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If anyone has any questions about water quality improvement - I can help.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Rex Kramer, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. Mar 7, 2020 at 8:34 AM
    #61
    polox40

    polox40 New Member

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    It's actually my mothers house I grew up in, her water softner is really old and I dont think it really works anymore, I dont remember the water being that hard,my wife says there is also a smell to the water, the house is 1000 miles away I guess I should get the water tested.
     
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  2. Mar 7, 2020 at 8:38 AM
    #62
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer [OP] Vinyl Spinner

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    Have it tested for total hardness, Iron and pH. If the water smells like rotten eggs / sulphur, the softener will not help you but I can recommend something.
     
  3. Mar 9, 2020 at 7:22 PM
    #63
    SuperWhite20

    SuperWhite20 New Member

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    Good evening! I have a Kenmore 350 softener. Our water has lots of lime in it making it very hard. I have the softness turned up to 25 or 26. Whatever is the highest on this. The water feels great in a shower and I have a charcoal filter inside the fridge for drinking water. It does not use much salt. I clean the salt tank every other year to get the salt block out of the tank. (I use a shop vac to clean out the salt cake) I have rebuilt Kineticos in the past which worked great when the weren’t stripping gears or having the valve o-rings eaten up by the salt. This Kenmore cleans and works great. Now my question, do I need to service the screens under the tee-pee looking cover?
     
  4. Mar 18, 2020 at 5:42 AM
    #64
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer [OP] Vinyl Spinner

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    Can you post a clear picture of the tee-pee looking cover?
     
  5. Apr 2, 2020 at 5:47 AM
    #65
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer [OP] Vinyl Spinner

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    I installed a new Iron/Sulfur filter and softener yesterday.

    Before:
    IMG_7778.jpg

    After:
    IMG_0272.jpg
     
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  6. Apr 2, 2020 at 5:54 AM
    #66
    Kung

    Kung Not so FNG

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    Concerning our water, what's the best way to 'test' it - I know I can get a sample and then send it off to state labs, but for something as important as drinking water, I'd like to know for damn sure what I've got.

    (I've had it tested 2x in the last 12 years we've lived here; other than ridiculously hard water, all of the other levels were right where they should be....but I want to keep up to speed on what we've got.)
     
  7. Apr 2, 2020 at 6:02 AM
    #67
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer [OP] Vinyl Spinner

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    Your county extension office should be able to handle the Bacteria testing for you at little to no cost. As for testing the water for contaminants that can harm your health, it is cheaper to spend your money on drinking water filtration equipment that is NSF certified for health effects (53) than it is to run test. Testing for the high number of pollutants that could possibly be in the water is very expensive, the minimum filtration I recommend for drinking water is solid carbon block filtration.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
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  8. Apr 2, 2020 at 6:56 AM
    #68
    Kung

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    Any particular setups/brands you recommend?
     
  9. Apr 2, 2020 at 7:08 AM
    #69
    docfnky

    docfnky New Member

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    How often are you suppose to replace the beads for a water softener.
     
  10. Apr 2, 2020 at 8:54 AM
    #70
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer [OP] Vinyl Spinner

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    My preferred method for point-of-use drinking water is distillation followed by a solid carbon block filter. Dolfyn Water Distillers made by West Bend, and Multi-Pure solid carbon block filters.

    Whole house point-of-entry filters and softeners will reduce the work load & maintenance on your distiller.
     
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  11. Apr 2, 2020 at 8:57 AM
    #71
    Rex Kramer

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    The resin beads should last a lifetime, the only time they need to be replaced is if they become iron bound or they don't tolerate chlorine. These potential problems can be eliminated if the proper filter(s) is installed ahead of the softener.
     
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  12. Jun 28, 2020 at 7:07 AM
    #72
    SOB

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    @Rex Kramer
    What’s the difference between the water softeners at big box stores made by GE or AO Smith (and others) compared to those from Culligan, kinetico, etc? The later are around twice the price. For something as simple as a water softener I’m struggling to understand the cost difference. I can handle the minimal maintenance so I’m not worried about the local support as long as parts are easily available. Thanks!
     
  13. Jun 28, 2020 at 7:30 AM
    #73
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer [OP] Vinyl Spinner

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    Ion exchange water softening has been in use for just over 100 years, the process remains the same but the hardware has changed. Research what parts are required (seals, pistons, gaskets, o-rings, etc..) to keep the system going for years, you want a system that you can buy repair parts without involving a dealer. When you buy a brand name like Culligan, Rainsoft, Kinetico, etc. you are buying a mostly proprietary piece of equipment that enables the brand name distributor to hold you hostage for service. When you buy a big box system you are buying a lower end version of brand name system with a different private label. Example: The Whirlpool branded softener LOWE's sells is typically made by ECOwater - not bad for the price. I use Fleck / Pentair control valves... my customers can order repair parts from several online sellers.

    I hope that helps.
     
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  14. Jun 28, 2020 at 7:36 AM
    #74
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer [OP] Vinyl Spinner

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    Myself and my customers are very happy with the Air Injection / Oxidation filters I install locally, they do a great job of reducing Iron and Hydrogen Sulfide gas as well as a long list of other impurities.

    IMG_7720.jpg IMG_7489.jpg
     
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  15. Jun 28, 2020 at 7:46 AM
    #75
    Crizzlej5

    Crizzlej5 New Member

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    Do you happen to have an opinion on springwell water? Just bought a test kit from them for them to see what we need, nee house just built 2 months ago, well water was fine but now smells like complete butt
     
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  16. Jun 28, 2020 at 7:57 AM
    #76
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer [OP] Vinyl Spinner

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    Springwell doesn't look that good to me, they seem to use non-backwashable exchange tanks. Exchange tanks are great income producers for the service department, but not so great for the residential customer.

    I suggest that you look elsewhere.
     
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  17. Jun 28, 2020 at 2:32 PM
    #77
    SOB

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    Thanks Rex that helps a lot! My parents have been building QUALITY custom homes for 40+ years and my house is being built. Ive been out of the business until now. My dad swears by renting a softener for $40/mo but I’m skeptical. Should have the initial hardness tests soon and that well tell me a lot if I need any thing “special” like iron or sulfur.
    If there was 1 box store brand to buy, from your experience, what brand would it be?
     
  18. Jun 28, 2020 at 2:35 PM
    #78
    SOB

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    Also, I’m not familiar with Air Injection/Oxidation systems. Around here we’re just typical sodium softeners. How do they differ - pros/cons.
     
  19. Jun 28, 2020 at 2:54 PM
    #79
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer [OP] Vinyl Spinner

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    I typically install a sodium softener after the AIO system... the AIO system uses an internal air pocket and a special filtration media to reduce Iron and Sulfur gas, they backwash daily and use no chemicals. A sodium softener alone will remove some iron, but the resin will become bound with iron over time if there is not an AIO in front of it. I am familiar with well water across IL, IN and OH, you should be able to find a local independent dealer that handles Fleck valves & Vortech tanks - I can drop ship if you have problems finding what you need.
     
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  20. Jun 28, 2020 at 3:09 PM
    #80
    Gould71

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    Hi Rex-

    Hoping you might have some suggestions for our water situation. We are in the city limits but have a drilled well due to the costs involved tunneling under a state highway to access the water main (~$25k!).

    We noticed the toilet tanks were badly rust stained when we moved in. We called a local water treatment company and they installed a softener they said would handle the iron and take care of the hardness. It has softened the water but the rust is starting to form in our new toilets.
    Our other concern is TDS. We’re having water stains appear on fixtures so I got a TDS meter. Water straight from well is 836 ppm, after the softener is almost 1200 ppm. We have an RO system under the kitchen sink for
    drinking water and that measures about 40 ppm.
    Is there anything out there that can take care of these issues without breaking the bank?
     
  21. Jun 28, 2020 at 3:24 PM
    #81
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer [OP] Vinyl Spinner

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    Sure, put an AOI filter in front of your softener and reset the softener to use 50% to 75% less sodium.
    Depending on how long the softener has been in use, you may want to replace it with a new metered unit to further reduce you salt consumption... the TDS you are registering is mostly sodium from your over worked softener. I also prefer a distiller over an RO for drinking water, they require less maintenance and don't waste water like an RO.
     
  22. Jun 28, 2020 at 3:51 PM
    #82
    Gould71

    Gould71 Member

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    Thanks! I’ll look into an AIO system and distiller.

    Yeah, I knew the softener was adding more TDS to the water, but straight from the well is over 800 ppm- kinda high isn’t it? Thought I read somewhere the EPA recommended household water to be under 500? Will the system you suggested take care of that as well as the iron? The current TDS level is jacking up the laundry and the dishwasher.

    So what I’m looking at is a pre-filter of some sort, the AIO system, and softener set for less salt. Any benefit to a whole-house block carbon filter after this setup?
     
  23. Jun 28, 2020 at 4:16 PM
    #83
    SOB

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    If there was 1 box store brand to buy, from your experience, what brand would it be? Assuming we’re talking softener only and no additional treatment is necessary.
     
  24. Jun 28, 2020 at 5:00 PM
    #84
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer [OP] Vinyl Spinner

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    A carbon filter is always a good thing, especially on chlorinated municipal/city water, but it needs to be replaced every 24 to 48 months. I like a GAC filter that has 1 cubic foot of carbon with a control valve that back washes. Total Dissolved Solids include calcium, Iron, sodium, etc., I would need to know the breakdown of what is in your water in that regard. Do you have actual grit, sand, sediment in the washer screens?

    The Whirlpool softener that LOWE's sells isn't bad for the money, I just wish it wasn't an all in one cabinet model where the softener tank sits inside the salt tank. Salt tanks need to be cleaned out periodically, and cleaning out those cabinet models can be a PITA.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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  25. Jun 28, 2020 at 5:29 PM
    #85
    Gould71

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    The report from the local company says 2 ppm iron, 34 gpg hardness and 968 “other”. General talk of the north shore of Lake Superior area is there are large amounts of salts in the geology here. What kinds besides sodium chloride and calcium chlorides, I’m not sure. The company installed a Hague Watermax that has a backwashing filter in it so I’m not seeing sediment or grit in the fixture screens. They also said they install many whole house RO systems further north from us to deal with the salts/TDS. They are running about $20k or thereabouts- Not happening at my place!
     
  26. Jun 28, 2020 at 5:46 PM
    #86
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer [OP] Vinyl Spinner

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    Your geographical situation is unique and there is no easy or cheap method to reduce the naturally occurring salt for the whole house. You can reduce the amount of sodium the softener is adding by putting the AIO ahead of it to handle the iron, and letting the softener handle just the calcium using a lower salt setting - but I don't know how much of a reduction will result in that change. Continue with the RO, or upgrade to a West Bend distiller to reduce the sodium in your drinking/cooking and water used to make ice with.
     
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  27. Jun 28, 2020 at 5:52 PM
    #87
    Gould71

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    Thank you very much for your time for the info.
     
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  28. Jun 28, 2020 at 5:56 PM
    #88
    Rex Kramer

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    You are welcome... please let me know what you end up doing because your situation is not something I encounter often.
     
  29. Jun 29, 2020 at 12:41 AM
    #89
    docfnky

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    Hey Rex. I’m looking to get a carbon tank to complement my Fleck 7000 softener for a 3400 sqft with 4.5 bath. Do you have any recommendations? Do you have a website I can order from?
     
  30. Jun 29, 2020 at 4:08 AM
    #90
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer [OP] Vinyl Spinner

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    I use digital Fleck 2510 valves on 10x44 Vortech tanks, they hold 1 cu. ft. of Coconut shell granulated carbon. My web site is not set up for online sales... you should be able to find something similar online though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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