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Thread: Iron removal

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  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    Default Iron removal

    I had the water tested a while back in a rental that is not far from my house. More iron than my residence, I believe it was about 4 or 5 ppm. about 9 or 10 days ago, I threw in a Kenmore softener to replace an aging one at the rental house. At the same time, I replaced the pleated cartridge filter. This is on a well (that I have not yet had tested, but plan to) with a Gould J05 0.5 hp pump and tank, with 1/2" copper lines. When I installed the new softener, I used the old bypass due to the fittings, but replaced the pushrod and seals.

    There was so much red crud in the lines! I'd estimate the ID due to rust/iron (I assume; it was very orange) was about the diameter of a #2 pencil or smaller.

    At any rate, the renter complained tonight of LOW pressure, and after looking things over, decided the filter was clogged. Removed it, and voila! flow was restored. Threw in a new cartridge, and we were up and running again.

    Pending some good water testing, what is a viable solution to remove that much rust/iron from the water? If it kills a cartridge in 10 days, that seems pretty bad to me, whose cartridge can last 6 months.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    With that much iron in the water, I don't know if you will find one to last that long. At the least, you would have to increase the size of the filter, but that does not say it will last 6 months. I would recommend an auto backwashing BIRM filter.

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I agree.

    Also, Kenmore or any other big box brand is a very poor choice for high iron.

    A disposable cartridge filter is also a very poor choice with high iron.

    And if you don't know how much iron and hardness, I suppose the tenant is paying for the salt?
    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.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I fell in on the system as-is when I bought the house. Yes, Gary, the tenant pays for the salt. Currently have the Kenmore 300 set at 15 gpg of hardness, and the water coming out is good, very minimal smell as opposed to pre-treated, and looks clear. So the softener is doing its job. But for how long? And yes, the cartridge filter is a poor choice, but I suspect the previous owner (single guy) didn't mind running until a pressure drop, then throwing a $2.50 filter at the problem 2-3 times a month. But I would prefer to tackle the problem as a homeowner, not a landlord trying to do it cheap. At least, that is my stand until I find out just how much removing iron will cost me, or conversely, how much to install a holding tank...

  5. #5
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    To use a softener to remove iron you take the amount of iron in mg/l and multiply that by 3, 4, or 5 and add that figure to the hardness. I always used 4. Manganese I used 2 times the mg/l.

    Wherever you bought the Kenmore, unless it was used, could have tested the water.

    Now the softener (resin) has been dealing with whatever amount of iron etc. for awhile and the unit has an easily blocked up cartridge filter with an already severely reduced flow to it and the softener even if you removed the cartridge from the housing.

    I suggest not using any disposable cartridge filter in front of any softener other than Kinetico, and then only due to not using one voids their warranty because their water powered wonder control valve chokes/gags on any build up of invisible or other sediment.

    I'd get some Iron Out etc. into the plumbing to the softener or the fixtures to clean out the rust build up. I'd replace any plumbing to the softener that was less than 3/4". I'd run some IO through the softener then too.
    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.

  6. #6

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    My questions would be; when you replace the filter cartridge that was the 'iron' residue in a rather solid form or in a mud-like state? If it was the latter, then you may have a bacterial iron problem and additional consideration/treatment is needed. Left untreated, it can greatly hinder the production and service life of any softener. Secondly, what was the micron rating of the cartridge? Your neighbor may be using a different cartridge but then again you may have completely different water conditions. That's why I never go on what may work for one house should work for another without proper testing and evaluation.

    F6Hawk, it is clear you are not talking about a Kinetico, but a Kenmore, right? I am afraid some don't understand Kinetico products, their function, and certainly their warranties. I always loved that 'invisible' dirt philosophy. I wonder if he means transparent or miniscule? Anyway, if it's invisible, then it won't be a problem.

    Kenmores are sold at my local home supply stores and department stores and they don't do water testing, at least not in my area. Maybe he is thinking of a Sears store, which may test for basic water issues.
    Last edited by water solutions; 05-08-2012 at 04:02 PM.

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