Filter media in pipes!

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by pktaske, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. pktaske

    pktaske New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Hello people. I recently had to bypass about 6 feet of 3/4" copper pipe that supplied water to my Filox iron filter. It was flat out blocked. Funny thing was when I went to fix it, turned out filter media was blocking the pipe. Now I've had my new tank for about a year and half. Prior to this, I was paying Culligan to exchange stand-alone iron filter tanks every month. I should mention that I have a ~50 gallon holding tank that was used to treat hydrogen sulfide and a lot of the media was at the bottom of this and in the pipe upstream. The interesting part: the Culligan filters I had were before the holding tank; my new filter was installed after the tank.

    So where did this come from? I know on a couple of occasions the Culigan guy installed the tanks in reverse...but this clog happened a year and a half after those tanks were gone. One thought I had was that the culligan media was collecting and sitting in the holding tank and some kind of back pressure pushed it backwards, but that's just a guess...

    I am also interested in knowing how the Culligan media could remove iron for almost a month without a recharge while I have to backwash my filter every two days.

    Thanks...
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    If you have filter media in the pipe or tank before the filter, it means that water is probably running backwards at some point in time. Is there any air charged storage tank after the iron filter? Is there a softener after the iron filter and if so any possibility that air is getting into it? Is there an outside hose bib before the iron filter that can drop the pressure below what is on the other side of the filter.

    What clues do you have to support having to backwash your iron filter every two days? Maybe you have air building up in it and essentially you need to purge the air that often.
  3. pktaske

    pktaske New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I see what you are saying. My answer is I dont think so. Only the hose bib applies but I don;t think that's it.


    More and more I think this is media from the old filters (I wish I worked in my old job as an xrf technician and I could just compare the media I cleaned out vs Filox) as I think it woiuld be pretty much next to impossible to pull that much media from my current filter. The dip tube that extends into the Filox has near microscopic holes that the grains couldn't fit through. Other way out is through the top and it would have to travel about 3 feet upwards. This media is heavy and most people are worried that they aren't getting any lift at all during backwash.

    As far as the amount of cycle time, after 3 days I start sensing iron in the water. People who know this stuff say it best to backwash before that happens. SOme even recommend every day.
  4. pktaske

    pktaske New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I also think it is not media from the current filter becasue I did a complete service to the Fleck head about 3 months ago and there was no sign of any catalyst at all...not even one grain.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I'm not familiar with all types of iron filters. The type I have, traps more iron if it isn't backwashed as often. There can however be a point of no return as extremely clogged media is harder to stir up during the backwash. During the backwash, the media is fluffed up and rises much closer to the top of the tank. When my filter was new, I could shine a bright light through the tank and watch it. Too much flow or air mixed in with the backwash could carry the media through to the drain but not back into the supply line. The only way I can see it getting into the supply line is if an irrigation system was running and creating enough reverse flow.

    My iron filter uses air injection to oxygenate the water and remove the iron. I had a problem with the air volume control in the storage tank sticking and so air from the tank was being introduced into the backwash stream causing media to be carried up through the valve body to the drain. Mind you, it never went into the supply line. With aeration, small amounts of air can eventually bubble out of the water further downstream. Air collects in the top of my water softener between regens. Air also collects in the hot water tank and spits out through the faucets on first use. This air can cause some flow reversal if the pressure drops suddenly on the supply side but normally should not be enough to carry media into the supply line.

    A few time a year I will give my system a high pressure shake-up to knock loose iron buildup. I raise the pressure from 50 PSI up to 80 PSI. I have a ballvalve draincock a foot before the iron filter and open it repeatedly to purge the line. If I have any air trapped in the hot water tank or in the softener, I can observe some of this reverse flow.
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