new to wells....what order to put equipment?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by w8nc, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. w8nc

    w8nc New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Oh
    This question is for my son who just purchased his first home with a well. We know very little about wells so it's a learn as we go process. This will be a diy project but we are questioning the order for the instal . The company where he bought the equipment said to install the softener first, followed by the filter and then uv light last, and then the hot water tank. Our question is, would it make more sense to install the filter before the softener so the water is filtered before being softened? Any help is appreciated.
  2. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

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    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    Normally I would recommend putting the filter prior to the softener but, in your case, I recommend you place it after the softener and before the UV light. With a UV system, the more sediment in the water, the less effective the UV light will be. Placing the filter prior to the UV light will insure longer filter life and better contact of the UV rays.
  3. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    The hot water tank goes last
    The UV filter needs to go after the particulate filter (which I assume is the "filter" you mention) and the "filter" should go before the softener.

    If it is a particulate filter, it wants to filter crap out of the water before crap gets to either the softener or the UV light. The softener is a whole lot happier doing its job when it doesnt have to deal with sediment and the UV light needs clean water because crap can reduce its effectivness.

    So......Filter, UV, Softener
  4. w8nc

    w8nc New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Oh
    Thanks for the responses......the issue of the three units the softener, filter, and uv light makes sense to put the uv light last because the cleaner the water the better on the light. What doesn't make sense is putting the softener first and the filter in the middle. The company that sold the stuff said to soften the water before filtering. But to us it makes more sense to filter the water then soften????? I don't know if it matters but the issues with the water is hardness, high iron and a positive test for coliform.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  5. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    If you had a positive result for coliform I do not recommend a UV light. The UV will not kill the bacteria but rather scramble it's DNA so it will not reproduce. I would suggest installing a chlorinator with a 120 gallon retention tank. This will kill any bacteria present to insure no one gets sick.
  6. w8nc

    w8nc New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Oh
    Where in the system would the chlorinator go?
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    Location:
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    If you have high iron and a particulate filter, the filter may clog quickly. Also the iron may foul the softener resin. You may want to have a separate iron filter after the chlorination but before the softener. An iron filter will also remove most turbidity.
  8. w8nc

    w8nc New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Oh
    All I know is the filter was called "big blue" The iron was 10ppm.
  9. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

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    Location:
    California
    Lligetfa is right. Big blue will clog, you need a real iron filter. Oxidation (chlorination) too.
  10. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    3,230
    Location:
    Maine
    I'd like to see the water test results.
  11. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Location:
    Ontario California
    Thanks Tom. Before any advice can be given with some accuracy, a proper and detailed water test must be done. If you test positive for coliform, then Chlorine injection and UV are the preferred treatment methods. Both are effective, but redundancy is the primary concern. Should your chlorine injection system fail, the UV is a back-up. Same goes for the if the UV fails.

    High iron? .5 ppm, or 10 ppm? We need real numbers.

    High hardness, how high?

    Post your water test results. You may end up with a lot more equipment to do it right, or you can use the equipment you have and have all kinds of problems with it.

    And FYI, the sediment filter almost always goes before the softener. Some companies put a filter after the softener claiming it will catch resin particles exiting the softener. If you have resin exiting the system, your system is failing or has malfunctioned.

    Lets see the water test results.
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    It goes from the pressure tank to the softener, then the UV prefilter housing and then the UV light.

    Invisible sediment does not harm a softener because as it is filtered by the resin, it is then backwashed out of the resin tank but... invisible sediment does prevent a UV light from working correctly. So if you have no visual sediment in your water why prefilter for the softener?

    If you need to prefilter for the softener, buy another housing and cartridge at any big box or hardware store and install it in front of the softener. Then keep the cartridge replaced in a timely manner or you can starve the softener for backwash water pressure and cause the resin to not be cleaned properly. Then hardness and iron gets through to the UV and fouls the quartz sleeve which prevents the UV light from getting through it into the water and the light is useless plus you have a scaled up and iron fouled sleeve and have to clean it or replace it because it brole or you can't get it clean enough inside and outside. And not so much as a finger print on it in or out side.

    If you actually have 10 ppm of iron, and have a need for the UV like Coliform bacteria, then you should remove the iron with a backwashed filter before the softener or, use chlorine and a properly sized retention tank for the iron and bacteria and then a backwashed carbon filter to remove the chlorine.
  13. chevy427

    chevy427 Banned

    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    Is your UV an NSF, Standard-55, Class A or Class B? What are the reasons for applying this technology? Has there been a test result requiring/suggesting it?
    Ideally. A sediment filter (20-30 micron) before the softener and a clarifying filter (5-micron) between the softener and UV. The UV filter helps reduce turbidity to assist the UV in disinfecting/sanitizing the water.

    Softeners are not designed to be 'filters' even though they can as a by-production. Much dirt that enters the softener may not actually be backwashed and winds up settled in the bottom of the resin tank and build up over time. Can tell you how many tanks I've emptied out and found huge amounts of dirt/mud and other foreign matter in the tanks.

    Since your iron is incredibly high, special attention, salt cleansers, and equipment will be required to manage that first. A sediment prefilter, whether static or active, must be properly sized, set up and maintained.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2013
  14. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    3,230
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    I believe there is a recent thread here that shows the problems of sediment settling in the softener resin.
  15. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,864
    Location:
    Ontario California
    A softener backwashes at approximately 5 GPM per Sq. Ft. of bed area. If thie velocity is not enough to lift the sediment out, it will end up settling at the bottom of the tank. This will eventually foul the bottom of the tank. Just like sand, gravel etc (items with a higher specific gravity than resin) by nature will fall through the bed and get to the bottom. For most applications, the ultra fine sediment will simply go through the resin, and out the bottom screen thus having no negative affect on the system and its performance. If the sediment is larger than the botom screen slits, then it can and does foul up the system over time.
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