problems than it helps. You keep asking the same questions and we keep replying with the same answers. Do NOT buy another greensand filter or fart around with the present one. Replace it something that works. You have not done any testing or flushing of well which we suggested. Until these things are done and results confirmed all of this is moot.

    RJ

    RJ

  3. #18
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Sanitizer either had CR100 or CR200 and then there is the KDF 85 for H2S and iron and as said, if the back flow is not correct or the brine draw and rinse is not the 90 minutes then the system will not work right.
    They also used the Fleck 4200 valve.. they did use the 2850 for larger flows with the chlorine gen ... fun system to work on.
    There are a number of things that might make the Sanitizer to fall on its face or it could be that it should have never been put in at the start.

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member danimal96's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjh2o View Post
    Shock chlorinating the well is BIG band aid and as you stated causes more problems than it helps. You keep asking the same questions and we keep replying with the same answers. Do NOT buy another greensand filter or fart around with the present one. Replace it something that works. You have not done any testing or flushing of well which we suggested. Until these things are done and results confirmed all of this is moot.
    I'm lining up appointments with a few local WQA-listed installers. I will get the full water test to cover iron bacteria levels and will post the results here once I have them. I do plan on getting rid of the greensand filter, and either go with a softener-only solution or softener + non-greensand filter (depending on the results of the test). I don't recall "flushing of well" being mentioned previously - but am I correct in assuming that is a step to take if the test you suggest reveals sand in my untreated well water?

  5. #20
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    This is all well and good about the Sanitizer, but I prefer something I know from past experience that works everytime. I do not sell something that if this is that way then use this or if it is that way use that. I stay away from medias that are heavy, KDF, Filox, Pyolox...etc because most residental well I have seen don't have enough flow rate to properly backwash these medias. Chlorination is the best way to deal with h2s and high iron.

  6. #21
    DIY Member rjh2o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mialynette2003 View Post
    This is all well and good about the Sanitizer, but I prefer something I know from past experience that works everytime. I do not sell something that if this is that way then use this or if it is that way use that. I stay away from medias that are heavy, KDF, Filox, Pyolox...etc because most residental well I have seen don't have enough flow rate to properly backwash these medias. Chlorination is the best way to deal with h2s and high iron.
    H2S and iron levels in Florida can be extremely high. Typically a sanitizer is designed to handle up to 5ppm H2S but that is asking a lot of it. I would agree that with high H2S and high iron levels a chlorine injection or hydrogen peroxide injection system would be the best application. An outdoor venting/airation system for high H2S is also an option in warm climates as Florida.
    RJ

  7. #22
    DIY Junior Member danimal96's Avatar
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    Hi all - I finally have my test results back from a local water lab:

    TDS: 410 mg/l
    pH: 6.6
    Hardness: 31 gpg
    Iron: .935 mg/l
    Nitrate: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Copper: .055 mg/l
    Lead: .004 mg/l
    Sulfate: 110 mg/l
    Manganese: .380 mg/l
    Iron Bacteria: "Detected" (no level provided)

    Well Information (provided for background only - since I found the well report since I originally posted):
    23 feet deep well (through clay & sand gravel); 10 gpm pump; 5 inch black steel casing; well was installed in 1988 when the house was built (so 23 years old)

    I asked the company if they can provide more details on Iron Bacteria beyond "detected". They provided the following reply:

    "The level of concentration using the IRB Bart method was a colony between 9,200 and 2,300 (detection of activity in 5 days)."

    I have received the following proposals from local companies (as a reminder - I currently have a 10 y.o. water softener + a Greensand filter which I am looking to replace due to bad flow rate & frequent clogging). I asked each company to quote a RO system as well (which is something new for the house):

    Option 1 (local water treatment company):
    a) Remove existing Softener & Greensand filter - replace with sediment pre-filter and Kinetico 2060 Softener
    b) Kinetico K5 RO system
    TOTAL PRICE: $3000

    Option 2 (local water treatment company that does a large amount of business in the region):
    a) Rebed existing softener, re-size to appropriate level (I think the current system is 32K grains capacity)
    b) Chlorine Injection System w/ holding tank
    c) RO Unit
    TOTAL PRICE $5,000

    Option 3 (local independent guy - assembles his own stuff):
    a) Keep existing softener (if it ain't broke don't fix it!)
    b) Charger Iron Breaker III iron system
    c) RO System (Dow/Filmtec media)
    TOTAL PRICE: $1,200

    Option 4 (Culligan):
    a) Culligan HE Softener
    b) Culligan Filtr-Cleer Iron Filter (the tech claims that my Iron level is 3 PPM - but that my softener is removing 2 PPM leaving 1 PPM of undissolved iron; only person to tell me that so far!)
    c) Culligan Aqua-Cleer w/ Total Defense RO system
    TOTAL PRICE: $6,000 (or rent all equipment for $95/month)

    My biggest dilemma is - do I pay extra for treatment of Iron Bacteria? The house is 22 years old, and has never had a chlorine system - nor do any of my neighbors who are also on wells. A bit of history - when the Greensand system was working fine (which it did for the first few years) - my water quality was great. I'm leaning against the Kinetico option due to high price ($1K for their RO system alone) and research I've done that leads me to believe that - while quality equipment - it would be the "Cadillac option" and that I'd overpay for what I need (dual tank, 24-hr water, etc).

    I'm inclined to go w/ Option 3 (and not only because it's cheapest - but that doesn't hurt!). The guy is small, local, and comes with good references. He assembles his own equipment & has very fair prices compared to the larger companies. When I mention IRB to him, he said that the Iron Breaker system will help overall since the bacteria need iron to feed on, and without iron in the water the impact is lessened. He also said that he has only used a chlorine system a few times due to high prices, upkeep, and the fact that most homes do fine without one.

    Option 2 is - I'm guessing - the safest & most comprehensive solution; however $5K is a steep price to pay. Option 4 (Culligan) is pricey and is pretty easy for me to dismiss out of hand...

    Any additional advice/questions/suggestions are very much appreciated! I hope to have this decided once & for all soon!

  8. #23
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    I'm not a water treatment expert, nor do I pretend to be one on TV. I've got similar Florida water; quality in the house is excellent, but there's enough residual iron to coat various surfaces (e.g., toilet tanks, dish drainboards) with a thin red coating over time. Also, the spun filter (see below) clogs enough (with iron) to impede flow every couple of months. After talking with a bunch of experts and a neighbor who has the Kinetico system (and disgusting water in the house), I'm going to modify my existing system:

    well->pressure tank->chlorine injection->holding tank->spun filter->carbon filter->softener->house

    by adding a Greensand filter (with the Autotrol valve), which will result in the following flow:

    well->chlorine injection->125gal holding tank->pressure tank->carbon filter->Greensand filter->softener->house

    I'm going to plumb in the spun filter (without a cartridge) somewhere, probably just after the softener, just to use as a sight glass, and as a good place to supply chlorine if I should need to chlorinate the house at some time in the future. I like the chlorine injection approach, and it makes my wife less apprehensive when she sees the cows next door peeing in the field. The well is around 200' deep, so cow pee probably isn't a real factor, but WTH. Once chlorine has done its job, however, it's got to be removed so it doesn't screw up subsequent filters, so thus the carbon. I'm not planning on using permanganate, on the advice of my local dealer, but it's easy to add later if it should be necessary. I hope to have it completed in the next few weeks, and will report back.

  9. #24
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    I see where your problem is...well->pressure tank->chlorine injection->holding tank->spun filter->carbon filter->softener->house
    When injecting after the pressure tank, the water in the retention tank is being diluted between cut on & cut off. Let's say you have 30 gallons of draw down. You are adding 30 gal of non treated water to the 125 gal retention tank which is bringing the chlorine residual down. If it dilutes too much, you have no oxidation. There are 2 way to prevent this...1. Use a flow switch or place the injection point before the pressure tank. Also, IMO, the spun filter should be after the softener. Let the carbon filter & softener do the brunt of the work and use the spun filter as a polishing filter. No need for the greensand filter.

  10. #25
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    That's a reason to switch the system around as I'm doing. I'd prefer to base the Cl injection on flow, but flow switches are too expensive. I'd also like to be able to draw water at 3 points -- untreated, de-ironed, and softened -- but then my wellhouse would look like the ballast controls on U-boat. There's a little bit of a mystery in the chlorination system. Even with the Cl residual cranked way up, the ferric iron doesn't precipitate in the holding tank as I would expect -- when I flush the tank, there's little sign of iron. It used to, when the system was installed, but not now. The old-timer that installed it and set up the chlorinator didn't do any formal testing -- he just smelled the water and set the chlorinator pump stroke and that was that. I don't remember the result when I last tested the water, but the iron was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. Going to retest tomorrow, or whenever it stops raining.

  11. #26
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Sounds like the pH may be low. When the pH drops, iron will not oxidize out of the water. Even though chlorine will raise the pH somewhat, you may need a neutralizer before the filter equipment. When I drain a retention tank, I shake the tank when the water gets about 1/4 from empty. It will stir whatever is on the bottom.

  12. #27
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Yeah -- another thing to check. At one time, it was high -- 7.6, as I remember -- but I haven't checked it in a long while. I'll try to run all the tests today, but tomorrow is more likely. The designer of the contact tank thoughtfully set the drain about 10" above the bottom, which is concave, so it won't naturally drain completely on its own. So, when I clean it, I drain it, disconnect it from the system, take it outside and use the pressure washer on it. Inverted, it drains completely. Haven't seen any real sediment in years, although it used to be "normal", and the first few seconds of draining produced nice rusty goop.

    Test results on 9/9/2001:
    At wellhead - 8gpG hardness (drop count titration)
    0.9 mg/L Fe (Phenantoline method)
    7.5 pH
    0.0 H2S (Effervescence test, Hach HS-C)
    Post chlorination - 1.3 mg/L Cl (DPD Total Cl)
    In house - 0 hardness, Iron, and Chlorine
    7.5 pH
    Tests for bacteria at the wellhead are cooking.
    Last edited by Mikey; 09-09-2011 at 11:15 AM. Reason: Added test results

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