Need to Treat Sulfur; Peroxide v. Ozone v. Chlorine For THIS Scenario...

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Whoodle

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First off; in 2000, I came upon this forum before diving into a solo stud>ceiling bathroom replacement in my first home. Faucets...faucet screens...ejector pumps/pits....sump pumps...toilets (toto, of course)...water heaters...new well pump system...I lose count how many things I've comer here for. Whether I did it myself or wanted to learn about something before I called in the pros, the unbiased guidance, advice and wisdom I've received here for 20 years staggers me as I think & write this.

Terry, your team, and...above all...the professionals that have so graciously shared their knowledge with homeowners like me for two decades....THANK YOU hardly conveys how much you've meant to me, but it's all I can say without getting all mushy & droning on forever, so...

After 5 years in my new home (first well system and/or water softener ever), a strong sulfur smell has come upon our water. I just got test result from Lake County (IL) Environmental Lab, and I have a great treatment pro I trust coming Monday to do more tests & discuss options. I also spoke at length to the resident 'well expert' at the County lab, he was fantastic! As always, I want to learn as much as I can before I talk to Jim Garrelts on Monday, and to be able to ask the right questions, which is why I'm posting this before his visit vs. afterwards.

I know there's no 'answer' to "what's BEST; Peroxide vs. ozone x. chlorine injection; it depends on my water, my geography, my space requirements (important!) and budget. Hell; the county lab guy told me BAROMETRIC PRESSURE can affect sulfur & other wellwater issues!! At this point, I'll just rattle off the things I know...what happened that may have brought this on, and then ask for your opinions & guidance as to what you think might best meet my needs, maybe help me eliminate one option, etc. Here goes...
  • Moved into current home in 2015. Jim had installed a nice Hellebrand H2 softener for previous owner in 2003. He came out, helped me learn how to use it, ran a few tests (no charge!)
  • We had/have kinda high iron, but not too much; well-controlled by using iron-fighting salt in softener all these years (zero brown staining, no color when looking thru glass, etc). Same thing w/most neighbors...Jim said no need for iron filter, and god knows he coulda sold me one!
  • Cut to March 2020...I install new hvac system & AO Smith Vortex heater.
  • July 2020...hole in pipe of 20 or so y.o. galvanized well pipe (galvanized tank, not bladder). Great well guy that had dug this well & installed the pump in 1990 ish (and TLF) helped me review options, and I splurged for a grundfos SQE system w/wellmate bump tank, 10gpm. He also 'acidified'/shocked my well; that worked really well; flow was originally about 17 gpm, had dropped to about 11-12, and went up to about 20 after revitalization
  • 2 adults and our 20 yo son in household, he's at college most of year & won't be here much longer (fingers crossed!)...not a huge demand for water. Planning living here another 10 years here, at least
  • Started noticing odor about Sept/Oct. Almost more 'sewer-gassy' than the classic rotten egg smell I remember as a kid (raised on Lake Mich water, never had well). Thought a bit about bacteria, but knew it was probably sulfur, iron & other stuff
  • Lab test from last week backed that up, coli, ecoli & nitrate all came back 'Satisfactory' (actually the best result). They didn't test for anything else; Jim will do that Monday, but again, Iron level is OK/moderate, not bad.
  • Lab guy said that while my new well system was great, one benefit of galvanized tank is that they provide direct air-contact with water, which helps oxidize & reduce Sulfur/sulfates, and eliminating that tank may have/probably did affect the onset of the odor, though that isn't the actual 'cause'...that's a lot more complicated.
  • Our area (northern Chicago burbs) has really good, clay-heavy soil, which makes our area 'well-friendly', as opposed to other types.
  • He explained that my options would probably be peroxide, ozone or chlorine & each one has it's pros & cons & best choice will be based on my unique needs, not that any were 'better' than the others
  • Jim, the treatment guy, said pretty much the exact same thing, though keyed more on peroxide v. ozone, not so much the chlorine option
  • My home has a full crawlspace, about 40" high and gravel-floored; that's where well tank/controller are But the softener salt tank are literally/almost on top of the crawl's access door in my 1st floor utility room w/furnace, water heater, washer drier and our 2nd fridge.
  • THIS IS A TIGHT SPACE, I can probably squeeze whatever cylinder i'll need next to the Hellenbrand, but I can't see how/where I could add another tank like my salt-tank in this room...like the ones I see when I look at the peroxide units online.
  • I WILL still need my softener after I get an injector system, right? Does one type work better with softeners than others? Maybe a smaller footprint?
  • If doable, per the law of my county and/or physics, I could put a peroxide tank directly below cylinder in the crawl. I' don't know how often you need to fill it; i'd prefer not to have to go down every month, but not a deal-killer (I have no idea what the intervals are, based on my usage and/or whatever's 'normal'
  • I had just started to look & read about these units online when I decided to write out this opus; so I haven't yet looked at the ozone or chlorine units, or looked into what's best for my needs.
That's about it!!! I can/will post iron levels on Monday, but other than that, I'm not looking for you tell me what to d0. I'm here for the same reason I've been coming here for 20 years; to simply look over this info, pick your professional, unbiased brains a bit, offer up opinions and advice, tell me what the most respected equipment brands are in the 3 types of treatment systems and suggest some important questions I should ask my pro on monday.

Thank you, as always, for any help you can afford me!
Dean

PS. this topic straddles the "Well" and "Softener" sub-forums pretty evenly; if you think it should move to 'softeners', do so!
 
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Reach4

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He explained that my options would probably be peroxide, ozone or sulfur & each one has it's pros & cons & best choice will be based on my unique needs, not that any were 'better' than the others
I expect "sulfur" was not one of the choices.

https://terrylove.com/forums/index....izing-extra-attention-to-4-inch-casing.65845/ is my sanitizing write-up. I would not want to do that in freezing weather.

If you generate H2S from your water heater, a powered anode replacing a sacrificial anode can keep the WH from reducing your sulfate with SRB. I like the Ceranode unit rather than the cheaper stubbier unit, for better protection. Some people just recommend replacing the sacrificial anode with a brass plug, but that removes the protection.

I think IRB and SRB are slow growing bacteria. They are not pathogenic, and water safety tests don't test for them. I presume they are always there in wells that have not been sanitized recently, and I don't know what constitutes recently. I would like to think it is years for large populations if the sanitizing is most effective. I don't find much info on that topic.

THIS IS A TIGHT SPACE, I can probably squeeze whatever cylinder i'll need next to the Hellenbrand, but I can't see how/where I could add another tank like my salt-tank in this room...like the ones I see when I look at the peroxide units online.
If you are talking about another tall tank with a backwashing valve, those can be partially buried in the crawl space. That would require breaking the plastic under the gravel, so you would want that sealed. If you are talking about a 15 gallon solution tank, those are usually short and wide -- 26 inch tall, and 20 inch diameter. That might be drawn from during regen from a backwashing filter, or there may be a Stenner peristaltic pump atop that tank for continuous injection during water use.
 
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Water Pro

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Chlorine injection requires a large (usually 120 gal) retention tank. Considering your space requirements, that doesn't sound feasible. You need an accurate measure of iron and manganese content, as well as pH. What color is the staining in the backs of your toilets, reddish brown or blackish brown? slime or just staining? is the smell in both hot and cold, or just hot? does you water have any color? If you take a glass of water, add a tablespoon of chlorine and wait an hour, what settles to the bottom?
 

Reach4

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Chlorine injection requires a large (usually 120 gal) retention tank.
Imagine a small amount of H2O2 injected before the big air over water tank. You might not even have to remove residual H2O2, since there may be very little residual. I think there are various possibilities without a 120 gallon retention tank. Some contact tanks are more space-efficient.
 

Bannerman

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I suspect the H2S issue had been eliminated within the original air-over-water pressure tank, but as it now appears that tank has been replaced with the Well-X tank, there is likely no longer any opportunity for the sulfur and iron to be oxidized prior to the faucets.

Perhaps a simple backwashing carbon filter system containing 1.5 - 2 ft3 Catalytic Carbon may be sufficient to eliminate the sulfur.

Of course, injection of hydrogen peroxide, ozone or chlorine will also oxidize iron in addition to H2S so it maybe the better solution.
 

Reach4

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I suspect the H2S issue had been eliminated within the original air-over-water pressure tank, but as it now appears that tank has been replaced with the Well-X tank, there is likely no longer any opportunity for the sulfur to be oxidized prior to the faucets
I had missed that.

Incidentally, Wellmate pressure tanks are not one of the better pressure tanks. They use a bladder rather than a diaphragm.
 

Whoodle

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Thanks, all. In no particular order,
  • inside toilet talk, it's a reddish brown, and a bit slimy.
  • odor is the same with hot AND cold water. I'm guessing that means the WH anode replacement won't be a full solution, but I'll look into if might till help (lab guy mentioned this too!) I'd prefer not to modifying a brand new water heater that costs more than any heater I've ever had. But I guess it IS the best time to mess with anode-pulling, as there's no corrosion on the threads/nuts that retain it in the tank.
  • Brain fart replaced 'chlorine' with 'sulfur' I'll correct that
  • I'll try the water/chlorine thing; you can use plain bleach, right? or do I need, say, pool-chlorine?
  • Not sure if it was considered 'sterilizing' the well, but he dumped a good amount of acid pellets down there & kept it there for 24 hours. I dunno if it killed EVERYTHING, but the bacteria probably weren't that happy with it
  • it was 3 am when I finished post; it's a Well X Trol tank, not Wellmate, a SMALL one, like 4 gal
Who are the old-guard, top-tier, hyper-reliable manufacturers of these systems? Any well-received newcomers that are bringing some interesting new tech & features to the table (but still have been proven reliable).

Do these units get installed 'before' the softener, or after it?
 
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Reach4

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I'll try the water/chlorine thing; you can use plain bleach, right? or do I need, say, pool-chlorine?
What chlorine thing? Sanitize well, inject during regeneration of backwashing filter (before softner), or inject in the incoming water, allow contact, and remove residual with a backwashing carbon tank?

Anyway, liquid bleach from Aldi is good IMO. You dilute it before use if injecting.

Who are the old-guard, top-tier, hyper-reliable manufacturers of these systems?
Fleck and Clack make components, that somebody, possibly you, combine into a system. Clack parts are not supposed to be available by phone or Internet.

Do these units get installed 'before' the softener, or after it?
Before.
 

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inside toilet talk, it's a reddish brown, and a bit slimy.
The color and 'slimy' nature of the residue, usually is indicative of Iron Reducing Bacteria. Although hydrogen peroxide is often utilized to oxidize iron and sulfur, chlorine has a longer residual action so it will be more effective for water containing bacteria.
 

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The color and 'slimy' nature of the residue, usually is indicative of Iron Reducing Bacteria. Although hydrogen peroxide is often utilized to oxidize iron and sulfur, chlorine has a longer residual action so it will be more effective for water containing bacteria.
an ozone unit is capable of taking care of IRB very effectively, combined with KL, it's effective at removing (max) 4 ppm Fe with minor annual maintenance. but only around 1 ppm Mn. it would fit in a much smaller space (the size of a softener without salt tank).
 

Whoodle

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Thanks. Knowing this much is SO helpful going into an appointment like this!

It looks to me like my Hellenbrand single-cylinder softener IS a Fleck/Clack type valve...and it sounds like ozone might be the leading contender (it also sounded like Jim was thinking 'ozone') ill let you know what happens
  • What is the 'KL' you speak of, Water Pro?
  • The 'chlorine thing' I said referred to the suggestion about testing a sample of my water in a drinking glass>add chlorine>look for sediment

Dean
 

Whoodle

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rushing to finish install of a NG garage heater before today's rotator cuff surgery delayed this update, and it also means this w ill be brief (for once:))...and poorly spelled 7 punctuated (right shoulder/right handed)
cut to chase, getting a single tank hellenbrand iron curtain ozone unit installed monday. about $1600, i hope/think thats a good price. its a super-tight, challengig install...i'll Try to attach a photo

thanks, as always, for your help
dean
 

Whoodle

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Hi there! Been a year with my Iron Curtain; it took care of the odor issues immediately, been working fine. Those flushings/regenerations every day get a bit loud, but udder 'n dat, it's great.

But my dealer said I need/want to get some parts on my ozone generator replaced/checked YEARLY. Nothing against pros...I use them a lot...but replacing a few small parts that are designed to be regularly replaced seems like something I can handle myself; I don't call people in to replace my humidifier pads or air filters!! Hellenbrand seems to be one of those mfgs that tries to hide their parts & tech details from the general public, but is there a way I can figure out what I need & what to do?

I know you're pros; I promise I'll get him in to check things out every OTHER year, but can someone point me in the right direction so I can DIY this simple-sounding task? Again, I'm just talking about the ozone-generator corona wires or whatever, not the piston/valve stuff. Thanks!
 
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Beets

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This manual has some information in it regarding Hellenbrand maintenance.
This manual has some information for the Nelson maintenance. I could be wrong, but I think they are both using the Ozotech ozone generator. Here is Ozotech's manual. If you do look through these manuals, I would be curious if they are all talking about the same ozone generator, but just slapping a different sticker on it.
 

Valveman

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Hi there! Been a year with my Iron Curtain; it took care of the odor issues immediately, been working fine. Those flushings/regenerations every day get a bit loud, but udder 'n dat, it's great.

But my dealer said I need/want to get some parts on my ozone generator replaced/checked YEARLY. Nothing against pros...I use them a lot...but replacing a few small parts that are designed to be regularly replaced seems like something I can handle myself; I don't call people in to replace my humidifier pads or air filters!! Hellenbrand seems to be one of those mfgs that tries to hide their parts & tech details from the general public, but is there a way I can figure out what I need & what to do?

I know you're pros; I promise I'll get him in to check things out every OTHER year, but can someone point me in the right direction so I can DIY this simple-sounding task? Again, I'm just talking about the ozone-generator corona wires or whatever, not the piston/valve stuff. Thanks!
Sorry I missed this back in 2021. Your only problem was switching from the galvanized tank to a diaphragm style tank. you had a galvanized tank for a reason. You didn't have any problems until you took out the galvanized tank. I would disconnect the CU301 controller, making the pump and SQ instead of an SQE. The CU301 is usually the cause of the problem with these type systems anyway. Using a standard 40'60 pressure switch and replacing the galvanized tank and air maker will solve your sulfur odor and iron problem without adding chemicals the same way it worked until you removed the galvanized tank.
 
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