1. liveinfixer

    liveinfixer New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Marsing Idaho
    Well, I've been told by several people with lots and lots of experience that iron bacteria can only be dealt with through chlorine.

    I'm willing to bet that not only is this not the only way; it's not the best way; and the best way hasn't yet been found.

    Anybody care to weigh in?
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You can also use ozone if you have a lot of money.

    Hydrogen peroxide doesn't work well for long.

    UV can not be used for a number of reasons, all of which prevent the light from working for anything.

    You can't filter it, especially on a POE (whole house) basis.

    So the only disinfectant left is chlorine.

    And chlorine is like when ya need a big hammer and you happen to have a really nice lineman's/engineer's hammer in the tool box and room enough to swing it just right; it is the best tool although some wuss complains about the noise. :rolleyes:
  3. liveinfixer

    liveinfixer New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Marsing Idaho
    Wouldn't ozone and hydrogen peroxide really be the same thing? Though one way would be more expensive.

    I loved the idea of UV, but have read about it's relative ineffectiveness even for the things it works on.

    Chlorine is just a means of oxygenation as far as I know. Why will peroxide work initially but then stop working?

    I understand why shocking won't work for any length of time. (though local experts all tout it as a simple, cheap cure.)

    Just so we're clear here. I'm not trying to restrict this to OTS sollutions. For instance, I'm pretty sure that cracking all the water with ellectrolosys and burning the hydrogen to get back the water and help pay for the cracking would pretty much top the list for an effective, probably slowest/most expensive method. (I sure can't think of anything that'd be slower or more expensive.)

    I understand that heat kills irb, how about microwaves of the proper frequency? What about ultrasound? Radiation? Phages? Pumping the water through itty bitty orifices to micro cavitate it?
  4. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    Clorination is the best, least expensive and most used option. Why not go that route?
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yeah, I'm not an inventor so I sell what is tried 'n true and works for the least cost and maintenance needed.
  6. liveinfixer

    liveinfixer New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Marsing Idaho
    Well, chlorination is almost a dead certainty. Your post however shows the exact same attitude I've seen from professionals in general construction for as long as I've been involved in it which has been a good long slice of my life.

    Professionals usually don't care about the developing technologies that impact their professions until after their customers start asking about it. And then their only concern is how to make their customers stop asking about it.

    The following are as close to exact quotes as I can remember:
    "Plastic pipes? Why would you want plastic pipes? Plastic pipes will melt if you have a fire!" "If you build the house too airtight you'll have to provide extra ventilation; the house needs to breath." "Double pane windows are'nt any better than single pane windows; they just cost more." "Vinyl windows aren't any better than alluminum, they're just cheaper."

    I'm old enough to remember the transition from 2X4 to 2X6 walls. Not much of a change; just thicker walls for more insulation. I can still remember arguing with the old timers about whether or not 2X6 construction was superior or not. God forbid someone should sugest something radical like 'I' beam studs, hollow insulated headers, or synthetic foundations.

    My boss and I collaborated together to build the home he expected to live in (till he was made an offer he couldn't refuse) for the foreseable future. It was in the 3,000 sqft range and cost under $60 a month for power. I know at least one guy living in 1,200 sqft and shelling out near $500 for power. I guess one of us paid a little more attention to thermal efficiency in our design. Both houses had the same number of people in them, the low cost one included the power requirements of a 40X60 shop with a welder in it. And yes, we used the welder.

    Do you think any other builders have expressed any degree of curiosity for how we accomplished that? Nope. The attitude seems to be: "Suckers, er... customers pay for the stuff we do now; why make anything better? No wonder the "saltless softener" people are able to stay in business selling magnets to rubes.
  7. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    Very nice but what does any of that have to do with the available technology for treating iron bacteria? Are there other ways? Sure, and they are either ineffective, not as effective or grossly expensive for treating a residential problem. Don't you believe that if the manufacturers had come up with a miracal solution they would be marketing the crap out of it? It's not a case of squirrel mentality as much as it is a case of using what is tried and true and the customer will still pay for.
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    What do you have against the use of chlorine other than the by products you mistakenly think will be created every time chlorine is used?

    What "developing technologies" to treat IRB do you know of that you think I don't know of, list them?

    You can wish for another way or new technology all you want, but if it doesn't exist, whats the point?

    IMO dreaming of something that doesn't exist or going on about the lack of a magical new technology just wastes time and effort.
  9. liveinfixer

    liveinfixer New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Marsing Idaho
    A little demanding there, Gary. Let me shoot that attitude back at you.

    What chlorine byproducts do you mistakenly believe I think will be created every time chlorine is used? List them. What byproducts did I ever express concern about? Quote me!

    What things do you mistakenly believe I think about IRB that you don't know? Give me a list.

    Your demands for me to list things I could not know are puzzling to say the least; which should be obvious from my demands for you to do the same. How is it that you consider "dreaming" (asking questions) about some other way of doing things is a waste of time and effort; but taking the time and effort to denigrate the questions is not?

    You've precisely proved the point I made about most professionals priorities. You'd rather deride the consideration of possibilities as "dreaming" about "magic" than contribute to the discussion. Why bother posting if the subject so offends you? If people even considering just the possiblity of a better way bothers you (one of the very best in the business) then my post about pros and their attitudes, sadly, couldn't be more dead on.

    My original post perhaps doesn't belong in a forum such as this one. It's intended to explore possibilities, not to solve any actual problem. If I've confused anyone by not making that clear from the get-go, I apologize.
  10. liveinfixer

    liveinfixer New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Marsing Idaho
    I'm unfamiliar with the phrase "squirrel mentality", but I rather like it.

    Why would you ask what I believe when I've already told you what I believe? I believe the best way has yet to be developed; not that manufacturers have developed something they haven't marketed yet. Why would they bother doing expensive R&D for something pros won't sell?

    This thread is (I thought) obviously speculative in nature. Does it really bother you that people might think about the way things work and consider the possibility of a better way?
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    Of the available methods of treating IRB, chlorination is the least expensive that works well. Now, if you come up with something that is as reliable and less expensive, all well and good. Maybe you'll make a mint. You could probably use a ceramic filter, but it would likely clog up fairly quickly and back flushing it would waste a fair amount of water. A good ceramic filter can block many viruses, so bacteria should be easy. They are not cheap if you want any decent flow rate, so that leaves you back at something that works, won't detract from the flow, and is still fairly inexpensive. You can beat your head against the wall as much as you want...at least right now, I don't think you'd find anything else that would work as well.

    Microwaves would be absorbed more by the water, and unless you heated the flow enough to kill the bacteria, just passing them by probably wouldn't work well. It's fairly expensive to generate microwaves with enough energy to do the task, and leaks could be life threatening. The water bath would damp any resonant frequency of the bacterium, so I think you'd have a lot of trouble zapping them in that way. Microwaves heat water fairly well because they are tuned to vibrate the water molecule. I don't think you'd get it to vibrate the bacteria.

    UV needs dwell time to work well, which you won't have. Take a neat hiking UV water purifier, it takes over a minute (with the small UV lamp) to purify a liter. Getting a bright enough array to do it to your water as it flows past would cost a fortune, and the bulbs only last about 1000 hours. Get out your checkbook, and buy stock in the utility company.
  12. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    I agree with what you're saying, about the industry as a whole - but - how many of those folks spend their free time on internet forums discussing the best way to do things? None. They watch the game, drink beer, and avoid thinking about work. The last thing they're going to do on their spare time, is post on a construction-related internet forum.

    What I'm trying to say, is that I think you're a bit off-base with the accusation, here.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  13. liveinfixer

    liveinfixer New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Marsing Idaho
    Thanks for the contribution.

    I hadn't even thought of a ceramic filter, makes me think of slag... Man, the surface area you'd need for flow; wow.

    See, the deal with the microwaves is that microwave frequencies we use to cook with are tuned to water. Makes a microwave oven a fiendishly efficient heater of water. What if it's tuned for iron? What happens to a fat happy IRB when his stomach full of iron suddenly goes to a thousand degrees?

    I agree, if all you're doing is heating the water you're going to be using oodles and oodles of power. The iron in the water however is only a few parts per million in that mass. If you can figure out how to heat just the iron your energy requirements drop by something like 1 in 50,000.

    Along the same line of thought: Ever see an induction furnace work? Guy at a small foundry gave me a demonstration by tossing an iron bar into a cold crucible and throwing a switch. It took a few seconds for the bar to go from flat out cold to glowing red with no influence other than alternating magnetic fields.

    Like I'd posted earlier; I liked the idea of the UV light; but it looks as though it's inpractical to say the least.

    Thanks again. I appreciate the input.
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Joe, I have taken the time to reply to you here a number of times, and with very accurate information. I have also spoken to you on the phone for at least an hour plus. And if you called on my 800#, I paid for the call, and now you go on about my attitude.

    Anyway, UV is sized by gpm and the light's gpm has to be higher than the peak demand gpm of the house. A UV for your house would be in the $300-$450 range depending on the rated Class of the light (A or B) and its features. I've sold hundreds of them over 23 years.

    IRB is a slime producer and thereby slime would prevent a UV light form working and, when the bacteria die they cause rust stains in the plumbing and on fixtures. Pretreatment is required to use UV, and you'd need an iron filter and softener before a UV. The system I proposed to you is the least expensive with the least maintenance requirements and space needed to install it. And they work every time.

    Chlorine is going to remain to be the best choice for a long time and ASAP as someone comes out with a new form of treatment, many of us dealers will try it, and if it works, we will gladly get rid of chlorine because next to none of us like selling anything the public (and most of us) has a negative 'feeling' about.
  15. liveinfixer

    liveinfixer New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Marsing Idaho
    If it makes a difference to you, I called Verizon to Verizon. Thanks again for the phone conversation, which intruded into your supper. (mine too)

    If you read my posts in this thread I have never expressed a desire for a UV system. I said I liked the idea of UV. It looks like a clever answer to a problem, but doesn't appear to work very well. Academically, I'm curious as to what pre-treatment would be required to use it.

    The attitude I was refering to was your demand for answers to questions I couldn't possibly answer. If you'd actually read this thread, you'd see that it was speculative in nature, not a request for pricing of different systems.

    Any negative feeling I'd have toward chlorine would be based on the massive up front cost and continueing maintainence down the road.

    Again. This thread was for the purpose of exploring what else could be done. It's not about "dreaming" about "magic". It's not an attempt to make you look bad. It's educational.

    I'd never heard of long run landslides until I read your posts in another thread. Now I want to learn about them. I'm not going to say "What's wrong with the short run slides I have right here?" I'm going to learn about them because I want to learn.

    If you don't want to participate in this discussion, speculative as it is; then please don't. If you'd like to present a case for why chlorine is going to be the best solution for a long time to come. Please do so.

    I also think it's going to be the best solution for a long time to come. I don't think that's because it's so great, but because people are buying it now.
  16. liveinfixer

    liveinfixer New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Marsing Idaho
    I would think so! You not only have to heat the water (for how long?) but then cool it off again. This would seem to have energy requirements pretty much the same as passing your whole house water through a tankless heater.

    Of course, if you could use an efficient heat pump system to shuffle the energy back and forth, rather than simply wasting it... Maybe it wouldn't be as bad as it sounds....

    Thanks for the input!
  17. liveinfixer

    liveinfixer New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Marsing Idaho
    Redox media works on bacterial iron.

    I just ran accross this little tidbit. http://www.pwgazette.com/ironremovalrules.htm If you scroll down or search for Redox you find out about a copper/zinc media that works on bacterial iron without chlorination. It doesn't say anything about whether the water is potable afterward or not, or what effect it has on ph.

    Maybe the professionals who keep on top of everything in their trade, and who are always on the lookout for something new could comment on this stuff.
  18. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You should note the article was published in 2003, 6 yrs ago, so it's hardly new info.

    The product is KDF. It's been around for a fairly long time now. It is a bacteriostatic device, like throwing a silver coin in a fountain, it helps to prevent bacteria growth IN THE MEDIA in this case, in the water in a fountain. It is not a biocide, meaning it kills bacteria.

    From the article; it does not say you can use it to treat the water past the filter for IRB. It says/means it prevents the bacteria from colonizing the filter media.

    Plus, your well system can not backwash the size of filter your family size and water quality requires.

    • Redox
    Redox media, which requires adequate dissolved oxygen to be effective, consists of two metals - 85 percent copper and 15 percent zinc. These two dissimilar metals create a small electrical field in the bed that will not allow bacterial growth in the media.



    This property earns redox the unique distinction of being effective on bacterial iron without the use of chlorine injection and being rated as bacterial static.



    Effective on removal of iron and hydrogen sulfide, able to reduce chlorine and heavy metals such as lead and mercury, redox is not effective with manganese.

    The biggest drawback for this media is its weight. Being almost twice as heavy as other minerals, it requires more than twice the backwash rate of other minerals. Sizing mineral tanks is crucial.
  19. liveinfixer

    liveinfixer New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Marsing Idaho
    KDF Process Media

    From: http://www.triangularwave.com/f4.htm

    "The oxidation/reduction potential (ORP) shift by a factor of -300mV or more for water filtered through redox media controls microorganism growth. Treating water reduces bacteria and other microorganisms by disrupting electron transport, causing cellular damage. KDF process media also kill bacteria by direct electrochemical contact and by the flash formation of hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide, both of which interfere with a microorganism's ability to function."

    From: http://www.pwgazette.com/ironremovalrules.htm or from your post

    "This property earns redox the unique distinction of being effective on bacterial iron without the use of chlorine injection..."

    I disagree with your assessment, (correct though it may be). The claim that Redox is "effective" without chlorine indicates (whether the writer intended it or not) that Redox, with sufficient oxygen present will elliminate IRB, not simply resist colonization.

    This further indicates a potentialy efficacious electrical treatment by simply passing a current through the water.
  20. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I would not use KDF for iron removal or bacteria control of any type of bacteria. And I haven't heard of many dealers even trying it because it is so heavy most residential well pumps can't backwash it correctly and it fails.
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