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Thread: Gary's "trick" and how effective is Iron Out?

  1. #16
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    And your expectations going in were? LOL

    Remember Liggy, when you climb into the pen to wrestle with the pig you have to expect to get dirty.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  2. #17
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    F6Hawk surmised not once but twice that the flow would stop, increasing the contact time for the IO. You say now, as I suspected, that the flow continues and is in fact extended by stopping the clock which is the exact opposite of what F6Hawk surmised.
    I don't see anything in what Hawk said that would make you mistakenly think the water stopped flowing, so show me where he "surmised" that. And recall that you asked if the water stopped with the unit unplugged?

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    I do know how my manual valve works but was unsure about how the valve to which you prescribed your "trick" to worked. If/when you are doing an IO resin cleaning and then following with a second manual regen, this second backwash would take care of the extra rinse that you seem to feel is necessary.
    So now your valve works differently than other valves... how is that? What's different in its operation as a backwash filter or your softener valve from others' operation? And why would you think I wouldn't be valve specific if there was a difference in valve operation? Damn man, the more you say the worse it gets.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    It looks like you are a one trick pony. I contend that increasing the contact time by stopping the flow could be a second trick to add to your repertoire. Others appear to agree with the concept of extending contact time working better.
    You can contend all you want, do it whatever way you think will work for you, You've been doing that for some time with your system and your filter mineral and softener resin has just been replaced IIRC. So I see failure in your contending things not having worked for you well up 'til now.

    Don't forget that most of the others here love to disagree with everything I say.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    As for your prognosis that my iron filter backwash never running clear is evidence of a problem leading to iron bleed-through, I think you have a weak understanding of how my iron filter works.
    Well of course you do but, there's only two ways to do air injection, the right way and your way that hasn't been working very well for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    First off, the water used for backwash comes straight from my precipitation tank unfiltered, so it will never run clear.
    REALLY !! LOL In a properly sized and type "precipitation" (read retention) tank, the water leaves them clear or fairly clear or there is something wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    That was not my point however. My point was more about diminishing returns. When the filter bed is packed by the fast rinse and pack cycle, the filtered water is clear.
    And the problem is that for some reason, all the iron is not being removed by the filter and the softener has to deal with it and that has caused your softener to fail.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    You like to run down my system saying that I have inadequate aeration, inadequate retention, and that no iron should ever reach the resin. I could always use more aeration and more retention. What I also think is happening is that the shock wave from the water hammer caused by the valves on the softener slamming shut, shakes up the filter pack.
    Your system has not been working since prior to you coming here like 16 months ago. And that has nothing to do with me because all I've done is try to help you figure out what is wrong with it and you don't like what I tell you is wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Anyway, this thread is not about my iron filter. It is about getting clarification on your procedure. You like to counter any criticism by claiming that I/others are not properly following your procedure *exactly*.
    Now that's laughable, you're wanting clarification instead of following directions, for your system. And you've done nothing but question the procedure and certainly don't want to follow the directions. And now you want to do two backwashes and allow final (pack) rinse between them.

    So do it anyway you want to or don't do anything I suggest.

    You came here in Feb 2011 asking questions as to what might be wrong with your air injection softener system. You didn't like what I had to say and have disagreed with everything I've said since then. Yet, didn't you just replace the mineral in the filter and the resin in the softener?

    The problem is iron in one or both forms is getting into your softener. You need to find the cause and fix it.
    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. #18
    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    F6Hawk surmised not once but twice that the flow would stop, increasing the contact time for the IO. You say now, as I suspected, that the flow continues and is in fact extended by stopping the clock which is the exact opposite of what F6Hawk surmised.
    Sorry, LLigetfa, you are correct, unplugging stops the CYCLE, not the FLOW. My bad. If you wanted to introduce the SIO and increase contact time for say a couple of hours or so, you would have to bypass the softener altogether once the brine draw is done or nearly so.

  4. #19
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I don't see anything in what Hawk said...
    WOW! ...just wow. You do live in your own little world.

    So, you believe water leaving the precipitation tank is clear? Then what would the BIRM media filter?

    Before I had the softener resin replaced, I was doing the Iron Out YOUR way.

  5. #20
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    For seriously iron fouled resin (any resin that is used for iron removal will end up as this in time), to clean using Iron out, put the system into regeneration and wait for the brine to be drawn completely into the mineral tank, you will usually hear a sudden change in the brine cycle when the brine check seats to keep air out of the system, then bypass the system and unplug the valve, let it soak for a while, an hour or more is highly recommended, then plug the system back in, put the valve back into service and let it finish it cycles. I would also recommend an extended backwash after this to help remove some of the iron that has been chemically released from the cation resin.

    Acids, bases, soaps, etc all work on simple physics, contact time and energy. Higher temperatures can assist in reducing contact time, but I would not recommend pouring boilg water into the brine tank. The amount of pH change will also greatly affect the IO ability to clean the resin.
    Thanks dittohead for confirming what I have seen, namely that Iron Out does need contact time to be truly effective. I read so often about just adding IO dissolved in water to the brine tank, or even to layer it in dry and then doing normal regens.

    Does Morton System Saver II with resin cleaner or Pro-ResCare Res-Up feeder work any better than IO without the extended contact time?

  6. #21
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    When I first started using Iron Out, I would just dissolve a cupful in a gallon of water, dump it in the brine tank, and let the one regen cycle run. Afterward, I would notice the smell of iron in the shower. Over time found that running a second regen would clear that up so I switched to doing two back-to-back regens, the first with IO, the second without. After replacing my resin, I started increasing the contact time.

  7. #22
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    The contact time is part of the equation. Using IO regularly, or a drip system, or letting the IO have extended contact times less frequently will all have simlar affects. I prefer the system saver salt since it eliminates the need for remembering to add the IO, citric acid, or filling the drip system. The real solution is to remove the iron prior to the softener.

  8. #23
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Liggy; It's been awhile and I'm lazy so what are your water tested conditions? I'm wondering why if you have an iron filter you are getting iron into the softener.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  9. #24
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    WOW! ...just wow. You do live in your own little world.
    I see now that he says he was thinking that unplugging the control valve shut off the water flow too. lol I thought he was smarter than that but I see I was wrong.

    Maybe you should ask him what he surmised the 20 minutes of the valve stopped mid cycle in backwash and then slow rinse/brine draw, with the water shut off and then plugging it back in would do for the softener.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    So, you believe water leaving the precipitation tank is clear? Then what would the BIRM media filter?
    It seems you don't know if it is supposed to be clear or not but... you have said the water out of your "precipitation" tank is quite dirty. Usually that tank is called a retention tank. Do you know why? Do you think you are getting enough "precipitation" in yours?

    After all is said, it is your air injection iron filter that isn't working well and messing up your softener.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Before I had the softener resin replaced, I was doing the Iron Out YOUR way.
    You can do it anyway you want to or not do it at all, neither way is going to help because the cause of the softener problem is your air injection iron filter allowing iron into the softener.

    If they were working correctly, there would be no iron getting into the softener and would have no need for any type of resin cleaning.

    Question, for you and Hawk et al, when you shut off the water during brine draw so you get more contact time, how much time does it take for the IO to lose it's ability to scavenge iron?

    And then what are you going to do if not turn on the water so more IO solution can be drawn into the resin bed and, how long will you let the water flow to drain so as to replace all the used up IO in the tank?

    You can ask Hawk what your Birm filter is for 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.

  10. #25
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    You seem to have a reading comprehension issue. The flow is stopped after the brine has been drawn out of the brine well. As dittohead said, you can here the change in sound when it happens.

    Iron is oxidized by the air entrainment of the micronizer before it enters the precipitation tank where the iron globs together into rust particles large enough to be trapped by the filter. The water leaving the precipitation tank has visible rust. I have an outside hose bib that is Tee'd into the unfiltered line as well as additional hose bibs Tee'd in after the iron filter. The filtered water is clear and used to water the foundation beds so as not to rust stain my white siding. The unfiltered water is used to water the lawn and the water from it looks disgusting. The iron filter may not remove 100% of the iron but it certainly does remove most of it.

    I know something has to be done to stop the water hammer and flow reversal from shaking up the filter bed pack. I plan to put a checkvalve and a small expansion tank on the iron filter output

  11. #26
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    It appears someone on this site does not understand basic physics. No surprise since the same person also believes things that move do not wear out faster if they move more... what can you say, roll your eyes, move on.

  12. #27
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    The contact time is part of the equation. Using IO regularly, or a drip system, or letting the IO have extended contact times less frequently will all have simlar affects. I prefer the system saver salt since it eliminates the need for remembering to add the IO, citric acid, or filling the drip system. The real solution is to remove the iron prior to the softener.
    That would be my advice also. Most folks don't keep good track of their equipment (especially the younger one's with jobs and kids)

    Liggy; Have you tested the water for iron just before it enters your softener?
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 06-13-2012 at 05:11 AM.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  13. #28
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    You seem to have a reading comprehension issue. The flow is stopped after the brine has been drawn out of the brine well. As dittohead said, you can here the change in sound when it happens.
    And yet it's you that doesn't understand that my shutting off the power while in the brine draw cycle after a specific length of time, leaves some fresh IO solution and brine in the "brine well" as you call the salt tank, where dittohead Alan has you sucking it all out of the "brine well" at once.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Iron is oxidized by the air entrainment of the micronizer before it enters the precipitation tank
    Actually the oxidation starts in the pipe going to your "precipitation tank" after the air injector but the oxidation isn't complete yet.

    It, the oxidation, is supposed to complete IN the RETENTION TANK and precipitate out of the water onto the bottom of the RETENTION TANK.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    where the iron globs together into rust particles large enough to be trapped by the filter. The water leaving the precipitation tank has visible rust.
    And that loads up the Birm and requires a longer backwash and if not the Birm can't oxidize any ferrous iron, and that oxidizing the ferrous iron that gets through the air injection is why you use Birm instead of a simple sediment removal mineral in the filter.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    I have an outside hose bib that is Tee'd into the unfiltered line as well as additional hose bibs Tee'd in after the iron filter. The filtered water is clear and used to water the foundation beds so as not to rust stain my white siding. The unfiltered water is used to water the lawn and the water from it looks disgusting. The iron filter may not remove 100% of the iron but it certainly does remove most of it.
    LOL so you're using your filtered water for irrigation, probably exceeding the SFR gpm of the Birm filter after not allowing enough contact time for the air to oxidize all the iron.

    The red part, that's like saying, it's a great car, it starts most of the time, or, it's only a small tumor.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    I know something has to be done to stop the water hammer and flow reversal from shaking up the filter bed pack. I plan to put a checkvalve and a small expansion tank on the iron filter output
    Water hammer is caused by too high water pressure, and Autotrol flapper valves slamming shut. Too high water pressure increases your peak demand flow rate through the water treatment system, especially the Birm filter and reduces contact time of the air injection part.

    I suspect you have turned up your pressure due to the irrigation needs.

    I see there are four of us now, the CalifornianPCdude, cartoonyKid, 1stTimeSoftenerguy and me, all asking you why your softener is seeing any iron.

    Maybe you could explain that to us and see if anyone but me mentions insufficient contact time for the air to work completely based on the size and maybe the type of your "precipitation tank" that over the last year plus you've consistently insisted to me is just fine and not the problem.

    Now, since IIRC, this is the first time in over a year plus that I've heard of the water hammer problem and you treating irrigation water with your air injection and Birm filter, I'll mention the very high probability of the Birm filter most likely being WAY too small.

    And especially if you are using water in the house while watering the plants etc.. Your "precipitation tank" will be WAY TOO SMALL too. all while you've been blamming my "trick" for not working for your softener.... what a guy.
    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.

  14. #29
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Liggy; Have you tested the water for iron just before it enters your softener?
    I don't have my own test kit but I did take a few samples to the guy that rebedded my softener and iron filter. His test kit could not detect any iron at the time.

    I think the bed pack shakeup is a variable thing and depends a lot on what the pressure happens to be at the moment the valve slams shut. In fact I'm sure of it and proved it in testing. Periodically I will jack up the pressure to get better bed agitation and noticed that at the higher pressure, the pack gets seriously disturbed so I don't need to test it. When I shake the pack as mentioned, the iron is visible.

  15. #30
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    LOL so you're using your filtered water for irrigation, probably exceeding the SFR gpm of the Birm filter after not allowing enough contact time for the air to oxidize all the iron.
    There you go imagining facts not in evidence. I don't have an irrigation system. I do have a simple garden hose connected before the iron filter for an oscillating lawn sprinkler but it doesn't get used much, in fact hardly ever.

    The other hose bibs connected to filtered water, feed soaker hoses that don't have any significant flow rate. Those too, hardly ever get used, and are just there for when we go on vacation. The wife captures rain water for the foundation beds and will on occasion, use the hose and a hand nozzle if she runs out of water in the rain barrels.

    As for the higher pressure, I do enjoy it for the shower. The micronizer bypass has been reduced to keep air sucking at the higher pressure and that rate limits the GPM. The downside of that is that the backwash GPM on the iron filter is marginal. That in and of itself would not cause iron bleed-through, since a dirty media bed filters better than a clean one. When I notice a reduction of flow through it, I will jack up the pressure higher, open up the micronizer bypass to increase GPM, and give the bed a thorough manual backwash or two. It's usually the same time that I will do a manual Iron Out resin cleaning.

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