Spin-Down and/or Sediment Filter Installation Location? w pside-kick?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Elton Noway, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Elton Noway

    Elton Noway New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    North Carolina
    My well (380') delivers crystal clear water with no odor. It has also passed several tests by a certified EPA lab for contaminants, bacteria etc. (most recently about 12 months ago). That said... I do have sediment... but it is more of a pain than a problem.

    I have two 10 inch filters in parallel "before" the pressure switch and tank assembly. (gasp) In reading thru these threads some people advise against this practice because of the potential of pump damage. My current setup is: pump>pressure relief valve>whole house filter>pressure switch>pressure tank>hose bib> house. By placing the filter first in-line it is also protecting all the well system components (valves, tank, switches) The idea of placing the pressure relief valve ahead of the filter it to prevent any pump or plumbing damage should the filter plug.

    Anyway, my sediment is so large (or heavy) that it typically migrates near the bottom half of the filter so the filter never clogs nor does it ever effect our water pressure. I got lazy once and left the filter installed for 18 months with no problem (never clogged.) The sediment has a gritty texture that feels like sand but is mostly black with particles of gold glitter (maybe mica?) Even without any filters installed (which I do sometimes) the screens in our faucets alone prevent the grit from getting past so we don't see any suspending particles in the drinking glass. (even letting a glass full sit overnight) no sediment. The pain is it eventually plugs the screens in my faucets and the holes in my shower heads and accumulates in the toilet tank.
    [​IMG]
    Removing the shower head and screens is no problem and I can easily flush away the particles.... which leads to my question.

    Because the sediment is so large and heavy I was thinking I could benefit from installing a spin-down filter, like a Rusco with a stainless or polyester screen... followed by a paper filter -with a pressure relief valve- after the pump but "ahead" of all the other equipment. Besides Rusco, are there other or better suppliers of Spin-down filters?

    The caveat is... (except for the pump) I'm getting ready to replace the entire system to install a pside-kick
    [​IMG]
    The instructions for the CSV state it should be the first device in line after the pump. My system has been perfect for the last 10 years (until the bladder in my pressure tank failed). Because my filter set up has worked so well... I was hoping I could leave the filter and pressure relief valve in the system ahead of the pside-kick as well as idding a spin-down filter.

    Any comments or suggestions?
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,549
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Just need to put the pressure relief and filter between the CSV and the rest of the manifold.
  3. ncgeo

    ncgeo In the Trades

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    North Carolina
    One potential issue is can the sediment filter handle the head pressure when the pump/CSV is operating at a near-deadhead condition, like when the tank is in refill mode? The American Granby filter I have installed is rated for a max pressure of 150 psi. Besides the specs on the filter you need to look at the pump curve and pumping conditions (pumping water level, friction loss, etc) to confirm that.

    There may also be operational issues with the CSV if the filter plugs up, but others on this forum would know far more about that than I.
  4. Elton Noway

    Elton Noway New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Sorry... just to make sure i understand. As you know the pside-kick already has a pressure relief on the manifold just after the CSV. So are you saying I can insert a filter between the CSV and the rest of the pside-kick manifold?

    I guess my question was, will I be okay installing a spindown and sediment filter before the CSV as long as I install a relief valve ahead of the filters? Like this:

    pump> relief valve> spin-down/sediment filter> CSV> psidekick assembly> house

    (The idea being, this setup would serve to protect the CSV and the pside-kick assembly from the sand and gravel.) Now that I have the pside-kick and have had a chance to study it I believe it's an awesome design and will be the answer to my prayers for a simplistic - low maintence setup! . I just want to protect it from the grit that has played havoc on my previous well system hardware.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  5. Elton Noway

    Elton Noway New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Good point on verifying the pressure rating of the sediment filter. However, in conjunction "with" the sediment filter, I as planning on installing a 75psi safety valve just "before" the sediment and paper filter. In this way "if" either of the filters plugged up, the safety valve would let go (open).

    In regards to the CSV, its function is to maintain a constant pressure in the system based on demand. If a filter plugged up and was located in the system with a relief valve "before" the CSV, the pressure releif valve would open. If this situation occured the CSV, sensing demand, would simply stay open and allow the pump to keep pumping and the water would simply exit via the relief valve.

    I'm really leaning on placing the filters and check valve "before" the CSV to help protect it. The CSV (at $140 each) is not something I want the sand and gravel to tear up (or cause it to clog or jam) Every valve I've every installed (from gate, to ball and/or poppit) has eventually leaked, been damaged or malfunctioned thru the years due to the grit and gravel.
  6. ncgeo

    ncgeo In the Trades

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Installing a 75 psi safety relief valve before (upstream) of the CSV would not be a good idea; it is very possible you will see 100 psi + while in low-flow or refill mode, even with a properly sized pump. Not enough pressure to burst the filter, but enough to blow-off the safety.

    Regarding overpressuring the filter, the Lakos Sandmaster filters are designed for installation between the pump and pressure tank. They use a metal pressure cylinder instead of the clear acrylic bowl that many filters use. With that design the pressure rating on the Lakos is likely greater than the Rusco, but I didn't confirm that.

    I did read somewhere that sediment can foul up a CSV ... valveman perhaps you can comment on that. I may have the same issue on my well when I install the CSV.
  7. ncgeo

    ncgeo In the Trades

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I just found the specs on the Lakos ... is only rated at 100 psi! So it won't work either, at least that specific model. They claim it will never clog up, so is safe for installation before the pressure switch. But that does not consider what a CSV can do to upstream pressure.
  8. Elton Noway

    Elton Noway New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Guess I'll opt for a higher rated relief valve.

    In checking the Lakos website their "Plus" Series is made of stainless steel while their economy model (non-Plus) is made of carbon steel. Both units are rated at a maximum system pressure of 100psi. Interestingly enough... the Rusko claims their separators have a maximum pressure rating of 150psi! I guess it depends on the wall thickness of the material used in their construction. Actually thermoplastic is pretty tough stuff. What I like about the Lakos is they are sealed units (not clear) and thus not suseptable to algae growth. However since mine will be located in a dark crawlspace (not outdoors) this is not a problem.

    [​IMG]

    My biggest stumbling block with the Lakos is the price! For comparable units I'm looking at its $60-$75 for a Rusco versus $450 for a Lasko. (Thats a lot to bite off )

    Also interesting... in searching Rusko for the rated psi I discovered they make two versions of the sediment filter. They both look very similar with drain valve for draing the sediment. While similar in appearance one is more for sediment.
    [​IMG]

    Yep... I've read similar comments. I have the CSV valve in my hand as I type this reply... looking into the body I see a plastic impeller or something made of plastic. I'm sure it a super tough plastic but sand is pretty tough as well. I'm not sure how the plastic piece works or if it even moves but because its a valve... it means it has to have some moving parts and I don't want to take a chance of screwing it up. Here's a close up shot showing the interior of the CSV valve.
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  9. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,549
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    First thing to consider is that your pump is the most expensive part of the system. The pump also spins at 3450 RPM and has very close tolerances. Sand and grit will quickly destroy a pump and motor. If at all possible, considering the size of the well casing, the best place for a sand separator is before the pump. A long flow inducer sleeve works good if the grit is heavy. The Lakos Sub-K http://www.lakos.com/products/Sub-K.html can also be installed on the pump itself. It flushes out the bottom and will eventually fill the bottom of the well with sand, but the pump and everything else is protected from sand.

    If the casing is not large enough or there is no extra hole below the pump for sand to fall into, then you cannot protect the pump from sand, you just need to filter it out before use. This Lakos separator is the one I am most familiar with and is rated up to 150 PSI.
    http://www.lakos.com/products/ILB.html

    Now as long as your pump cannot deadhead over 150 PSI, you can put this type filter or the spin down filter before the CSV. This will protect the CSV and everything except the pump from sand damage. You cannot put a pressure relief valve before the CSV, or the CSV will not function properly.

    If your pump can build more than 150 PSI, then you must put the filter after the CSV. Now the CSV will see the sand and grit, but that particular valve is designed to handle some grit or sand. The CSV is designed to leak 1 GPM when in the closed position, so sand damage that causes a ball valve to leak is not a problem for the CSV. Sand damage will eventually cut the guts out of a CSV the same as it doe the pump. However there are no screens or holes to clog in the CSV. The only movement in a CSV is the shaft moving up and down slowly about ¼ of an inch. So sand damage to the CSV is no where near as much problem as it is for the pump. If your pump will last 5 years pumping that much sand, then the CSV should last 10 years.
  10. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,549
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I should also say that filtering sand before a pressure switch doesn’t cause a problem like filtering slimy stuff. Sand will usually not stop the flow completely. There will be enough water flowing through a filter packed with sand to keep the pump cool. As long as 1 GPM is still getting through the filter, the pump/motor will not be destroyed from a lack of flow.
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The stuff in the picture doesn't look like sand to me. Do you have hard water? Do you have a water softener?

    With heavy sediment I don't think you need to protect a switch gauge etc.. And I suggest you don't filter before the pressure switch or tank. Which will be the way it is if you go the p-side kick. The regular type pressure tank doesn't need to be protected from sand or heavy sediment.
  12. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    .........why not
  13. Elton Noway

    Elton Noway New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Sand may not be the correct description... unless someone wanted to call it "black" sand. I've never had the material tested. It has the texture of sand but looks more like ground up granite. No... the water is not hard 75(GH) ppm. We do not have a water softener.

    Its heavy sediment for sure... I did the spin down test. (Collected a good unfiltered sample. Put it in a clear glass jar and shook it up. In about 2 1/2 minutes the water was clear but I gave it the full 3 minutes for the benefit of doubt.

    [​IMG]

    This "grit" gets into everything, faucet aerators, toilet tanks, water heater etc. I installed a Home Depot brand whole house water filter about 15 years ago. Using simple pleated paper cartridges does the trick and keeps out the black grit... The filters last close to a year with no noticeable pressure drop since most of the junk settles to the bottom of the filter housing. BUT... the grit gets into bypass valves used to change the filter. After 3 or 4 filter changes the valves leak so bad they no longer function properly. As a result I have to change out the entire filter housing.

    I want to install "something" that will eliminate or reduce the grit that makes its way into my house , as well as protect the CSV from premature wear "and" possibly having the heavy sediment reducing the total storage volume of the pside-kick pressure tank as this junk settles in.

    Yes sir... I read into flow inducer sleeves but ruled it out for now only because I'm not crazy about the idea of pulling the pump at this time. (I still have a complete pside-kick pump control kit sitting in my family room waiting to be installed) Another reason for not pulling the pump in an attempt to reduce the problem is my pump life records. The first pump lasted 17 years before it burnt up... and the current pump is a now a little over 10 years! I can't account for why the sediment doesn't tear up the pumps. And last... I'm afraid my casing isn't large enough to accommodate the Lakos Sub-K.

    Yep, based on my relatively low gpm output (about 3-4 gpm) the Lakos ILB-0037 seemed like the ideal solution! I was really excited when I discovered it (even though the cost is outside my retiree budget). The 3-6gpm model is listed at $650 and the 4-10gpm model is listed at $420. To reduce the expense I decided to go with the Sandmaster H20-05 (Carbon Steel) It was the least expensive model that was close to what I needed based on my specs.

    I envisioned a Lakos separator in conjunction with the CSV pside-kick to be the perfect solution. It would offer me "years" of maintenance free service. But alas... Lakos said "No" (I decided if I was going to spend that kind of money I had to be sure it would function properly with the CSV)... so I sent Lakos an email that read as follows:

    Hello, I'm considering a SandMaster for a residential application. Single family use only, no irrigation of any kind. I have a low flow private well that has a flow rate of about 5gal per min at best. I've also performed the 3 minute test... all particles in my water (grit and sand) settle within 3 min or less.

    My concern is... I currently have a "Cycle Stop Valve" (Model CSV1W) installed.

    url: cyclestopvalves.com/products.html

    NET: If I install a SandMaster, the next device inline (downstream) of the SandMaster will be the CSV. I know the proper operation of the SandMaster is highly dependent on flow rate. My concern is the CSV might prevent the SandMaster from performing its function. As you might imagine, I don't want to spend this kind of money if the SandMaster won't work in my particular application.

    Are you familiar with the CSV and can you tell me if it will or will not affect the performance of the SandMaster?
    Thanks


    Lakos replied as follows:

    Good Morning,

    After talking with our Application Engineer, unfortunately we will not be able to assist you with your application. The LAKOS separator as you thought, would not work in your application. Thank you for contacting us.

    Regards,
    Cheri Lubbers

    LAKOS Customer Care
    www.lakos.com


    Not what I wanted to hear, at worse case I was at least hoping they would try to sell me on the ILB model that handles the lower flow rate. :(

    Valveman... Based on your knowledge of both the CSV and the Lasko separators... and your belief they should be able to "play together", I can't help but wonder if the engineer Cheri talked to fully understand my scenario. I would really love to install a Laski unit but I can't afford to take the chance should their engineer be right. (hmmm... wonder if they have any test/loaner models.) It would be great to test drive it first. Knowing it worked ahead of time would make the decision to purchase a whole lot painful. I'm pretty disappointed as I thought it would be the perfect marriage / solution.

    I'm okay in that arena but I guess if I really wanted to be safe I could install a Cycle Sensor

    Ironically... I found another forum post from three years ago where someone was asking a similar question, concerned whether or not the SandMaster separator would function properly with the CSV.

    "As the CSV maintains the pressure in a system it can vary the output depending on the demand... from as little as 1 gallon per minute up to the amount the pump can produce. Worried that the CSV would inhibit the proper operation of the Lakos centrifugal separator which requires a "minimum" of 5 GPM"(in their residential model)

    Unfortunately the thread died with no follow up on whether or not he ever installed the separator. So I'm back to square one.

    >Click Here< to see a good video showing a see-through working model showing how the Lakos system works. (the actual demo starts at 26 seconds into the video if you want to skip ahead)

    [sigh]...
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  14. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,549
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    That looks like a lot of sediment. I don’t know how your pump is lasting that long or why the filters don’t fill up everyday. The best solution would be to have a well drilled that doesn’t make sediment. If I had drilled that well recently, I would be over there drilling you another for free.

    Anyway, I have only used Lakos separators about a thousand times with CSV’s. They have always worked great. Even though the flow rate needed to make them function is 4 to 10 GPM, they still work fine with a CSV. When you are pumping less than 4 GPM, the velocity in the drop pipe is not fast enough to even bring sand to the surface. When your flow rate increases above 4 GPM, the sediment in the drop pipe then comes to the surface and the Lakos separates it out.

    Although the spin down filter will work all the way down to 1 GPM, so as long as it doesn’t fill up with sediment too fast, it would work fine also. I have also used the CSV with these successfully many times.

    Old threads usually die when the person gets their problems solved. I wish people would come back and tell us how it worked. But if water is coming out of their faucets OK, they rarely come back to the forum.
  15. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Its all an exercise in futility until you hold your pump on and see at what pressure it stops moving water. It might be 80 psi.

    Even at 110 psi you are probably safe. After grinding all tht sand, your pump might not do 65 psi.

    In which case put a few cheap cartridge filters in and forget about any 400$ device. Along with that 20$ sand seperator.

    I have a bunch of filters before my pressure switch, they have their own PRV, and they are in the "drain down" end of a standard tank set-up. Therefore during non pumping times, they see NO pressure at all.

    You can always sell the side kick and replace that bladder tank if you cannot resolve the pressure and wear issues.
  16. Elton Noway

    Elton Noway New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    North Carolina
    errr... I'm not sure how to do this. Can you explain the steps I would need to perform to determine at what pressure my water stops moving?

    Sorry, I'm not sure I understand this either. I was under the impression "everything" in the plumbing network was under varing degrees of pressure at all times. For arguments sake: Lets say I have the pressure switch in my system set at 30-50psi. And lets sets say the tank just finished filling and the pump has shut off. The pressure guage reads 50psi. Wouldn't everything in the system be at 50psi... even the filter assemblies?
  17. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Hold the switch contacts closed and watch the pressure gauge. When it stops gaining pressure release it. Perhaps your PRV will open first, then you would have to adjust it higher also. THAT pressure is what your filters might see with the csv.

    Plain tanks have a checkvalve before them, and [most] a valve that releases the pressure in the pipes behind the check valve. Therefore the pipes from the pump to just before the tanks are not under pressure while the pump is off. One can place filters in that area, but should place a PRV before the filters in case they clog.
  18. Elton Noway

    Elton Noway New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Thanks for the feedback valveman... I went ahead and installed the Sandmaster before the CSV / pside-kick. As discussed earlier... many troubleshooting threads die off once the person resolves their intitial situation with little or no followup... so I wanted to close the loop.

    My final setup as follows:

    pump > Lakos SandMaster > CSV / pside-kick manifold > Big Blue 20" filter > House

    Setup has been in operation now for a little over two weeks. Constant 50lbs pressure. CSV working as advertised... and no pump cycling. Its been great! Now that everything is in place I have one last question... I plumbed everything, including the two pressures gauges as suggested by Lakos.
    [​IMG]

    I also installed a pressure gauge on either side of the Big Blue filter to give me a better way to monitor when the filter needs replacing. The gauge on the pside-kick manifold as well as both gauges on either side of the Big Blue filter are all reading 50 psi... but the two gauges on either side of the Sandmaster are both reading 110 psi! At first I freaked out. When I first saw 110 psi I paniced thinking the PVC feed from my well was going to burst. In an effort to troubleshoot, and eliminate the Sandmaster as a reason for the buildup, I took it completely out of the circuit. To my surprise both gauges still read 110 psi. Thankfully, a post I found in another forum helped ease some of my worry. It was stated the pressure build up is normal with the CSV. As follows:

    "The pump should build about 130 PSI max on the inlet to the CSV. That high pressure is not dangerous or going to hurt anything. High pressure actually makes the work on the pump easier and the motor will pull less amps, than when running at higher flow rates."

    After reading that comment and contemplating the fact I had 110 psi... my light bulb went on! All of a sudden I realised why you said "If your pump can build more than 150 PSI, then you must put the filter after the CSV" Whew.

    Anyway... after two weeks, no leaks and nothing has blown up yet. Now realizing my my initial fears were unfounded.

    Final installation picture below (sorry it took so long):
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  19. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Messages:
    550
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    Wonder if the OP would give us an update? I'm looking at installing one of these next week...
  20. Elton Noway

    Elton Noway New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Yikes...sorry Texas Wellman. I'm guilty of not coming back to this forum once I got my system up and running. :eek: I'm sure you've installed something by now but in the event others stumble across this thread here's an update.

    Just shy of one year after installation ... and Everything is still working perfectly!!! Crystal clear water! No more sediment accumulating in the toilet tanks or clogging washing machine hose filters (thanks to the Lakos Sand Master)... We're also enjoying long showers with constant water pressure - just like in the city! (thanks to the Pside-kick system with PK1W Cycle Stop Valve).

    As you can see in my installation photo above I also purchased the Lakos purge kit (the clear PVC tube below the SandMaster) It allows me to see any accumulated sediment and purge it when needed. I chose this as a less expensive option to the automatic purge kit. Anyway, believe it or not... the Big Blue cartridge sediment filter still looked pretty much the same as it did 9 months after I installed it with no pressure build up. With my previous set up (pre-rebuild) I was having to replace the filter every other month, so the Lakos is doing its job. NET: I'm very pleased with the entire setup. Would do it exactly the same if I had to do it over again.
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