Please check my installation on well system...

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by mooch91, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. mooch91

    mooch91 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    NJ
    Fiarly straightforward well system setup. I want to soften the house but not the irrigation. Piping in to the house is 1", but narrows down to 3/4" at whole-house filters. I'm assuming the softener will pipe in downstream of whole-house filters on 3/4" line.

    Being that the well pressure will vary between 40 and 60 psi, and the flow has been OK but not overwhelming in the 8 years I've been in the house (pump is about 25 years old), I'd like to make sure I minimize the flow restriction that the new softener will create.

    Is tying the softener in on the 3/4" line a significant source of restriction to where I should try to get the softener piped to the 1" part of the setup? I realize the bottleneck to the house is still going to be the 3/4" piping, but what I did not know is if the softener will create less restriction on the 1" line or the 3/4" line.

    See separate question on sizing of the softener.

    Thanks!

    [​IMG]
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,273
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Most houses of less than 2000 sq feet use a 3/4" supply line. My concern would be that if the filters are not serviced adequately, that they will restrict flow which will prevent thorough backwashing of the softener.

    A lot of people throw in a 5 or even a 20 micron filter and then wonder why their flow rate went down? A red blood cell is about 5 microns in diameter. An average human hair is about 75 microns in diameter. Realizing this, the problem with cartridge filters is evident. Disposable whole house filters tend to cause more problems than they solve.

    40/60 is fine water pressure. If your pump can maintain this at the softener while it is backwashing, you won't have a problem.
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Assuming the pressure switch is at the pressure tank... The shut off valve between the well and the pressure tank has to be removed.

    The 1" should run from the well to the pressure tank and then to the softener and the outlet of the softener goes back to 3/4".

    The filters need to be removed unless your water is visibly dirty, then the filters should be replaced with a backwashed turbidity filter. That type filter doesn't block flow and softeners need all the water they can get or regeneration is not done right and the softener fails.
  4. mooch91

    mooch91 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    NJ
    Switch is actually before the first shutoff valve in the system, not at the tank itself. That first valve is my main shutoff.

    Those filters draw out a lot of crap so something will be needed in the line.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Define "crap".

    Is the water visibly dirty?

    If not remove the filters or have the softener fail eventually.
  6. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,494
    Location:
    Alaska
    The filters that you feel that you will need, what size are the filter housings?

    If the pump is that old it might be a good idea to have it tested to make sure that it will still be good, it could be about ready to go out if flow rate and pressure are down from when it was new.

    Why are you looking at a balanced header for the filters?
  7. mooch91

    mooch91 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    NJ
    "Crap" is big particles and sediment. The filters go fully brown within about a day of being changed. I've never run without them, but I would imagine this is stuff that would be clogging up my fixtures pretty good if it were allowed to go through.
  8. mooch91

    mooch91 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    NJ
    These are 10" housings. I installed two in parallel to give me some more capacity and minimize pressure drop.

    I've been in the house less than 10 of the 25 years the well pump has been in the ground so I don't know what it was like new. Grew up in a house with city water that always seemed to have a higher flow rate than what I experience.
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Although we don't want to use a softener as a filter, resin is a good filter for what you describe and the particles will be backwashed out to drain during a regeneration.

    Disposable cartridge filters were never meant to be used as a "whole house" filter. They were designed to be use in POU (point of use) applications like an ice maker, dishwasher, coffee machine etc. in commercial establishments mostly; not POE (point of entry) like a house. Human nature being what it is, you won't change the filter when needed becasue you didn't install pre and post pressure gauges on the filters to see the 15 psi drop across the filters. By the time you get arond to noticing the cartridges need to be replaced, the softener has been starving for backwash water pressure and you are shortening the life of the resin.

    If I were selling you this new softener, I would refuse until you promised to remove these filters. You can leave the housings or use just one IF you didn't put a cartridge in. That allows heavy particles to settle in the empty housing which then becomes a particulate filter... BTW, particles usually stay in the pressure tank because the tank if set up correctly by having the cut in pressure switch setting 1-2 psi higher than the captive air pressure in the tank, the tank never drains empty, the pump comes on before that happens.

    The brown on the cartridges is usually from trace iron and/or manganese in the water that has been oxidized and converted to a particulate by the DO (dissolved oxygen) in the water or from corrosion; which is perfectly normal for any house plumbing system.
  10. mooch91

    mooch91 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    NJ
    How about a spin-down sediment filter instead?

    http://www.iaqsource.com/product.php?p=rusco_1-60-f&product=176287&category=2723

    My drawing doesn't show it, but I have one of these on the irrigation line. The screen stays clean but by the end of the watering season, I've got a nice pack of heavy particles waiting at the bottom to be flushed out.
  11. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,494
    Location:
    Alaska
    So they are not the big blue filters. I would take them out and put a single one in, one that the filter its self is 4"x20" or 2 4"x10" with a coupler between the two, that would give the filtering that you are looking for with out the large pressure drop the small hardware store ones give.

    If you have not had a well driller in your area service your well pump in all that time , it might be an idea. Having a well driller service the well pump is like having a good auto machanic servicing your car or truck.
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I see no need for one but it's your money time and softener. Usually an irrigation system uses much more water than a household does. As we see, you wait until the fall to blow down the spin down, I can imagine you waiting until you can't stand the low flow in the shower before you change cartridges. Or you change them on a time basis whether they need changing or not. You can't tell when they need changing by looking at them, you're supposed to change them when there is a 15 lb pressure loss across them; regardless of what size or type cartridge you use.
  13. mooch91

    mooch91 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    NJ
    You don't give me enough credit, but I have them on a time basis - changed out once a month. The sediment in the irrigation filter doesn't accumulate on the mesh so I drain that as I see it build. Being able to measure delta P would be nice, but not something I considered when I installed the system.

    For $25 for the spin down filter, I can't see it being a bad thing. It eliminates the cartridges, reduces pressure drop, and will give me more of an indication of restriction that the current filters. The only thing I'm not sure about is if adapting from copper to PVC is a code issue in the system.
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Rather than once per month, they should be changed when there is a 15 psi drop across them and tha tcould be within hours of installing them.

    "indication of a restriction"... From my 25 yrs experience you are concerned about something that is very unlikely to happen but, what do you see as a potential cause of a restriction between the pressure tank and the softener?
  15. JKERN

    JKERN New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Artesia NM
    I agree with gary on this typical cation resin has a mesh equivilent to 20 microns if your filters are in that relm and have handled the job your softener should be fine. Your flow concerns are misguided because with a softener the most you should have is a 5 psi drop across the resin bed. But like with most well application you should have a proper test done to evaluate your water condition and then decice on a softener or like Gary proposed a automatic filter and then a softener. Being in the water industry myself most softener and filter systems put on wells fail due to restricted water flow to the equipment by clogged cartridges.
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