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Thread: Help me solve my water issues!

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member jrd's Avatar
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    Default Help me solve my water issues!

    Moving into a house that is new construction, and I have some very hard water, lots of minerals, and VERY strong sulfur smell (on the cold and hot water).

    Here are the numbers from a basic analysis I had done:

    Total Coliform - Absent
    E.Coli - Absent
    Nitrate Nitrogen <1.0 mg/l
    Iron 2.61 mg/l (HIGH!!)
    Manganese 0.339 mg/l (HIGH!!)
    Chloride 144 mg/l
    Sodium 22 mg/l
    Hardness 309 mg/l (HIGH!!)
    pH 8.06


    There appear to be three main issues:

    Hardness, which I need a softener to fix...something high capacity it seems, since my hardness level is so high. I'm guessing a 40k grain softener won't suffice.

    Sulfur smell - I am not sure what to do here.

    Iron - the water oxidizes and in toilet bowls, for instance, it oranges quickly after flushing and stains the bowl rather quickly. Can this be fix with a particulate filter or something else?


    I went through HomeDepot initially and they sent their water people, who ended up being the local Kinetico Dealer. They came out and did some testing and ended up recommending a Kinetico Premier Softener (for the special price of $3100!!), and a SulfurGuard system ($3000 too, eek!). And the OPTION of a RO system (a K5, $1600 installed). So just shy of $8,000 all told, ugh.

    Then I called the company that drilled the well, they suggested a Water-Right Sanitizer Plus for $3900 installed, saying that alone will take care of everything. I'm a bit skeptical.

    I have Culligan coming this week, but I'm curious to see what they will suggest and how much they will want.


    Talking to friends in other parts of the country...I'm not sure if I need one of these solutions, or more of a custom setup. I wish I knew of or could find a competent plumber around here that could install a setup that I mail-order, but I'm also not sure what parts I would mail-order for an initial setup.

    I'm hoping you guys have some good advice, thanks for any help in advance!!

  2. #2
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    This is a great site to read through and see what can be done. There are often many different ways to accomplish the same thing as you are already beginning to see. You also need to know the average gallons of water used per day. Chlorine injection and a softener will take care of most of your problems.
    The water rite unit is very similar to a unit being sold by Lancaster. I have installed 7 of them in the past year or so and as of now, they are all working just fine.

    http://dwb.unl.edu/Teacher/NSF/C01/C...om/comprob.htm
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 09-08-2013 at 04:14 PM.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member jrd's Avatar
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    Good info, thanks Tom.

    I don't know much about Lancaster, but I just looked at their website. I'm thinking maybe I could order from them...and find a local plumber to install?

  4. #4
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Good plan.....
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member jrd's Avatar
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    Do you know much about any of the Pelican systems, or have experience with them?

  6. #6
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of softeners that are "salt free" there are several on the market and I suspect thanks to the EPA there will be a whole lot more to come.

    Quoted in part from the link below.

    http://www.uswatersystems.com/blog/2...-conditioners/

    In a recent study, funded by the Water Research Foundation (which is still on-going and not yet complete), it was found that the TAC Technology reduced scale by 96.4 percent, while the electromagnetic technology only reduced sale by 41.7%.1 By my math, the electromagnetic technology was less than half as effective. According to the Water Quality Association (WQA) “softened water” “is water that contains less than one grain per gallon (gpg) of hardness ions.” Therefore, any device that is effective in reducing the water hardness to less than one gpg is a softener. Conversely, and water treatment device that does not reduce the hardness of the water to less than 1 gpg cannot be called a softener and it dos not produce soft water.

    Pelican™ says that they have “naturally softened water, without salt” and calls their product a water softener. It may condition the water, but it absolutely doesn’t soften the water by causing it to contain less than 1 gpg hardness ions. In fact, they go on to say: “The Pelican™ Natursoft keeps the healthy minerals in the water so you can enjoy naturally softened water.” Naturally softened water contains no minerals and they say that they keep the minerals in the water, so the two statements are contradictory and misleading. Pelican™ may be a water “conditioner” but to call it a water “softener” is extremely misleading to a consumer. I have tested both Easy Water and Pelican™ and can find no basis for claims that you will use less soaps and detergents or that you will have whiter and brighter clothes. I know that they have some glowing testimonials, but I wonder if some of the endorsements are by people who have seen these “little green men” as well.

    Chem1.com is also a very good site for debunking snake oil water conditioninng
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 09-09-2013 at 05:47 AM.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  7. #7
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    This is a great site to read through and see what can be done.
    Good overall information, but the links to products and ordering look to be broken; any idea what happened to them?

  8. #8
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Anti-Scale, TAC, Magnetic, etc. We sell and manufacture all of them. But... Ask anyone on this site who owns their own real business in the water treatment industry, or who was worked in the industry for more than 5 years, or who actually live in a house... I can almost guess every one of us has a salt softener as part of their water treatment system.

    The salt free solutions are nice, but often times they are ineffective. Iron, manganese, copper, etc must be removed prior to these technologies.

    Several options exist for your water treatment conditions. Are you wanting to do it yourself, or would you prefer to have a company come out, and have the resposibility if it does not work to your satisfaction? Online can save you some money, but once the units are installed, they are usually yours to keep.

    My suggestion, if you are going to do it yourself is to cheat a bit.

    A simple chlorine injector (pumped, pellet etc), with a contact tank, Catalytic GAC backwashing tank, and a traditional softener. You should also buy a few simple test kits. This would probably cost far less, but it will require some regular maintenance on your part. Adding salt, adding chlorine, etc.

    Chemical free designs using air injection are also very popular and work most of the time, but have their disadvantages too.

    What are your thoughts so far?

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member jrd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Anti-Scale, TAC, Magnetic, etc. We sell and manufacture all of them. But... Ask anyone on this site who owns their own real business in the water treatment industry, or who was worked in the industry for more than 5 years, or who actually live in a house... I can almost guess every one of us has a salt softener as part of their water treatment system.

    The salt free solutions are nice, but often times they are ineffective. Iron, manganese, copper, etc must be removed prior to these technologies.

    Several options exist for your water treatment conditions. Are you wanting to do it yourself, or would you prefer to have a company come out, and have the resposibility if it does not work to your satisfaction? Online can save you some money, but once the units are installed, they are usually yours to keep.

    My suggestion, if you are going to do it yourself is to cheat a bit.

    A simple chlorine injector (pumped, pellet etc), with a contact tank, Catalytic GAC backwashing tank, and a traditional softener. You should also buy a few simple test kits. This would probably cost far less, but it will require some regular maintenance on your part. Adding salt, adding chlorine, etc.

    Chemical free designs using air injection are also very popular and work most of the time, but have their disadvantages too.

    What are your thoughts so far?

    Great info. Thank you. One of the local companies I've spoken with (after getting past the Kinetico stuff) recommended an air injection/aerator for oxidizing and removing the ferrous iron. You say they're popular...how do they compare with a chlorine injector, and pros and cons?

    As of now, it looks like I'm heading down the path of a Fleck/Clack valve softener with something on the front (either an air injection or chlorine injection). Depending on how this does, I will drink that, or get an RO too, for the drinking water.

    I have two more outfits coming out for quotes before I make a final decision, I'll post up my options here when I know more.

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrd View Post
    As of now, it looks like I'm heading down the path of a Fleck/Clack valve softener with something on the front (either an air injection or chlorine injection). Depending on how this does, I will drink that, or get an RO too, for the drinking water.
    I would get the RO as well. Once you have a taste of that clean water it is hard to go back. I am on municipal water and have a carbon tank, softener, and RO. I have tasted the water after each and there is no comparison to the RO water.
    Lifespeed

  11. #11
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Air injection works most but not all of the time. Probably 85%. Chlorine will work 95+% of the time. Many local companies will refine their equipment to the local water conditions and iron types... it can be difficult. Also, tannins, H2S, manganese, iron, and bio issues are better taken care of with Chlorine injection/contact tanks.

    Air injection requires some maintenance, the iron precipitates on everything where it oxidizes.

  12. #12
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    The line between the injector and the tank generally plugs up. If that line is installed with unions, its simple to take it out, clean it and put it back in place. Injectors also plug up.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  13. #13
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Another vote for chlorine.

  14. #14
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Chlorene is good but air injection has its place too and if its set up right and with servicability it is a good alternative.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  15. #15
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    It is not unless the dealer wants the service calls it causes. Or a DIYer just loves doing maintenance.
    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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