Acid neutralizer backflushing

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jimmym, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    New York
    I'm getting blue stains in my tub, so after some research... My well water has a pH of 5.74. So, before any further damage is done, I'm installing an acid neutralizer.
    1) Why do these need to be backflushed? I have a whole house particulate pre-filter that will be installed before the neutralizer and I thought the media is sacrificial.
    2) 5.74 is pretty low. I've read about people complaining about acidic water at pH6.5. Should I get a larger than usual neutralizer? Or use different media?
    3) What is the order in which I should install these? Pre-filter -> neutralizer
    -> surge tank.

    Thanks all.
  2. PEW

    PEW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    487
    Pre filter first.

    Depending on the make of neutralizer, it may need to be installed backwards, inlet becomes the outlet. In other words you want to introduce the inlet water to the bottom of the tank and feed the house off the top. This keeps the media from packing, which in time reduces the flow.

    Paul
  3. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    New York
    So the backflush isn't really to purge contaminants, it's to keep the media bed "un-packed". OK.
    Most neutralizers I see have a backflush valve/timer. Who makes one without this?
  4. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    We all sell filtration. Gary and I argue about the necessity of back-washing or not back-washing. I use an in out head and do like PEW suggested. Going in the out and out the in.

    Water is different all over the country, so what works for Gary may not work for me etc.

    The idea of your salesman telling you back-washing may be a matter of > opinion, greed or necessity. Your call there.

    I would look into the stats on your well. I know the surface water wells in my area are around 15 to 20 feet deep, full of chemicals from farming etc. And the water is just plain nasty. I refuse to try to clean this water up for people. I recommend a new "deep well" for health reasons if nothing else.

    bob...
  5. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    New York
    I had a quality and quantity test done during purchase of the home. Nothing nasty in the water. It's >100 ft deep.

    I just don't want to have to run a drain pipe to the other side of the basement to get to the septic pipe. Also, to backwash, would I have to run the pump if the surge tank is after the neutralizer? Sounds like I would.

    Pump->Prefilter->Neutralizer->Tank->House
  6. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    What is a surge tank?
  7. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    New York
    Surge tank,
    Well tank,
    Not exactly sure what to call it. I have a well. The pump charges a tank that has an internal bladder. Pump turns on at 50 PSI and off at 70.
  8. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Now I understand, you mean the Bladder tank.

    OK, the proper order should be: Pump > Bladder Tank > Neutralizer.
    Notice I left out the prefilter.

    The pump would have to run some when you are back-washing if you go that way.

    With the in/out head, there is no back-washing.

    bob...
  9. PEW

    PEW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    487
    Ionics is one we have had available on the east coast.

    Paul
  10. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    New York
    Bladder Tank. Gotcha.

    Why no prefilter?

    I see 1 cu.ft. and 2 cu.ft models.
    Is the difference flow capacity or pH neutralization ability in very acidic water, or just longer time between re-fills?
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2005
  11. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    They are more trouble than they are worth. If you have anything in your water that needs to be removed this is not the filter you need. Unless you like buying filter cartridges and having bad pressure all the time because of them.

    The neutralizer we sell is a simple Structural Fibers 9" X 48" tank with In/Out head, 1" distributor tube and 100 lbs. of Calcite for just over $200.00 plus shipping. It is as easy to hook up as that prefilter you have but will actually do something.

    The difference in 1 or 2 cu. ft. models would be flow rate and the amount of calcite you can put in the tank. Unless you have a bunch of teenagers and a lot of bathrooms, a 1 cu. ft. should be fine.

    bob...
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2005
  12. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    New York
    bob,
    The existing whole house filter is just a sediment filter. I was going to retain it as a pre-filter to remove particulates before entering the neutralizer. If it's not really required, then I'll get rid of it.

    Where are you located? $200 sounds awfully reasonable.

    Thanks for all the help.

    So far, just me, the wife and 2 daughters (more to come).
    Perhaps the 2 cuft would do better.
  13. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I just edited my last post to finish answering your question that I previously forgot.

    It's up to you what size you buy, but I would thing a 1 cu. ft. would be fine for your family, besides it's bigger than your original plumbing already. The plumbing should be 3/4".

    I would truly get rid of the so called "whole house filter" that term just kills me. Unless you have a bunch of junk in your water that you can see floating around. And if that is the case, that "whole house thing" isn't going to last a week.

    I am located in Florida, hear Tampa. You don't have to spend a lot of money on one of these as there is no head (backwash) no electric required and calcite is far less expensive than media for softening or iron removal etc.

    bob...
  14. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    New York
    OK, bob. Sounds good.
    Could you email me directly with prices for both 1 and 2 cuft models
    without the media?
    I live in Massachusetts so shipping 100+ pounds of pellets and 25 pounds of fiberglass would be expensive.
    I can just get the media locally.
  15. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    New York
    I ordered one of your 1cuft neutralizers. I have a friend that was diagnosed with acidic water (blue stains, etc). So I asked him what he had done about it. Well, he and his wife had a system installed for "a couple of thousand dollars". I'll almost feel bad if I tell them I spent a couple of hundred.

    If I plumb it in after the bladder tank, will the metal fittings at the tank suffer from the acidic water?
  16. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Anything metal will suffer from acidic water. But not at the rate that I would worry about it. The tank will probably experience a busted bladder long before the metal fittings will show any signs of wear.

    The neighbor..... I wouldn't tell him.

    bob...
  17. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    New York
    Should I be using calcite or corosex or mixed in the neutralizer?
    My pH is kind of low. 5.74.
  18. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I would mix them. 80% Calcite and 20% Corosex.

    bob...
  19. PEW

    PEW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    487
    Would suggest you plumb in a bypass for those times you want to clean it out and recharge it, if it does not have that built into it.

    Paul
  20. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    New York
    Bob,
    Should I mix them together? Or layer them?
    Should I worry about the media "lifting" and blowing out the exit piping?

    PEW,
    I plan to do just that. I'll have unions on either side, isolation valves, and a bypass. Not to mention in and out pressure gauges.
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