Advice on which softener / combo reduces chloramines best?

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bankingdom

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Hey everyone, sorry for the newbie kind of post, but I'm really getting confused with all the softener options out there.

We are on City water
Hardness: 8-11 Grains/gallon per city website - I measured 9-10
Total hardness: 110-180 ppm
Total dissolved solids: 180-220
Chloramines: 3.4 ppm
Total dissolved solids: 175
We have 4 showers with 4 person household with occasional mother in law staying with us.

We had Costco Ecowater out and they recommended their version with reverse osmosis for kitchen sink for about $6500 installed.

Then I started to read about Fleck and Genesis.

Our daughter has really bad eczema so we wanted to remove chloramines from the showers for her (voodoo or not, not sure if it helps with eczema, but we are willing to try anything) so was looking into the Genesis model with built in filter that "reduces" chloramine as per their rep. This has a KDF 85 filter, but upon reading it doesn't do much for chlorine or chloramine?


I heard the other option is to get a separate Catalytic carbon filter prior to the softener to remove the chloramine. Any idea on a reasonable priced one of those?

I was going to get this and pair it with the Catalytic carbon filter if there isn't a all in one solution available?

Then also confused about the size to get:
Daily Water Use: 4 People X 75 Gallons per day = 300 gallons per day.

Daily Softening Requirement = 10 grains per gallon X 300 gallons per day = 3000 grains per day

Is a 32K grain unit sufficient?

Sorry for all the questions! Any help is much appreciated!
 

Bannerman

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Chloramines (multiple compounds containing chlorine + ammonia) are more stable and have longer lasting disinfection properties compared to chlorine, thereby making chloramines much more difficult to remove.

Some with skin sensitivities find chloramines will cause or worsen dryness & flaking, rashes, eczema and also eye and sinus irritation. For others, hard water alone can contribute to many of the same skin issues.

While granular activated carbon is an extremely effective filtration media to remove many chemical compounds, for the carbon to be most effective, there must be adequate contact time for chemicals to be adsorbed into the carbon's pores. Catalytic carbon is activated granular carbon that has been surface treated to enhance the carbon's cataylitic capacity which will catalyze harmful compounds such as chloramines, into less harmful compounds which will be more rapidly adsorbed and removed by the carbon's adsorption action.

The recommended flow rate to acheive effective removal is 1-3 GPM per cubic foot of carbon media. A flow rate range is specified as some more stubborn chemicals will require longer contact time with the media before full removal is acheived.

For point-of-entry filtration for even a small home, the usual recommendation is minimum 1.5 ft3 carbon, but a greater quantity of media will allow greater GPM with less risk of exceeding the recommended effective flow rate. As I'm sure you will appreciate, that quantity of media will require a separate 10" X 54" or larger media tank, thereby requiring an independent filtration system located before the softener. While some online dealers will claim a back washing control valve is unnecessary for a carbon system, periodic back washing is recommended to flush out sediment and debris that entered from the incoming water stream, as well as to reclassify the media within the tank so as to eliminate channels through the media which will reduce the media's effectiveness.

Fleck and Clack are two brands of control valves that are most recommended on this forum. The Fleck 5600 models were designed several decades back, but they have limitations which make them most suitable when the water supply diameter is 3/4" or less, and for filtration systems equipped with a 10" diameter (1.5 ft3) or smaller media tank.

Obtaining water treatment equipment from an online dealer is not recommended as most online dealers compete on cost, not quality. Even if they specify a quality Fleck or Clack valve, many of the other components (resin, tanks, top/bottom screen etc, will often be of low quality, sourced from offshore suppliers.

Even if you plan to install a system yourself, recommend speaking with generic water treatment professionals in your area to determine if you can purchase from them. Local water treatment professional that normally install
their own systems will be less prone to utilize cheap, low quality components since a component failure within the warranty period will cost them for a replacement part and service visit.

For salt efficiency and more consistent water quality, a larger softener system is recommended.

For example, 1 ft3 softening resin will have a total hardness removal capacity of 32,000 grains, but to restore that amount of capacity will require 20 lbs salt each regeneration cycle.

A softener containing 1.5 ft3 resin will have 48,000 grains total capacity, but maybe programmed to regenerate when 36,000 grains has been depleted, which will require only 12 lbs salt each regeneration cycle.

While your hardness test identified 10 gpg at your location, that was only a 'snapshot' of hardness at that particular time. There will often be some hardness variance from a municipal source, usualy during times of higher water usage or distribution system maintenance. Since 11 gpg hardness is the identified maximum, suggest basing your household usage and softener programming on 11 gpg.
 
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bankingdom

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Chloramines (multiple compounds containing chlorine + ammonia) are more stable and have longer lasting disinfection properties compared to chlorine, thereby making chloramines much more difficult to remove.

Some with skin sensitivities find chloramines will cause or worsen dryness & flaking, rashes, eczema and also eye and sinus irritation. For others, hard water alone can contribute to many of the same skin issues.

While granular activated carbon is an extremely effective filtration media to remove many chemical compounds, for the carbon to be most effective, there must be adequate contact time for chemicals to be adsorbed into the carbon's pores. Catalytic carbon is activated granular carbon that has been surface treated to enhance the carbon's cataylitic capacity which will catalyze harmful compounds such as chloramines, into less harmful compounds which will be more rapidly adsorbed and removed by the carbon's adsorption action.

The recommended flow rate to acheive effective removal is 1-3 GPM per cubic foot of carbon media. A flow rate range is specified as some more stubborn chemicals will require longer contact time with the media before full removal is acheived.

For point-of-entry filtration for even a small home, the usual recommendation is minimum 1.5 ft3 carbon, but a greater quantity of media will allow greater GPM with less risk of exceeding the recommended effective flow rate. As I'm sure you will appreciate, that quantity of media will require a separate 10" X 54" or larger media tank, thereby requiring an independent filtration system located before the softener. While some online dealers will claim a back washing control valve is unnecessary for a carbon system, periodic back washing is recommended to flush out sediment and debris that entered from the incoming water stream, as well as to reclassify the media within the tank so as to eliminate channels through the media which will reduce the media's effectiveness.

Fleck and Clack are two brands of control valves that are most recommended on this forum. The Fleck 5600 models were designed several decades back, but they have limitations which make them most suitable when the water supply diameter is 3/4" or less, and for filtration systems equipped with a 10" diameter (1.5 ft3) or smaller media tank.

Obtaining water treatment equipment from an online dealer is not recommended as most online dealers compete on cost, not quality. Even if they specify a quality Fleck or Clack valve, many of the other components (resin, tanks, top/bottom screen etc, will often be of low quality, sourced from offshore suppliers.

Even if you plan to install a system yourself, recommend speaking with generic water treatment professionals in your area to determine if you can purchase from them. Local water treatment professional that normally install
their own systems will be less prone to utilize cheap, low quality components since a component failure within the warranty period will cost them for a replacement part and service visit.

For salt efficiency and more consistent water quality, a larger softener system is recommended.

For example, 1 ft3 softening resin will have a total hardness removal capacity of 32,000 grains, but to restore that amount of capacity will require 20 lbs salt each regeneration cycle.

A softener containing 1.5 ft3 resin will have 48,000 grains total capacity, but maybe programmed to regenerate when 36,000 grains has been depleted, which will require only 12 lbs salt each regeneration cycle.

While your hardness test identified 10 gpg at your location, that was only a 'snapshot' of hardness at that particular time. There will often be some hardness variance from a municipal source, usualy during times of higher water usage or distribution system maintenance. Since 11 gpg hardness is the identified maximum, suggest basing your household usage and softener programming on 11 gpg.

Thank you so much for this great information @Bannerman !!!

So from what your saying I would definitely need a separate tank for the carbon media and then have this water go to the softener.
I have a trusted plumber that is going to install the system for me, but I have no idea where to start to buy them. I don't think there are many local water companies, mostly we have Culligan and Costco Ecowater, and Kinetico.

I might have to research a bit more and see if I can find a local dealer.

Do you at least have some links of something online that I can get an idea of what I'm looking to buy? Especially the Carbon tank and filter medium?

If I can't find a local dealer, I may just end up buying something online and having my plumber install it.

Thank you!
 

Bannerman

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Below is a link to Impact Water Products catalogue, which is owned by forum contributor Ditttohead. The initial page lists various Fleck 5800 based softeners and carbon filters, with other Fleck and Clack based units shown on subsequent pages.

Ditttohead has been participating on this forum less than he has in the past, likely due to increased workload following the ease on COVID restrictions.

As IWP is a manufacturer and distributor of water treatment products, it sells to water treatment dealers, not to the general public. Ditttohead will occaisionally provide local dealer recommendations to forum members who ask via Private Message.

https://view.publitas.com/impact-water-products/2018-catalog-final/page/38-39
 
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bankingdom

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Below is a link to Impact Water Products catalogue, which is owned by forum contributor Ditttohead. The initial page lists various Fleck 5800 based softeners and carbon filters, with other Fleck and Clack based units shown on subsequent pages.

Ditttohead has been participating on this forum less than he has in the past, likely due to increased workload following the ease on COVID restrictions.

As IWP is a manufacturer and distributor of water treatment products, it sells to water treatment dealers, not to the general public. Ditttohead will occaisionally provide local dealer recommendations to forum members who ask via Private Message.

https://view.publitas.com/impact-water-products/2018-catalog-final/page/38-39
Thank you @Bannerman !

I will reach out to him via PM.
One last question....I found one of my neighbors used this company. Seems expensive but looks like a rebranded Pentair Bluetooth system.

Has a 2 in 1 tank with KDF and Catalytic carbon filter, then goes to the salt softener.

They also have two separate tank system with the KDF + Catalytic carbon then another tank with the softener.

Any input on these products, seem like they meet my criteria for removing the chloramines via the catalytic carbon? Is it just a rebranded Fleck / Pentair system?
 

Firethorne

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Thank you so much for this great information @Bannerman !!!

So from what your saying I would definitely need a separate tank for the carbon media and then have this water go to the softener.
I have a trusted plumber that is going to install the system for me, but I have no idea where to start to buy them. I don't think there are many local water companies, mostly we have Culligan and Costco Ecowater, and Kinetico.

I might have to research a bit more and see if I can find a local dealer.

Do you at least have some links of something online that I can get an idea of what I'm looking to buy? Especially the Carbon tank and filter medium?

If I can't find a local dealer, I may just end up buying something online and having my plumber install it.

Thank you!
Which carbon filter did you eventually go with? I am looking to add the carbon before the water softener as well.
 
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