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Thread: Iron Filter/Water Softener need advice

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member keithw1977's Avatar
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    Default Iron Filter/Water Softener need advice

    I've been researching over and over on the vast amount of systems available and all of the mixed advice on what to install and need some help. I recently purchased a home that has a well. We inherited a RainSoft whole house water softener(.5 cu ft) and a reverse osmosis system for drinking water. There is an inline 10" sediment filter and I need a recommendation on a good filter to use in this, the Kinetico rep said don't use a carbon filter to uses 20micron cartridge. Our iron is 4mg/L and sulfates are 380mg/L, My pH is 7.0, Hardness is 610 mg/L, Manganese is 0.047 mg/L. and my flow rate is 10gpm.

    I would like to remove the iron and sulfates. I've looked at Greensand and Pyrolox systems and also had systems suggested by Kinetico and Rain Soft. I've also looked at companies online such as Water Anywhere, Budget Water, Quality Water for Less and more. I'm close to buying a Fleck 5600SXT with 1.25 cu ft tank and SST-60 resin. I know I'm not the first person with this issue, but there are so many options, I need some real world advice.

    On a related note, our hot water has a bad "rotten egg" smell, I've been told to remove the anode, or replace the Anode with an aluminum anode, or that treating the iron/sulfates will cure this. Again, looking for advice on this. Thank you!!

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    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Hve you looked at chlorination for iron removal? With the amount of iron you have, a softener will work but will have more problem than having no iron before a softener. Most iron medias are heavy requiring high flow rate for proper backwash. With chlorination, the iron is oxidized, any bacteria is killed and any smell (H2S) is oxidized. Follow this with a carbon unit and the only thing you have left is the hardness. It cost more up front, but the long term is worth the cost.

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    I am leaning toward the same idea. But... sulfate removal? Dont bother with it. Just keep your RO system working properly and ignore the high sulfate level. It is not a concern except for consumption, and even then, only in infants at that level. I would definetly use an RO for drinking, and the Carbon/Chlorine system gives you a good amount of protection for bacterial control, H2s, Iron, Manganese, etc. I was in Columbus Ohio a couple weeks ago and met with some good local dealers. The online retailers can do well too as long as you are willing to put in the time to do install and set-up yourself. I prefer the simple chlorine injection pumps by Chemilizer, others here like the LMI style or Stenner pumps. The chlorine pellet systems are also very cheap and simple. I am not a big fan of them, but admittedly, with a little maintenance, they work great.

    If you have the backwash water and a positive OPR, the filox or pyrolox based systems will work very well for you too, but be ware of the high backwash requirements. Can your pump handle the high backwash rates?

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    DIY Junior Member keithw1977's Avatar
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    Thank you for all of the great information. No one that I've spoken with has mentioned chlorinating our water except for the Kinetico rep but he said he wouldn't recommend it. Our RO system is currently supplying drinking water as well as to our fridge for ice/water.
    As for the backwash rates, I originally looked at the Pyrolox but my concern is my pump wouldn't be able to handle the high backwash rate required.
    You mentioned several good dealers in the Columbus area, can you recommend several? I'm ready to invest in something to help our water but I want to do it right.
    As far as the systems you mention, chlorination and a carbon unit, do you have any advice for these units? I'll begin researching as well.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    A hot water only odor says SRB (sulfate reducing bacteria) which is harmless but can cause iron filters to fail and softeners to be sanitized every few months. Raising the temp on the water heater to 140f for an hour or two kills the bacteria but it will come back as you use water.

    If you remove the anode rod and scrape any of it off (into the tank) while removing it from the tank, which happens most of the time, it's as if you didn't remove the rod/replace the rod.

    High sulfates (over 250 ppm) can cause a laxative effect in infants and adults, especially women. Your RO will reduce the sulfates.

    Chlorination/filtration with a correctly sized backwashed Centaur carbon filter and then a softener is your best choice and an erosion pellet type chlorinator with a special mixing/retention tank is the best choice of chlorination. The mixing tank is 12" x 65" and has a bottom drain while being equivalent to a 120 gallon retention 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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    DIY Junior Member keithw1977's Avatar
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    Ok, so I would have the chlorinator then the carbon filter and then my softener inline in that order? Do you have a reliable reseller online that you would recommend?

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    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Yes that is the order. It requires a little more maintenance than an iron filter, but the water is cleaner and safer IMO. There are dozens of online vendors that sell the equipment. I have not dealt with any of them so I don't know which one is better than the other. I sent you a PM.
    Last edited by mialynette2003; 09-25-2012 at 09:07 AM.

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Dont forget a contact tank. The Chlorine needs time to react with the water.

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    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Gary's "retention tank" also serves as the contact tank. The claim is that the swirly thing inside the tank mixes the chlorine thoroughly with the water, and the contact time is reduced. With a capacity of only 22.2 gallons, the contact time would be reduced by about a factor of 5 compared to the 120-gallon tank. I'm suspicious of that, but Gary has had good experience with it. I like the bottom-drain blowout feature, which is far superior to the steel tank's drain. Much more discussion of this tank at: http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...od-stuff-or-BS

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Garys good experience with this design has merit. Chlorine contact time, like carbon contact time assume laboratory numbers with safety factors built in. The shorter contact time is technically incorrect, but... it will work 95+% of the time without a problem since the contact times are rated on worste case scenarios and testing procedures.

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    oops, glitch.

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    DIY Junior Member keithw1977's Avatar
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    One follow up question. I have a 10" inline sediment filter. Any suggestions on what type of cartridge I should use. It had a wound cartridge in there when we moved in that had not been changed in a long time! I bought a 5 micron cartridge with carbon but have since heard not to use carbon and to get a 10 or 20 micron. Thoughts?

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    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithw1977 View Post
    One follow up question. I have a 10" inline sediment filter. Any suggestions on what type of cartridge I should use. It had a wound cartridge in there when we moved in that had not been changed in a long time! I bought a 5 micron cartridge with carbon but have since heard not to use carbon and to get a 10 or 20 micron. Thoughts?
    A 20 mic sediment filter is best. A washable filter (pleated) will cost more but will last longer. String filters are good but can not be cleaned.

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