Iron Filter / Water Softener - how to choose

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by kellerdc, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Been there, read that. Still excited, but I am going to install a tempering valve in the HW line to the bathrooms.
  2. Platin465

    Platin465 New Member

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    SW Florida
    I appreciate that you brought up this fix. I will be heating the water to max whenever the smell comes back. My goal though is to stop this from happening to begin with. If this is bacterial, then where is it coming from? If from the water source, then how do I clean it before it gets into my water softener and house?
    Right now I've got slime in my toilet tanks and since the leak into the bowl, stained toilets. I thought stains were due to iron content only, but I think it is more because of this bacteria and its effect on the iron. Should I start a new thread?
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Slime says iron related bacteria (IRB), a harmless group of both aerobic and anaerobic types of bacteria. They live in the ground and groundwater and eat iron and release iron when they die which causes rust stains. IRB can cause odor problems very similar to H2S.

    You can shock the well (with bleach), but that can lead to serious problems with the well casing, the pump etc. and your water quality. Or you can use other means used to kill bacteria with the exception of UV light. You need to fix the water leaking toilets.

    BTW, Tom's article is aimed at plumbers' liability and you should ask him about the severe increase in very harmful bacteria growth in water heaters since the government mandated reduction in the max temp of water heaters from 140f to 120f.
  4. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    There are lots of things living in the average (120°F) domestic water heater. If you have the good fortune to be living in a California prison, your hot water is at only 105°, but you should have thought about that earlier in life. One of the reasons I'm concerned about those temperatures is the ability of pathogenic bacteria to survive and thrive in those conditions, most notably Legionella pneunmophila, which causes Legionnaires' Disease.

    According to the WHO paper "Legionella and the prevention of legionellosis," temperature affects the survival of Legionella as follows:

    • Above 70 °C (158 °F) - Legionella dies almost instantly
    • At 60 °C (140 °F) - 90% die in 2 minutes
    • At 50 °C (122 °F) - 90% die in 80–124 minutes, depending on strain
    • 48 to 50 °C (118 to 122 °F) - Can survive but do not multiply
    • 32 to 42 °C (90 to 108 °F) - Ideal growth range
    • 25 to 45 °C (77 to 113 °F) - Growth range
    • Below 20 °C (68 °F) - Can survive but are dormant, even below freezing
    Other sources claim alternate temperature ranges:

    • 60 to 70 °C (140 to 158 °F) to 80 °C (176 °F) - Disinfection range
    • 66 °C (151 °F) - Legionella die within 2 minutes
    • 60 °C (140 °F) - Legionella die within 32 minutes
    • 55 °C (131 °F) - Legionella die within 5 to 6 hours
    • 20 °C (68 °F) to 45 °C (113 °F) - Legionella multiply
    • 20 °C (68 °F) & below - Legionella are dormant
    Most municipal water suppliers ensure their water is realtively pathogen-free, but now and then stuff happens and you get boil-water orders. I suppose some people comply with them, but I don't know any who do. And who boils water before pouring it over their head for a shower? No, they stand in the hot shower and breathe the aerosol of water and bacteria directly into their lungs. Well-water users don't issue their own steenking boil-water order, but usually take whatever they get. I LOVE my 160°F water produced by my solar system at no ongoing cost.

    Having said that, even after warning my guests about the excessively hot water, I'm mindful of the danger of scalding as outline in the references Tom directed us to above, so I' ve bought a tempering valve which I will get around to installing one of these days, and will then have the exact configuration recommended by Watts:

    Scalding-Watts pg 19.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  5. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Thanks Mikey, great information! so few people understand this important part of plumbing. I have attached the Rheem hot water temperature/scald chart. Excessive temperatures are very dangerous and not allowed by most plumbing codes, but without it, the water heater can become a pathogenic nightmare. The installation of a tempering valve is critical to protect guests, elderly, children etc from potential severe injury or death. hot.jpg
  6. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    To do it right the water heater should be set at 160 with a tempering valve also set at 160. Then every fixture served should have an asse 1070 device installed at the point of use because legionella can hid in the piping itself. Recirculating is also key for runs longer than 100' but there are those that think that people have the god given right to expose their family and friends to scald burns and codes are just there for someone to make money off of.

    Plumbers protect the health and SAFETY of the public. Hacks living in motor homes on wheels don't give a crap and have no problem giving unsuspecting folks bad advice.
  7. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    What's the point of the valve at the water heater? If I were plumbing a new house, I'd recirculate at 160° and put the ASSE devices downstream at each fixture.

    BTW, the lawyer-document you referenced recommends a "comfortable" shower temperature of 100°. I checked mine today and found it was at 112°. I used to keep my hot tub at 108°. Different strokes, I guess.
  8. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    Location:
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    Added safety. Water heats are notorious for temperature swings and you need consistent temperature for the point of use valves.
  9. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Didn't know that; thanks. Pretty sorry design. But then, as you say, plumbing ain't rocket science...
  10. bookemdanno

    bookemdanno New Member

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    Location:
    Ohio
    A sufficient amount of H2O2 added to the OUTLET of a water heater and allowed to sit there overnight is much safer than turning up the heat. If you first flush off the bottom for several minutes, you will remove some of sediment that the bacteria can thrive in. This will solve the rotten egg odor 95% of the time and you won't void the water heater warranty by removing the anode rod (which rarely works). Hydrogen peroxide kills faster than bleach and when it breaks down, the second oxygen molecule comes off becoming water.
  11. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Why the outlet? Wouldn't the H2O2 (or bleach) only treat the upper stratum of the water? Injecting it via the inlet, it starts out at the bottom, close to all the accumulated crud where the bacteria live, and rises with water flow and convective currents.
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Disinfecting the outlet only is a really bad idea and draining the heater and flushing it leave more than enough sediment in the tank to prevent any benefit from doing it because the drain valve is on the side of the tank a couple inches above the bottom of the tank but, IRB lives on the inside of the heater and especially on the anode rod.

    If needed I can tell you how to prevent burns if you want to use heat to kill the bacteria.
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