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Thread: Iron Filter / Water Softener - how to choose

  1. #16
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    For about $20 you can buy a regular housing for a 10" x 2.5" cartridge with an off/on valve in head that includes a pressure relief valve button. For a few more bucks you can get that in a clear sump so you can see the water inside the housing. That type saves on the space needed to install it and the time it takes to install it and you don't need additional shut off valves.

    To disinfect the water heater, you fill the housing 1/2-3/4 full of bleach and then run hot water into a glass at the kitchen sink and bending over to get your nose on the rim of the glass, smell for bleach/chlorine and when you smell it shut off the water. If after doing that for like 10 minutes and not smelling bleach, you probably need more bleach in your filter housing.

    If it were me, I'd turn the heat up on the heater to 140f for an hour and in the future repeat as needed every few weeks/months etc. but....

    It should be installed on the outlet of the softener. If you want to sanitize the softener use a 1/4 cup non scented regular bleach in a gallon of water and pour it into the water in the salt tank. Let it set for an hour and then do a manual regeneration and don't use water until the regeneration is finished. Doing the regeneration on your way to bed is best.
    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.

  2. #17
    DIY Junior Member Platin465's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    For about $20 you can buy a regular housing for a 10" x 2.5" cartridge with an off/on valve in head that includes a pressure relief valve button. For a few more bucks you can get that in a clear sump so you can see the water inside the housing. That type saves on the space needed to install it and the time it takes to install it and you don't need additional shut off valves.

    To disinfect the water heater, you fill the housing 1/2-3/4 full of bleach and then run hot water into a glass at the kitchen sink and bending over to get your nose on the rim of the glass, smell for bleach/chlorine and when you smell it shut off the water. If after doing that for like 10 minutes and not smelling bleach, you probably need more bleach in your filter housing.

    If it were me, I'd turn the heat up on the heater to 140f for an hour and in the future repeat as needed every few weeks/months etc. but....

    It should be installed on the outlet of the softener. If you want to sanitize the softener use a 1/4 cup non scented regular bleach in a gallon of water and pour it into the water in the salt tank. Let it set for an hour and then do a manual regeneration and don't use water until the regeneration is finished. Doing the regeneration on your way to bed is best.
    Hey, so that worked! I set the water heater to 160f for about an hour and a half, then ran the hot on each faucet for a bit until they all had water at ~150f for a minute or so. Hopefully that's enough to kill gunk in the lines a bit as well.

    I'll clean out the softener this weekend. I haven't put iron out in it for a while, so I'll do a whole cleaning on it, do the iron out, flush it again, then run bleach on it before we go to bed.

    Thanks all!

  3. #18
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    The odor will return
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  4. #19
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    The odor will return
    Yup, as I said, adding H202 (or bleach) gets old after a while. The biggest annoyance was taking down the cartridge (which was full of water, of course). Something like the Rusco, with a bottom drain, makes it a lot easier. A new anode rod fixed it for me permanently, but the nigh-temperature water is icing on the cake.

  5. #20
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    http://www.watts.com/pages/learnAbou...asp?catId=1159

    Before you get excited over hot water, please click above
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  6. #21
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Been there, read that. Still excited, but I am going to install a tempering valve in the HW line to the bathrooms.

  7. #22
    DIY Junior Member Platin465's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    Yup, as I said, adding H202 (or bleach) gets old after a while. The biggest annoyance was taking down the cartridge (which was full of water, of course). Something like the Rusco, with a bottom drain, makes it a lot easier. A new anode rod fixed it for me permanently, but the nigh-temperature water is icing on the cake.
    I appreciate that you brought up this fix. I will be heating the water to max whenever the smell comes back. My goal though is to stop this from happening to begin with. If this is bacterial, then where is it coming from? If from the water source, then how do I clean it before it gets into my water softener and house?
    Right now I've got slime in my toilet tanks and since the leak into the bowl, stained toilets. I thought stains were due to iron content only, but I think it is more because of this bacteria and its effect on the iron. Should I start a new thread?

  8. #23
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Slime says iron related bacteria (IRB), a harmless group of both aerobic and anaerobic types of bacteria. They live in the ground and groundwater and eat iron and release iron when they die which causes rust stains. IRB can cause odor problems very similar to H2S.

    You can shock the well (with bleach), but that can lead to serious problems with the well casing, the pump etc. and your water quality. Or you can use other means used to kill bacteria with the exception of UV light. You need to fix the water leaking toilets.

    BTW, Tom's article is aimed at plumbers' liability and you should ask him about the severe increase in very harmful bacteria growth in water heaters since the government mandated reduction in the max temp of water heaters from 140f to 120f.
    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. #24
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    There are lots of things living in the average (120F) domestic water heater. If you have the good fortune to be living in a California prison, your hot water is at only 105, but you should have thought about that earlier in life. One of the reasons I'm concerned about those temperatures is the ability of pathogenic bacteria to survive and thrive in those conditions, most notably Legionella pneunmophila, which causes Legionnaires' Disease.

    According to the WHO paper "Legionella and the prevention of legionellosis," temperature affects the survival of Legionella as follows:

    • Above 70 C (158 F) - Legionella dies almost instantly
    • At 60 C (140 F) - 90% die in 2 minutes
    • At 50 C (122 F) - 90% die in 80124 minutes, depending on strain
    • 48 to 50 C (118 to 122 F) - Can survive but do not multiply
    • 32 to 42 C (90 to 108 F) - Ideal growth range
    • 25 to 45 C (77 to 113 F) - Growth range
    • Below 20 C (68 F) - Can survive but are dormant, even below freezing

    Other sources claim alternate temperature ranges:

    • 60 to 70 C (140 to 158 F) to 80 C (176 F) - Disinfection range
    • 66 C (151 F) - Legionella die within 2 minutes
    • 60 C (140 F) - Legionella die within 32 minutes
    • 55 C (131 F) - Legionella die within 5 to 6 hours
    • 20 C (68 F) to 45 C (113 F) - Legionella multiply
    • 20 C (68 F) & below - Legionella are dormant

    Most municipal water suppliers ensure their water is realtively pathogen-free, but now and then stuff happens and you get boil-water orders. I suppose some people comply with them, but I don't know any who do. And who boils water before pouring it over their head for a shower? No, they stand in the hot shower and breathe the aerosol of water and bacteria directly into their lungs. Well-water users don't issue their own steenking boil-water order, but usually take whatever they get. I LOVE my 160F water produced by my solar system at no ongoing cost.

    Having said that, even after warning my guests about the excessively hot water, I'm mindful of the danger of scalding as outline in the references Tom directed us to above, so I' ve bought a tempering valve which I will get around to installing one of these days, and will then have the exact configuration recommended by Watts:

    Name:  Scalding-Watts pg 19.jpg
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    Last edited by Mikey; 01-11-2013 at 05:52 AM.

  10. #25
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Thanks Mikey, great information! so few people understand this important part of plumbing. I have attached the Rheem hot water temperature/scald chart. Excessive temperatures are very dangerous and not allowed by most plumbing codes, but without it, the water heater can become a pathogenic nightmare. The installation of a tempering valve is critical to protect guests, elderly, children etc from potential severe injury or death. Name:  hot.jpg
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  11. #26
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    To do it right the water heater should be set at 160 with a tempering valve also set at 160. Then every fixture served should have an asse 1070 device installed at the point of use because legionella can hid in the piping itself. Recirculating is also key for runs longer than 100' but there are those that think that people have the god given right to expose their family and friends to scald burns and codes are just there for someone to make money off of.

    Plumbers protect the health and SAFETY of the public. Hacks living in motor homes on wheels don't give a crap and have no problem giving unsuspecting folks bad advice.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  12. #27
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    To do it right the water heater should be set at 160 with a tempering valve also set at 160. Then every fixture served should have an asse 1070 device installed at the point of use because legionella can hid in the piping itself.
    What's the point of the valve at the water heater? If I were plumbing a new house, I'd recirculate at 160 and put the ASSE devices downstream at each fixture.

    BTW, the lawyer-document you referenced recommends a "comfortable" shower temperature of 100. I checked mine today and found it was at 112. I used to keep my hot tub at 108. Different strokes, I guess.

  13. #28
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Added safety. Water heats are notorious for temperature swings and you need consistent temperature for the point of use valves.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  14. #29
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    you need consistent temperature for the point of use valves.
    Didn't know that; thanks. Pretty sorry design. But then, as you say, plumbing ain't rocket science...

  15. #30
    DIY Junior Member bookemdanno's Avatar
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    A sufficient amount of H2O2 added to the OUTLET of a water heater and allowed to sit there overnight is much safer than turning up the heat. If you first flush off the bottom for several minutes, you will remove some of sediment that the bacteria can thrive in. This will solve the rotten egg odor 95% of the time and you won't void the water heater warranty by removing the anode rod (which rarely works). Hydrogen peroxide kills faster than bleach and when it breaks down, the second oxygen molecule comes off becoming water.

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