Filters and Neutralizers and Softeners Oh My.... (putting new system in place)

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by Chad_H, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. Chad_H

    Chad_H New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Location:
    Maryland
    Ok, I've been trying to decide how to best tackle this treatment system I'm putting together. For the most part, our water quality is relatively good. Right now my biggest concerns are the nitrate and pH levels. We do also get small black flake of what I initially thought was chips of shale like rock that eventually clog the screen filters on the faucets etc... now I wonder if it could possibly be from the acidic water corroding the casing or something. All the piping in the house is PEX, so, I'm not concerned with corrosion of piping.

    Test results are raw untreated well water.

    pH: 5.7 (previous test was 5.8)
    Nitrates: 7.6 mg/L (previous test was 9.7)
    Link to full test results

    Every time I think I have it figured out, I seem to change my mind or find a thread with contradicting advice...

    Equipment on hand: Rusco SS 200 mesh (74 microns) sediment trapper and 3 BB filter housings, the rest I'm still trying to figure out.

    Given, the stuff I have currently will not address my main concerns but I prefer to over-prepare vs try to play catch up later.

    My initial plan was to do something like :

    Pressure Tank > Sediment Trap > Neutralizer > BB ( 25 / 10 / 5 / 1 micron) > Softner (if needed) > Nitrate filter

    My hope was that a Softener could server dual roles to remove nitrates and soften the water. Although I did see examples of mixing media, I don't believe that's the best idea. I'm leaning toward a 2.5 Vortec non-backflow calcite neutralizer, I know it technically says calcite down to 6.0 but based on our usage and the larger tank I think it would work (correct me if I'm wrong) and then putting the softener between the neutralizer and nitrate filter, however, I feel like the softener would almost negate the acid neutralizer. Then again, I'm not even sure I would need the softener yet.

    I've not really considered soda ash injection yet but that could be a solution. I just need to do more research on it. What I saw initially was info pointing to it potentially being toxic if you add too much and ineffective if you add too little... on top of it already requiring more diligent and frequent maintenance

    So, I guess my main questions would be:
    1. If I added a softener after the neutralizer, am I just basically negating the effectiveness of the neutralizer?
    2. Is there nitrate preferring resin that can do light softening duty (don't really believe there is)?
    3. Does the flow make sense or would you guys make changes add/remove items?
     
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Looking at your water report I would recommend a simple soda ash and polyphosphate injection system. You have fairly decent water. If you have a concern about the low level of nitrate a simple drinking water RO is more than adequate. Just stay away from most of the cheap online sellers, these RO systems can be a real pile of garbage.
     
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  4. Ryan Symons

    Ryan Symons Dihydrogen monoxide specialist

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2018
    Location:
    Ohio
    I've personally never had great results with soda ash or calcite/corosex being able to raise the ph that much. Generally it's good enough but mainly because I have a hard time entrusting customers with caustic.
     
  5. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Sizing is critical for calcite/corosex to work properly. Also understanding the limitations. In this application the low TDS is a prime candidate for pH correction with calcite but... why make really nice water hard? As to soda ash injection, it is relatively safe to work with compared to sodium hydroxide but when it comes to the math, it is a little difficult to apply properly. I am working on a short article that explains the limitations... but writing this article has taught me that on paper, it is very difficult to get to work. In the real world, it works very well. Once I have another 5-10 hours to spare I hope to finish my article.
     
    Ryan Symons likes this.
  6. Chad_H

    Chad_H New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Location:
    Maryland

    We plan to also add RO system under the sink. I've been looking at the HomeMaster series; they seem to have good quality systems and good reviews. That's probably a good point about the nitrates, the RO system should be enough for that. Still can't decide if I would prefer soda ash or calcite and a softener for the pH. I'm still kinda leaning toward calcite just for the reduced maintenance, but I'll research it more.
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    If you don't have a softener, then you don't have to fill the salt.
     
  8. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Both require maintenance. Soda ash requires adding a few scoops of powder into a chemical tank, some water and that's about it. Calcite requires you monitor the level of consumable media and add on occasion, ad you will usually need to add a softener, which means you will be adding salt. Both work, if you already have hard water then the calcite softener combo is fine. If you have fairly soft water, the soda ash with polyphosphate is usually preferred. Regarding the RO, not a fan of the one you mentioned, too many leak spots and fittings. FYI, we will be releasing a new RO in about 12 weeks, almost no fittings, amazing design, this has been in development for way too long and it is finally time to release it after years of testing. Anyone interested in seeing it send me a PM. We will have it on our website when we get closer to the release date. The response from our larger dealers is overwhelming and we will not be able to keep up with demand for at least 6 months to a year.
     
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