Comprehensive water test - Help building a water system

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travisolsen

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Hi Forum members,
I have been lurking on this site for the past year and appreciate all of the knowledge I have gained so far.

My wife and I purchased a (new to us) 1978 house, two years ago and we have wanted better quality and tasting water since day one. I have found myself going down a rabbit hole on what I should do for a water system build out. The deeper I explore, the harder I find it is to make a decision.

I am on city water that pulls from several location depending on the time of year. Summer snow melt is much better than our winter well water (8 or 9 wells to pull from... some are better than others). This year we have seen a lot of snow and our winter water has been less hard and less slimy than the previous winter when we had less snow pack.

I have had my water tested both in late summer 7/20/22 and in late winter / early spring 3/31/23. Here are my results.
Retego Labs - Olsen water results .jpg


In my household, there are 2 adults, 2 children + 2 coming (twins on the way). I have 3.5 bathrooms with plans to build out another full bathroom in my unfinished basement in the near future.

I have really been leaning towards a Fleck 5600 SXT softener and now I am going back on forth on pairing it with a backwashing carbon filter (pre softener).

Referenced carbon/ softener system:

I have not seen a lot of information about doing this type of a setup and was curious to know what some of your thoughts are. Based on my test results, should I even consider a carbon system or just go with a softener? 8% or 10% crosslink?

Any input / advice is greatly appreciated.
 

Asker123

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Your total hardness in GPG is 8.3 for July sample and 15.3 for March sample. Many city water have this 8.3 level of hardness, not sure if 15.3 GPG is common hardness level for city water. They have big water treatment plants.
What for you want to put the carbon filter? For Chlorine?
 

Asker123

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Taking 15 GPG , 15 x 5 people x 60 Gallons per day x 7 days Regen frequency gets you 31500 Grains Capacity requirement which if we take 6lb per cubic feet salt consumption puts you to 1.5 cubic feet softener need.
I dont know about Carbon filter. I let other members comment.
 

Bannerman

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I anticipate a house with 3.5 baths will be equipped with a main supply that is 1" or more likely 1.25" in diameter. Since the Fleck 5600 is best suited for a main supply that is 0.75" or smaller, consider an alternate control valve such as the Fleck 5812 or the Clack WS1.25, both of which are appropriate for a 1.25" or smaller diameter main supply.

Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filtration media is highly beneficial for significantly improving the water quality of in terms of taste, odor, color and chemical reduction, including the elimination of chlorine as well as the reduction/elimination of various chlorination byproducts.

If your municipality ever decides to switch from using plain chlorine to chloramine (chlorine + ammonia) as has become more common in many municipal distribution systems, then swapping out the GAC with a premium Catalytic Carbon may be easily performed. CC has a higher capacity to first catalyze more difficult to remove compounds into less harmful compounds which may then be removed by adsorption into the carbons pore structure.

Since the filtration performance for both GAC & CC is greatest when the media is tightly packed, suggest not considering upflow systems as upflow will cause the media to loosen and become fluidized as the flow rate to fixtures increase. Since the spaces between each carbon granule will be enlargerd which will allow a higher amount of unremoved contaminants to pass through the media bed, particularly when the flow rate to fixtures nears 6.2 GPM which is the lowest recommended flow rate to backwash (fluidize) the media within a 12" diameter (2 ft3) tank.

Periodic backwashing will allow any sediment and other debris that has collected in the media, to be flushed away to drain while at the same time, cause the media granules to be reclassified within the tank. Because water will always follow the path of least resistance, reclassification will eliminate pathways that will form within the media, thereby forcing the water to slowly flow along new pathways, through fresher, less utilized carbon media.
 
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travisolsen

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Thank you all for the information. Surprising enough, my main supply is 3/4".

I am still torn on if I should do a whole house GAC or CC carbon filter tank prior to my softener. Thoughts from members?
 
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