Time to tackle water quality: test results and my current setup

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Zayd

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Good evening, all. I'd appreciate guidance on how I should tackle my water situation.

We moved into a house in Plymouth, Michigan, about two years ago and this is my first time on well and septic. A kitchen renovation and other higher-priority projects consumed my time until now, but I've always had the water setup on my mind.

Current setup
I have an older 2500 Econominder softener that is likely original to the house (1991). The filter mounted on the wall is a GE Smart Water Chemical Reduction Filter.

IMG_9546.JPG IMG_9547.JPG IMG_9548.JPG


Test Results
I sent samples to the state laboratory and received the following results.

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Concerns
1. The water leaves lots of mineral buildup on fixtures like shower heads and orange stains in the toilets, sinks, and showers.
2. The taste is definitely iron-y, with some other flavors occasionally peppered in there. My wife and daughters also complain about what the water is doing to their hair, whatever that means.
3. The brine tank consumes salt very slowly -- as in one bag of salt in 1.5 years with a family of five. I've poked down through the semi-melded-together mass of salt and it doesn't appear there is a salt bridge underneath it all. There is a few inches of salty water at the bottom.


Based on my reading here, it seems that these should be my actions:

- I may need to address the coliform, although we have been drinking this water with no ill effect. According to the state, it could have been contaminated at collection.
- I'm not inclined to replace the softener if I can get it to perform as it should. I'm thinking I should do an Iron Out wash of the mineral tank using the standard method of IO in the brine well. I'm hoping my resin beads are just so loaded up that this will immediately improve the mineral buildup and taste concerns. The alternative is to replace the resin beads in the mineral tank.
- It seems I should clean out my brine tank and start with new salt, but that's just a feeling and not based on any real expectation that this will solve anything. Mostly I just want to make sure everything down low looks fine.

Do these actions make sense. Should I start there and then reassess?
 

Reach4

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1. I think positive coliform tests are often from sampling technique. But if you don't actually have coliform from the well, a good sanitizing is a good idea. It may already be too cold to gather the materials and then do the outdoor work. https://terrylove.com/forums/index....izing-extra-attention-to-4-inch-casing.65845/ is my sanitizing write-up.

2. Iron Out treatment is a very good ideal. Get the big bottle from Menards.

3. Looks like you already cleaned the brine tank.

4. For maintenance, I would clean the injector screen, and maybe clean the 2-part injector. Inspect that water is not coming out of the drain line when not regenerating.

5. Not the softener, but have you checked/set the air precharge in the pressure tank within the past 2 years?
 

Zayd

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1. I think positive coliform tests are often from sampling technique. But if you don't actually have coliform from the well, a good sanitizing is a good idea. It may already be too cold to gather the materials and then do the outdoor work. https://terrylove.com/forums/index....izing-extra-attention-to-4-inch-casing.65845/ is my sanitizing write-up.

2. Iron Out treatment is a very good ideal. Get the big bottle from Menards.

3. Looks like you already cleaned the brine tank.

4. For maintenance, I would clean the injector screen, and maybe clean the 2-part injector. Inspect that water is not coming out of the drain line when not regenerating.

5. Not the softener, but have you checked/set the air precharge in the pressure tank within the past 2 years?

3. I did not -- that's what it looks like now. My concern is the low water usage, so maybe there's a bridge or some issue at the bottom of the brine well that I'm not seeing.

4. Will do.

5. I've not done that. I'll read up on how. Is that a regular maintenance task? I've not noticed weak water pressure.

Thanks for the guidance.
 

Reach4

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5. People recommend that annually typically, but you have a good tank with a butyl diaphragm. It can go longer. You have gone a long time. Always check and set the air precharge with the water pressure zero. With a submersible pump, you typically set the air precharge to be 2 psi below the cut-on pressure.

If the air is too low, it makes the diaphragm stretch more than ideal.
 

Zayd

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An update from me.

I dismantled and cleaned the brine tank, which was surprisingly clean. There was a large mass of salt at the bottom, but it wasn't a bridge. I imagine that is normal.

After reinstalling it, I added salt, added water, and poured my Iron Out mix down the brine well. I then regenerated. I plan to do the same Iron Out treatment again tonight, since I am doubtful it has ever seen it before.

I imagine it will take a couple of days to see the effects, so I'll report back with that.
 

Reach4

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When you regen, it would be interesting to watch the color of the drain line water during BD. That color might appear around 10 or 15 minutes into BD.

Another more intensive treatment would be to monitor for the TDR from the drain line to take a big jump, and then put the system into bypass, and let the cycle continue. The bolus of brine and IO will sit with the resin, and the resin will soak. The valve will think it regenerated. Take the valve out of bypass maybe 1.5 hours later, and do an immediate regen.

Or just proceed with your plan, and no special actions.
 

Zayd

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When you regen, it would be interesting to watch the color of the drain line water during BD. That color might appear around 10 or 15 minutes into BD.

I had the same thought last night. But it was nearly midnight by the time I had everything back together, so I turned the dial and hit the sack :)

Another more intensive treatment would be to monitor for the TDR from the drain line to take a big jump, and then put the system into bypass, and let the cycle continue. The bolus of brine and IO will sit with the resin, and the resin will soak. The valve will think it regenerated. Take the valve out of bypass maybe 1.5 hours later, and do an immediate regen.

Or just proceed with your plan, and no special actions.
 

Zayd

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Next update!

The good news: the water definitely seems to have lost its iron taste and smell. The bad news: the hardness seems to have returned. I say this based on how long it takes to wash soap off my hands.

I did hang around about 15 minutes into the regen cycle and did not see the drain water go dark, which I expect I’d see if the resin was loaded up and actually came clean.

I just started one more Iron Out treatment and will see what that did in the morning.
 
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