Help me solve my water issues!

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by jrd, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. jrd

    jrd New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    NH
    Moving into a house that is new construction, and I have some very hard water, lots of minerals, and VERY strong sulfur smell (on the cold and hot water).

    Here are the numbers from a basic analysis I had done:

    Total Coliform - Absent
    E.Coli - Absent
    Nitrate Nitrogen <1.0 mg/l
    Iron 2.61 mg/l (HIGH!!)
    Manganese 0.339 mg/l (HIGH!!)
    Chloride 144 mg/l
    Sodium 22 mg/l
    Hardness 309 mg/l (HIGH!!)
    pH 8.06


    There appear to be three main issues:

    Hardness, which I need a softener to fix...something high capacity it seems, since my hardness level is so high. I'm guessing a 40k grain softener won't suffice.

    Sulfur smell - I am not sure what to do here.

    Iron - the water oxidizes and in toilet bowls, for instance, it oranges quickly after flushing and stains the bowl rather quickly. Can this be fix with a particulate filter or something else?


    I went through HomeDepot initially and they sent their water people, who ended up being the local Kinetico Dealer. They came out and did some testing and ended up recommending a Kinetico Premier Softener (for the special price of $3100!!), and a SulfurGuard system ($3000 too, eek!). And the OPTION of a RO system (a K5, $1600 installed). So just shy of $8,000 all told, ugh.

    Then I called the company that drilled the well, they suggested a Water-Right Sanitizer Plus for $3900 installed, saying that alone will take care of everything. I'm a bit skeptical.

    I have Culligan coming this week, but I'm curious to see what they will suggest and how much they will want.


    Talking to friends in other parts of the country...I'm not sure if I need one of these solutions, or more of a custom setup. I wish I knew of or could find a competent plumber around here that could install a setup that I mail-order, but I'm also not sure what parts I would mail-order for an initial setup.

    I'm hoping you guys have some good advice, thanks for any help in advance!!
  2. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    Maine
    This is a great site to read through and see what can be done. There are often many different ways to accomplish the same thing as you are already beginning to see. You also need to know the average gallons of water used per day. Chlorine injection and a softener will take care of most of your problems.
    The water rite unit is very similar to a unit being sold by Lancaster. I have installed 7 of them in the past year or so and as of now, they are all working just fine.

    http://dwb.unl.edu/Teacher/NSF/C01/C01Links/www.goodwaterco.com/comprob.htm
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  3. jrd

    jrd New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    NH
    Good info, thanks Tom.

    I don't know much about Lancaster, but I just looked at their website. I'm thinking maybe I could order from them...and find a local plumber to install?
  4. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    Maine
    Good plan.....
  5. jrd

    jrd New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    NH
    Do you know much about any of the Pelican systems, or have experience with them?
  6. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    Maine
    I'm not a fan of softeners that are "salt free" there are several on the market and I suspect thanks to the EPA there will be a whole lot more to come.

    Quoted in part from the link below.

    http://www.uswatersystems.com/blog/2011/02/confused-about-salt-free-water-conditioners/

    In a recent study, funded by the Water Research Foundation (which is still on-going and not yet complete), it was found that the TAC Technology reduced scale by 96.4 percent, while the electromagnetic technology only reduced sale by 41.7%.1 By my math, the electromagnetic technology was less than half as effective. According to the Water Quality Association (WQA) “softened water” “is water that contains less than one grain per gallon (gpg) of hardness ions.” Therefore, any device that is effective in reducing the water hardness to less than one gpg is a softener. Conversely, and water treatment device that does not reduce the hardness of the water to less than 1 gpg cannot be called a softener and it dos not produce soft water.

    Pelican™ says that they have “naturally softened water, without salt” and calls their product a water softener. It may condition the water, but it absolutely doesn’t soften the water by causing it to contain less than 1 gpg hardness ions. In fact, they go on to say: “The Pelican™ Natursoft keeps the healthy minerals in the water so you can enjoy naturally softened water.” Naturally softened water contains no minerals and they say that they keep the minerals in the water, so the two statements are contradictory and misleading. Pelican™ may be a water “conditioner” but to call it a water “softener” is extremely misleading to a consumer. I have tested both Easy Water and Pelican™ and can find no basis for claims that you will use less soaps and detergents or that you will have whiter and brighter clothes. I know that they have some glowing testimonials, but I wonder if some of the endorsements are by people who have seen these “little green men” as well.

    Chem1.com is also a very good site for debunking snake oil water conditioninng
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
  7. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,737
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Good overall information, but the links to products and ordering look to be broken; any idea what happened to them?
  8. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,946
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Anti-Scale, TAC, Magnetic, etc. We sell and manufacture all of them. But... Ask anyone on this site who owns their own real business in the water treatment industry, or who was worked in the industry for more than 5 years, or who actually live in a house... I can almost guess every one of us has a salt softener as part of their water treatment system.

    The salt free solutions are nice, but often times they are ineffective. Iron, manganese, copper, etc must be removed prior to these technologies.

    Several options exist for your water treatment conditions. Are you wanting to do it yourself, or would you prefer to have a company come out, and have the resposibility if it does not work to your satisfaction? Online can save you some money, but once the units are installed, they are usually yours to keep.

    My suggestion, if you are going to do it yourself is to cheat a bit.

    A simple chlorine injector (pumped, pellet etc), with a contact tank, Catalytic GAC backwashing tank, and a traditional softener. You should also buy a few simple test kits. This would probably cost far less, but it will require some regular maintenance on your part. Adding salt, adding chlorine, etc.

    Chemical free designs using air injection are also very popular and work most of the time, but have their disadvantages too.

    What are your thoughts so far?
  9. jrd

    jrd New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    NH

    Great info. Thank you. One of the local companies I've spoken with (after getting past the Kinetico stuff) recommended an air injection/aerator for oxidizing and removing the ferrous iron. You say they're popular...how do they compare with a chlorine injector, and pros and cons?

    As of now, it looks like I'm heading down the path of a Fleck/Clack valve softener with something on the front (either an air injection or chlorine injection). Depending on how this does, I will drink that, or get an RO too, for the drinking water.

    I have two more outfits coming out for quotes before I make a final decision, I'll post up my options here when I know more.
  10. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    California
    I would get the RO as well. Once you have a taste of that clean water it is hard to go back. I am on municipal water and have a carbon tank, softener, and RO. I have tasted the water after each and there is no comparison to the RO water.
  11. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,946
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Air injection works most but not all of the time. Probably 85%. Chlorine will work 95+% of the time. Many local companies will refine their equipment to the local water conditions and iron types... it can be difficult. Also, tannins, H2S, manganese, iron, and bio issues are better taken care of with Chlorine injection/contact tanks.

    Air injection requires some maintenance, the iron precipitates on everything where it oxidizes.
  12. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    Maine
    The line between the injector and the tank generally plugs up. If that line is installed with unions, its simple to take it out, clean it and put it back in place. Injectors also plug up.
  13. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,737
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Another vote for chlorine.
  14. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    Maine
    Chlorene is good but air injection has its place too and if its set up right and with servicability it is a good alternative.
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    It is not unless the dealer wants the service calls it causes. Or a DIYer just loves doing maintenance.
  16. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    Maine


    Argumentative little fellow, aren't you LOL

    I have quite a lot of customers with air injection that we installed with shutoffs and unions and the homoewners are more than capable of of shutting two valves off, spinning the unions open and flushing the pipe and injector. Takes less than a half hour. I like air injection because it requires less maintainence than chlorene injection and is less costly to operate, but each job and every homeowner has its pecularities so a good serviceman is sensitive to those issues.
  17. jrd

    jrd New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    NH
    Got another quote today from a company that offers either a traditional softener with a Fleck valve, or an EasyWater NoSalt Conditioner. The guy seemed to be pushing the NoSalt system, although he was offering either. Of course, for my water conditions, I would also have to go with an Iron aerator (either a generic one with a fleck valve, or an EasyWater brand "IronShield").

    I'm hesitant on the NoSalt Conditioner...thinking, "where's the catch??" but it seems like it's legit, and will soften my water just as well as the salt-based solution (traditional softener).

    Anyone have any experience with any of the EasyWater products?
  18. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,946
    Location:
    Ontario California
    LOL, (Please turn on your sarcasm filter now) A system that alters the ions in the water to a non sticky state with a radio freuency wire wrapped around the pipe works just as good as a traditional softener...

    Salt free water treatment systems have their place, but when they are sold in the way you are being told, I lose all interest. They do not work as good as a tue softener. TAC, NAC, Hydromagnetic, electro magnetic, radio frequency, electronic frequency, catalytic etc. all have their place in this industry but... many companies oversell the systems abilities to do what a softener does. Companies that sell and market them properly, not as a competing item to a traditional softener but as a greener technology that may reduce the scale buildup in a house makes some sense. We sell and we manufacture many of these technologies. i do in-house testing regularly on these technologies. Some of these technologies show some promise, but none of them compete with a traditional softener for actual, repeatable effectiveness. That is why I can almost assure you that every guy on this site who regularly gives advice and lives in a house has a traditional softener in their own home, even though they may sell the alternative technologies.

    Easywater makes many great products and they are a great company. The Easy Water electronic scale reduction system has been tested here but the results are not consistent enough to endorse. This is the same for the TAC, NAC, Magnetic etc designs. A true softener will give you the best water, but it also uses salt for the regeneration which can affect the environment in a negative way, especially if they are not set efficiently and properly maintained.

    My suggestion, stick with the softening. I am pretty sure everybody on this site will agree except for the occassional sales guy from one of thee companies that pops their head in trying to sell their product.
  19. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    Maine
    I did some extensive testing a few years back on similar technology.......real similar and the upshot of it all was that it doesn't work, in fact any qualified chemist will tell you exactly why it can't possibly work, well at least not in this universe. I was also invited by lawyers from said company to cease and desist but when I decided to ignore their threats they were in fact not willing to actually face a judge. Please spend some time on my friends website www.chem1.com It's an eye opener for folks getting scammed into this stuff. Oh, the reason they push salt less is because their commission / profit on the sale and installation is 3 times more than real softening equipment. Step away from the dark side LOL
  20. jrd

    jrd New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    NH
    Thanks for reaffirming my hunch. I will stick with a salt-softener option.

    On that note...what's your take on salt-softeners with a septic system? I've heard mixed reviews...some saying it's bad, others saying it's fine, etc.
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