Help interpretting test results

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by PaJohn, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. PaJohn

    PaJohn New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    PA
    A little history first. Deep well, 1/2hp pump, family of 4, 2 1/2 baths. Current system in 20 years old. Was professionally installed and at that time iron was determined to be high so they installed a two tank system with 1 1/2 of them for the iron and 1/2 of one tank being the softener. (Stacked tank) Been noticing bal\\lack stained toilets the last few years, I figured from the iron. Wife has been comaplining about dry skin so i figured the water wasn't soft anymore and had a professional here to check things out. He said the system was shot and took a water sample, bypassing the conditioner of course. Results are as follows:
    Iron - 0.3
    Copper - 1.3
    PH- 6.5
    Alk- 10
    Hardness- 3

    Just for kicks, I did a test myself with one of those kits from Lowes and also took a sample to the local pool place. Slight variations in results but all where pretty close.

    So, two questions for you guys:
    1- Why the heck in iron so low now and why are my toilets still staining? Does well water change over time?
    2- What type of system do I need, if any at all? Wife would like "soft" water for her skin.

    Hate to bother you, but getting all sorts of conflicting opinions locally.

    Thanks
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2010
  2. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    Do you have any test of the water straight from the well?

    Is there any thing for correction of the ph?

    One step at a time.
  3. PaJohn

    PaJohn New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    PA
    That is straight from the well...well straight from kitchen sink which is only like ten feet from expansion tank. Let it run like ten minutes before taking sample. Nothing correcting anything, it's untreated.
  4. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    So iron from the well no longer looks to be a challenge, the well changed for the better in that.

    The Ph at 6.5 is going to be the challenge.. it will act like an acid on what ever metal in is running arcoss.

    The copper has me a bit puzzled, most of the time I have not seen copper levels like that in the well water but after it has moved through copper pipes, that is not to say that it could not happen the other way, its just not some thing that is normal where I am.

    If you have a control valve on one of the tanks other than the softener I would look at changing it to calcite with backwashing and then maybe rebuild the softener if you would like to remove the natural hardness and the added hardness from the calcite.
  5. PaJohn

    PaJohn New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    PA
    Only one control valve, and that's on top of the dual tank. Water goes to the full tank(calcite) then down through the stacked tank that has the control valve. I'd rather just start form scratch witha 20 year old system, even though the old timed valve still works fine.
    My real question is how the well quality changed so much? Why not much iron now? And will it change again? If so, how do you plan or compensate for the changes?
  6. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    Photos of the set up?

    I have long ago given up on the figuring out why a well does what it will do and go with what it is doing today.

    Will it change back to what it once was? that I don't know and I don't think that any one else will know either.

    Why the need to totally replace all that is there ?
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,126
    Location:
    New England
    Depending on how deep the well is, it can change with the seasonal rainfall amounts. Others drilling wells in the area can also affect your water, too. A farmer that used to do irrigation from a well, might now have a field fallow, or have gotten out of farming altogether. While we like to think the water supply from the well is 'ours', anything you do can affect others on the same aquifer.
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