Katalox backwash question

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cowdogs

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I see the recommendation is these filters using Katalox-Light should be backwashed every 3-4 days. 4 days is often listed as the max time you should go. One reason I see given is that the oxidized iron (rust) will be clogging the media and water flow might be reduced.

My question is, why is backwashing frequency not a function of iron levels, water usage, and filter capacity? Why is it different than it is for a softener, other than the fact that wasting salt is a concern with a softener. If my house will be empty for 2 weeks, should I disable the filter? If my water usage goes up 3x when I have guests, should I backwash more frequently?
 

ditttohead

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Great question and unfortunately there is no easy answer. Manganese dioxide ore based medias have been know to be problematic for the media clumping or turning into a brick. The best way to prevent this problem is to simply backwash frequently and with a lot of water. Since you are on a well water usage is not typically considered critical. We never recommend more than every 4 days, but it is up to you. Letting the media sit for extended lengths of time tends to cause it to have problems. A softener media is made of little plastic round shaped pellets... these do not clump or have major problems when they just sit. We still want water moving on occasion so the water does not get nasty so we typically put in a monthly minimum cleaning cycle. This is a complex topic and I could go on for hours... but this explanation should help.
 

Skyjumper

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in my experience a KL filter should be backwashed every night. I suppose if you have <1ppm iron you might be able to do every other night. if you are not home for an extended period you could probably extend it out to 3 or 4 days. if you have iron bacteria you want to flush out the sludge they produce and this is independent of water usage.
 

cowdogs

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Thank you both. I kind of figured I wasn't going to be the one that discovered everyone was backwashing their Katalox Light too often. Obviously it's important to know what could happen if you don't backwash enough. Unknowingly I would have turned the system off when going away for a couple of weeks.
 

ditttohead

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I agree backwashing nightly is preferred, every other is usually ok, much longer and we start to get a little sketchy. KL loves to be backwashed!
 
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