General Ionics IQ 0820B Bacteriostatic Bed Charge


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Old 02-21-06, 05:39 PM
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General Ionics IQ 0820B Bacteriostatic Bed Charge

Hello and thanks for reading this.
I have the above model water softener and my question is: Can I do the bacteriostatic bed charge myself? I am fairly handy, have a decent set of tools, and I don't want to pay over 100 bucks for someone to come in and spend 15 minutes doing this service. I am pretty unfamiliar with water softeners, but with detailed instructions, I'm very certain that I can accomplish this task.

Thanks again
 
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Old 02-21-06, 05:50 PM
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Rebedding a softener will take a pro longer than 15 minutes.

Consider paying the pro to do it this time and pay carefull attention to what he/she does and in what order they do it. If you have the tools and want to do it yourself next time give it a try.
 
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Old 02-22-06, 11:32 PM
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Please correct me if I'm wrong on your softener type. I believe you're referring to the multi-media in the mineral tank on the IQ model. The bacteriastatic layer is KDF which you'll find more and more treatment folks moving away from. Many of the older systems tried putting KDF at or near the top of the media bed and with its high density, it often would become mixed into other layers (resin & carbon) and, if installed with too much KDF media, would lock up and restrict flow thru the tank.

Please confirm the water quality (include if you're on city chlorinated water) and what media is in your tank for some additional advice on replacement ideas. Thanks.

Art
 
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Old 02-23-06, 04:17 PM
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Thanks Art

Art,
Thanks for the response. I do not know for sure what media is in there. All I know is what is printed on several invoices and they all say bacteriostatic bed charge. I have a picture in my owners manual that shows HYgene Bacteriostatic Filter Media, then Ion Exchnange Softening Resin, and at the bottom, it shows gravel. All of that is in the water conditioner tank, the one with the control valve, I also have another tank, the brine tank I guess which is where I add salt. The 15 minute figure I got from my wife who watched the technician change it many years ago and she thinks that he was only here for 15 minutes or so. The charge for that was 93 bucks! Being a confirmed tightwad, I wanted to eliminate that expense, but this may be one of those cases where it's better to leave it to a professional. I don't know where to begin finding any of the stuff to put in the tank, let alone actually getting to it.
Btw,
I am on city water
It used to be that after a regen cycle, you could definitely tell the water was different, especially in the shower. It's not that obvious now and I have plenty of salt in the brine tank. It has also been several years since the bacteriostatic bed charge was done, so that's why I thought it could be the issue.

Thanks
Geary
 
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Old 02-23-06, 04:26 PM
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It'd be a good idea to get the pro to do it and be there while he does. Make note of what media he uses and how much. Also note what tools and the procedure.

You'll be ready to DIY next time if you choose.

Oh, and make sure the salt in your brine tank hasn't bridged. If it has you are feeling hard water.
 
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Old 02-24-06, 03:47 PM
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The bacterialstatic media is not KDF-55 or KDF-85. Art would be right that KDG in mixed beds would be bad as its weight would cause it eventually to settle to the bottom of the mixed media and furthermore would not have enough backwash flow rate to lift it. But that would be moot put since KDF is not involved in this application.

The bacterialstatic media is activated carbon impregnated with silver. This is based on a NASA technology to purify water on space flights and has been adapted to residential water treatment. In space use it is generated by an electrolytic water filter which generates silver ions in concentration which serves as both a bacterialstatic media and deodorizer. This activated carbon with impregnated silver removes objectionable odors and taste caused by the addition of chlorine and other chemicals added to municipal water supplies.

Ionics develped this silver carbon with such a density that it remains on top of the resin media where research has determined that the greatest amount of microorganisms would resider and colonize. The EPA ( reg# 03590000015) after extensive testing has found this to be an effective means of inhibiting (not destroying) bacterial growth.

Silver impregnated carbon is officially listed as a "pesticide" whereas KDF is not. As a pesticide it must be registered as such and controlled as 'restricted use'. It can only be sold, handled and disposed of by certified pesticide applicators or under direct supervision of a certified applicator. It is listed as a hazardous material.

Two problems undermine the potential effectiveness of 'Restricted Use:' few substantive safe use requirements have been imposed on certified applicators and relatively few pesticides are classified as restricted use. Like all users, certified applicators are obliged to follow pesticides label instructions. For some restricted use pesticides, these instructions establish relatively stringent protective measures (e.g., clothing, eye protection, rinse procedures or reentry requirements). However, no limits are placed on frequency or quantity of pesticide applications by the restricted use process.

Certification is not designed to reduce the use of the most hazardous pesticides, but rather to shift such uses from untrained consumers to professional applicators.

Another downside is that any rebedding of this material must either be done by a certified person in handling hazardous materials or someone side-stepping regulations. Either costs or hazards are the responsibility of the end user.

KDF is listed as bacterialstatic media (not restricted as a hazardous material) and there are simple ways to incorporate them as a practical media if one only takes the time to understand its limitations and shortcomings and how to overcome them. In fact, KDF is becoming a more popular means of water treatment as John Heskett, CEO and Issa Al-Karusey, President, of KDF Fluid Treatments have both told me that production is continuously increasing year to year.

I hope I was able to shed some light on your water treatment equipment.

Andy
 
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Old 02-24-06, 04:45 PM
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I may have to correct my earlier posting in that the media used the Ionics IQ water conditioner may not be restricted. I will need to do a little morte research to find the facts here. My apologies if any error here.
Andy
 
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Old 02-25-06, 02:08 PM
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My uderstanding is the "Hygene" type of KDF is registered per EPA regulations because silver is a toxic metal. If the water is chlorinated above 1.0 ppm, then you may want to consider pretreatment to protect the resin. Trace amounts of chlorine in the incoming water and regular regeneration/backwashing will prevent bacteria. Depending on how much of that type of KDF media was in the original bed, it may have become mixed into the resin media due to its heavy density.

If you want to make life easy for you, just replace the resin media with an Ionac C-249 or comprable resin and call it a day.
 
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Old 02-25-06, 03:22 PM
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kd8dh

I have never heard of a "hygiene" type of KDF or any KDF that contains silver. I wonder from where this information originated. KDF is made solely as a blend of copper and zinc finely or coarsely granulated into a blend with two specific ratios 85% and 55% of copper. It is patented.

Silver is considered a toxic material when used for pesticides and water treatment. As I mentioned before the Ionics equipment does not use KDF unless somewhere that can be found to be true.

If you wish to use KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) as an inexpensive pretreatment for chlorine conversion (chlorine to water soluble chloride salt) and as a bacterialstatic media, a rebuildable in-line upflow prefilter can be added to a softener system. For a 10" x 2.5" filter use about 3 pounds of KDF-55 and the rest GAC-granulated activated carbon (without silver) and it should last a year or more. No backwashing is necessary. A simple chlorine test kits can indicate active life of the media.

KDF is recyclable and there are no restrictions or certifications needed to handle it. Moreover, KDF can be used in high temperatures whereas carbon should not. A modulated filter housing can follow a water heater to help remove odors. Almost all shower filters use KDF.

The equipment you mentioned, according to my sources, already has the media to remove chlorine which protects the resin against 'mushing' caused by long term or concentrated chlorination. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear previously.

As justalurker mentioned above, it is prudent and practical to have a pro do it as they should be set up for this procedure.

I hope this helped.
 
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Old 02-26-06, 06:52 PM
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just to clarify...it is silver impregnated carbon that Ionics has under the "Hygene" brand type, not KDF. Johns Hopkins researched and developed this application about 50 years ago and as Andy mentioned, NASA carried this research into its space program with help from Ionics. As mentioned before, the EPA requires the product to be registered due to the fact that silver is a toxic substance. The carbon meets specifications that will prevent the silver from leaching in excess of 100ppb while in service. The Ionics folks have this multi-media setup in several models (some with KDF, too) so there is a chance you may not require it with your incoming water. Have yours tested to make this determination. Thanks.

Art
 
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Old 03-01-06, 08:28 PM
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Gentlemen,
Thanks for all the info. I've decided to watch the pro do it and hope I can get some info and learn by watching him do the change the next time. This has been very informative.
 
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Old 08-15-07, 12:07 PM
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Your dialogue's got me thinking. Should I be concerned with drinking silver or anything else you may know about from the ionics IQ whole house system? With 4 little ones I really want to have healthy water. Thanks
 
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Old 08-16-07, 07:54 PM
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Exclamation Silver impregnated carbon

The idea behind silver impregnated carbon is to provide the user with a carbon bed that won't become a roach motel for bacteria (bacteriostatic). It is a good idea in principle, but I'm not a believer in using it in a home environment.

Ag-impregnated carbon has indeed been used in various DOD/NASA/DOS applications and commercial/industrial setups where an onsite operator periodically tests to ensure that silver levels are within spec.

My experience in tests on various vendors (AgIon, Ionics etc..) media, is that silver leachate levels into the effluent water can vary significantly, especially as the influent pH & CO2 levels fluctuate. When mixing silver impregnated carbon with ix resin, our testing showed that capacity of the resin was reduced by about 5% and that silver levels increased when a salt with resin cleaner like morton "yellow-bag" salt was used for regeneration. We saw levels anywhere from 0.01 ppm to 0.2 ppm. Average effluent was 0.08 ppm. (The AgIon performed far better than the Ionics) The EPA secondary standard for silver is 0.10 ppm - That's way too close for my comfort level.

If I was forced to have a silver-impregnated carbon/ion exchange system in my home, I would keep my Hach colorimeter close and test at least once a week to give peace of mind that I'm not absorbing significant levels of silver.

I don't think it's worth the hassle at all. The "Nasa technology" sticker on their shiny stainless tank does sell systems, but I don't think that the consumer gets the entire story.

Google or wikipedia for "argyria" if you'd like to scare yourself right out of the silver-impregnated carbon business forever.

Hire a local Certified Water Professional to rebed it with a high quality Granular Activated Carbon (US Made) that you'll need to replace periodically anyway.

As a side note, since you mentioned the water is "different" these days, you're probably seeing the symptoms of attrition damage to the resin (dropping it's ix capacity) which the residual silver levels in the water will accelerate. Have the tech adjust your capacity/brine ratio accordingly or augment/replace resin media as needed.

Best of luck !
 
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Old 08-17-07, 04:23 PM
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Thanks Gregcws for your info. I'm going to check into changing out the silver for a regular carbon bed, as you suggest.
 
 

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