High hardness calcite neutralizer

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Enzog

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I had my well water tested as I was having copper residue in my sinks and shower. The first draw copper test was high. pH was 6.3 and hardness was 1.6 gpg. I decided to install a calcite neutralizer.

I went with a downflow setup: a Fleck 5600sxt, a 10x44 tank, 3M-050p calcite, well pump runs around 40-60 psi. Maximum flow should be around 6-8gpm.

The problem I am having is that we have a lot of hardness in the water. I expected it to increase but it seems like an excessive amount. I tested the pH and got 6.4 from the well and 7.5 from the faucet with the neutralizer at high flow. Before I purchase a water softener I would like to make sure that the calcite neutralizer is working properly. Any help would be appreciated!
 

Reach4

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Are you saying you have a softener already, and are considering replacing that with a higher-capacity unit?

You should get a Hach 5-B test to measure hardness.

Your pH numbers say the calcite unit is working.
 

Enzog

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I don't have a water softner yet. My water tests between 20-30 mg/l before the acid neutralizer and maxes the tester at work out at 500 mg/l. I can pick up a 5B test kit from Hach if needed but I know that it is way too high right now. The neutralizer has been in service for months and I back flushed it for an hour before putting it in service. I expected it to clear up but it still hasn't. I can see small amounts of calcite settled in the 5 micron filter after the acid neutralizer.
 

Reach4

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500 mg/l is over 29 grains. of hardness. Are you sure the tester at work is a water hardness tester?

I would consider 30 mg/l hardness to be soft water. To neutralize acidic water without raising hardness, soda ash injection can be used.

To protect copper pipes without raising the pH, there is another kind of injection that can be used.
 

Bannerman

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A electronic TDS meter will not indicate water hardness, and a test strip hardness indicator is usually fairly inaccurate compared to the Hach 5B titration test method. The Hach 5B is accurate for water treatment professionals, and is considered the minimum test equipment needed for a DIYer that is planning to install or maintain a water softener.

When obtaining a water sample to test from an acid neutralizer, do not utilize an initial sample obtained after the water has been sitting for an extended time in the neutralizer as that water will have had extended contact with the media. That can result in a somewhat higher pH and hardness result compared to water that has only briefly passed through the media during normal water use throughout the day.

To obtain a sample to test for pH and hardness, do so directly after you finish showering or after filling the laundry washer with a large volume of fresh water.

The recommended backwash rate for calcium carbonate (calcite) is 8-12 GPM per square foot to achieve up to 35% media bed expansion. In a 10" diameter tank, that equates to 4.3-6.5 GPM but as calcium carbonate is heavy media, whenever possible, use the highest recommended backwash rate, or even slightly higher.

The Fleck 5600 control valve has backwash flow limitations and so is not really the best valve for an acid neutralizer. Suggest testing the drain flow rate during the backwash cycle to determine the actual rate. The most accurate result will be to measure the flow rate where the drain line is connected to the home's drainage system. This is performed by counting the seconds needed to fill a 5-gallon pail. By measuring the flow rate after the AN's drain line, the measurement will include any flow restriction occurring within the AN drain line.

If calcite media particles are found in a sediment filter located after the outlet of the AN, then that would usually indicate a failed bottom screen within the AN's media tank. Was any gravel underbedding installed within the media tank?
 
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ditttohead

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Since you had basically soft water, you should have considered a pH neutralizer using soda ash and polyphosphate... still a viable option. Can you post a real water test so we can evaluate it?
 

Enzog

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I measured the backwash flow through the drain line at ~2.66 gpm. I have the filter set to backwash once a month and there never seems to be any reduction in water pressure at the faucets or shower. There is no gravel bed in the AN. Is that something required with downflow systems? I attached the water test I had done before adding the AN. Also, the screen in the AN for the water outlet is:

PRODUCT INFO​

Supplier: Clack Corp
Supplier Part #: D780C2A55P


Basket Riser, 1.05x54 Basket Riser 1.05" x 54"
 

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Enzog

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Thank you for the help so far. I just want to check back in. Am I supposed to be using a gravel bed? Would this make a difference? Is this screen adequate for an acid neutralizer? I followed advice from this forum that made it sound like a calcite neutralizer was the best system for pH that is close to neutral and water with low hardness as it wouldn't have a huge effect on hardness.
 

Bannerman

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made it sound like a calcite neutralizer was the best system for pH that is close to neutral and water with low hardness as it wouldn't have a huge effect on hardness.
Since your water directly from the well does does not already require softening, then a calcite neutralizer would not be the best choice as it will impart hardness into the water.

To reduce the pH without adding hardness, the soda ash and polyphosphate method that Ditttohead recommended in post #6 would be the preferred choice.
 
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