Prefiltering A Water Softener

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AniScati

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I got quotes from several water treatment companies to install a water softener at a location that is not used much. Both are pushing prefiltering, but one suggests an inline cartridge style carbon filter and the other is suggesting a backwashing carbon tank. The guy pushing the cartridge type tells me that he has issues with bacteria growing in the carbon tank style due to lack of ongoing, regular use.

Just wondering what your thoughts on this are?
 

Reach4

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Choosing a filter before the softener would depend on the water. City chlorine. Well sediment. H2S. Iron.
 

Reach4

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Thanks. Its public water
A 5 or 10 micron cartridge filter would remove sand and sediment. A backwashing carbon filter of the right kind would remove chloromine or chlorine. That is a more premium thing. An upflow carbon filter without backwashing is not as good as a backwashing unit. A cartridge filter after the carbon makes sense to pick up particles that could break off of the carbon.

Look in your aerator screens. Do you see sand? A 100 micron cartridge filter would have removed that before it continued. A 10 micron filter would remove that plus other stuff that an aerator screen would not catch.

Do people smell chlorine in your water? Water from the treatment plant should arrive at you with 0.5 to 4 ppm of chlorine if they use chlorine, and I expect there is a similar spec for chloromine. If you are at the end of the line, a chlorine removal is less important than if you are where the chlorine coming in is stronger. Ask your water department/company what they use.

Carbon that removes the disinfectant makes the softener resin last longer. With no big carbon filter, make sure the resin is 10% crosslinked.
Cartridge carbon filters have too much backpressure and have short lives.

Ask your providers how long the media is expected to last. Also ask what it costs to swap media at current prices (future prices will be affected by inflation).
 
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AniScati

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Sand/Sediment isnt a problem that I can see. Hard water is the issue, and taste isn't the best. Lots a crusty greenish scale at the aerators. So I can get away with no filtering if 10% crosslinked resin is used?

There is a concern about chemicals in the water, though the town says its under the maximum allowed. AFAIK, the best solutiuon for that is Reverse Osmosis under the sink or bottled water. I don't think a carbon filter or cartridge filter helps at all with that (and the installers are [not] suggesting that it will) and either solution fixes the [taste] also.
 
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Reach4

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Green sounds like acid water reacting with copper or brass, but city water would usually be treated to keep it from being too acid.
RO helps with drinking water, but not shower water. I don't know if the carbon helps the RO membrane life.

Crusty scale is hardness deposits.

Carbon helps taste, and many RO units run the water thru a small activated carbon filter to remove taste/odor. Some even add back in calcium that makes the water taste better (remineralization).

RO water without remineralization makes a great cleaner or final rinse for glass.
 
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