Iron staining, Sulfur smell, water options

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by astraelraen, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    731
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    Why have chlorine go through the pressure tank? The chlorine will reduce the life of the P/T. To me, your set up now is good except for the lack of a flow switch. Add it to the outbound side of the retention tank and be done with it.
  2. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Iron test shows 0.0 in the house, but there sure is some there. The drainboard by the sink also shows a reddish tint after a week or so.

    I always overthink things. Only now, I don't get paid for it :(. I've accumulated all the parts for an iron filter, so WTH. And there's no ring on the toilet bowls -- just the redish stain in the tank.


    I overthought that quite a bit. Everything is within 15' of the pump. I think I can rig an overpressure switch in the line to detect blockages, shut things down, and raise an alarm in the security system.

    I guess you'd have to ask the well driller. I certainly didn't know any better back in '00, so I just went with what he did. It's a jet pump, but if/when it dies I'll consider switching to a submersible.
  3. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Mainly for the reasons mentioned earlier. As it is now, the injector usually runs with no flow in the pipe, and as water is drawn from the contact tank the accumulated slug of chlorine slowly drifts into the tank, and isn't well mixed. Also, a few years ago I thought the pressure tank had failed, and when I drained it, a bunch of really disgusting goop came out. I cleaned it up, checked that it was working just fine, and resolved to look into chlorinating before the pressure tank.

    The only affordable flow switches I see typically have a turn-on in the 1GPM range, which I'm not comfortable with, given the flow rates and times for common uses in the house.

    When I talked with the manufacturer of the pressure tank at the time of the incident mentioned above, they recommended chlorinating, and mixing well in the contact tank, before the pressure tank. They assured me that there would be no problem with the bladder, but maybe they just want to sell me another. Since right now I'm seven or eight years into their 5-year warranty, they probably will.
  4. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Maine
    Is the jet at the pump or in the well?
  5. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    In the well.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    If it is pink/reddish, it is an airborne bacteria that gets into open water in a house, like pet water dishes etc.., not iron.

    If it is a single line (shallow well) jet pump, they can't suck water over about 25'. If it's a two line (deep well) jet pump they have a jet body down in the well and are good for up to 150'+. Those measurements are at sea level. So now you have the 200- 60' = 140' plus whatever distance above the 60', from 60 up to at least 25', that you don't draw water down below that; of stagnant water, in FL.
  7. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Not a hint of pink, more like orange. I'll get a sample to a microbiologist buddy and see if she can culture something disgusting.

    Excellent point -- definitely a deep well jet, 1" and 1 1/4" pipes. I thought the team that installed the well were a lazy bunch, so maybe they just decided after gluing up 60' of pipe that it was Miller Time and knocked off. I'll talk to another local well guy I have more confidence in and see what he says -- there may be some local conditions that dictated the 60', or maybe they didn't want to get too close to the bottom of the casing. It's all sand and clay in the cased area, but tan limerock below, according to the well completion report. It's obvious that they were unable to drive the casing into the rock at all, FWIW.
  8. astraelraen

    astraelraen New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    ID
    I know it's been awhile and I see there have been some additional posts, just wanted to update.

    I removed the anode from my water heater and replaced it with an aluminum rod. The old rod was approximately 2 years old and didn't appear to have anything wrong with it other than mineral/scale build up on it. I would assume if you have iron/sulfur bacteria the rod would end up being slimy? But maybe that's just a guess? Unfortunately that didn't seem to help the issue at all. The hot and cold still have a sulfur smell and it comes and goes just depending on the time of year it seems. Some days its hardly noticeable, other days it reeks.

    After talking with my wife and determining that using a 10" carbon block filter eliminated the smell for a few months, we ended up ordering a Centaur Carbon Filter off the internet, I have yet to install it though. That's this weekends project.

    I suppose the only downside to this with no chlorine is monitoring for bacteria buildup? I was thinking about plumbing in some sort of port on the water line to be able to add small amounts of chlorine before the carbon filter to be able to "disinfect" the carbon filter periodically, but I'm not sure how feasible that is.
  9. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Maine
    I would have gone with a backwashing carbon filter.
  10. astraelraen

    astraelraen New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    ID
    Sorry, my post was confusing. In the past we have used a carbon block and it eliminated the smell for a few months (I assume until the block "ran out")

    I purchased a 1.5cf Centaur Carbon fleck 5600 filter.

    The plan is to install it this weekend unless I chicken out... kinda wary of doing it on a Saturday since if I screw up we will be without water until a plumber can come.

    Our house is 2 years old and I think we have PEX plumbing. I was reading about "sharkbite" type connectors that might work, if I can just cutt off the existing loop and connect that adapter then connect it to the Fleck bypass valve that should work. I'm a little hesitant to use those adapters though, since all the water in the house will be going through it.

    IMG_20120826_145835.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2012
  11. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    731
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    I have used the sharkbite on pex before and they work great. Once you cut it, a very light sanding around the edge to deburr it will help seat the o ring. Let us know how it turned out.
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    And don't guess which line/side the water flows from, cut the loop and hold a bucket up under the two ends and turn on the main valve. The line the water comes out of goes to the inlet of the by pass valve.
  13. astraelraen

    astraelraen New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    ID
    Pipe sizing is annoying. The online vendor I got my water filter from said that everything is measured internal diameter, but it seems to me looking at all these fittings that everything is actually measured using the outside diameter of the pipe.

    Tubing that is labeled 1" is clearly 1" outside diameter. It seems to me that I have 1" outside diameter tubing and need 1" compression fittings to go over the outside of it. I was under the impression I needed 3/4" fittings since it seems like I have 3/4" inside diameter tubing.

    I got confused by some of the fittings at Home Depot and they didn't have two of the ones I thought I needed, but now I'm not so sure. I'm going to take the bypass off the valve and bring it down to the store tomorrow or next week and test fit things. Unfortunately I don't have a spare piece of pipe to bring or I could rig it all up in the store to make sure it works. But I measured the pipe and it's clearly 1" on the outside.
  14. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Here are the physical specs for PEX. If yours is clearly 1" OD, I don't know what it is. Sorry about the formatting, but the forum deletes extra spaces; don't know if there's a way around that, other than posting as an image:

    PEX:
    Nom OD Wall ID lb/ft
    3/8" 0.500 0.070 0.350 .0450
    1/2" 0.625 0.070 0.475 .0580
    5/8" 0.750 0.083 0.574 .0838
    3/4" 0.875 0.097 0.677 .1100
    1" 1.125 0.125 0.863 .1706

    I looked at several PEX sites, and the numbers don't agree precisely as one would expect, but they're close...
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Pipe maintains the ID, tubing maintains the OD.

    Most residential water line material is schedule 40.

    Polyethylene, steel, PVC water line is usually pipe and thereby sized by the ID and the OD floats based on the pressure rating which increases or decreases the wall thickness and OD. I.E. 3/4" has an ID of 3/4", etc..

    Copper, most PEX, CPVC is tubing and it maintains the OD and the ID floats based on the pressure rating which increases or decreases the wall thickness and ID. I.E. 3/4" has an ID smaller than 3/4" and an OD of 7/8", 1/2" is 5/8" OD and ID is smaller than 1/2" etc..
  16. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I would not make such a blanket statement. I have had very little exposure to different brands of PEX, but what I have seen of poly, the ID was consistent and the OD varied.
  17. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    ...and nothing is the same size anywhere as the trade size, except for ACR :).
  18. astraelraen

    astraelraen New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    ID
    I assume the tubing in my picture above is PEX? It did not look quite like the PEX piping at the store, it appears more rigid to me than the stuff at the store. I see an identifying mark of PEX1006? on some of the piping but nothing else that makes any sense to me. It appears to be just over 1" outside diameter and the fittings appear to be in the range of .8" so it must be the 1" PEX if it is PEX tubing.

    I was looking at the Fleck bypass valve and the opening looks ridiculously small when set to the service position.
    IMG_20120909_085211.jpg
    This seems like it would be a huge bottleneck to water flow?

    Maybe next time I embark on a plumbing adventure I'll just hire a plumber! :)
  19. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Maine
    I'll weigh in on the PEX diameter thing. The OD of pex, cpvc and copper used for potable water is all withing ANSI standards for size and therefore Sharkbites will work on any one of them.
  20. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I don't know what you are calling "poly" but here in the US it refers to polyethylene (PE) pipe.

    So the ID is maintained and the OD is whatever it is due to the pressure rating/wall thickness. Which is what I said before....

    Again, PEX is normally tubing and the OD is maintained and the ID is whatever due to the pressure rating/wall thickness.
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