House filter Installation.

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Old 11-09-06, 08:51 AM
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Question House filter Installation.

I purchased a new home in PA. The water has high sulfur and iron levels. The previous owner never bothered to install a decent filtering system. There was a blue tank with a Flock 5600 timer on it. Looked like a water softener to me, but I could not find a brine tank. This tank however was used as a filter with carbon media inside not as a softener. This setup was not doing anything to keep the water from smelling. Maybe it was clean, but not used for anything other than showering. Anyway, I called a guy to come and install a filter/softener in the house. He quoted me with a $3,300 for the complete install. It will be a GE system with KDF filtering media and a softener which uses KI crystals (?) iso salt. The tank dimension for the filter is 50" x 8" with 1" plumbing. I'm just wondering if anyone is familiar with this setup and if it is good and worth the money. I was really thinking a descent system would be more in the range of $8k - $10k. But what do I know.
I learn as a go and this is new to me. Good thing I was able to open and close up an inground pool for the first time in my life this summer. After two months of brown water I finally got the chemistry down packed and was able to use it for a month. Now it is winterized and still in one piece.

Thanks, Kris
 
  #2  
Old 11-09-06, 09:39 AM
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Hi Kris,

Sounds like the guy you called is recommending a GE Osmonics Autotrol sytem not to be confused with the cheap and shorter lived GE softeners sold at Home Depot.

First thing is to get a complete water test from an independent lab for reference.

Call around and get at least three water treatment pros to come out and quote your treatment needs. Call the "big dogs" like Culligan and Kinetico as well as indpendent dealers. You can't get too many quotes, up to a point :-)

Don't tell any of them that you had a water test done and immediately dismiss any that don't do their own water test. Question their installations, warranties (parts & labor), and get references AND check them out.

Ask your neighbors what they do for water treatment. They may have someone to recommend or may tell you who to avoid.

I understand that soft water is not recommended for pools and hot tubs so you need to consider that.

Post your water test results and # of people in the house, and well or water system, and the recommendations the pros make so we might help.
 
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Old 11-10-06, 10:04 AM
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A couple of questions:

How is the KDF set up? Is it mixed with the softener media, placed in a seperate filter housing or inserted in a 2.5" tube and slid over the riser tube inside the softener?

These are very important to know as effectiveness, service life, frequency of replacement and future maintenace costs can be frustrating, aggravating and/or problematic.

KDF should be KDF-85 not KDF-55.

KDF can do a remarkable job at removing light to moderate sulfur odors but can have a short life-span. Never mix it freely with the softener resins. It will clump/solidify at the bottom and water channels will form and the media be next to impossible to remove and replace.

Many companies like putting this into service and owners are very pleased with its initial effectiveness but soon learn that they need it replaced at considerable expense.

If it is a seperate filter housing with KDF-85 then it would be a matter of changing the media/filter and these are not cheap either but at least you could do it yourself.

The life expectancy of this, like so many other filter media types whereby water passes through without regeneration or backwash, depends on a variety of factors.
1. the amount of contaminants it is removing,
2. the number of gallons of water passing through,
3. the rate (gpm) of service flow, and
4. the volume of filter media actually used

In some cases the quality of the media must also be factored in.

If the KDF is used seperately in a single tank with a backwashing valve, you would need substantial backwash flow rate to lift the media for proper backwashing.

KDF weighs about 140lb per cuft. An 8" tank would need 14-18 gpm backwash flow rate. 3/4" pipe supplies only about 12-14 gpm. If that were the case you probably would not have enough flow rate to lift the KDF and it would soon turn to a rock-like substance and lose its effectiveness.

Even a small 6" tank would struggle with 3/4" lines.

KDF can be put into a tube called Media-Guard. (google that one) Here 4 lbs are used and put into four chambers that slid down on the riser tube. These have certain advantages in that all water passes through these chambers before entering the softener resins.

When the softener backwashes, there is usually enough flow rate to lift the media and clean it effectively because the actual volume is small and weight is light.

However, when it comes time to change it the valve has to be removed and the tubes disassembled, which is not easy, and the media replaced.

KDF is an excellent media if understood and used properly.

I can give you more info on KDF but first, as justalurker states, accurate test results are imperative or you are just shooting in the dark.

Let us know more.

If you were looking for something in the 8K to 10K arena, then you could easily cover a lot more ground than your initial objectives. I don't want to say that the GE units will not work but more detail on what they are offering you would help.
 
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Old 11-14-06, 02:51 PM
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Thumbs up New system installation...cnt'd

Sorry about the delay in answering. Thank you for the responses!

The media they will install is KDF-85 in a separate tank. There are three tanks. One for filtering, second for conditioning and a third for backwash.
The pipe that goes into backwashing is a 3/4" and the weight of the KDF is about 100lbs complete. The pipe, as I was informed will supply enough water for backwashing. It goes thru a reducer boosting the pressure. He assured me that the flow rate will be sufficient to backwash the media. Not sure how true that is, since I don't deal with these things. Ask me about an airplane and I'll give you the answers.
There are two people in the house most of the time and 4-5 on the weekends and holidays so the usage is not that great.
The warranty is 5 years parts and life time labor. The guy told me that the system is lifetime guarantied. Whatever this guaranty means/is. The filtering system is widely used by hospitals and other large facilities.

So these KI cyrstals are no more that Potassium iodide? Is it any good in this application? Is just checked and found that Potassium iodide tablets are used for emergencies only in the event of a nuclear accident. I don't think this house is close to that but if it works in nuclear disasters, I guess it will do here.

It will cost about $198 per year for them to come anytime we call them or $100 per visit if we don't want the yearly plan. I guess I'll be able to service it myself.

Thanks, Kris
 
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Old 11-14-06, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sysconx
Ask me about an airplane and I'll give you the answers.
Kris
Oh yea, what creates lift?
 
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Old 11-14-06, 07:54 PM
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Thumbs up

It would be money.
 
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Old 11-14-06, 09:54 PM
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Exactly right
 
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Old 11-16-06, 10:18 AM
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sysconx,

I am in doubt that you would have enough water pressure/volume to lift 100lbs of KDF.

I am also a little confused at your description
1. filter
2. conditioner
3. backwasher

Filtering and conditioning are methods of removing contaminates or altering (improving)source water quality, whereas backwashing is a function of a valve during a water treatment process often to preserve the media in the filter or conditioner. Just not clear in my mind.

What is the diameter of the tank containing the KDF? ___"?

The so-called 'booster' device is also puzzling. Naturally whenever you narrow the orifice of a water piping, the speed of the water increases but the volume decreases. Just like putting your finger of the garden hose. You fill up a bucket across the lawn but it won't do it any faster. KDF is extremely heavy; your volume plus flow rate must be appropriate.

Maybe that was the same guy who tried to sell me radiator bearings for my car!!

What will happen is this. The odors, or whatever the KDF is meant to do, will occur--for a period of time. But as fluidization during its backwashing stage of the media, or lack thereof, will equate itself to its useful lifespan. If it does not lift adequately during backwash, it will solidify and 'water channels' will develop. That is where water, following the path of least resistence, will just pass repeatedly through same channels without effectiveness.

The solidification also leads to very difficult service as it will be hard to remove from the tanks. It will look like burn coral and is very crusty, or collects like a very heavy sludge.

Remember that KDF-85 is a mix of copper (85%)and zinc. Take a hundreds pounds of pennies and grind them up into a course powder and soak them in water. Now take a garden hose and pinch that sucker down and try to move that mound of metal straight up into a large tank. Good luck.

Be afraid, very afraid of anyone with a 'lifetime', whatever. It is, at best ambiguous, and at worst, fraudulant.

One example of a natioanl brand that openly spouts its lifetime warranty turns out that if nothing ever goes wrong with it, it is covered. The first time a service call is made, no charge. the second time there is a huge bill.

When the customer asks about it. The company states warranty is on the original products only. "Since we replaced a part the last time, your product is no longer 'original'.

You say the parts are 5-year but the 'system' is lifetime. Confusing. Do you mean labor for system?

As for KI in your treatment. Who knows why they suggested that! Could you mean KCl or potassium chloride as the regenerate for the softener? Or maybe this guy has been hanging out in Roswell, Arizona, area 51.

Or could the filter be greensand filter (iron/sulfur) with potassium permangante used as its regenerate?

Regardless, you are not being informed enough to feel comfortable with making such an important decision. You want you water treatment to be an investment not an expense...and you want it to work.

The $100 per visit vs. the $198 yearly plan comes from a company that is not going to take a beating for faulty equipment/technology in spite of a lifetime---whatever--- labor-free deal. What's that all about?

We have been warned that 'extended warranties' are bunk. So in ten years you have shelled out nearly $2000. for no repairs or, they hope, if you choose, to spend even more fixing something over and over.

Sorry to be negative, but there are a lot of ways to skin a tiger.

Andy
 
 

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