iron problems

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by rihorton, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. rihorton

    rihorton New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    north carolina
    i had my water tested and here where the results.
    ph-6.46
    tds - 52.8
    turbidity - 1
    hardness - 1.59
    Iron(FE) - .28

    I need some help, first thing I do not understand is turbidity, could someone explain this. Also, i have a lot of red stains in the toilet bowl and have a inline cartridge type filter. I had my water tested and got the above results. At the bottom it said it recommended the following equipment.
    Aqua-Pure Backwashing Filter CBF100 w/ Media N-10p
    I have searched for the this Aqua pure on the internet, could someone tell me if this is a good filter unit and is it something that would last.
    When i was at the plumbing supply house one of the guys there suggested that I try to shock my well with chlorine, so I purchased a kit from them where you mix some it it in a 5 gallon bucket and pour it in and then it has some chlorine tablets that you drop down in your well, he said this may clear up the iron for quite a few months, that he knows some people that do this a couple of times a year and just use a regular cartridge filter like I already have.
    did I waste my time doing this, the product was called Well-Safe, a plumber who lives up above who is retired now told me that I was wasting my time, could someone give me some guidance here, i just used the chlorine today and suppose to not use my water for about 12 hours and then flush the chlorine out with a outside water hose stretched away from my house. Now confused, but what i had read on teh internet, shocking it with chlorine is how to control Iron.
    Thanks for any advice.
  2. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    regular shocking with chlorine is a bad idea. Chlorine is bad for the pump, fittings and wiring.
    A properly sized water softener will take care of the iron and hardness problems.
    Turbidity refers to the clarity of the sample. filtration will clear that up also. I'm going to steer clear of specific brand recommendations because for some reason that always leads to endless arguments here, suffice to say that you should do some product research and buy the best equipment you can afford.
  3. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    With the Ph at 6.4-6.5 I would say Neutralizer, about 1.5 to 2.0 cubic feet with a control valve on top like the Fleck 2510 and see if there is any thing else down the line that you need.
    The neutralizer willl bring the ph up to 7.1 or so and while the Ph is getting changed the iron is most likely to drop out and get flushed out when it cleans or cycles every 4-6 days..
    I know that works around here .. so it most likely will work there.

    Is the iron at .28 ppm?

    If the hardness is just under 2 grains and you add the neutralizer that could bring the hardness to 4 grains.. if after a few months if the the water is to hard for your likeing then add a softener.. but for now I would say just the neutralizer and see how it plays out.. One step at a time.
  4. rihorton

    rihorton New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    north carolina
    Iron was .28 ppm.
    I finally found some info on the unit that was recommended by CUNO, which is who the water sample was sent to by the local plumbing shop. I found it online for 495 dollars, which seems like a good price.
    I hate to think i will have to spend thousands of dollars for iron filters, softners ,etc. i would just like to get rid of the iron and the red water. What exactly do you mean by Neutralizer?
    I had a reply that recommendation of a certain brand seemed to cause a lot of debate, but that was why I registered and posted on this site, to find out what others had used and gotten good results from.
    Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.
    I am still a little confused about using the Chlorine, if you do a search, a lot of major colleges and goverment post about how effective it is to shock your well with Chlorine to kill bacteria and Iron so I don not understand how it is not something recommended to do.
    Any advice or suggestions would be great.
  5. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    Chlorine is an Oxidizer... it will eat what ever it touches.. yes it is used to kill bacteria in city water systems, to clean counter tops in restraunts and in meat shops and the list goes on.

    While it can help in controling or killing the bacteria, what is it doing to the metal well casing? what about that pipe if not plastic going to the pump? what about the pump? it is metal not total plastic.. then there is the 3 wires going to the pump, if the casing on the wire is not right , then the chlorine will eat that then the copper wire.

    I am not saying not to use it say every 3 or so years.. but every few months?

    The iron that you have is at or just below the so called stain level of .3ppm now you might get some from time to time, but daily?...

    The ph is on the acid side of things.. 6.5... it is very possible for it to start eating copper and iron pipes with in our house... that is why I said neutralizer for that ph correction.

    When the water is ph corrected and there is Iron in the water, often times the iron will go from clear to see the iron in the water.. now if that happens for you and there is no more iron staining after the neutralizer and you are happy with the new hardness, say 4 grains or 68.4ppm hardness then call it good, as now you have water with ph of say 7.2 and no iron ... then if you wish to deal with the hardness a softener sized for the house would be the way to go.

    There are many places on the web to get systems from if you are handy or a fast learner with doing things on your own.

    A box store might have a system for say 600.00 but if it lasts for say 5 years and another say for 900.00 will last say 15+ years which would you do?

    The above are ideas to think over.. to be weighted out with other ideas that are sure to come along..
  6. rihorton

    rihorton New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    north carolina
    thanks for reply, could you give more detail about what you refer to as neutralizer, i shocked my well today and noticed the water coming out is now brown, from what i can tell on here that means it has turned to rust from the chlorine.
    When you talk about neutralizer, could you give the brand that you know works there. I am in north carolina near winston salem. if i use a regular cartridge filte it has to be changed every week and is very red and clogged up.
    I was also very curious if anyone had used the aqua pure which was recommended by that manufacuture after they tested my water. I shocked my well today around 11 am and going to completly flush it out in the morning and hopefully it will clear up enough for me to put a cartridge filter back in and work okay for a few weeks until i get back home from working out of town. I understand from reading on here that after I flush it out that it would be best to install a chlorine cartridge filter for a few weeks, I just hope that since I shocked it today with the chlorine I will be able to wash my colored clothes by Sunday without white spots from the chlorine.
    Thanks
  7. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    When flushing out the well from a chlorine treatment, run a hose to some place that does not matter from the pressure tank or the first outside hose bib and then let the water run at 5-6gpm for some 4 hours and that should flush that out, then run the water inside the house for about 30 minutes to flush out the water inside the house.

    For me when I do a neutralizer I use a media tank that is at least 10x54 and calcite 1.5 for that size tank, then a control on top say the Fleck 2510 filter valve, there is the same valve for softeners with a few extra parts for the softener part.

    Different companies might call it a bit different, but tank, calcite some times with magnesium oxide , backwashing control are the three items that would make up a Nuetralizer.

    I am not sure why your filter is loading up so fast, does not sound right, but I am more use to the water here in SouthCentral Alaska.... the iron is below .3 ppm, and normally that should not be a problem... but that is not to say that some thing else could be adding to the fun or that some one put it down as .28 and it should be 2.8ppm now if it is 2.8 or even 28ppm that could really be a challenge when treating the iron.

    Any way of getting a second test on that iron to double check?
  8. rihorton

    rihorton New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    north carolina
    Thanks, just finished shocking my well with the chlorine treatment call well safe and it seems to have worked like what i have been reading on here and the internet. The back of my toilets where always coated with red iron, I use to think it was mud until i had it tested. I put the chlorine in yesterday and let it sit over night and this morning ran it out of through a hose to the a empty lot behind my house. When I first started, the water was brown instead of red, and from what i have been reading that is because the chlorine caused the iron to react and turn to rust. I let the hose run for about 30 minutes and then i started running a cycle where I would run the water for 5 minutes and then turn it off for 10 minutes and then back on until 5 minutes. I could still smell a slight chorine odor after I have done this for quite a few hours today, so went to lowes and got a chlorine/charcoal cartridge filter installed it in the inline filter that I have.
    Before I put the filter in the water had cleared up a lot, but was still a small light brown tint, but the filter is clearing that up and if i run a sink full of water can not smell any chlorine, so assume everything is okay, have to use the water to wash some clothes so i can pack for a 2 week trip out of town.
    Another thing I noticed was when I flused the toilets, in the water bowl it was dark brown, i kept flushing it out until it cleared up enough that i could see what looked like real fine brown like sand, I assume this is rust, I was actuall able to take a cleaning pad and clean out the toilet bowls to almost as white as new, and have never been able to do that, so it appears that the shocking has helped with the iron bacteria, it appears that I had it pretty bad. Now still looking at the aqua-pure that was recommended when I got the water test back, i think it was a cbf100, but not exactly sure. will keep the charcoal filter in so we can shower, etc. and plan on changing it out sunday with a new one and change it once a week for a few weeks.
    I wish someone would reply with what they think about the Aqua-pure cbf100 with media n-10p and if it would be a good unit. I also own a couple of other houses that are across the road from me and they are on a water system instead of a well. I talked to the reps today and they seemed to think that my side of the road would be annexed by the city I live in and would be able to connect to the city water, which I would do in a heart beat, so now uncertain about spending a couple of thousand dollars on a water filtration system, maybe I will get lucky and be able to get by with the cartridge filter for a few months until I find out more about the possibility of getting on the city water.
    thanks
  9. rihorton

    rihorton New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    north carolina
    One last note, I noticed when I was runnig the water out today that about every minute to a minute and half I could hear the pump contacts kick in, is this normal, or should I plan on replacing the pressure switch and the nipple, I have had to take it apart in the past and clean out the nipple, it would be clogged, which I think might be the way it is now. When I do that I plan on making sure the tank is charged correctly, and from what I have read, you turn off the pump turn on your water, run all the water out and then you should have about 28 psi of pressure in the tank for a 30-50 pressure switch which is what I have.
    Is a minute to minute and half too soon, or should it run longer before the pump turns on.
    Thanks
  10. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    I am still trying to understand why you did not just let the water run for 2-3 hours with out turning it off..
    This off and on and off and on and off and on.... ?????
    How long has the pressure tank, switch, gauge and the like been in place?

    I have no idea what the Aqua-pure cbf100 with media n-10p... is there a link to it? a photo?
    If it is what I think it is from what I found ,,, neutralizing media in a tank with a 5600 valve..
    The media is a good idea, but the standard 5600 for the valve in this case not a good idea.... fleck 2510 or clack would be much better in that either would be able to clean the media in a cleaning cycle....
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  11. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Cycling every 60 to 90 seconds is more frequent than is considered desirable. Frequent cycling is hard on your pump and other components and can accelerate failure of components. You can reduce cycling by installing a cycle stop valve (CSV). Look in the Pump and well Forum on this board where the CSV has been discussed extensively. Another way to reduce cycling is to install a second pressure tank or a larger pressure tank.
  12. rihorton

    rihorton New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    north carolina
    The first time, ran it for 30min to one hour, not exactly sure how long, but I would say closer to 30 min than 1 hour, but had to leave and take care of some business and did not want to leave it on while I was gone, then when I got back ran it for about another hour before I had to leave again, then when the wife got home called her and told her to turn it on and run if for about 5-10mins and then leave it off for about 15 mins or so, did not want something to happen if she turned it on and just left it on, because I knew she would not know what to do and it was going to be about 4-6 hours before i would get back home.
    When I got back i ran it for about 30 min and could run a 30 gallon trash can that I have in the back with some of the water and could hardly notice a chlorine smell so that was when I decided to go put a chlorine filter on it so that we could use the water in the house after we flushed out the inside lines until we could not really notice a chlorine smell, you had to put a glass right under your nose to notice it.
    Tomorrow, when I get back home going to take the filter off and run the water for about an hour through the outside faucet.
    Now with the cartridge filter in the toilet bowls are as white as new, and they have not been like that in a long time, I was able to just wipe up what appeared to be rust from what I have read on here and flush it down the toilet, in the past I could not get the red stains out of the toilet bowls, but now they are white, so I belive the chlorine shocking did at least partially work, I just checked the cartridge filter and it looks pretty dirty so will take it out tomorrow morning and run the water through the outside faucet for about 30min to an hour and hopefully it will clean out some more of what now appears to be a brown rust tint instead the bright red color it was before I did the chlorine.
    The aua-pure is actually a company of CUNO, a 3m company. I emailed them and they replied in a couple of hours with some documentation. I would attach them if I can figure out how.
    Was unable to attach the pdf files I recieved in a email, but attached some links I found when I was researching before I contacted them and got the email.

    http://www.grouponene.com/CBF_SERIES_SPEC.pdf

    http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/p...r-Filtration-biz_shop&infoParam.campaignId=WZ
  13. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    Ok , now I be on the same page on the water flow that you where doing to clean out the well after you did the chlorine.. that works.. I was thinking that it was shorter times ,.. my bad..

    Short cycling of a well pump is NEVER a good idea if one is looking for long life on a pump.

    Now the unit ... Question One that needs to be asked, Flow rate from the well into the house? greater than 4gpm? if so the smallest will not work.
    Question 2, max gpm that the pump in the well is going to do? If the best that the pump is going to do is 6gpm then the largest will not work because it needs 7.5 gpm just for its backwash to work right.

    The valve is a good one, no challenges or problems there.

    Your next quest is to find out what kind of out put your pump will give you, and what you need inside the house.. then that answer will lead you you to which of the systems would be best for your needs.

    I my self would use Calcite for the ph correction and not their brand named media... but this is just me.
  14. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    You have listed your pH as 6.46. In my opinion media n-10p would not be appropriate for your situation. You should use straight calcite as suggested by AK.

    The N-10p media is a blend of calcite and corosex and is intended for use in much more acidic water than you have. If you were to use it you would likely end up with very alkaline water (high pH) which can dry and irritate the skin.

    Here is a description of the media:

    Product Description: N-10P Neutralization Media
    N Media Special Blend Media For: Highly Acidic Water - pH: 5.5-6.0 Prevents copper pipe corrosion Media Cu. Ft. 1
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The one link says a metered control valve but has a picture of a 3 button time clock Clack WS-1 control valve instead; the other link shows the 3 button time clock also. The media/mineral is bought separately and freight is not included.

    You mention the pump switch clicking on/off. As long as the pump, assuming under 1.5 hp, stays off for 60 seconds for proper cooling of the motor before the pump starts again, you're fine. That is not what is called short cycling; short cycling is under 60 seconds and that length of time is controlled by the size of the pressure tank and the air pressure precharge in the tank with no water in the tank.

    The filter is a 1.0 cuft and will probably be too small for more than a 1-1.5 bathroom house, or any house with a large tub or shower. I can't see a top dome hole plug on teh mineral tank, and if there isn't one, you remove the control valve from the tank to add new mineral. I only sell the top dome hole type tanks for AN filters. And by the time you get the price of the mineral and freight, you'll probably be paying more than my delivered price for a 1.5 cuft with the top dome hole and the CS filter version of the Clack WS-1 including a by pass valve, 50' of drain line, Clack wrench, etc. and my 7 pages of very detailed assembly, set up, programming and installation instructions. They also include instructions of how to add new mineral.
  16. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Calcite for an Acid Neutralizing filter is ofter available locally at much lower prices than available on the web. In my area the local Agway sells a 50 lb bag of Calcite for $15 while most web sources I am familiar with charge more than $50 for the same quanity--the difference is shipping. Local sellors typically don't deliver the product to the consumer while web sellers typically use UPS or similar services for shipping to the customers home.
  17. rihorton

    rihorton New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    north carolina
    Thanks to everyone for your advise, I am a electronic engineer by trade, not a plumber, but have learned a lot from this site. Not sure about the size of the pump, etc. I do have two baths. Also, thanks about the calcite.
    When I turned my water on this morning, had almost no pressure, did not look under the crawl space to make sure the pressure guage on the tank was showing pressure, but with a faucet open, and water trickling out of it, I closed the shut off valve that is in line with my cartridge filter and took the filter out and it was completly brown and looked clogged up, it is a charcoal, fine sediment filter that I picked up a lowes.
    Put a regualar type filter in and turned the shut off valve on and had pressure, so hoping it was just the fact that the filter was clogged, just not quite so sure why i only had a trickle of water when I turned on the water, wish I had checked the pressure on the tank first. Could it have been because the filter was so clogged up with what I think looks more like brown rust instead of Iron and had sit all night that it would just not let any water pass through.
    I will be going out of town for a couple of weeks to work and hoping nothing major could have happened to anything by shocking the well like I did, do really hope it was just a stopped up filter.
    Still planning on taking the pressure switch off when I get back in town and make sure the nipple is not clogged, but yesterday the tanks appeared to be turning off and on like it should have, when I watched it, it was a little over 50lbs and had to dropp down to about 30, which seemed like it took about a minute or two to drop down to the 30 and then I could hear the contacts close and the pump turn on, so thinking the nipple is not clogged.
    Will check my water first thing in the morning again after it has been turned off all night. The filter I put in this morning is a reqular sediment type cartridge filter and have used the water today and it has a slight light brown tent.
  18. rihorton

    rihorton New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    north carolina
    Just a note, was talking to my neighbor up the road this morning, who is a retired plumber and he was impressed that I could now run a glass with water and the filter I have on is not a red tent, just from doing a chlorine shock to the well, he kept saying that putting the chlorine tablets in would not do anything because the water in my well does not stay there, that it comes in and out constantly. He still has a hard time understanding how shocking cleared up my water so good, he almost got upset with me when I told him that I plan on still putting in a iron type filter but wanted to make sure that I killed as much of the iron bacteria as possibe until I got around to it. In our conversation he said that just a few months ago he had to replace the pump in his well. I asked him was it coated with the red iron like mine was about a year ago and he said it was, that was when I told him that I thought it failed sooner than it should have due to the iron bacteria and if he had shocked his well with chlorine maybe once a year it would not have failed, now that was when he did get upset.
    Is he just too old school to understand?
    Thanks
  19. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    yea maybe. There is a difference between iron bacteria though and ferric/ferrous iron. Iron bacteria generally shows itself as a black slime in the back of your toilet tank. It can be controlled with either chlorine injection or hydrogen peroxide. That "red" staining iron however needs to be taken care of either with a sofetner ( if the level is not too high) or a birm or greensand filter. I am pretty sure your loss of pressure ws from the clogged filter. If it's been that bad the little line or pipe that goes to your pressure switch may fill up with crap also and prevent the switch from feeling the pressure. You can spin it off and flush it out.
  20. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Rihorton, if you are leaving home for a couple weeks leaving SWYLAMO home alone, you should remove that cartridge filter from the housing before you leave or she may be out of water some morning and will be calling you or some more handsome handyguy, or the old guy plumber that's already upset with you in to change it for her that evening; while you are living out of a suit case or kit bag a few thousand miles away. Either way, none of that is good. :)
Similar Threads: iron problems
Forum Title Date
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Iron, H2S, and other Problems with Existing Well Water Treatment System Oct 14, 2012
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Culligan Iron Cleer problems..... Feb 14, 2010
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Iron filter before or after Oct 7, 2014
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r culligan iron cleer Apr 22, 2014
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Help with big iron in well water! Apr 18, 2014

Share This Page