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Thread: System in new house

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Sulphurexcess's Avatar
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    Default System in new house

    Great website, thanks!!
    I have a system that was installed prior to my purchase. My well water is both iron and sulfur laden but I don't know actual levels. The current system is by Master and consists of an egg timer shaped resin tank (with timer), a tall cylinder resin tank (with timer), a small ~18 in tall feeder tank, a salt tank and a whole house particle filter. Water flows from well through particle filter, to tall resin tank to egg shaped resin/mineral tank to house lines. The small feeder tank is connected to the tall resin tank. So now the problem. I have a terrible sulfur odour in the water (cold and hot). I have a tankless water heater. I contacted the company that installed system. They came out and made sure the flow on everything was working and topped up the neutralizer tank with material. They said the egg shaped resin tank is for neutralizing and softening and the tall mineral tank is to remove sulfur and that the small feeder tank needed to have bleach added (2 cups periodically) as this regenerated the tall sulfur removing resin tank. They also recommended that we add super iron out (~ 3 capfuls per bag of salt to the salt tank which they did) . They recommended running a few regeneration cycles over the next few days to flush the system. While the water is 'soft' this has made no difference in sulfur odour which is quite strong. So I have a couple of questions - what is the material in the sulfur removal tank, how does it work (in principle) and how does the dilute bleach function to regenerate it (the guy didn't remember how it worked when I asked him)? - what do I do to remove the sulfur odour? Thanks

  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Master Water Conditioning sells to a lot of plumber and pump supply houses. Was the guy that came out a plumber? Plumbers tend to not know much about water treatment or the equipment they sell and rely on the supply house personnel for support, which can be rather poor.

    The sulfur mineral can be Pyrolox or manganese greensand. How old is the equipment?

    Is the time of day set correctly and staggered so no two pieces are backwashing or regenerating at the same time?

    Post pictures of the control valves and then the equipment so we can see the order from the well pressure tank.

    The hour glass piece is a combination/over under filter softener and Master used to use only Autotrol control valves but went to Clack a few years ago. The prefilter ought to have the cartridge removed so the equipment gets full pressure and water flow. The sulfur filter does a better job than the disposable cartridge does, and so does the the acid neutralizing mineral.

    Or you could have a bacteria problem causing the odor. Have you had a Coliform bacteria test lately?
    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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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    [quote]
    Quote Originally Posted by gary slusser View Post
    master water conditioning sells to a lot of plumber and pump supply houses. Was the guy that came out a plumber? Plumbers tend to not know much about water treatment or the equipment they sell and rely on the supply house personnel for support, which can be rather poor.

    1...........................................
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  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Sulphurexcess's Avatar
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    Thanks, Company that installed does Water Softening & Conditioning Equipment & Service, Pumps, Water Filtration & Purification Equipment. I contacted same people that installed.

    System installed ~2007. Water was tested inside house (post conditioning system) about 4 months ago before purchase of house (house actually sat unused for ~ 4-5 months) - came back as good, no coliforms although hardness was at 333 (not surprising as there was no salt in softener at time).

    Bleach containing backwash runs at midnight, softener salt one runs ~ 2 AM. I am unclear on why sulfur removal tank needs dilute bleach to backwash (unless to kill bacteria). Greensand uses permanganate and not sure about Pyrolox requirements.

    I'll grab pics tonight and update tomorrow.
    Last edited by Sulphurexcess; 06-21-2012 at 08:46 AM.

  5. #5
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphurexcess View Post
    Thanks, Company that installed does Water Softening & Conditioning Equipment & Service, Pumps, Water Filtration & Purification Equipment. I contacted same people that installed.
    Then they are not the folks to talk to. Sounds like a number of plumbers and well drillers I ran into over the years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphurexcess View Post
    System installed ~2007. Water was tested inside house (post conditioning system) about 4 months ago before purchase of house (house actually sat unused for ~ 4-5 months) - came back as good, no coliforms although hardness was at 333 (not surprising as there was no salt in softener at time).

    Bleach containing backwash runs at midnight, softener salt one runs ~ 2 AM. I am unclear on why sulfur removal tank needs dilute bleach to backwash (unless to kill bacteria). Greensand uses permanganate and not sure about Pyrolox requirements.

    I'll grab pics tonight and update tomorrow.
    Greensand and Pyrolox can be regenerated with chlorine. No potassium permanganate with Pyrolox.

    How old do you think the equipment is?
    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 Sulphurexcess's Avatar
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    system is around 5 yrs old...... installed according to the company was in 2007. I wonder if sitting for 4-5 months with no flow fouled some component.

  7. #7
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    You may have some bacteria in things from sitting around for months.

    Remove the disposable cartridge from the prefilter, measure a 1/4 liquid cup of regular non scented bleach and pour it into the housing, screw the housing to its lid and run cold water at a sink until you smell bleach and shut off the cold water. Turn on the hot water for 2 measured minutes. You smell for bleach at the sink by running the cold water into a large container with your nose on the rim while smelling for bleach; as the water goes into the container, you want to smell the air coming out of the container. Don't get bleach water in your eyes. Shut off the water as soon a you smell bleach.

    After getting the smell of bleach and shutting off the cold water wait 20 minutes and then turn the cold water on for a couple minutes and shut it off. Repeat that 20 minutes again and then smell for bleach, if there is any run the water until there is no smell of bleach.

    Run the hot water, there probably won't be any bleach smell but may be an odor. If so add like a 1/4 cup of bleach to the housing and run hot water only until you smell bleach and wait 20 minutes and then repeat the 20 minutes and then run hot water until no more bleach smell.

    If the cold or hot water goes dirty, after the process is finished, just run water until it clears. If you are on a septic tank, maybe you'd want to run water out a garden hose instead of into a sink or tub but there shouldn't be all that much water going into the septic 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 do not recommend regenerating greensand with bleach. Not sure where this info comes from. I am familiar with Greensand Plus using bleach as a substitute for potperm. My question would be, how can you maintain a consistent ppm in the solution tank? I'll do a little more research....
    Last edited by water solutions; 06-21-2012 at 05:18 PM.

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    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Then they are not the folks to talk to. Sounds like a number of plumbers and well drillers I ran into over the years.


    Greensand and Pyrolox can be regenerated with chlorine. No potassium permanganate with Pyrolox.

    How old do you think the equipment is?
    Greensand can not, I repeat can not be regenerated with chlorine if it has been regenerated with KMNo4. Mixing chlorine and KMNo4 can be very dangerous. Only greensand plus uses chlorine.

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    I will do some more research on this topic before I makes any defenite claims of Chlorine and its affects on medias, but, from what I can recall, manganese dioxide based medias can use a continuous regeneration method with chlorine injection. it is the preferred method for Pyrolox/Filox medias. Ozone, Pot perm are also ok for this media. Intermittent regeneration is usually done with pot perm since it can be used and stored like salt, meaning you can easily control the amount of pot perm by the amount of water in the mini brine tank. If you tried to use chlorine in a brine tank for regeneration, it would be more difficult if not impossible to control and would require constant maintenance. We regularly use chlorine injection ahead of Manganese greensand, greensand plus, pyrolox, and MTM. they all accept and recommend chlorine for coninuous regeneration. Birm, if I recall correctly, does not like Chlorine as it can reduce its ability to convert iron.

    I will try to pull my notes tonight for more details.

  11. #11
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    If you tried to use chlorine in a brine tank for regeneration, it would be more difficult if not impossible to control and would require constant maintenance.
    I was taught how to do it back in the late 1980s and used it into the mid 1990s until I went to an air pump system. It worked very well and all the maintenance was to add bleach to the salt tank once a month or so. That's less effort than adding salt to a softener and nowhere near as messy as adding potassium permanganate to a solution tank.

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    We regularly use chlorine injection ahead of Manganese greensand, greensand plus, pyrolox, and MTM. they all accept and recommend chlorine for coninuous regeneration. Birm, if I recall correctly, does not like Chlorine as it can reduce its ability to convert iron.
    Thanks for straightening out watersolutions Kinetico salesman Andy and Skippy. Although it is true that mixing PP and chlorine is very dangerous and should never be done.

    Skippy, in this case, isn't the OP using chlorine to regenerate his 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.

  12. #12
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Indeed birm does not play well with chlorine.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  13. #13

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    As usual Gary is inaccurate in describing members of this forum but it is like beating a dead horse. He said you can "regenerate" greensand with chlorine. That is not what he meant, of course. What he really means is that chlorine, H202 or some other oxidant is injected into the line ahead of the greensand and used in a continuous feed, which includes water used in the regeneration, backwashing, and service cycles. By telling others that chlorine is used for regeneration, he might leading them to believe that you just put chlorine in the brine tank and let it go as you might with potassium permanganate.

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    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Skippy, in this case, isn't the OP using chlorine to regenerate his filter?
    I don't know because he does not say. I'm thinking of all the other people reading this and I can see someone with a pot tank adding chlorine to it based on your advise which was bad without adding a precaution of not mixing PP and chlorine.

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    DIY Junior Member Sulphurexcess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I was taught how to do it back in the late 1980s and used it into the mid 1990s until I went to an air pump system. It worked very well and all the maintenance was to add bleach to the salt tank once a month or so. That's less effort than adding salt to a softener and nowhere near as messy as adding potassium permanganate to a solution tank.


    Thanks for straightening out watersolutions Kinetico salesman Andy and Skippy. Although it is true that mixing PP and chlorine is very dangerous and should never be done.

    Skippy, in this case, isn't the OP using chlorine to regenerate his filter?

    Update - Confirmed with company media used in Sulfur removal tank is....."Simplus is a granular manganese oxide filter material used for the removal of Hydrogen Sulfide and trace levels of Iron. It can only be used on water that has a pH in the 6.8-7.8 range. Simplus acts as a catalyst to create a reaction between dissolved oxygen and the hydrogen sulfide. We always recommend that a water softener be installed after the filter if iron or manganese is present. Simplus can be regenerated with sodium hypochlorite (5.25% bleach) to clean precipitate from the filter material. Otherwise, regeneration included backwashing and rinsing".

    Pictures of setup to follow on weekend

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