Seeking treatment advice for well water

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Kelly Kestler, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. Kelly Kestler

    Kelly Kestler New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I am currently in the process of purchasing a home with a well, and have had the water tested but want some advice on what we can use to treat the problems. We have had two people come test the water, but both rep their own specific companies that they try to sell, and we want a more objective opinion or to hear from people with experience with certain products. Thank you in advance for your help!

    Filters or Softeners HAGUE SOFTENER
    Before or after pressure tank AFTER
    Type of filter NONE
    Bypass available YES

    Water Used For?
    House Use YES
    Number of baths ONE
    Number of People TWO

    Problems Experienced
    Iron and sulfer in water

    Test results:
    Bacteria: Not Present
    Sulfur: 2ppm
    Hardness: 8 gpg before softener
    1 gpg after softener
    Iron: 1 before softener
    .5 after softener
    TDS: 150-210
    PH: 7.5
    Manganese: .2-.5

    There is an existing water softener by Hague but I do not know the age of the unit and not sure if it needs replaced or not. It is treating some of the iron but not all, so we're not sure if it needs replaced or if there is something else we can add to treat the rest of the iron issue. We also need something to treat the sulfur smell. Culligan came out and offered either a sulfur filter for $350 + filters replaced as needed, or their Iron Soft Plus system for $3500 which would replace everything we have and supposedly treat all our issues. We also had Kinetico come out but their solutions were 2-3x the price of the Culligan system, which really isn't in the budget right now. I have found a lot of different systems online as well (Hague, PuriTeam, EcoWater, Ecodyne at Lowe's, Aquasana, Aquatell, and US Water Systems) but have no idea how to begin telling what will work and what won't. Just looking for some un-biased advice!
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,055
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The softener forum would probably be the best place to post, not the pump forum.
  3. Kelly Kestler

    Kelly Kestler New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Ok, thanks, I wasn't sure where was best to post. Maybe a mod can move it?
  4. dox

    dox New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Before buying anything I'd try a little self-remediation. You may have a fair amount of iron sediment in your system. Fully open the cold, hard water valve just before the water softener and turn off the power to your well pump. When the water stops flowing turn on the pump power for a minute. Repeat this as many times as necessary to flush the sediment from the system (watch out for splashing, this water can be blood red).

    Now check this out: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/wells/waterquality/hydrosulfide.html

    Chlorinate the well well. I double up (at least) on the recommended chlorine dose by using 10% pool shock. This helps precipitate the iron and treat the sulfur bacteria.

    Cooking the water heater at 160+°F is most important. With it cooking vent the pressure relief and all of the house pipes to flush them as well. When I do this I cook the water heater overnight, making sure it is clean first. In the morning run the furthest hot water faucet full out until the outlet water measures 160°F, then turn it back to little more than a trickle and repeat this for all the remaining hot water faucets in the house. Let them trickle until the outlet water drops to 140°F and turn them off, allowing the water heater to return to 160°F. Do this as many times as necessary until you stop getting discolored water when you first open them full. This works wonders on the sulfur smell!

    Now you run the water softener, then the cold water pipes, to flush chlorine through them as well. When you finally flush the chlorine out it's a good idea to run the softener again, this time with Iron Out in the brine tank.

    This will undoubtedly work for you... the only question is whether the results will last a year or more, or just a few months.
  5. Kelly Kestler

    Kelly Kestler New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Thanks! We'll have to give these a try before purchasing anything. :)
  6. Kelly Kestler

    Kelly Kestler New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    New Jersey
    OK, so we tried your recommendations, and here is where we currently stand:

    We cooked the water heater as recommended, and chlorinated the well. We have not noticed any change in the sulfur smell, but we have noticed a lot more brown coloring in the water, which was hardly noticeable initially (maybe this is due to sediment breakup from the chlorination?). I was running the cold water to clean paint brushes in the sink, and the water was noticeably brown in color, so we then ran the cold water in the tub which was very brown but seemed to lessen as it ran. We turned the cold off and the hot on, which still stunk to high heaven, and then switched back to cold, which came out even darker brown than before, and seemed to lessen as it ran. We can still smell chlorine in the water as we're doing this, so we're going to try running the cold more tomorrow to flush out the system and see what happens.

    We're wondering what to do next... we've heard a lot that the heating element in the hot water tank can be to blame, is it worth considering switching out to a tankless? Any advice you can offer would be extremely helpful, thank you so much!
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