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Thread: Need advice for iron filter

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member AngryBill's Avatar
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    Default Need advice for iron filter

    Hello, saw some other postings here on similar problems with iron in well water and wanted to get some advice.

    I am currently moving my water heater, softener, and pressure tank out of a unheated part of the house (that was heated by the excess head coming from the propane hot water heater). I figured while putting this effort in I should put a iron filter on because we have some rust stains randomly when washing our cloths (not as worried about a little orange in the tubs. We do use iron out salt in the softener we have but still randomly have these problems with the laundry. Doing some reading 4 PPM (our level) iron is right on the edge of what a softener can take care of.

    My wife took the water in for testing yesterday and they tested only the hardness and iron because she asked for those tests. Results from the test were...

    Hardness is 40 PPM
    Iron 4 PPM

    Not sure what information might be needed so here are some further details on my water system...

    I will be installing a new 50 gallon electric hot water heater, moving my existing GE softener (GXSF40H01), Kenmore 390.291655 36 gallon pressure tank into a new space in the house. My flow rate is between 6.5-7 gallons per minute.

    I saw a few filters including Terminox (reading past posts some have concerns about this site/company) and Aqua-Pure APIF150 and the further I looked the more confused I got on what would be best.

    I wanted to see if anyone here might be able to point me in the right direction on what other information I should know to make the best decisions.

    Thanks in advance.

    Bill
    Last edited by AngryBill; 08-26-2012 at 12:53 PM.

  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    With only 40 ppm of hardness (a teeny shade over 2 gpg) I don't know why you have a softener but...

    You should buy yourself a test kit for hardness, iron, pH at least and see how much iron is getting through the softener.

    Have you mixed up a solution of iron out in a gallon or more water and poured it into the water in the salt tank and done a manual regeneration? If not you should. Use a dry measure cup and 2/3 cup. When the water in the salt tank goes down about an inch, unplug the control valve and put the softener in by pass for like 30 minutes. Then plug it in and put the by pass in service and let it finish the regeneration.

    There are many choices of minerals for an iron 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.

  3. #3
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBill View Post
    My flow rate is between 6.5-7 gallons per minute.
    Keep that in mind when looking at specs. Some iron filters need all of that and more for backwashing. Also consider what the iron filter will do to your flow rate.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member AngryBill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    With only 40 ppm of hardness (a teeny shade over 2 gpg) I don't know why you have a softener but...
    The house had it installed when I moved in last year. I will get a testing kit and test it again before and after the softener. My wife is saying its 40,000 PPM and not 40 PPM so I will just need to get it tested again to know whats really going on.

    I will try your other suggestions include testing whats making it through the softener and try the manual regeneration with iron out. Is the hope with the iron out to pull any iron in the media out?

    Thanks, Bill
    Last edited by AngryBill; 08-26-2012 at 04:44 PM.

  5. #5
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Yes it will clean the resin and control valve of iron 'residue'.
    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
    DIY Junior Member bill marsh's Avatar
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    You don't need an iron filter. In most cases iron comes in one of two forms: ferrous and ferric. Your well may contain either or both. Nothing in the world removes ferrous iron better than a water softener. It does it through ionic exchange. It does not convert ferrous to ferric iron. Simply put a softener removes ferrous iron. Ferric iron is "particle iron" and can be removed by a particle filter It has a changeable cartridge. Sears sells one like the aqua pure about 4.5inches in diameter and 10 inches long. if you install it get to mounting bracket and secure it to the wall. A softener can remove ferrous iron well over the softeners specs. It just becomes iron fouled sooner. The suggestion below of mixing an iron out flush is a good one and will clean the softener resin. I would do it twice. In order for iron to stain your wash cloths as you describe at least 1ppm of iron must be coming through the softener. If your toilet bowls are staying fairly clean and you are using hot or warm water to wash then it is possible that alot of iron comes out of the hot water heater. Try a few cold only washes and see if it happens. The other possibilty is the presence of ferric iron which a particle filter ( I suggest a 1, 5, or 10 micron filter element) will remove. The reason I do not recommend an iron filter is because it will do nothing more than the combination of a softener and a particle filter. It is also criticle to get an accurate water test and set the softener correctly. Check on the prices from a lab. I can assure you the hardness is not 40,000ppm. Good luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBill View Post
    Hello, saw some other postings here on similar problems with iron in well water and wanted to get some advice.

    I am currently moving my water heater, softener, and pressure tank out of a unheated part of the house (that was heated by the excess head coming from the propane hot water heater). I figured while putting this effort in I should put a iron filter on because we have some rust stains randomly when washing our cloths (not as worried about a little orange in the tubs. We do use iron out salt in the softener we have but still randomly have these problems with the laundry. Doing some reading 4 PPM (our level) iron is right on the edge of what a softener can take care of.

    My wife took the water in for testing yesterday and they tested only the hardness and iron because she asked for those tests. Results from the test were...

    Hardness is 40 PPM
    Iron 4 PPM

    Not sure what information might be needed so here are some further details on my water system...

    I will be installing a new 50 gallon electric hot water heater, moving my existing GE softener (GXSF40H01), Kenmore 390.291655 36 gallon pressure tank into a new space in the house. My flow rate is between 6.5-7 gallons per minute.

    I saw a few filters including Terminox (reading past posts some have concerns about this site/company) and Aqua-Pure APIF150 and the further I looked the more confused I got on what would be best.

    I wanted to see if anyone here might be able to point me in the right direction on what other information I should know to make the best decisions.

    Thanks in advance.

    Bill

  7. #7
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    I agree that a softener will remove iro, and remove it well. That being said, it is also highly inefficient. A softener removing hardness is efficient and ultra efficient settings can be used on iron free water. Water softeners that are used for iron removal should not be run at ultra low salting and the compensated hardness settings of adding 5 Grains of hardness (or 85.5 ppm hardness) for each ppm of hardness should be considered. The additional salt waste, particularly the chlorides added to the waste stream should be carefully conrolled and minimized. As an industry, if we continue this practice water softener bans will become more prevalant. In general, we train dealers throughout the country that if the iron exceed 1 ppm, alternative iron removal methods should be considered. Over 3 ppm, it is very strongly recommended. Most waste water issues are quality of waste, not quantity of waste. Highly saturated brine discharge is much more difficult to treat than a lot of diluted brine discharge. A major cause of septic failures is not enough water.

    I am not disagreeing with you, just trying to add an important aspect of iron removal that too many dealers have not attempted to change. Just like the use of Pot Perm and greensand was common 20 years ago, modern medias, designs, etc, have all advanced in the past 15 years and chemical free, low maintenance, highly effective techniques have become affordable.

    For more information, I am putting on a training seminar in Nebraska in a couple weeks if anybody wants to attend. It is free, and I will be doing the commercial and residential water softener, iron removal, and RO troubleshooting, maintenance, sizing, application, and green techologies training.

  8. #8
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    You're not disagreeing... could fooled me.

    Folks, this anti softener for iron removal agenda is an outgrowth of a Californian point of view where some (very few actually) municipalities in California blame water softeners for too much chloride in the water going into their sewage treatment plants instead of their (re)use of already reclaimed water from agriculture etc.. where it picks up a whole lot more chlorides than water softeners add to the water stream.

    It reminds me of the Al Gore led man made global warming claims that were later found to be based on fake data. Al and others are still believers in the faked data, bless their hearts.
    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.

  9. #9
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Why are you knocking Al Gore? If he hadn't invented the internet, you wouldn't have this venue to spout your civil libertarian-ism.

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Well that is true, but regardless, he is a tax'n spend progressive/liberal democrat and deserves it and...

    I started spouting on the old DOS BBSs (bulletin broad service). For the youths here, that's the original, a prior to Windows etc., computer operating system. Then when Al invented the internet, I used Usenet Groups, which became Daja (sic) View groups which then became today's Google Groups and then I starting using web site forums.
    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.

  11. #11
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I started spouting on the old DOS BBSs (bulletin broad service)...
    I didn't pickup too many girls on the old BBS but maybe it was cuz I only had a 300 BAUD MODEM! LOL

  12. #12
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    The BBS's were a blast. I got kicked off of one since I could not afford to upgrade to a 1200 baud. I never had the type that you put the phone reciever on, my brothers was always losing connection when there was noise in the room.

    It was neat being able to read the data as it came across. Thanks Al Gore for giving us the modern age! :P

    As stated earlier, it is not a disagreement, it is adding information and encouraging better choices. Since I work directly with the majority of the Municipal waste facilities in California, I beleive I have a decent amount of knowledge on the subject.

    The premise is to prevent further regulation by doing better as an industry without mandates. Why is that bad? Explain to me what is wrong with removing iron with a modern iron removal system instead of a softener? A softener works, but it is not the best choice. The same way a school bus will get you to and from work, but is it the best choice as a commuter vehicle? Lower salt settings, higher efficiencies, and modern technologies can go a long way into keeping municipalities happy and lessen the potential of legislation. As an industry, we were horrible 25 years ago. High salting, no meters, undersized units, etc.

    Instead of just making wierd political statements that add nothing to the conversation, why dont you add some data, some common sense and informative insite. A good point might be that if a customer can not afford iron removal, then a softener may be a legitimate way to do it. Or the additional water waste that iron removal systems use... or the additional equipment maintenance... or you can continue on with your rants about how you know my political affiliation because I beleive on modern, efficient equipment... and since you are unable to read my user name and cant figure out my political affiliation correctly...
    Last edited by ditttohead; 08-30-2012 at 10:12 AM.

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I live and operate in New England where there is no "California" point of view and I agree with Ditthead on using a softener to remove iron. I have stated my position many times here so I won't repeat it.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  14. #14
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    As stated earlier, it is not a disagreement, it is adding information and encouraging better choices. Since I work directly with the majority of the Municipal waste facilities in California, I beleive I have a decent amount of knowledge on the subject.
    At the time some municipalities were thinking of banning softeners I paid close attention to the subject.

    And IMO if the problem was as large as you elude to, the whole state would have gone along with banning softeners.

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    The premise is to prevent further regulation by doing better as an industry without mandates. Why is that bad?
    I didn't say it was "bad", I question the data used to make the decision in certain CA towns to ban water softeners as highly suspect.

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Explain to me what is wrong with removing iron with a modern iron removal system instead of a softener? A softener works, but it is not the best choice.
    You say it works and has for decades but isn't the best choice.... who are you to decide that people shouldn't have the choice when obviously to them for whatever reason or reasons they decide it is their best choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Instead of just making wierd political statements that add nothing to the conversation, why dont you add some data, some common sense and informative insite. A good point might be that if a customer can not afford iron removal, then a softener may be a legitimate way to do it. Or the additional water waste that iron removal systems use... or the additional equipment maintenance...
    Those points do it for me, but most important is that the consumer has the choice.

    Your statements show that you are not for the consumer having the choice and are doing what you can to steer whoever the company you work for sells softeners etc. to, into proposing a separate iron filter instead of offering a softener as a choice. Which if there is 4 or more gpg of hardness that means the consumer has to buy and iron filter and then a softener too.

    That looks like you are a true salesman meaning, you get the person to pay you what you want them to pay for whatever it is that you want them to own, and you're teaching others to do the same. I say shame on you and those that go along with your thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    or you can continue on with your rants about how you know my political affiliation because I beleive on modern, efficient equipment... and since you are unable to read my user name and cant figure out my political affiliation correctly...
    To me you sure don't sound like a fiscal or constitution driven conservative. Or TEA Party type. You sound and act like a PC Californian guy driven by ego and chasing big bucks. I'm just saying...
    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. #15
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    LOL, you make my points well. You were completely unable to do anything other than go for the personal attacks. You have been a member of the WQA for how long? You are certified and licensed by who? Back to the point, softeners can remove iron, but an educated consumer should get more information, including the potential environmental damage and possible damage to an industry as a whole about the choices they make. It is not "certain Californian towns" that have recently banned softeners. Many municipalities in many states have enacted similar bans on softeners and other household components in order to lessen the loads that the wastewater treatment plants have to treat. There have been commercial softening equipment bans for many decades and these are now tricking down to the residential market, the residential issues are the ones that you are aware of since these make the headlines. Try to stop looking for or creating contreversy where it doesnt exist.

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