0.00 ppm Iron. Really?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by liltommy, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. liltommy

    liltommy New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Maryland
    I've been researching softeners for the last month or so but have been waiting for the results from a "free" test before I went too far.
    I got my water test results back from a local plumbing supply company that sent them away to Lancaster Pa.
    for the actual testing. The testing was actually done by the company that manufacturers softeners ( I found this out when I got the results back.)
    That should have set off the bells and whistles.
    The test only has 4 things they tested for. Hardness,Iron,ph and TDS.
    The Iron came back as 0.00. Now I don't have red water or anything that settles but I do get a red residue that builds up inside showers . A real pain to clean.

    So what are the chances that the water really tested at 0 Iron, having the red stains and being on a well.
    I just get the feeling the company did a half*** test to try to sell their softener.

    I've found a local water testing lab, who will actually charge a fee and will get them to test.
    Right now I'm just ready to trash all the results I received from the "free" test.
    I thought unless you were on city water, all water had some iron in it.

    Tommy
  2. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    California
    Sounds like the test was worth what you paid.
  3. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,941
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Lol, free tests are always done by the companies trying to sell you something. The test is probably not highly accurate, and the comapny also knows that if there are very small amounts of iron a traditional softener will take care of it. If you are on a well, get a real water test done. Since you will be drinking, bathing, and "breathing" the water, you should have a proper test done once a year.
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Tommy... a free test is no less accurate than one you pay for. And by paying for a test, they already have your money while the guy that gave you the free test didn't make a dime off you. Plus it cost him to do or get the test done...

    And no, all waters do not have iron in them. Also, don't allow the prissy California boys to taint your thinking of the quality of PA's well water (they love spending your money for you).

    BTW, I'm not a fan of sending samples anywhere, they 'age' too much for my liking but...if the guy that gave you the free test sent the sample off to be tested by someone else, how do you suppose he ripped you off or why wouldn't he be telling you the truth?

    Did you note that ditto didn't tell you what all to test your water for each year?
  5. catman

    catman New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    SE PA
    Your test likely went to Lancaster Pumps. They have an inside lab for this - they tested my water as well for free, I dropped it off myself and spoke to them in person. Mine came back as zero iron, the city data shows an average of 0.03ppm, so effectively this IS zero iron. If you are on city water, they should have annual results that you can compare to the lab results. In my case the city says it is 7-10 grains and my test came back at 8 grains. The city says the pH is 7.0-7.4 and mine was 7.2. TDS with my home meter says 156 and they came back with 161. I asked if they could test chlorine as well but have not hear back yet. The city says it is 1.1-1.3ppm

    Anyway, the point is that Lancaster Pumps makes decent equipment, they have units cut in half in their lobby and you can see the workings of them. They told me their valves are custom made for them and I suspect they are clack valves by the way they name them. I did not press them for the true answer however. Also, they said they would provide the installer manual to me that will allow me to adjust the salt settings to any level I want - they do not include those instructions with the user manual because people start to mess with things they do not understand. Their default level is using 8lbs per cuft of resin.

    I was also told that they no longer gradate their equipment in terms of resin or valves. In the past they did, but these days each unit gets their best resin (did not ask brand) and their best valve and the difference between the lines is just the level of user programming they incorporate. Hope this helps a little.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  6. liltommy

    liltommy New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Maryland
    1st don't get me wrong, I've got nothing wrong with PA. It just struck me as funny that it would be shipped to another state for testing.
    I guess I didn't ask enough questions when I called them, and I had my wife drop it off so I didn't realize (I should of) that they'd be trying to sell me something for a free test. I thought maybe they were associated with some sort of county program that tested for free ( our area is half way rural). I know, how naive can I be.

    When they sent back the water test, they also had recommendations for a system and from what I learned here the system was sized just big enough & would have to rengenerate every 3-4 days. They also reccomened some kind of sulfar filter (reports not in front of me so going off memory) and I can only assume they did this because my wife filled out a questionaire when she dropped the water off and said the water had a funny smell.
    I think she's crazy, the water smells fine to me.

    So, I"m still going to get it tested with a lab just to have them check for other things that could be wrong mostly because of my neurotic wife. Personally, I just want to size a softener to save on fixture wear and cleaning.

    I'll update when I get the other results.
    BTW, I plan on installing whatever I get myself.
    Thanks all.
  7. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,508
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    That depends.

    I have a water well and I had a bottle on my doorknob 1 day saying Free water analyst, just fill bottle.

    It was from a local water treatment company.

    I fill it with distilled water, and they picked it up and tested it ?

    After testing they wanted to sell me a whole house filter system and water softener.

    They have free test all the time here, some may be legit some not, in these days and times.


    At least they will not need to sell tommy a Iron Filter.
  8. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,941
    Location:
    Ontario California
    If it was Lancaster Pumps, they are an excellent company with great equipment.

    Water test parameters are typically determined by local laws, codes, etc. It would make no sense to test for Tannins or nitrates in certain parts of the country. Same for Arsenic etc. Each region has its own unique challenges and local companies will know what test are required. If you are on a well, a good water test is fairly inexpensive. Typically under $150.

    3-4 days between regenerations is adequate. If your water is fairly iron and manganese free, then less frequent regenerations will be more efficient.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  9. catman

    catman New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    SE PA
    If it was Lancaster Pumps, the questionaire is lengthy and they ask all sorts of questions, including whether you want recommendations or not. Whether or not Lancaster Pumps feels the system would regenerate every 3-4 days would depend on what your wife put on the form. They told me they shoot for every 7 days regeneration using their standard 8lbs/cuft of salt. It's up to you to do the math for alternate salt dosages. I am just speculating that the person you are dealing with installs their systems, so it would make sense to send the sample to them for testing as they do it for free and will then back up the system choice based on the resutls. This way there is no guessing why a particular system was recommeneded.

    I hope it works out!
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