Forklifting my water treatment system

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by LLigetfa, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
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    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The wife put her foot down and said it is time to replace this 20 something year old system. I rebedded both the iron filter and the softener around 10 years ago and was planning on another rebuild versus replace but she'll have nothing of it.

    I don't have any numbers on water test results. The dealer that sold me the current system says he no longer does HP tanks with aeration. The iron filter he now sells takes big gulps of air during backwash to aerate and oxidize the iron. I contacted an out-of-town dealer about a new Patterson style system similar to what I have now and he tried to up-sell me to the same type of big gulp system my local dealer has.

    I had another water treatment guy come out to have a look at my system and take water samples. Before he took a water sample, he too was talking about one of those big gulp systems but changed his tune after testing the water and after hearing what I had to say about my system. I am going on the faith that he is honest and we are rebuilding the HP tank and micronizer, adding a second modified* HP tank downstream to work as a contact tank and air separator, and replacing both the iron filter and softener. *We will modify the downstream HP tank by shortening up the AVC so it will hold more water and less air. The only source of air to this second tank is air that might move forward from the upstream HP tank at the bottom of a pressure cycle if the draw exceeds the flow rate out of the micronizer.

    We will up-size the 3/4" line out from both HP tanks to 1-1/4" and reduce it to 1" at the iron filter inlet. We will up-size the line after the iron filter to 1" and also the outlet from the softener to where the 3/4" cold line takes off to the HWT to 1".

    AFAIK both heads will be the Clack WS1 with the softener being metered. I think the media tanks will be 10x54 which are taller than my existing tanks. They don't fit under the floor due to having just a crawlspace so the will protrude above the floor at the entrance to the crawlspace.
     
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Why not get a shorter tank? 12x35, 42, 48 are all common tank sizes and readily available.
     
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  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    My existing tanks are too tall to fit under the floor too so the extra height is not a problem. Larger diameter tanks need more GPM to backwash and I am GPM challenged.
     
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
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    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Yesterday my water guy and I ripped out all the old stuff and put in the new (or new to me) stuff. We reworked everything from where the poly pipe from the well terminated all the way to where the house piping branches off to hot and cold.

    We built a tree for two micronizers in parallel with both upstream and downstream double-union ball valves. I can close one pair of ball valves, unscrew two unions, and remove a micronizer while the other micronizer is active. I will attach a crude diagram and then later take pictures of the actual tree.

    I could not find a new HP-7 tank that was not ridiculously overpriced so my water guy provided a used one he had. He also supplied a used bottom ports Tee for my tank on which we extended the inlet standpipe as high as possible. My tank was moved downstream to act as a contact tank. We shortened up the AVC so the tank has more water than air. It also does not have a constant supply of air so it might eventually get waterlogged. I kept the shortened AVC to remove any air that might move forward from the first HP tank. Air can/will move forward if the tank is drawn down faster than the micronizer lets make-up water in. The AVC has a very small port and so cannot release a lot of air fast. I placed a gauge and a schrader valve in the top bung's port so I can add air the the contact tank if does get waterlogged.

    When I assembled the used HP tank, I installed a 1/4" nipple on the top of the AVC bung to connect my pressure switch and a pressure gauge. When we had everything hooked up and turned on the pump, as the tank was filling, I noticed an air leak at the bung which was caused by it cracking. I might have over-tightened the nipple or since it was used, it might have already been cracked. Anyway, I had an older style AVC with a shorter straight pipe than the newer offset pipe that is an inch longer. The older style bung also had a 1/8" port so we had to drill and tap it to 1/4" FPT thread.

    We placed double-union ball valves at strategic points so either tank can easily be removed. We also installed unions in the line between the contact tank and the Iron filter so it can easily be removed for cleaning. We up-sized to 1-1/4" the 1" pipe after the micronizer tree to the HP tank, used 1-1/4" pipe between the Hp tank and contact tank, and up-sized from 3/4" to 1-1/4", the pipe to the Iron filter. The inlet on the iron filter is 1" so we bushed down to 1" right at the bypass valve assembly. We up-sized from 3/4" up to 1", the line between the iron filter and softener and after the softener to where the house pipe branches off to hot and cold.

    The wife is very pleased with the performance of the new system.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I changed out the PDF to a JPG in the post above for ease of viewing. I still have to tidy up the mess left before I take pictures. I'm getting too old to spend hours squatting in the crawlspace and am in too much pain now to spend time to clean the place up.

    Right now I am running one micronizer with its bypass opened 3 full turns while the other micronizer is isolated with the ball valves. I'm running 40/60 on the pressure switch and the micronizer draws air up to around 50 PSI. I might experiment running both with less bypass to try to match the GPM from the well to the draw through the iron filter and softener and to allow the pressure to be adjusted to 50/70. My water guy advised that if I exceed the service rate on them that I will get some bleed-through. I also need to be cognizant of too much GPM drawn from the well bringing up sediment.

    On my old system I had the style of head with mechanical clocks and cams where the iron filter just used different cams. The cams were such that it took the iron filter as long to backwash as the softener took to do a regen so I could not do to both on the same night. I staggered them so the iron filter backwashed 24 hours before the softener regenerated.

    This new system is programmable so the iron filter backwash takes less time so the softener can regen on the same night. The softener is metered so it will regenerate on any night of its choosing which could be the same night as the iron filter backwash. We just made sure the regen ran later to allow the iron filter backwash to complete.

    The wife is elated with both the water quality and pressure but is now scolding me for not having done this years ago.
     
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Now I have a bigger mess to clean up. While I've been nursing my knee back to health, I did go down in the crawlspace a few times to check that there were no leaks. I also added some foam insulating pipe wrap to mitigate sweating and started to tidy up a bit for as long as my knee could bear it.

    Anyway, yesterday my sump pit alarm went off so down into the crawlspace I go to investigate. Turns out the O-ring on the bung of the AVC bulged out and was spraying water all over the place. It is a very poor design as there is no recess for the O-ring to sit in and is just held by compression friction on two parallel surfaces. The other tank that my water guy supplied while almost identical to the Wellmate, has one crucial difference. The top of the tank where the bung gets threaded into has a recess for the O-ring to sit in.

    The original O-ring that I reused was also a little stretched so when trying to tighten the bung, it wanted to deform and squeeze out. I took the used O-ring off the old bottom Tee that we had left over but it was no longer round but it was a tad shorter so it fit inside the leaking O-ring. I hoped that I could double the two up but again the O-ring bulged out and leaked. I managed to stuff it back into place as I tightened the bung some more and then put a large hose clamp around the bung to keep the O-ring from popping back out under pressure. So far it is holding.

    Aside from this incident, the new system is working very well. With the current micronizer bypass adjustment, there is around 7 GPM of flow. The mechanical Square D switch with 20 PSI spread between cut-in and cut-out provides a longer than minimum required pump run time to refill the two tanks. I have yet to replace it with the new EPS 15/99 switch that arrived too late to install on the day we did the forklift. When I do install it, I will be able to reduce the 20 PSI spread by raising the cut-in and/or lowering the cut-out.
     
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    As promised, I took some pics and uploaded them to my Google Photos. https://photos.app.goo.gl/qy8LZQs94NxS2CF56

    The first pic is the micronizer twinning. The red side is currently in use and the blue side is isolated. If I need to service the red side, I cut over to the blue side and can remove the red side by unscrewing the hand tightened unions. As mentioned, with the red side micronizer's bypass adjustment, I get 7 GPM of flow at 40 PSI which is enough for backwashing and the wife is not complaining about how long it takes to fill her soaker tub. Her tub will draw over 8 GPM from the tank. If I wanted more GPM without getting less air draw, I could reduce the bypass on the red side and put both the red and blue sides into service.

    In subsequent pics you can see the blue tank which is a normal HP tank with about 6 gallons of drawdown. It is essentially empty when the pump kicks on at 40 PSI. If/when the draw is more than 7 GPM, the pressure will fall below 40 PSI and some air will move forward to the second (grey) tank. The grey tank has a modified AVC so it has only a little bit of air and 20 gallons of water and as such acts as a contact tank and an air trap/release. The AVC on these tanks sometimes cannot release the air fast enough to prevent the air from moving forward but given the volume of water in the grey contact tank, the small amount of air that moves forward will not displace all 20 gallons so no air moves beyond it. Well... at least so long as the pressure doesn't drop too low.

    In the last pic you can see the hose clamp that keeps the O-ring from popping out. In the second last pic you can see how the blue tank bung hole is recessed so the O-ring cannot possibly pop out. I have yet to replace the Square D 40/60 switch with the EPS15/99. I am hoping to reduce the 20 PSI spread so the pressure does not fluctuate as much. I would like to set it to 45/55 if it will let me.
     
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
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    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Just a quick followup after nearly two months of service. As mentioned before, the AVC in the primary HP tank cannot dump surplus air fast enough when the pressure drops below the 40 PSI cut-in as when the soaker tub is filling so air still moves forward. Having the second hybrid HP/contact tank with the shortened up AVC is doing its job of catching that air and keeping it from moving forward to the iron filter, just as I designed it to.

    I would have liked to have raised the AVC more but due to the curved offset, I could only shorten it by one foot so the volume of water for longer contact time is less than I wanted. That said, there is probably enough contact time but I have not sampled the water between the iron filter and softener to be sure. With the air volume regulated in the hybrid HP/contact tank, it provides additional drawdown.

    I have not dared to open up the micronizer bypass or engage dual micronizers in parallel to increase the GPM from the well for fear of motivating sediment. If I did match the GPM the pump puts out to what the soaker tub draws, I would not have the pressure drop much below the 40 PSI and the air would not move forward from the HP tank. For now I will leave well enough alone.
     
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    Feb 6, 2011
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    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    My water guy said he would send the water test results with the invoice but he forgot and misplaced his notes so he asked that I drop off a water sample and he would test it again. Today I finally got around to it and the results are as follows.

    Iron 6.75 PPM
    Manganese 0.4 PPM
    Hardness 75 GPG
    pH 7.2
     
  11. wascalwabbitt

    wascalwabbitt Member

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    Feb 26, 2019
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada

    If your micronizer plugs, won't you blow the line coming from the pump because your pressure switch is AFTER the micronizer?
     
  12. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    Feb 6, 2011
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    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I have a 100 mesh Banjo filter before the micronizer so it should not get plugged. The pump would likely deadhead before the line blows but I probably should have a pressure relief valve before the Banjo filter.
     
  13. wascalwabbitt

    wascalwabbitt Member

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    Location:
    Alberta, Canada

    What is the make of the other tank that your water guy supplied?
     
  14. wascalwabbitt

    wascalwabbitt Member

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    At what pressure would you set that relief valve? (if you did install one)
     
  15. wascalwabbitt

    wascalwabbitt Member

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    Feb 26, 2019
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Where is the air released on your first blue tank?
    I can see the air release tee on the second grey tank, but it looks like you have plugged the air release with the square d pressure valve on your first blue tank. Please explain. Thanks.
     
  16. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    I would need to determine the deadhead pressure and compare it to the operating pressure with the micronizer bypass choked down and pick something in between.
     
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    NW Ontario, Canada
    On the blue tank, the AVC vents out the side of the bung unlike the grey tank the vents out the top through a small elbow.

    I pressed a brass nipple into the vent hole so I could connect a tube to it. In the following pic, you can just barely see it so I drew a green box around it. 2019-11-11_21-07-12.jpg
     
  18. wascalwabbitt

    wascalwabbitt Member

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    LL,
    When the pump is off and system full, what do your air pressures read in tank #2 and tank #1 ?
     
  19. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
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    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    When the pump shuts off at 60 PSI, that is what the two gauges read.
     
  20. wascalwabbitt

    wascalwabbitt Member

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    Feb 26, 2019
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I am trying to better understand this whole air injection idea. I had not wanted to add air to my new system due to the excessive sludge build up that occurred with my old system. The installer at the time put an air pump (activated during well pump cycle) with a mixing chamber in front of the pressure tank. It worked really good -- took care of 100% of the iron. (approx 4 ppm) BUT the sludge build up in the pressure tank, pressure switch and lines to the iron filter within less than a year slowed the water stream to a trickle.

    LLigetfa has set up a system with basically 2 pressure tanks in series. From the photos it looks like both tanks have bottom tees for filling and emptying.

    1) to have proper agitation, diffusion and turbulence wouldn't you want the air/water stream to enter the top of the tank and the water only to exit the bottom of the tank?

    2) wouldn't the tee connections at the bottom of the tank allow the injected air to bypass the tank completely if the flow conditions allowed it?

    3) From what I've read so far most persons are saying the micronizer needs to go between the well pump and the pressure tank due to a minimum of around 3 gpm to draw air into the venturi. Is this correct? (My well flow is only around 5 gpm so I really don't want to restrict it with a venturi)

    4) Because I don't want any sludge in my existing pressure tank, I am thinking of reinstalling my old air pump, BUT after the pressure tank and before a new contact tank. If the new contact tank has a top inlet and a bottom outlet would that take care of any air going further downstream into the house?
     
  21. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    If you use a captive air tank, then you should not introduce air before it. My pressure tank is hydro-pneumatic and so it needs a constant air supply. A micronizer depends on flow to work and with less flow works only at lower pressure. If you put the micronizer after the pressure tank and before the contact tank, then you need the air pump. You might also need a flow sensor switch since it can no longer be slaved to run with the pump.

    Yes, everything in the path from right after the micronizer gets gunked up with precipitated iron so this style requires constant maintenance. That is why I went with 1-1/4 inch piping to reduce the frequency of cleaning which is why there are so many unions in my system.

    The Tee in the bottom of the tank has a riser on the inlet so water cannot bypass the tank. The new style riser has a socket where you can glue a length of pipe to run the inlet up to the top inside the tank. I added such to my second tank.
    [​IMG]
     
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