First time living on well water. Some help/advice needed.

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MikeinPA

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Trying to get advice about my water.
I have a new construction home and the builder provided the water set up. I have a water softener, small filter, and a UV light.

The issues I am having are

1. Going thought a lot of bags of salt.
I go through about 2 bags of 40lb Solar Naturals Water Softener Salt Crystal salt every 6 weeks. The settings seem to be set to refresh every 5 days. I spoke to the well company who installed it and said this is normal and needed for this property. Spoke to other neighbors and a bag of salt lasts about 2-3 months. Not sure if they are refreshing it so often due to the high iron levels.

2. Iron in my sinks/toilet.
I did a water test and sent it to a local university for it to be tested. It showed Iron levels were <0.05. but my sinks and toilets all have orange rings in it. My water filter has orange residue as well. I had a neighbor have a similar issue. He got an iron breaker and said it helped but still has the orange stains but not as bad as before. I spoke to a local plumber who said this area is bad with Iron. He mentioned that It could be TDS of iron but when I reached out to the lab they said the concentration of total iron is below detection limits, so no need measure dissolved iron since it will also be non-detect.

I do not want to just buy an iron filter as they can be pricey if they wont help. Is there specific models or brands that are better than others? Any specific details I should be looking for an iron filter.

3. Want clean and safe water.
I am trying to get the cleanest and safest water I can and was told from a few people that a RO system is something I could look into. Not sure how anyone feels about this on the boards. Any brands or companies to look into/ avoid. What do I look for.

I had a plumber look into my set up. He mentioned an iron filter may help. Said a RO system is something I may be interested in as well. He didnt want to mess with the softener settings since he didnt set them and not sure why they were set as they were. He proposed to Install a new whole house filter atlas filter with shut off valves on both sides and drain on bottom and that is larger than current one. He will pipe water lines so water goes through filter first before water softener. Apparently the water company who installed my system had the Filtering the water after the softener. That could indirectly help the water softener to work my efficiently.

Apologize for the long winded first post. I am just kind of stuck right now. Just looking for some advice on what to do.
I have the water test results if needed.I can provide the softener settings as well.

Thanks in advance.
 

Smokeykurt

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For the water test, did you test the water before your softener or other filters? To understand the right system(s) to put in, you'll likely need the pre-treated water information. It sounds like your water test was after the softener, which, maybe at the time the softener and filter reduced the iron to 0, but after a period of time, it wasn't able to keep up with the level of iron and your water usage.

If you are getting yellow stains, you likely have iron above 2 ppm (give or take) at the very least. Test your water before filtration first, of course though.

General notes:
Water softeners and those little blue filters are not usually fit to treat iron issues unless it is such a small amount of iron. The filter is probably in place to reduce to 5 micron so the UV system can work, and isn't there specifically for iron. It could go before the water softener, but I doubt it will entirely solve an iron issue if you have one. You'll likely need something for treating iron (a larger backwash style iron filter/system) if you are getting iron stains.

Regarding RO, I use that for my drinking water, under the sink. That's essentially just for taste however in my case. The UV system is what makes your water safe to drink, in your case I would imagine. Iron is actually not a safety issue as far as I'm aware...although it obviously stains fixtures and sucks. If you're worried about safety, get a separate bacteria test.

Also note, I'm a DIY guy, and my experience with this is mostly from having to treat crap water at my house and my folks house. Maybe some guys with more experience will chime in.

TL;DR
Get a water test for iron/hardness and other stuffs for your water. Make sure the water source is before the filtration/treatment or after they are in bypass for a bit. This will let you know what you are dealing with. Water Softeners suck at removing iron, and they are largely just for softening your water. If you put in an iron system, you may be able to reduce the frequency of cycling in the softener, which would lessen salt usage. It's possible whoever set up the softener increased the cycles to compensate for iron. That's be my guess at least.
 

MikeinPA

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Appreciate the response

Water was tested at the kitchen sink. So definitely after the softer and UV light etc.

The test was comprehensive. Basically covered harness and any bacteria. Sent it to a local university testing center. Iron, didn’t come up but I very clearly have orange stains on all my faucets.

Do you have any preference on a RO brand or what to look for when purchasing one?
 

Smokeykurt

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Regarding testing/iron
You'll want to test the water before treatment, before the softener, as that will tell you what you're dealing with from a hardness and iron standpoint. If the iron before treatment is above 2-3 ppm iron, the softener might have trouble keeping up with it. If you're having orange stains, it's likely that your iron is too high for the softener to fully handle. But that's just my thought.

Regarding RO
Mine is just an under the sink Whirlpool WHER25. It's what was in the house when I bought it and I don't know much about them beyond that and changing the filters on it. It's just for taste (in my case at least), and is not a safety related thing. It does make the treated water taste like bottled water though, which is cool.

Regarding an iron filter (noticed your question in the first post)
I wonder (I'm sure actually lol) if anyone else on the forum has better input then me. Mine is a Genesis AIO (2 cubic ft material) with ozone, which I felt comfortable rolling the dice with online on. installed it within the last couple months, and thus far, it's been great. I think you'll need your pre-treated results for anybody to recommend anything specific. I know my system had to have a PH of at least 7, so maybe make sure to get a PH test as well.

Hope that helps! Again, I'm just a DIY guy. So take the above as friendly advice and not gospel.
 

ditttohead

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Without a proper test, no real answers can be given. Get a test like the linked NTL test, I prefer the well standard. I review these tests many times a day and this company has been fairly good for many years. NTLWATERTEST
As to an iron reduction system, this depends highly on many factors that will be discovered with a proper water test. many iron reduction systems are worthless due to specific water conditions. Others can cause serious problems if not taken care of properly. Check out the picture, this is an improperly applied iron reduction system...
1702322249418.png
 
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