Need help with pH neutralizer and water softener

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by h22lude, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. h22lude

    h22lude New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Moved into our house the beginning of August. I'm new to wells. We got our water tested and the biggest thing is low pH. I sent my water report to two local companies. One recommended just a pH neutralizer and the other recommended both a neutralizer and water softener. The one that recommended the softener said the recommended hardness level is 3.5 and mine is 5.17. They didnt say what units they use. My calcium hardness as caco3 is 5.17 mg caco3/l. I thought this was pretty low. Am I wrong?

    The company that suggests just a pH neutralizer recommends Fleck 12" x 52" 2 cu ft pH neutralizer with fleck 5600 sxt digital control valve.

    The company that suggested both said "soda ash fed system to correct low ph followed by a as32cp water softener system with clack digital metered head".

    I'm completely ignorant regarding filters and after researching, I feel like I'm more confused.

    Can someone recommend what I should do?

    Water report...
    Color...0
    Turbidity...0.16ntu
    Odor...0
    pH...5.54
    Calcium hardness as CaCO3...5.17 mg CaCO3/L
    Chloride...4.45 mg/L
    Chlorine...<.05 mg/L
    Nitrate as N...0.256 mg/L
    Nitrite as N...<.01 mg/L
    Sulfate as SO4...6.61 mg/L
    Calcium...2.07 mg/L
    Manganese...0.0403 mg/L
    Iron...<.05 mg/L
    Sodium...3.66 mg/L
    Total coliform...absent
    Escherichia coli...absent

    I also have a smaller bladder pressure tank which I think needs to be replaced. I can hear a little water in it when I shake it.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. TIA
     
  2. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    pH is measured on a scale from 0-14 with 7 being neutral, below 7 acidic and above 7, alkaline.

    Acidic water will typically react with metals such as copper pipes and brass fittings so pH correction is usually necessary.
    Methods include using Calcite or combination of Calcite and Corosex media within a backwashing filter which is the initial method that was recommended to you. As the media will slowly be dissolved, the water hardness level will increase from the initial amount which is why a softener was also recommended. A softener may offer some benefit when Total Water Hardness is above 3 grains per gallon (51.3 mg/L total hardness).

    Calcium and Magnesium are mostly responsible for the hardness level so total hardness is the appropriate measurement. A Hach 5B Total Hardness test kit is the recommended testing method for determining grains per gallon hardness.

    Backwashing filters and water softeners most recommended on this forum will utilize either a Fleck or Clack control valve as well as quality tanks and other components.

    While the Fleck 5600SXT has been a capable, reliable and popular control valve, a 2 cuft acid neutralizer may require a higher backwash flow rate than that valve is capable of allowing. There are newer Fleck models such as the 5800, 5810, 5812, which are capable of higher backwash rates needed for larger diameter tanks and heavier media. The Fleck 5600 will likely be adequate for a 1.5 cuft system which will use a 10" diameter tank and therefore require a lower backwash rate.

    Fleck, similar to Clack, have adopted marketing only through dealers who provide installation and service. Since your local water treatment dealers may be comfortable with what they have been selling, you may need to ask about the other specific Fleck models now available.

    Online dealers are mostly restricted to older Fleck models such as the 5600. They often will combine a quality valve with lower quality components so as to beat a competitor's price.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
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  4. h22lude

    h22lude New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Thanks for the reply!

    I don't see magnesium on the report which I found odd. I'm a home brewer so water is very important to me. For brewing purposes, I was getting my water tested at Ward Labs. The brewer test is mostly for anions and cations (calcium and magnesium are both on their report). I will have to send my water to them. They also report pH and total hardness.

    If my total hardness is very low right now, would the pH neutralizer increase it enough to warrant a softener?

    I don't want to skimp on anything. I'd rather pay a little more for a better product and not have to worry about it for a while. I checked the first company's website. They have the 5600sxt or 2510sxt for $70 more. I don't see any of the ones you listed, though I believe they are a big retailer in this area so I'm sure they can get them. How is the 2510sxt?

    What would you recommend for a water softener?
     
  5. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    If I am reading your water report correctly... a softener for what? Less than 1 GPG hardness? Adding a calcium system may raise the harness enough that it would be an issue but using the soda ash design with a little polyphosphate would probably be perfect for your water. Simple, cheap, reliable.

    I like calcite filters but not when the water is as good as yours is..
     
  6. h22lude

    h22lude New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Are the soda ash units just as good as the calcite? I would obviously rather get just a pH neutralizer and not have to buy a water softener if I don't need it but don't mind spending the money on what will give me the best results.
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Soda ash does not raise the hardness. It does take some attention and adjustment.

    It does require a peristaltic pump that can meter a dose of solution into the water stream. That pump can be controlled by the pressure switch if the injection is before the pressure switch and pressure tank. Stenner is a well known and respected brand of peristaltic pumps.

    You need to keep a solution tank for the pump to draw from. You will tune the dose based on pH paper or other pH measurement, and then spot check later. The pump is often mounted on the 15 gallon (or whatever size) solution tank.

    There is a tube that should be changed out in the pump at some interval. That interval might be once per year.
     
  8. h22lude

    h22lude New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    So for maintenance with soda ash I would need to fill the solution tank, check pH to adjust dosage and replace the line? How often would I need to check pH? I have a pretty good pH meter so that isn't a problem. I just don't feel like doing it every day.

    What would maintenance look like with a calcite filter?
     
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I am not a pro. There are calculations, which I am not up to. Based on that, you determine what dilution your solution tank is. Add the liquid soda ash and top up with water.

    https://www.cleanwaterstore.com/blo...ld-i-inject-to-raise-the-ph-of-my-well-water/ describes a method. It shows a contact tank. I don't know if a contact tank is needed if you have a turbulator to inject the solution early enough in the process. A contact tank can't hurt.
     
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    When using soda ash solutions we recommend a mixer in the chemical tank.

    A simple chemical injection pump system with a flow based injection design should give you good results.

    You could start with that and add more equipment later if needed. I would recommend some polyphosphate too, it can me mixed with the soda ash.
     
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