New House, New to Well Water - Advice Appreciated!

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by mikejafo, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. mikejafo

    mikejafo New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Palm City, FL
    Just closed today on our new house. Water is well water (private). I had the Kinetico guy out today, he tested it and got the these results:

    Color: Yellowish

    Hardness: 20 gpg

    Iron: 2.6 ppm

    The water (cold or hot) has a strong sulfur smell. Since he sells Kinetico, his recommendation was (of course) two Kinetico systems, one for softening/iron/tannin removal and another for sulfur removal for a total of $7000. Ouch!

    This house has 2 full baths (master has jacuzzi tub & separate shower). 5 people ( 2 adults, 1 teenager. 2 pre-teens). I'm sorry I don't have the full testing results, but if you kind folks could provide some guidance I'd appreciate it! I know this is primarily a DIY forum, but I'd need to find someone local to install whatever I end up getting. Thanks in advance!

    Mike
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    If he didn't test for and find tannins, he is just wanting to sell more equipment and raise the price. I really don't like guys like that. And the only thing Kinetico is the control valve, usually the rest is the same stuff I and other independent dealers sell. So ask him why such a high price. Far too many Kinetico dealers and their salesmen are like that; IMO they're crooks.

    Is the sulfur odor in both the hot and cold or hot or cold only? Have you had a Coliform bacteria test done? If not get one done.

    And why don't you want to install your equipment yourself, you may not know it but you may not have to solder? And it only takes about two hours and will save you hundreds of dollars; and, ya git braggin' rights! Plus, ya likely will become a handyman hero to she who you love and must obey, whether she admits it or not...There's certain side benefits to that. Especially if you buy a new smelling leather tool belt for a pair of Channel Lock type pliers, an adjustable wrench and a tubing cutter.
  3. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    The first step to treating water is knowing what is in the water that needs to be treated. Getting a test done by an independentent labratory--one that is not trying to sell you equipment and service--is, in my view, advisable before spending thousands of dollars on treatment equipment and installation costs. Having an independent assesment of your water conditions is a useful tool in evaluating proposals from treatment companies.

    If you were to buy equipment from online sellors you almost certainly could buy equipment that would do the same job as proposed by the Kinetco dealer for a small fraction of the price quoted.

    If you don't want to get into separately buying, installing, setting up, and maintaining water treatment equipment look for independent water treatment dealers who sell equipment using Fleck or Clack control valves and get bids from 2 or more before making a decision.
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I disagree with outside testing because it is expensive and you already know you have hard water and iron and a 'sulfur' odor that is either caused by H2S gas or bacteria or both. And you have to oxidize it and depending on what equipment you use to do that, you could chose one that kills all bacteria and takes care of H2S and your iron all at the same time. And that is what I suggest rather a separate filter for the iron and H2S if you have H2S. And the best test for H2S is HER nose, which is free.
  5. mikejafo

    mikejafo New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Palm City, FL
    Gary & Bob - Thanks for your responses! The tester (salesman) told me the yellowish color in the water was due to tannins, but he really only tested for hardness & iron. Ordinarily, I would try to tackle something like this but there are too many other pressing projects on the house that I need to attend to. I plan to go to school on the guy who does the installation of the water conditioner and then decide if I can handle the maintenance from that point on.

    The sulfur has been tricky. We spent more time up there cleaning and bringing some small stuff up and the sulfur odor sometimes is stronger but most of the time is barely noticeable or not noticeable at all. We haven't run much hot water, but it has been noticeable in cold water. I brought a bottle of water from the tap back for testing (the local utility will do it for $10), so I'm going to get that done this week.

    I have an email in to get an estimate from a local well/pump place that carries Fleck valves, I think that's what I want to go with. I'll check back and let you know what I find out and again, I really appreciate your help and advice!

    Mike
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  6. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,480
    Location:
    Alaska
    Find out from the other people that live around where you are at if there is Tannin in their water..

    Every part of the country has its own little bag of fun.

    A very good simple test for tannin, fill a white bucket with the water and then let it set for about 12 hours... if the water clears then it is not tannin, if it stays the same color then it most likely is tannin.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Just as I thought, now that should tell you a few things about him and me.

    Mike... it's not the time 3-3 hours it takes, you're nervous you can't get it done without creating more problems. If you followed my extensive DIYer instructions, to screw it up you have to specifically not follow them. My record is 2 spinster twin 4' 11" sisters in FL that had to stand on a 3 step step stool out along side their house. I know you're taller than that!

    All you do is shut off the power to the well pump, shut off the water to the house and on the house side of that valve you cut a piece of main water line out after your pressure tank and any irrigation. The end of the line from the tank goes to the control valve's by pass valve inlet and from the outlet you go to the end of the piece going to the house and then you run a drain line with the 50' roll that I include. You'll save a few hundred dollars and know it was all done right.

    BTW watching someone install equipment does not teach you anything about maintaining it!!

    That sounds like bacteria, not H2S. They won't be able to test your sample for H2S unless you got the bottle from them. They probably won't do Coliform bacteria without their sanitary and prepared bottle either.

    Let us know what model of control valve, the cuft size of the equipment, if he includes a by pass valve, gravel underbed, salt grid and safety brine system in the salt tank or not, and the price.
  8. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Check the inside of the toilet tanks. With iron they should be stained but what you are looking for is slime. If there is slime it is very possible that you have iron reducing bacteria (IRB).

    Sometimes it is possible to get rid of IRB by shocking the well with chlorine but mostly it just comes back after shocking. IRB is not a health issue but it must be treated if you are going to install a softener because it will foul the softener and prevent it from working. Typical treatment would be to chlorinate the water, allow contact time for chemical action (a retention tank), and then dechlorinate with a carbon filter before softening the water. Chlorination will also deal with the sulpher.

    I prefer chlorine injection because it uses low cost easily available household bleach so the cost of ownership/operation is very low. There are other approaches to chlorination--pellet systems that use a very expensive solid form of chlorine for example. I will leave it to others to provide more information on that approach
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You only have to treat for IRB IF it causes a problem with the softener. And then all you have to do is sanitize the softener periodically. You do not have to buy equipment to treat for IRB unless you have enough of it to cause other problems.

    If you do you are much better off with an inline pellet chlorination system with a bottom drain mixing tank that is equivalent to a 120 gal retention tank and then followed by a special carbon in a backwashed filter.

    Most people that have a solution feeder and correctly sized retention tank hate them eventually. Most of my pellet chlorinator customers are buying more pellets about evey 18-24 months for a delivered price of $148.40; which 18 months is $8.24 a month and the chlorinator and mixing tank is nonelectric and there are no moving parts in the equipment to go bad like in a solution feeder system.
  10. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    With a solution feeder a comparable amount of chlorine costs about $15--about 1/10th the cost of chlorine from pellets.

    There is some nasty maintenance with pellet chlorination and some people end up buying a whole lot more pellets than Slusser is letting on.

    Here are some quotes from one of Slusser's customers that is (trying) to use the pellet chlorination.

    "Today (Friday) was the 6 week mark when I should check the chlorinator pellet level.

    I had rubber gloves and goggles. I shut off the valves surrounding the hopper, drained the boiler valve into the magic bucket, loosened the lid, unscrewed the hopper connections on either side, and placed the hopper into the bucket. I removed the lid and saw milky water and lots of mush - NO pellets, just chunks and mush. LOTS of mush. I could not see through the milky water. So I poured out the water, put the mush into a pan, and inspected the pipe. I didn't remove the center pipe, but if you think I should remove and clean it now, I will. I already have the muriatic acid for the job.

    Anyway, I wiped off the center tube of the hopper, poked a toothpick into the #1 hole to clear it out, and just replaced it all without cleaning it.

    My one HUGE problem was this: NO WATER TO RINSE ANYTHING! I had to drag it out to the creek and do my best there. Ha!! Call me stupid, I deserve it, but how am I supposed to rinse the hopper, my hands, or anything else without a water supply?? Should I just have a second bucket filled with warm water?

    Should i have seen whole pellets at this point, or is a great big pile of chunky mush normal after 6 weeks? Should I have seen actual pellets, or should I have added any pellets to the mush mixure? Should I re-remove the hopper and do a muriatic acid clean RIGHT away, and how long should I wait until checking it again? The white mush/chunks came to a little bit over half the height of the hopper, so there wasn't really room for pellets. And, the PVC pipes on either side of the hopper have a white crust inside of them... is that the chlorine? Can and should I be cleaning these pipes at all?"

    And then after the system was installed only 3 months the following:

    "CHLORINATOR:
    **I need to order more pellets; I just emptied my last 2 bags**

    I checked the level of chlorine mush again 4 weeks ago, and it had hardly moved. So I reinstalled (drained the water as well) the hopper and waited another 4 weeks. Last Saturday I took the hopper down to find it was COMPLETELY EMPTY of pellets! There was just a bare minimum amount of mush in the bottom of the hopper, maybe a quarter inch.

    I did the muriatic acid cleaning, replaced the pipe and cap, set to minimum dose (1), and refilled with pellets to the base of the cap, and reinstalled. Again, both sides of the piping to the left and right of the hopper were stained with red chlorine residue (flaky iron-stained material). Now this Saturday is my scheduled time to flush the mixing tank.

    I want to know: if I had JUST a tiny bit of chlorine left in the hopper, was that enough to protect the carbon filter and softener? What can I do to check? There is no staining in my house water and the water still seems to be of the same softness.

    I also increased my water consumption to about 400 gallons a week. I DID check the hopper AFTER I increased my water usage."
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The above is from my forum from a self admitted paranoid women and her equipment was not set up correctly.

    And she is the only customer that has ever posted anything negative about the system since at least 9/2003 when my forum started. I have been selling the system since about the mid 1990s.

    Also, I have only seen one other negative post about the system on any other forum, he is a customer of mine and he didn't maintain it as directed, he admitted to letting it run out of pellets numerous times, which cost him new carbon in his filter.

    Since Jan 1997 when I first got on the internet, I have seen many people upset with their solution feeders. And I refuse to sell them based on my experience in selling and servicing them starting in 1989 to the mid 1990s. Bob owns one and says he's in love with it and when he called my last July I told him he didn't need any treatment equipment; I think that's when he bought it. Unless you have mixer in the solution tank the bleach can separate from the water and you are sucking up stronger solution and as the solution weakens, you have to adjust the volume of solution being injected into the plumbing or suffer incomplete treatment. If that happens you have to dump the retention tank and start over. But don't expect Bob to have any of those problems and admit to any of them because his agenda is to stop me from making any sales that he can; at the expense of posters and readers here....

    Below is a link to the thread that Bob copy/pasted the above from. It's to the last page (3rd page and some 40+ posts) where her center tube was found to not be installed correctly in the chlorinator. She didn't order new pellets until way later and not since then. And she has another thread she posted in.

    http://www.qualitywaterassociates.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1191&start=40
  12. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Time for another fact check on Slussers ramblings.

    Slusser: I challenge you to back up with a quote what you alledge I have posted. Specifically I don't believe I have ever posted that I "love" any piece of equipment--and certainly not a solution injector.
  13. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania

    Time for another Fact Check on Slussers ramblings.

    I will state categorically that I have never tried to stop him from making a sale and he cannot provide evidence that I have. He is simply huffing and puffin AGAIN. I take no position about Slusser's sales activities.

    I do however post information that I believe to be correct and informative and sometimes that information is contrary to what Slusser says or thinks. I provide information for the consideration and use by readers of this board and like any other information on the internet it is up to the reader to judge the veracity and usefulness of the information.
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