Iron filter in outdoor shed - Fleck 2510 or Fleck 2510 SXT?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by DeesWater, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. DeesWater

    DeesWater New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2019
    Location:
    Florida
    Hello, I'm new to this forum, although I've read and learned a lot here. This is my first post.

    I am looking to put an iron filter, a 1.5 or 2.0 cf filox filter, on my well water.
    My well is a 150' deep, 4" steel cased, with 1.0 HP submersible pump, on a galvanized drop pipe, and Well-XTrol 302 pressure tank, set to 40-60 psi. The well was new in 2008. I have a sediment filter with a 60 mesh plastic filter insert (Now I still get a few, literally 3-5, grains of sediment breaking through, like in a white dishpan / 1 gallon of water it is visible on the bottom).
    The tag on my well says it outputs 25 GPM. I tried my best to do a flow test by myself at the well, and I got about 20-21 seconds to fill a 5 gallon bucket, at the spigot right off the well head, which was a 3/4" garden hose spigot connected via a 90 deg elbow to a short 1" galvanized pipe, connected to the 2" Tee coming off the 2" pipe that goes to the pressure tank (so, one side of Tee is 2" going to well, other side reduced to 1" then 3/4" hose spigot). I may have been able to shave a couple of seconds off if I had a helper to mind the stop-watch, while I held the bucket to fill. The pressure tank refills in just under a minute.

    The house sat mostly vacant for the last several years. Iron built up in the system, which I have recently flushed for several hours at a time on a few different days to clear most all of it out, so I no longer get orange water at the taps. The water now runs pretty clear, although it looks slightly yellow when a white 5 gal bucket is filled, and still smells pretty metallic, so I wouldn't want to drink it.

    I don't think I have iron bacteria, because everything I have read about it, and speaking with the well driller's office, says iron bacteria deposits are slimy. While I did find plenty of iron deposit in the toilet tank, it was fluffy, and not sticky, slimy, or in coagulated globs at all. Touching it with my fingers easily sent a cloud of fluffy fine powderous iron swirling into the tank water, no slimy goo, globs or chunks at all.

    I got my water tested at the local pool store, where I was told I had 0.15 ppm iron, 141 ppm calcium hardness (I think this was off, personally). I am having the well driller come out next week to get a check-up for the well, do their own iron, hardness, tds test, flow test. I am not really concerned with bacteria in my well, as I am surrounded by woods, and my septic tank is good. I am a little concerned about bacteria in the house piping as it sat for so long unused (copper piping throughout, circa 1976).
    I hope this info helps with my following questions.

    I have read that shocking a well can help loosen iron deposits inside the well, and house pipes, as well as disinfection.
    I am wondering if it is worthwhile for me to shock the well (have the well driller do it) and house piping since it went relatively unused for so long? I'm thinking it may be a good idea to loosen up + flush out as much remaining iron build-up in the system before installing a new iron filter, and I'm wondering about bacteria in the house plumbing itself. Your thoughts?

    Also, when I get an iron filter, it will be going into an outside shed - a few spiders, spider webs, occasional transient mouse, geckos. In central Florida, I am in an area with frequent, albeit usually short, power outages + surges, and lightning storms. I had installed a whole-house surge supressor (forget the joules) on it's own 30 Amp breaker when we put in a new electrical panel. The microwave clock + other clocks still go out frequently though... :).
    Given this info, Would it be better to go with a Fleck 2510 mechanical valve timer, or would it be okay to use the Fleck 2510SXT digital timer? Would a 30 Amp whole house supressor protect it from frying the circuit board during a lightning storm? Would spiders-bugs crawl into the digital control and muck it up, moreso than a mechanical timer?

    My last concern is the required backflush rate for Filox media. I have read anywhere from 12-13 GPM to 25 gpm is required. I am wondering why I am finding such discrepancies. Does the backflush GPM depend on the mesh size of the media? Or does it depend on if it is a 1.0, 1.5 or 2.0 CF media tank? Or a bit of both?
    In the Filox and Mang-Ox manufacturer spec sheets I read, the mesh sizes were different... Filox 12 x 40, Mang-Ox 8 x 20/20 x 40. I guess my question is, does it matter that much the mesh size of the media? Does the mesh size affect the backflush GPM needed? The Mang-Ox specs also listed backwash as 22-30 GPM/SF. I guess I am getting confused over the tanks being listed as 1.0 or 2.0 cubic foot of media, but the backwash rates being given as eg. 12 gpm/SF of media... Can someone help explain this cubic foot vs. square foot to me? Or at least tell me if a 15 GPM backwash will be sufficient for a 1.5 or 2.0 CF Filox (or other brand) media?

    Another thing I am a bit confused about, is some sellers advertise a Filox or Mang-Ox system... but the fine print says the magnesium dioxide may be from a different brand/supplier. If this is the case, does it matter that much?

    I apologize this post is long, but just wanted to give as much info as I could up front. I thank you in advance for any advice you can give.
    PS: I want to avoid using a water softener. We have generally good water in this area, albeit it's a bit hard, and I have more iron as I'm fairly close to a lake, and most of the homes in this area have iron issues. That's why I'm looking at just an iron filter, and possibly a carbon filter for ice/drinking water in the kitchen. People who live just a little further away from the lake, their water is great, if a bit calcium hard.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Mainly the cross sectional area. The area is proportional to the square of the diameter. Yes, the mesh would matter, but I presume they tend to use the same mesh... but I am not sure. I am not a pro.

    Some numbers are quoted in gpm/sqft.

    Some places quote lower numbers than optimum. Also, the temperature of backwash water matters. Katalox Light is much lighter than Filox. Here is a table for KL in a 10 inch tank:
    [​IMG]

    For 12 inch tanks, multiply the flow numbers by 1.44, for example.
     
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  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Filox, mang-ox, pyrolox and many other names are basically just naturally mined manganese dioxide ore. Since they are all very similar the media is not critical. These medias are still used but more modern media have replaced them in may applications. Katalox Light, Greensand+ and several other medias are basically a lighter media that has been coated with manganese dioxide ore making them perform similarly but with far lower backwash requirements.

    As to the ft2 vs ft3, these are two totally different calculations. A common 2 ft3 system would use a 12" diameter tank. The basic calculation for this tank is 6x6x3.14/144x25=20 GPM so a filox based system would have an estimated backwash requirement of 20 GPM, but many people use 30 GPM in warmer water areas ie: Florida so your backwash rate would be closer to 25 GPM for the 12" diameter tank.

    KL on the other hand is generally backwashed at a starting point closer to 13 GPM per ft3. so the same 12" tank would be 6x6x3.14/144x13=10 GPM

    As you can easily see, modern medias have an enormous advantage when it comes to their backwash rates. There are some minor disadvantages but in general the lower backwash rates far outweigh the problems associated with pure manganese dioxide ore based medias. Plus the fact that you are supposed to backwash these medias daily compared to slightly less frequent backwashing of the more modern medias...

    All that being said, please sanitize your well and house plumbing and get a real water test,

    http://watercheck.myshopify.com?aff=5

    Here is a link to NTL, one of the better water tests available. You are your own municipality so getting a real water test is very important.
     
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    When calculating the GPM for the purpose of determining available backwash rate, it is better to use the pressure tank fill time. Measure how many gallons of drawdown the tank has and the refill time. That is averaged since the pump GPM is on a curve and will have more GPM at start and less GPM as it nears cut-off. Of course, the plumbing between the tank and the iron filter could reduce the GPM but that is a good place to start.

    My softener is metered so I can use it to measure the GPM flow through it which factors all the plumbing to that point and not averaged. I use a micronizer to precipitate iron so use Filter AG media which requires less GPM to backwash.
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    That would correspond to about ~21 gpm. That is a very high flow.

    The well might have been able to recover at 25 gpm when tested initially, but the pump likely is not able to pump 25 gpm. It is a wonder that you got 14 gpm from your garden hose during the test. If you were to use that as a test result, you would want to make sure that the pressure stayed at about 30 psi or above during that. If the pressure were to drop to 10 psi during the backwashing, I think that would not be enough.
     
  7. DeesWater

    DeesWater New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2019
    Location:
    Florida
    Thank you for replying. I will have to get together five 5 gal buckets to measure the actual quantity output of the pressure tank between cut-off and cut-on. The pressure tank is is supposed to have a drawdown of 25.3 gallons when it's set to 40-60 psi, which it is. The tank takes just about a minute to refill between reaching 40 psi cut-on and 60 psi cut-off, if spigot is shut off. When the water at the spigot is continuously running full blast, the pump does not shut off. The pipe running from the sediment filter (60 mesh reusable filter, plastic, not paper) which is just after the pressure tank is 1-3/8" OD PVC. This goes into the shed where the filter will be. Coming out of the shed to the house, the pipe is 1" OD PVC. So, I don't know how much that pipe reduces the GPM of the flow into the shed + future filter either, but I got about 15 GPM from the 3/4" spigot.
     
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
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    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Or use one bucket and count how many times you dump and refill it.
     
  9. DeesWater

    DeesWater New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2019
    Location:
    Florida
    The pressure tank is supposed to have a drawdown of 25.3 gals when set to 40-60 psi. The pump cuts on at 40 psi, and it takes just about 1 minute to cut off again at 60 psi. I will have to get five 5 gallon buckets to see what the actual drawdown is that I am getting between tank fills. When the well is continually running, like when running a hose full blast off the spigot off the well head, the pump does not kick off. I don't know how much GPM is lost through the 1" pipe to 3/4" elbow and spigot, but the pipe going to the shed where filter will be is PVC 1-3/8" OD, so I guess it's probably considered 1" PVC pipe. So, wouldn't that mean that my water pressure is above 40 psi at the spigot, since the pump isn't shutting off while continuously running the water at that spigot?
     
  10. DeesWater

    DeesWater New Member

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    Nov 4, 2019
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    Thank you lol, that does sound easier! I am going to hopefully have a friend on Thursday or Friday try to help me figure out more precisely how long it takes, and how much water I get, when I go from full to empty on the pressure tank. And how much water I get in a minute while the pump is continuously running.
     
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    That then shows you the GPM at a specific PSI. Since pumps run on a curve, they output more GPM at lower PSI and inversely less GPM at higher PSI.
    The PSI would be a factor on the end of a long run since the run can introduce line loss that can affect GPM.
    If you have a draincock on the tank Tee, it might give you different results but could be closer to actual since the line loss from the well is already factored. It may be of value to plot the pump curve at the tank Tee as by watching the PSI during backwash, you can deduce the GPM.

    A drop in water level in the well affects the curve too but since the well recovery rate is 35 GPM, the level in the well could probably be left out of the equation.
     
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
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    Not shutting off means the pressure is less than 60.
     
  13. DeesWater

    DeesWater New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2019
    Location:
    Florida
    Thank you for your reply, the link to the lab, and the formula explanation. I will have my well + plumbing sanitized, and get a more comprehensive test before I start drinking the water. I'll have my TDS, iron, hardness, tested Monday by the well driller.
    So, if it turns out I'm only getting 15 GPM to my filter, it sounds like I'd be better off going for the 10" tank. Per your formula for Filox, 10" tank would need 13.62 GPM to properly backwash, am I correct?
    Why am I seeing some sellers say backwash requirement is as slow as 8GPM for a 10 x 54" tank, or 9-11 GPM for a 12 x 52" tank? What happens when people backwash with these lower rates?

    Also, I read in another one of your posts to someone else's question (somewhere - I've read so much!) that you guys end up having problems with the filox filters if/when backwashing isn't at least 15 GPM. May I ask, what kinds of problems do you run into?
    Thank you for your help!
     
  14. DeesWater

    DeesWater New Member

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    Uh, yup - lol. Thank you! Does the pressure gauge on the well, tell me what the pressure is coming out of my spigot, when the spigot is continually running - is it an accurate gauge at this point?
     
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Reasonably close. There will be some pressure drop on the way to the spigot.
     
  16. DeesWater

    DeesWater New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2019
    Location:
    Florida
    Thank you. I have another hose spigot on the service line to the shed-filter spot, just before the sediment filter, but after the well + tank piping. I will re-do my flow test on Thurs or Fri from that spigot instead, though it's also on a 3/4" elbow. While I'm running this spigot, is the visible pressure gauge on the pressure tank an accurate reading of the PSI of the water coming out of the spigot?
     
  17. DeesWater

    DeesWater New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2019
    Location:
    Florida
    Okay, thank you. Based on everyone's help, I'll be re-doing my flow test with a helper Thurs or Fri., and watching the pressure gauge while at it.

    What are your thoughts on using a mechanical control vs. a digital control in an outdoor shed? Few spiders, webs, occasional mouse or gecko, and while it won't get rained on, it does get super humid here. I don't know how tough the digital ones are, and while additional functionality seems nice, I'm not sure how useful it is on a Filox filter. Also get lots of lightning storms and short power surges, outtages - my microwave clock goes out quite often, all summer long :). Though I had installed a "whole-house" surge suppressor on it's own 30 Amp breaker, I don't remember the Joules it's rated for. Don't know how much it actually helps... Your thoughts?
     
  18. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    You can run two or more spigots simultaneously. You could measure the volumes sequentially as long as each spigot is on during the whole test. Then sum up the readings.
     
  19. DeesWater

    DeesWater New Member

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    Aha, thank you, that is a good idea! Do you have any thoughts on whether the Fleck 2510 digital controller would be ok in the shed, or would the mechanical one be better suited for the occasional spider + web, etc. it may encounter?
     
  20. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    No feel for that.
     
  21. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The SXT is almost always preferred. The transformer tends to eat the power surges without too much trouble. The number of bad boards we see is insignificant.
     
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