Calcite Media in tub and toilets

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by JSM8786, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. JSM8786

    JSM8786 JMann

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Summerfield, NC
    We recenlty bought a house with well water and started having problems with a sandy type substance in our tubs and toilets not soon after moving in. The house has copper plumbing so the previous owners had a company install a Kinetico upflow acid neutralizer. After some investigation, I determined the sandy type substance was calcite media from the neutralizer. (A filter was installed before the neutralizer and it has remained clean with no sandy substance). I installed a whole house filter after the neutralizer and it solved the problem. We started losing water pressure within a few days. I removed the filter and it was covered with the calcite media. I pulled the inlet and outlet on the neutralizer. The screen was installed correctly and the media was around half way up the tank so it looked ok to me. Is there anything else that can cause the calcite to wash out of the tank and into my piping?
  2. big dripper

    big dripper New Member

    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Ohio
    Is the system placed before or after the pressure tank? What is the diameter and height of the tank? What is your water pressure settings? What color is the 'sandy' particles?
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  3. JSM8786

    JSM8786 JMann

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Summerfield, NC
    The system is after the pump tank and after a whole house filter. The tank is 10x54. I don't have a water pressure gauge. The only way to adjust the water pressure is a shut off valve after the pump tank. The sandy particles are light brown.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,139
    Location:
    New England
    Well, the valve is an on/off device, not a pressure regulator! A well system usually has a pressure gauge installed somewhere, and if not, it's a good thing to install - it is essential to maintaining and troubleshooting the system. The thing that adjusts the pressure is the pressure switch. It is normally something like a 30/50, 40/60 or similar. The lower reading is the trip point where the pump turns on, and the larger number is where it turns off.

    Maybe the neutralizer needs a backwash periodically to wash away the fine material to prevent it from spilling over into the supply lines. This would require a control valve, similar to a water softener, and a drain line on the tank. If yours has one like this, it may not be working. Someone that knows more will probably fill you in.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Upflow AN filters do not work very well and my advice to everyone is to not buy one. They require a prefilter to keep dirt build up out of the mineral and usually with high flow rates won't brine the pH up high enough and that's like not having an AN filter.

    A Jim says, you need a water pressure gauge, that's the only way to know what the system is set at pressure wise and it sounds as if your pressure is high enough (too high) to keep expanding the AN mineral sufficiently to get it out of the tank into your plumbing.

    Downflow backwashed AN filters don't have these problems and they keep the mineral clean so it can buffer the acid in the raw water.
  6. JSM8786

    JSM8786 JMann

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Summerfield, NC
    I will double check my pump tank tonight to see where it is set. I will install a gauge after the tank as well for future use. This is the first well system I have had in 25 years so still learning the system. My neutralizer is an upflow so it is not setup to back wash. Maybe the water pressure is too high for the tank and that is what is causing the calcite to wash out into my house. Would that be a typical problem if the tank is too small? Do these type tanks require a gravel bed of some sort. thanks for all the help.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Install the gauge on the tank tee/plumbing before you check the operation of the system.

    You need 1-2 psi less air pressure in the tank than the turn the pump on switch setting. I.E. 30/50 gets 29-28 psi air pressure in the tank with no water in the tank (tank drained).

    Yes upflow filters do not backwash and require a prefilter which reduces water pressure and that loss increases the longer you use the prefilter. But without the prefilter the mineral loads up the mineral in the bottom of the tank with dirt; which increases pressure loss and effectiveness of the AN filter. Up flow is a bad deal all around.

    You can convert your up flow to backwashed by buying a filter version time clock control valve and add gravel under the mineral and reuse your 13x54" tank. I suggest a day timer Fleck 2510 with its by pass valve.
  8. JSM8786

    JSM8786 JMann

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Summerfield, NC
    Thanks. I will convert it using the Fleck. Can I remove the full house filter before the tank once I convert it to the backwash filter?
  9. big dripper

    big dripper New Member

    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Ohio
    You can remove the filter before the AN filter if a backwashing valve is added. That may not solve the problem of getting the sandy particles to go away at first but should be corrected soon due to reversing the flow and letting the Calcite act as a filtermedia as well as an AN.

    An AN filter like yours placed after the pressure tank will rarely have enough flow rate to benefit them regardless of the pre-set pressure at the well. Often AN filters are placed before pressure tanks for better bed lift. You will need gravel in the base of the tank.

    What are your water conditions? pH? hardness? iron? TDS? If you know. How old is the media; it may need to be dumped and rebedded with fresh Calcite. You can reuse your 10x54 tank. You'll have to set the backwash flow rate according to media volume/weight and tank diameter (10x54) as well as determine backwash length and frequency.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yes you can and should, you don't want any pressure loss. You probably should increase the pressure range of the pressure switch to 40/60 psi (if it isn't already) and the air pressure in the tank to 39-38 psi with no water in the pressure tank (drain it). If you have a submersible pump you shouldn't have any problem backwashing the filter but if you have a jet pump you could need a larger one.

    The AN filter has to be installed after your pressure tank or it can not get water to backwash unless the pump runs constantly, and that won't happen. If you plumbed it before the pr tank, the water would flow backwards from the pr tank to the OUTlet of the control valve until the pump came on and then the water would go into the INlet of the control valve as it has to. Before the pr tank can not work.

    Your "sand" will be filtered out with an AN filter and backwashed to drain and you won't need a post filter. I have sold, installed and serviced backwashed AN filters for a couple decades.
  11. big dripper

    big dripper New Member

    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Ohio
    Set up properly and placed before the pressure tank, an AN upflow Calcite filter will not flow backwards regardless if whether the pump is running, or the house is being served water via the pressure tank. There would be no backwashing valve here. If you well produces, say, 5-7 gpm, then the media bed will receive that flow rate consistently. Eventually, as Calcite decreases in volume, either more media will need to be replenished and occasionaly may need to be dumped and rebedded--depending on water frequency use, volume, water conditions, pump power, and features of the equipment and media.

    I would like to hear more about your water quality results, before and after the present set up.
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yeah except that he said he is going to change his up flow to backwashed down flow.

    There will be after he buys the control valve to convert his Kinetico up flow AN filter to backwashed down flow.
  13. JSM8786

    JSM8786 JMann

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Summerfield, NC
    I was wrong, I do have a gauge at the pump tank. I just didn't look in the right place. When I checked it last night, the gauge had a reading of 62 psi. Maybe that is why the calcite media is being flushed out of my upflow neutrlizer. Our large tub seems to be where most of the calcite shows up. I am assuming because we have great water flow and no restrictions such as a screen on the end. I still plan on installing a backwash type unit. Will the calcite media cause any harm to my family until I get the new valve installed?
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,139
    Location:
    New England
    It's sort of like eating sand...won't kill you, but might be crunchy if you drink it then chew! Same general idea as an anti-acid tablet, except maybe bigger chunks.
  15. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,487
    Location:
    Alaska
    What is the distance between the media bed and the in out head that is on the 10x54 tank?
    Less than 17" with no upper basket and you most likely will see calcite in the house for awhile..
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