Help-About ready to jump off a Bridge!!!

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by farmboy101, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. farmboy101

    farmboy101 New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    I have been lurking here a while trying to learn as much as possible but need some input before I go crazy. I am in British Columbia Canada just above Seattle. This is kinda long so hear me out please.

    History:

    I had a Kinetico model 30 softener installed in 1997 on a new well & new house I built and wired and it has not worked properly ever.We would still have hard water and brine entering the house (always to me during a shower). I called the dealer who installed it and he came out and replaced the wheel(#5) to make it regenerate more often. That worked for a while but I needed a skid of salt on standby just to keep up with it. The water became very hard and started staining all of the fixtures. Dealer came out and replaced the resin beds and said they were exhausted after 3 years. We had a difference of opinion about who should pay for his labor myself or Kinetico he said me. I said no way I paid $3200 and it should deliver on his assurance of curing my water problems. So to makeup for it he said that I could only get ResUp from him for $75 a gallon :mad:. I did not know better so bought it from him for a few years. When I found out I could buy it at a local plumbing store for $17 a gallon :mad: I tried to find him to ask him WTF and he had moved or went out of business. :confused:

    I called Kinetico to ask who could fix the softener now and they said they did not have a dealer in my area but the head needed to be sent to them for repair. I said no way and to send me the parts and I would rebuild it myself. I do not have a bypass plumbed for the softener. They sent me the rubber rings and a #3 wheel because they said thats what should be in there. Put it all together cleaned the brine tank, reset the float level to what they suggested and replaced the res up feeder wick. Still lots of iron taste and staining and brine in the house so I just gave up (2002).

    Fast Forward>>>>>>>2010 started having water pressure problems so replaced the switch because the contacts looked pitted and burned. Decided to install a Pumptec and get rid of the manual lever style pressure switch as I had planned from the beginning. My well flows 2 GPM is 125 ft deep in a 4 " casing (water hit at 30 ft the rest is for storage) and would occasionally run out of water if we used it for watering the plants etc. Worked better but not right. Called my pump guy and said I need a new pump. He charges up the pressure tank and all is good now pressure wise. Water is still hard and tastes like iron but better since the pressure tank charged.

    Called the new Kinetico dealer to either fix or trashcan the softener as we are putting in a new tile shower and dont want it ruined. I get a water test as he requested. The results show lots of Iron and Manganese. He says the softener cant handle that much iron and manganese and the resin was iron fouled (NFG) and I need a iron prefilter. I agree that is a good idea to prefilter and ask for a quote.

    The Model 2060S is a 2 tank ceramic disk iron filter worth $3075.00, Rebed with std mesh hi capacity resin some tax = $4000+. He was also going to install some sort of vacuum switch to keep the 2 from regenerating at the same time. I like this dealer and believe him to be honest and straightforward.

    I dont have a problem with the rebed or the labor $500 in total. I am afraid to go with Kinetico equipment and also think its way to expensive plus I cant service it myself without voiding the warranty.

    I want to install a Iron filter myself. I am looking at this Iron Ox. http://www.aquatell.com/canada/iron-water-filters/aquatell-best-value-brands/iron-water-filter-whole-home

    I emailed them today and they said that it would not work on any well with a flow of less than 6-7 GPM to backwash about 50 gallons in total. I asked if put a 60 gallon or better pressure tank in and the system could supply 6 GPM to the Iron Ox would it work? They said yes it should.

    I have 2 bathrooms, 2 adults, no kids, no farm animals, Whirlpool HE washing machine, dont use dishwasher and no other water uses except for softener backwash. Well specs above.

    Well Pump is a 5 GPM 1\2 hp, pressure set at 30-50, 3\4" copper to softener and from pump to tank.
    I think its a 15 or 20 gallon pressure tank.

    Water test results are:

    Total Coliforms (DES) <1.0 MPN/100mL
    E. coli (DES) <1.0 MPN/100mL
    pH 7.6 pH
    Total Dissolved Solids 290 mg/L
    Fluoride <1.0 mg/L
    Chloride 9.3 mg/L
    Nitrate (N) <0.1 mg/L
    Nitrite (N) <0.1 mg/L
    Sulphate 6.9 mg/L
    Sulphide 0.054 mg/L
    Tannins & Lignins 0.2 mg/L
    T-Aluminium <0.005 mg/L
    T-Antimony <0.0002 mg/L
    T-Arsenic 0.0034 mg/L
    T-Barium 0.175 mg/L
    T-Beryllium <0.00004 mg/L
    T-Boron 0.114 mg/L
    T-Bismuth <0.001 mg/L
    T-Cadmium <0.00001 mg/L
    T-Calcium 33.9 mg/L
    T-Chromium <0.0004 mg/L
    T-Cobalt 0.00005 mg/L
    T-Copper 0.033 mg/L
    T-Iron 1.91 mg/L
    T-Lead 0.0019 mg/L
    T-Lithium 0.001 mg/L
    T-Magnesium 13.3 mg/L
    T-Manganese 0.371 mg/L
    T-Molybdenum 0.0003 mg/L
    T-Nickel <0.001 mg/L
    T-Phosphorus 0.251 mg/L
    T-Potassium 1.1 mg/L
    T-Selenium <0.0006 mg/L
    T-Silicon 8.33 mg/L
    T-Silver <0.00001 mg/L
    T-Sodium 48.4 mg/L
    T-Strontium 0.252 mg/L
    T-Thallium <0.00001 mg/L
    T-Tin 0.0004 mg/L
    T-Titanium <0.0010 mg/L
    T-Uranium <0.0004 mg/L
    T-Vanadium 0.0002 mg/L
    T-Zinc 0.026 mg/L
    Hardness (CaCO3) 140 mg/L

    Am I on the right track with the Iron Ox filter and installing a larger tank to ensure enough backwash water or am I guessing up the wrong tree???

    So if you made it down to here fire away. Thanks
  2. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,495
    Location:
    Alaska
    Ok, I have gone over what you have gone on...

    On the pump protection ... very good idea, have it adjusted every few years and all will be right..
    The pump out put will change over the years as the pump ages, so a change to the settings will be needed... well man should know about this.

    With the iron just under 2 and the Mn at .4 a good softener should work...

    Now this is just me, if there is no sand... no pre filter..

    A single system would work better than a twin... you are using water and that is what trips it in to a cycle, most likely when your well storage is down and not fully recovered.. so a single going at say 1 am would be better if you stop using water at say 9 pm for the most part and that would on the night that it would need to clean have time to recover.
    (I get to deal with wells that like to give 1-2 gpm ..... or wells that could do 50 gallons but then need a few hours to recover)
    If you had a single tank system ,, ie media tank with say 2510 meter... and brine tank that had 1.5 cubic it would be going about every 1500 gallons or 4-5 days and have a back wash rate, at least on mine of 2.4gpm and run for 14 minutes or an est 33.6 gallons before going into the brine draw/slow rinse..

    I have done up a chart so that I can tell what the water usage would be for cases like this...

    Just some of my thoughts as we get this thread under way...
  3. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    I don't often advise folks to tear out good equipment, and normally Kinetico is pretty good stuff. The problem though is that where you are located there are no Kinetico service tech's around and getting answers seems to have been difficult over the years. That said, you have also dumped a ton of money and time into this thing and it's hard to walk away from it, but I recommend that you do. You can pick up a new Clack WS1 or a Fleck valve head, tank's and all for under a grand. You will have a unit that you can service and better yet, understand. Since you already have the piping in place you can probably change it out in a couple of hours and in the end, you will be a whole lot happier. If you are really stuck on keeping the stuff though, PM me and I'll give you the name of a Kinetico guy that may be able to help, but I suspect he will tell you the same thing.
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The $500 to replace the resin is way too high. You can buy it online and do it yourself for probably less than half that.

    He wants way too much for an iron filter. As you see you can DIY it for under $1000 and have a control valve you can get parts for from many dealers at much less cost. I suggest the Clack WS-1 CS.

    Based on your water test results, you don't need an iron filter, a softener would remove the iron and manganese and hardness.

    The link you posted has a problem because there are no iron filters listed on their web site now. They talk about using air bubbles and here recently there is a thread about that type filter not working well although the guy thinks it's because it wasn't programmed right, which it wasn't and IMO still isn't going to be if he follows their (IIRC Aquatell) advice. I think that thread may be in the Plumbing forum and the subject may be about programming a Clack WS-1.

    Your 3/4" line from the pump to the pressure tank may be reducing your flow if rust has built up in it and because it should be 1" all the way to the softener. Your pump and/or pressure tank should be delivering more than 4 gpm but the size softener you need won't need that much; max 2.7 gpm or less.

    You have 8 gpg hardness + the iron and manganese = 18 gpg compensated hardness and 2 people = a need for 18K regenerated capacity, which gives you a metered/demand initiated regeneration on average once every 8 days (1000 gallons). The size of the softener, a 1.5 cuft probably, depends on the peak demand flow rate it has to treat and that is based on the type of fixtures in your two bathrooms; a large tub or multiple shower heads or any body sprays. You can learn more about all that by clicking on a link in my signature.
  5. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    I ahave to agree, I don't think an iron filter is needed either
  6. farmboy101

    farmboy101 New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Thanks for all of the replies. I feel a lot better about this whole mess already.

    I have not heard back from the Kinetico dealer since I said I wanted to install my own Iron filter setup but would like him to rebed the tanks. Hmmmm.

    I originally installed one of those small canister prefilters on the advice of Kinetco but it kept plugging up and slowing the flow down so I stopped putting filters in it. I was getting a lot of sediment so I raised the pump up a few feet in the well and that cleared it up. It has a clear plastic canister so I can see whats coming in or not.


    So a properly working softener will handle my iron and manganese? No Iron filter Hmmmm. That link was for one of those that uses tiny air bubbles to change the iron to a solid.

    I am really considering replacing the Kinetico with a single tank unit as recommended. I have been at your site Gary and joined the forum before I posted here. I did all the calculations for compensated hardness etc. We have a jetted tub(1'x2'x5'), toilet and small sink in the main and are installing a new walk in tile shower in the ensuite. It will have a rainhead and 2 body sprays most likley.There is a toilet and pedestal sink in the ensuite as well. The tub and shower will never be used at the same time by us. I added extra gallons to the calculation for the shower, 150x18=2700x8=21,600>22,000.

    Aquatell Canada sell a 30,000 1cuft with the Clack WS1($699) and a 45,000 1.5cuft Clack WS1($759). The 45,000 is $61 more. Would that be overkill or would it allow extra capacity if the tub and shower were used concurrently?? I will have to check to make sure the Clack WS1 they supply is the CS but their descripion sounds like it " full 1" internal ported electronic control" Yes??
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  7. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    IMO the WS-1 1 cuft. will be plenty large enough to handle the demand 99% of the time. The chances of exceeding it's flow capacity are pretty slim. The larger unit has a 1.25 valve head and I doubt you supply piping is anywhere near that large so it would be overkill.
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Kinetico packed bed upflow brined softners require that because they don't backwash the resn bed before brining. Then they tell all softener owners that they too should use a prefilter so as to not draw attention to their need for one. Get rid of it.

    Most any softener, actually the resin, can handle up to 5 ppm of iron if you will maintain it properly.

    Doing that says your Kinetico is going to be too small to treat the new peak demand flow rate of the shower. And the shower and tub flow rate is going to dictate the size a new softener. The softener's constant SFR gpm has to be higher than the peak demand flow rate gpm running through it or the softener (resin) can't remove all the hardness, iron etc..

    You don't add extra gallons.

    A 1.0 cuft has a constant SFR of 9 gpm, a 1.5 is 12 gpm, your new shower may flow more than 12 gpm alone. And if so tehn you need a larger than 1.5 cuft.

    Get this wrong and your softener is too small until you replace the resin tank with a larger one and buy more resin for the larger tank.
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    What constant SFR gpm do you use for a 1.0 cuft softener?

    What peak demand flow rate gpm do you think his new shower will have?
  10. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    His new shower may be capable of flowing that high, but I'll bet the piping in the house and the pressure delivered will not.
  11. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,495
    Location:
    Alaska
    Even if he had a system to handle the flow rate and the shower to give it.... the WELL is only going to give 2gpm.... while there might be a number of gallons in that 125' well, there is a standing head of say 100' in 6" ... he is only going to be able to do the 12 gpm for about 15 minutes before the well says no more water for awhile.
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Come on man, instead of simply disageeing with me, you are a Master plumber and qualified to put some numbers to this instead of guessing. You sound as if you know how to size softeners too.

    He has 3/4" plumbing IIRC. He probalby is running his pressure switch at 30/50 psi. A 100' long piece of 3/4" copper open discharge at 30 psi delivers like 20some gpm.

    What constant SFR gpm do you use for a 1.0 cuft softener?

    What peak demand flow rate gpm do you think is required for his new 2-3 body spray and IIRC a big Rainbird whatever shower head?
  13. farmboy101

    farmboy101 New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    I am trying to supply as much information as possible so you guys have something to give advice on. I see that theres a lot of knowledge and experiance here. :)

    Yes it is 3\4 " plumbing and the switch is at 30-50. I realize will have to design the shower with the maximum number\size of head or heads given the amount of available water in the well/system.

    I have never run out of water having a shower of filling the tub or doing both occasionally.

    The shower is not very big in size due to space limitations so it will not be outfitted like a carwash. It would be nice but if theres not enough water to run it for more than 10 minutes not much point.

    The Kinetico will be replaced for certain. I am done dicking with it. A single tank Clack WS1-CS setup in whatever size suitable based on all of the fixtures present and yet to be installed. All I have at this point in time is a broken Kinetico.

    Thanks
  14. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,495
    Location:
    Alaska
    I would go with 1.5 cubic foot unit.

    Cleaning at 2am should help in the cleaning if your house ends water usage for the most part around 10pm... there should be time for the well to recover some water.....
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Meaning he still needs the constant SFR gpm of the softener to be higher than the peak demand gpm of the shower for those minutes he has the water for it.
  16. farmboy101

    farmboy101 New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Gary, are you saying that 1.5 cuft is too small or could be too small depending on the new shower configuration??
  17. farmboy101

    farmboy101 New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Ok How about a 60,000 grain Fleck 5600 SXT 2 cuft? Opinions on Fleck 5600 SXT??
  18. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    Running a 1.25 valve head ain't going to make any difference if the pipe feeding it and coming out of it is only 3/4", unless you can jack the pump pressure way up. I'm sorry I don't have the book or charts in front of me right now and yes, I suppose my statement is based on past experience but I'm sticking with it. If I think of it when I get home, maybe I'll hash through the numbers if I get a chance, but I'll bet it makes no difference.
  19. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,495
    Location:
    Alaska
    3/4 copper is only go to do so much.... That is the limiting factor in this.

    10 gpm is the best that one is really going to get to see with 3/4 copper..

    Then the other limit is the Well ... recovery at 2gpm is the other...
  20. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    Thing is, if you want to really go deep into the subject, ( Uggggg) technically the plumbing code probably will call for a valve with an SFR large enough to handle the total load on the system. IE. full, flow at all fixtures at once, but the chances of that ever happening are pretty slim. Possible, but slim. Then when he puts in the big shower a sharp inspector would tell the plumber that he had to upsize the piping to handle the load. It makes no sense to install a huge valve when you don't have the piping to carry the load. And yes if the well recovery is only 2gpm there is a limiting factor also. Anyway unless we are just jabbering to hear ourselves jabber we should really be about giving the best advice possible and in that case I'm gonna go with a Clack WS-1 wit da 1" valve.
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