Iron Out to clean Katalox Light?

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Relevante

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Hello,

Just under a year ago, I installed a system to remove iron and hardness based on a Katalox Light backwashing filter followed by a large softener. Everything was working great until just a few days ago when I noticed poor water quality in the shower. I flushed the softener twice with a heavy dose of Pro ResCare and Iron Out. Now the water out of the softener tests clean: < 1gpg hardness and 0.15ppm Fe with Hach test kits. However, the water out of the Katalox Light filter pegged the Hach Total Iron test kit at 5ppm, so it appears to be not working anymore (when first installed, it was working extremely well). So obviously the softener isn't going to work well for long with that kind of iron load.

I now have a strong dose of bleach sitting in the KL filter in hopes of having a regenerating effect. My plan is to let that sit for an hour or so and then flush it and test again. If it's still not working, would it be safe to try some Iron Out in the KL filter? I've searched here and elsewhere and can't find any mention of anyone doing this, but it seems like it could be a reasonable next step.

Any other thoughts/suggestions?

Thanks!
 

Relevante

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After letting the bleach sit for an hour and then flushing it for 40 minutes, the water out of the KL filter is testing around 1ppm Fe. So a big improvement, but still not as good as new.
 

ditttohead

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Try bleach a couple more times. KL works much better with an oxidant. I would recommend converting the system to a constant regen design with a h2o2 injection system ahead of the KL unit.
 

Artem

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I had tried two different systems from two different vendors based on Katalox light. Both times I had exactly the same scenario (in my case the system completely dies within a month or two). Is Katalox designed for a water with extremely low iron or it's just a massive scam?
 

Skyjumper

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I too am disappointed with Katalox. Worked great for a week, and then rapidly declined. The manufacturer says nothing about the need for oxidation. only "a simple backwash for 10-15 minutes". This is simply not true. Not only is oxidation needed, but regular cleaning of the media itself is required. The manufacturer does not tell you this. In fact, they ask customers to "Submit your test data to help us to model a better and accurate System Calculator for Katalox-Light® media." That alone tells you they do not have a handle on their product.

I have air oxidation and I backwash twice a day for 20 minutes at 9pgm (yes, 360 gallons backwash for 150 gals service water), and I cleaned the media 4 times in the past 2 weeks (twice with bleach, once with SIO, once with Rescare/phosphoric acid) and the best I have been able to acheive is 0.4ppm iron leaking through the filter. It was spitting out 4+ppm before I cleaned it. The raw well is only 1.8ppm now after I shocked it, so this is mediocre performance at best.

But I have no suggestion as to what would work better, other than a separate chlorine or peroxide injection system as dittohead suggests, but that is a lot of extra hassle. or just use a water softener to remove the iron, clean it regularly with iron cleaners, and plan to rebed it every 5 years.
 

Old

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Is it an AIO system? Perhaps the injector/screen are clogged and it is no longer drawing air during regen.
 

Artem

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In my case, I had AIO system at first and then SXT, but I have a huge oxidation contact AirMax tank right in front of it. I can give a spec of both systems (as well as my water) if it helps.

Please take my apologizes if I jumped in into somebody's thread, I can create a new one with all the technical information. There quite a lot of questions on my side, but I'm fighting a temptation to threw it away and install old good Birm
 

Reach4

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In my case, I had AIO system at first and then SXT, but I have a huge oxidation contact AirMax tank right in front of it. I can give a spec of both systems (as well as my water) if it helps.
  1. Would that be Aer-Max?
  2. What is the backwash rate on your KL tank? You could measure that by playing the drain line into a 5 gallon bucket, and timing how many seconds to fill.
 
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ditttohead

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The math is fairly simple. Birm is .1% manganese dioxide ore over sand, Katalox Light is 10% manganese dioxide ore over clinoptilolite. The manganese dioxide ore is the media that is doing the reduction oxidation of the ferrous iron to the ferric state. Unfortunately, KL does a poor job of marketing their media. If you don't read through the reams of information, and only read the main marketing literature, you might be lead to believe that the media is a miracle iron cure. Just like all manganese dioxide ore based medias, proper application is key. Dissolved oxygen and adequate pH are important to a successful installation. A properly sized bed is also very important. The media works better than any other media we have tested, but people misapply it constantly. At minimum it needs air injection unless your water is coming from an atmospheric tank where you are using a spray bar... micronizers tend to work fairly well, intermittent regen (pot perm, h2o2, chlorine), or even AIO have all proven to be successful methods of iron reduction with KL.
 

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Thank you guys! You make me think, I'm at the right place!
The tank prior to my current SXT KL is AER-Max (half water, half compressed air, gives me some grief with extra air in pipes).

The Backwash rate came with 12 inch tank (2cf) was 6gmp,
15 min
Rapid rinse is 5 min, same flow rate.
I changed to 7.4gpm, planning to do 9gpm since there is no visible result (with hope not to drain all the media).
The tank is vortech, so I have no gravel.
I have a digital meter, it's easier than the buckets :D

Yes, I was trapped into thinking that KL is the Grail of all the iron treating solutions.....

The Ph level in the well water is 7.5-8.1 (I need to re-calibrate tools so I can give you 0.01 precision if necessary)
And yes, I tried excessive oxidation, chlorination (in line and sporadically) - same result :(

The main problem is 4-5 ppm of Fe++ (clean iron). It's passing through the filter as it's a pipe.
Secondary problem is Manganese of 0.4 ppm
Hydrogen Sulfide is about 0.3 ppm
Total dissolved solids ~ 800 ppm
 
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Reach4

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The 5600SXT valve maxes out at about 7 gpm. I suspect your backwash water is maybe 15C give or take, so I think you would want about 10 gpm. Removing the DLFC button would let you maximize the flow. Your pump may or may not be able to keep up with that.
index.php

https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/katalox-media-plugged.69720/

I will message you with some troubleshooting thoughts on the air tank.
 

Artem

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Thank you for the info! This starting to make some sense....

Well water temperature is about 13C.
My pump can do 9.5 gpm, I think, you right, 10 is not achievable for me.

Theoretically, I can order 10 inch tank and do similar magic to it.
My service demand rarely goes close to 3.5 gpm.
Moving the media might be a hassle...

I was able to play with 6, 7, 7.4(is the maximum flow, with no drain flow restriction) gpm (head is 2510sxt).
I don't think I've seen the media expansion even 20% (I can use a light to see through almond tank)....
 
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Reach4

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I was able to play with 6, 7, 7,4 gpm (head is 2510sxt).
Nice! Much higher backwash-capable than the 5600. I would go to a 12 gpm dlfc. 40% bed expansion still leaves space before the top of the tank.

My pump can do 9.5 gpm, I think, you right, 10 is not achievable for me.
What pressure is that 9.5 gpm at?

During backwash with a 12 gpm dlfc, it will be interesting how the psi stabilizes; maybe that is 7.4 and you used a comma instead of a period. I expect you would have a burst of 12 gpm initially most of the time. That could be enough to get media unstuck.
 
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Artem

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What pressure is that 9.5 gpm at?
I haven't checked this part. But my old pump has some troubles to keep up even with 7.4 gpm, it drops to 5gpm when helper tank gets half way empty. The pump works based on a pressure gauge (from 40 till 60 psi). So my guess would be that only 60 psi gives 7.4

During backwash with a 12 gpm dlfc, it will be interesting how the psi stabilizes; maybe that is 7.4 and you used a comma instead of a period. I expect you would have a burst of 12 gpm initially most of the time. That could be enough to get media unstuck.
Yes, you're right it was 7.4, I've corrected it, I'm sorry for the confusion.
I don't think I had 12 gpm even momentarily...

One question which bothers me is what is an expected result from KL filter? Should I expect 0 ppm iron at the exit? Or some iron levels below 0.3ppm is acceptable?

When I was buying the filter, I used https://www.purewaterproducts.com/img/docs/manuals/Katalox-Light.pdf to estimate my system capability. So the chart suggests 8 gpm for 12 inch tank. I'd appreciate your opinions on this. I thought this is from a manufacturer and should be legit....
 
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Reach4

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I haven't checked this part. But my old pump has some troubles to keep up even with 7.4 gpm, it drops to 5gpm when helper tank gets half way empty. The pump works based on a pressure gauge (from 40 till 60 psi). So my guess would be that only 60 psi gives 7.4


Yes, you're right it was 7.4, I've corrected it, I'm sorry for the confusion.
I don't think I had 12 gpm even momentarily...
Some of the newer valves, such as Fleck 5810SXT or 5810XTR2 would let you break up the backwash time into periods where the pump could top off the pressure tank between bursts. I think the 5810sxt may have some of that abilty to have a custom cycle, but he number of segments just is not enough. I have never tried this, but it should work.

A bigger pressure tank could help, especially if you could do the pausing. With a single backwash, it is probabilistic how long you run with an assist from the pressure tank. Even a 119 gallon pressure tank will deliver somewhere between 1 and 30 gallons before it is empty and the pump kicks on. If you could backwash for 3 minutes, then pause while the tank gets almost full, you would have the pump and the tank both supplying water during a backwash.

You could manually cause this to happen by triggering a backwash just as the pressure tank was almost full. This would tell you if other action is worthwhile, such as a bigger pump.
 

Artem

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I took apart KL filter and it's quite clean inside, even media looks light gray. There a very very few spots of brown iron on walls. The incoming pipe is quite rusty in comparison to the filter guts.
This makes me think that the backwash might be OK - please correct me if I'm missing anything...

The iron I detect after the filter is Fe++ (clean), which means I don't have enough oxidation.
E.g. Aer Max (10 inch tank) contains 1cf of compressed air and 1cf of water (7.5 gal), which is almost completely replaced during each toilet flush(5gal) and several times for sure during shower (32-45 gal).
The following 12 inch KL filter has about 2 cf of KL and 2 cf of water (let's say another 20 gal, but without access to the air).
I temporary attached my old AIO control valve to KL (6.2 gpm of backwash) to increase oxidation time.

And looks like I can use my old 13 inch tank for Aer Max, but I need to make a drain line a lot shorter so the water level will be a lot higher than half of the tank. This should give water more time to contact with air. I'd appreciate your opinions here.

Does anybody know how much time approximately is needed to completely oxidase with air 5 ppm of clean iron to Fe+++?
 
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Skyjumper

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so I've done a bit more testing on my KL filter and I can tell you contact time does matter. my wife and kids have been out of town and that has allowed me to do some new tests related to contact time and service flow rate. I don't have 5ppm iron, only 1.8. If I use several gallons of water at a high flow rate and then immediately test for iron I get about 0.8ppm. If I then let it sit for an hour I get 0.2ppm. still not 0, but I'll take 0.2 over 1.8, although these are not practical usage scenarios. I'm guessing a much bigger KL tank (or multiple tanks) would be needed to handle realistic flow rates and usage. Your 5pmm iron would require even more KL than me. you've got that aeration tank, maybe follow it up with two 12" KL tanks in parallel (do you still have the first KL system you bought?)
 

Artem

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I can tell you contact time does matter
This is my observation as well. Moreover, my old 13 inch Birm filter has a LOT more oxidation power that the new 12 inch KL.
So far I emptied all the media from 13 inch tank and swapped it with Aer Max one. This increased oxidation in the entire system. The water, which comes out of Aer Max is quite yellow. Haven't had a chance to do a final tests yet. Subjectively, the water right out of the softener is significantly better.
do you still have the first KL system you bought?
No, it was a 10 inch KL filter and I sent it back a few years ago.
As an alternative, I could try to pack old or new Birm media to 10 inch tank or buy a 13 inch and set it sequentially right before the KL In this case if Birm releases any iron it will be Fe+++ and KL should physically filter it... The question would be why bother with KL if I can buy Zeolite with the same properties and twice cheaper?
 
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Artem

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Hey guys,
a little update on my side.
I was able to connect 3/4 hose to the KL filter (there is no flow limiter). The hose goes outside.
The flow started at about 6 gpm and gradually rises to 8.4gpm (after pump kicks in and newer stops during the backwash cycle).
It has a good solid 8.4 gpm for about 6 minutes.
The media bead rises about 1.5 inch, which is 4.5% out of total 32 inch depth of the bead.
Rapid rinse flow is 7.8 gpm. It goes for another 5 min.

I have several concerns:
1. The backwash flow doesn't seem enough and I'm limited by my old good pump. The seller suggested to scoop out 1/2 or even 1 cf of the media, which is questionable due to the recommended by the manufacturer media depth. But after inspecting the distributor out of old Birm system (13 inch tank) the oxidation happens before the half of the media, so this approach could work with Birm....
2. KL, which supposed to have more oxidation power than Birm still misses some Fe++ :( And the water has A LOT of air.
3. Is 8.4 gpm could be too bad for my 1500gal septic which could accept 200 gal/day? it's just for 15 min per two or three days, though. This applicable if I'm able to send such flow through my 1/2 inch drain line...
 

Reach4

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s 8.4 gpm could be too bad for my 1500gal septic which could accept 200 gal/day? it's just for 15 min per two or three days, though. This applicable if I'm able to send such flow through my 1/2 inch drain line...
I would route it out doors if practical. In freezing weather, it may not be practical, but it could be. If the discharge was over an area that could safely become an ice rink or winter wonderland. And if the pipe could clear itself. That would take sufficient slope as it leaves heated space , and an air admittance to allow the pipe to not retain water. The exit would need to be high enough to let the water hit air and not ice on the ground. A little ice would not hurt, because that would be melted when the next backwash starts.

A dry well is worth considering IMO.

Interesting data.
 
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