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  1. #1
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    I need better water at home

    Im on well water and I have brown staining and scale deposits. My clothes dont smell all that good when the come out of the washer either.

    We have one tiny little 10 filter downstream of the expansion tank. I used to put a filter in there but after a month it would be clogged. Not dirty, clogged. We had the well cleaned out and it helped some but not much.

    Id like to fix this problem. I can easily pipe in whatever contraption I need but there lies my issue, I dont know what I need. Is there a company out there that I can send a water sample to and they tell me what I need? Is that how plumbers do it, test the water and install whats necessary?

  2. #2
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    Aug 2002
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    First get the water analysed so you know what has to be done.

    Your local water department or Health Department can sample it. There are also private company's.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2015
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    Any well company can do a water analysis for you and tell you exactly what you need it's part of the quote the same as going to a customer's house and quoting for a furnace you need to know what sort of equipment it takes to do the job. The guy that came out to look at my system had a whole case full of test stuff and most of it was the same stuff I use to test my aquarium water. The only tests he did that I didn't was for iron and I think tannins. The whole quote for the system was obscene and was way out of my price range so I kept the list and have been slowly chipping away at it if you can install a boiler and not kill anyone you can install a water softener.

  4. #4
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    Ill call around tomorrow and see whats up. I hate when people do this to me but I think Ill just ask for a detailed quote and buy the components myself and put them in.


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  5. #5
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    Feb 2006
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    Float'N Vally, MS
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    When we had a home with a well, I had two inline filters.
    One for iron/scale and one carbon for taste. Our water was high in iron and had a slight hint of sulphur.
    I doubled the filters so I could switch to bank #2 and take my time to replace the cartages.
    Your mileage may differ.
    Life is too short, Behappy!
    TFMM

  6. #6
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    Apr 2017
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    you should get a proper analysis at least once if you have not had one already during the well commissioning or by a previous owner.

    by proper i mean ion chromatography/GC MS and not a reagent test.

    yea they cost upwards of like 200 bucks, but you want a proper test to rule out regulated organic contaminates like atrazine, benzene compounds and other aromatics.

    radionuclide testing is also not a bad idea... but this test costs more and often has a longer lead as there are far fewer labs that conduct these tests.

    i do water and waste water treatment professionally, and the problem i have with reagent testing is; a) they tend to be very subjective as many reagent tests are colormetric( interpreting shades of colors) or titrations( color abruptly changes or goes clear at some endpoint). and B) they are really only usefull in identifying reactive species like carbonate, iron manganese, chlorine etc.
    and C) water filter companies are trying to sell you **** usually... and might be rushing around to issue quotes to other folks.

    all of the above being said, a reagent test IS a good way to get you into the ball park... but remember that your treatment system might cost you thousands of dollars so absolutly do not hesitate to spend the money on a proper test so you can rule out other issues such as ground water contamination.

    also keep in mind ion exchange softening performance is effected by a number of things like salinity,sulfate and turbidity and organic carbon etc.

    far as your iron... id look into katalox light as an alternative to solid granular magnesium dioxide.

    the backwash rates for solid magnesium dioxide are insane and often not attainable by small well pumps. katalox light is basically magnesium dioxide dopped onto zeolite so the surface area is enormous but the weight and cost is less and the back wash rates are almost half.

    post what ever your results are and i can comment.

  7. #7
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by queequeg152 View Post
    you should get a proper analysis at least once if you have not had one already during the well commissioning or by a previous owner.

    by proper i mean ion chromatography/GC MS and not a reagent test.

    yea they cost upwards of like 200 bucks, but you want a proper test to rule out regulated organic contaminates like atrazine, benzene compounds and other aromatics.

    radionuclide testing is also not a bad idea... but this test costs more and often has a longer lead as there are far fewer labs that conduct these tests.

    i do water and waste water treatment professionally, and the problem i have with reagent testing is; a) they tend to be very subjective as many reagent tests are colormetric( interpreting shades of colors) or titrations( color abruptly changes or goes clear at some endpoint). and B) they are really only usefull in identifying reactive species like carbonate, iron manganese, chlorine etc.
    and C) water filter companies are trying to sell you **** usually... and might be rushing around to issue quotes to other folks.

    all of the above being said, a reagent test IS a good way to get you into the ball park... but remember that your treatment system might cost you thousands of dollars so absolutly do not hesitate to spend the money on a proper test so you can rule out other issues such as ground water contamination.

    also keep in mind ion exchange softening performance is effected by a number of things like salinity,sulfate and turbidity and organic carbon etc.

    far as your iron... id look into katalox light as an alternative to solid granular magnesium dioxide.

    the backwash rates for solid magnesium dioxide are insane and often not attainable by small well pumps. katalox light is basically magnesium dioxide dopped onto zeolite so the surface area is enormous but the weight and cost is less and the back wash rates are almost half.

    post what ever your results are and i can comment.
    Thank you for the detailed response. Once I get the results Ill post them here.


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  8. #8
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    Jun 2009
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    DFW, TX
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    I just installed this for drinking water. Tastes as good or better than bottled.

    iSpring RCC7P-AK 6-Stage Maximum Performance Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System with Booster Pump and Alkaline Remineralization Filter https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005LKKMYS..._4C6eAb65GK1JT

    Obviously you need a whole house system, cant help you with that. Just sharing what i know.

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  9. #9
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    Oct 2017
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    Wisconsin
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    Get the tests done so you have some idea what you're dealing with.

    Brown stains could be iron or tannins. Iron is more red/orange/brown like rust and tannins are more tan/creme colored like dilute tea. If you have sticky brown sludge in the toilet tanks then you probably have iron bacteria and should chlorinate the well (dump gallon or two of regular bleach down the well, run hose into well to circulate, open all taps until strong chlorine smell is detected, then let sit with no water usage for 24-48 hours to sanitize). You might have to do this every 6 months to a year as the bacteria population bounces back.

    If you have iron or tannins, those will have to be removed before a water softener (they will foul a water softener and prevent it from working). Iron requires oxidation, either by aerating with oxygen or by chemical bleaching, before it will precipitate and can be removed by a filter. This precipitate (ferric chloride) is red/orange in color, and will accumulate in your toilet tanks (exposure to oxygen) and on your whites in the laundry if you use bleach (source of oxidation) if it's not removed before distribution. Tannins (organic plant decay products) usually require some kind of specialized anion exchange resin to remove.

    So depending on your water, you may need 3x water softener type filter devices to properly treat your water, and the maintenance upkeep with them. Another option would be to have a deeper well drilled. Reverse osmosis requires clear water to start with, so it probably wouldn't work very long if you clog filters easily. Whole house systems also require a storage tank and a distribution pump.

    I am fortunate to have no iron in my well water, so a mesh filter, water softener, and reverse osmosis system under the kitchen sink for drinking water is enough.

  10. #10
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    From what your describing it sounds like I have a high iron content. I think Ill research bleaching it the well. Thanks Lumen.


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  11. #11
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    Nov 2017
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    Then you need good filter.

  12. #12
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    Most of the compounds that are dissolved in the water can't be filtered out through a water filter. A filter can trap solids like sand or junk. A softener might trap some iron but their main use is to swap ions with compounds of calcium and magnesium. Softeners don't remove anything except a bit of iron. They just change the chemistry of hard water. Many times a softener is one of the nicest things you might do for yourself. Just the way the water feels and how soap reacts makes it worth it for myself.
    A reverse osmosis system uses more water in backwash than it delivers to the spout. It's usually cheaper to buy water in a big bottle than absorb the $$ for an RO system.
    My home has a green sand filter. It's fairly large, about the size of a large oxygen tank. The filter also has an air intake device to get rid of any sulfur (rotten egg) smells. The tank contains green sand that filters the water by drawing through the sand. On a schedule the tank back washes about every 10 days and uses about 40 gallons. Then the water goes to a softener to handle the dissolved carbonates.

    My water is ok after that. There are several methods to deal with poor water but you need to know what's in the water first. Potassium permanganate is another method.
    Anything built to code is built to the minimum legal standard

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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hvacker View Post
    Most of the compounds that are dissolved in the water can't be filtered out through a water filter. A filter can trap solids like sand or junk. A softener might trap some iron but their main use is to swap ions with compounds of calcium and magnesium. Softeners don't remove anything except a bit of iron. They just change the chemistry of hard water. Many times a softener is one of the nicest things you might do for yourself. Just the way the water feels and how soap reacts makes it worth it for myself.
    A reverse osmosis system uses more water in backwash than it delivers to the spout. It's usually cheaper to buy water in a big bottle than absorb the $$ for an RO system.
    My home has a green sand filter. It's fairly large, about the size of a large oxygen tank. The filter also has an air intake device to get rid of any sulfur (rotten egg) smells. The tank contains green sand that filters the water by drawing through the sand. On a schedule the tank back washes about every 10 days and uses about 40 gallons. Then the water goes to a softener to handle the dissolved carbonates.

    My water is ok after that. There are several methods to deal with poor water but you need to know what's in the water first. Potassium permanganate is another method.
    cheap point of use RO systems might waste more than they produce, but this is because they are garbage systems trying to develop more flow than they should be at too low of a pressure with cheap membranes.

    the waste fraction is usually 50% or below depending on the water quality and ro system. you can get the waste fraction really really low with cascading membranes, but this is space station stuff and the cost is hilarious.

    i dont think even desal plants have a waste fraction of 100%.

    the cost of RO is indeed insanely high, especially once you get into pretreatment systems and post treatment systems like co2 injection and calcite etc. if you end up needing an RO system then you have my condolences, but i seriously doubt your water is anywhere near bad enough.

    its literally a last resort treatment system. ive never been approached to design an ro system that was not a direct result of elevated TDS or something like radium.

    also dont foreget that you can very often blend RO treated water with non treated or to achieve an acceptable TDS and corrosion control.

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