Potassium carbonate for acid neutralizers?

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-24-09, 01:26 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,947
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Potassium carbonate for acid neutralizers?

Hi folks Ė

Does anyone know anything at all about using potassium carbonate in a acid neutralizer injection system to raise the ph of well water? Most of the systems I see advertised use soda ash in the injection system to raise the ph. My understanding is that the soda ash adds sodium to the water. (Ok laugh- I guess thatís obvious if soda ash is sodium carbonate?)

My ph is low at 5.5 so I tried a little experiment where I added 4 ounces of soda ash to a gallon of water. I then fed that solution little by little (stopping at 1.3 oz.) to a gallon of my well water to where ph strips and another liquid color matching kit, both indicated the water was just raised out of the acidic range.

But unfortunately, if I calculated right (and chemistry is not my thing), in doing so I added very roughly about 330 milligrams sodium /liter of water. My understanding is that you really donít want your drinking water above about 100 milligrams sodium /liter of water. If I understand correctly, you can drink at the higher levels OK but you would be much better off to have a lower contribution towards your recommended daily sodium allowance from your drinking water. And I think the recommendation is a total of about 2000-3000 milligrams sodium /day (could be wrong on that).

Anyway I came across an acid neutralizer injection system once that used potassium carbonate instead of soda ash, I think just for folks who didnít want, or couldnít tolerate, higher levels of sodium in their drinking water? But I canít find the system again. I do remember something about potassium carbonate being more expensive? And I was wondering if your feed pump went bananas Ė could you wind up harming yourself or someone else with a potassium carbonate overdose ? Maybe thatís why most everyone uses soda ash? Or is potassium carbonate just too darn expensive? I heard that added potassium in your diet would in fact be good for you. (I guess though, too much is NOT good for you!)'

Any info at all would be sincerely appreciated!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-25-09, 07:27 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 695
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
What is the objection to a calcium carbonate (CaC03) tank ?
 
  #3  
Old 02-25-09, 09:47 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,947
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hi yaddayadda Ė

Thanks for your input. Youíre right. Iíve been going round and round in my head for a long time Ė injection system vs. acid neutralizer tank. Iím new to all this treatment stuff so please bear with me if I use improper terminology.

The only reason I was thinking of the injection system is because there seemed to me to be disagreement about how low a ph the tanks can handle. Seems like some people say below 5.5 you better use an injection system. Others seem to say that the tank with calcite AND corosex can handle ph down to 5.0.

I found one place (maybe North Carolina U.? maybe wrong school) that said tanks raise ph from 1-2 points. So worse case my 5.5 would only go to 6.5. But sometimes I think people are talking about calcite only? Seems like others include corosex in their tank and feel they can handle down to 5.0.

Bottom line might just be my impatience or something, but it doesnít seem clear and I thought the tank might be risky. Hate to put one in only to find the ph is better Ė but still corrosive. Seems to me itís my bad luck just to at that magic borderline number 5.5.

Some say you donít have to worry about a pressure drop with an injection system like you do with a tank. Others say you will raise you sodium too high with a soda ash injection system if your ph is too low (think I found that out?).

Some say you will raise your hardness with a tank and might have to use a softener so an injection system is better? Others say an injection system is maintenance intensive and may require you to mix up a batch every week (probably exaggeration). Others say we donít sell injection systems because of the liability involved (sounds scary).

Some say tank system providers understate the amount needed for backwashing and you may wind up with a failed system because of caking. My flow to the pressure tank is about 8.5-9 gals/min. Maybe enough to backwash OK Ė maybe not?

HELP! HELP!

Thanks again yaddayadda!
 
  #4  
Old 02-25-09, 12:46 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 695
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
Did a lab tell you about 5.5 pH or was it a pool test kit or ?

I should have mentioned that Corosex is a mix of 70-80% calcite and 30-20% corosex which is made for really low pH, such as yours.

We had 6.2 pH well water and added a 1.5 cu ft calcite only tank and pH went to 7.2.

We did not want soda ash injection.
 
  #5  
Old 02-26-09, 07:52 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,947
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hi yaddayadda-

It was a lab tests that yielded 5.5 and a 5.6 (I mistakenly posted one time 5.4/5.5 when I was telling my troubles). Yes, if I understand the nice thing about the neutralizer filter with the calcite is that it just naturally stops in the correct range like yours did - which stopped at 7.2. Thatís great!

Do you have an automatic backwash system? Have you had any problems with the stuff cementing in the tank? Did you have to put in a softener? Did you put a sediment filter before your tank?

(Sorry Ė the above sounds like a grilling doesnít it?) Oh well, anything youíd care to add about your system would be appreciated. I have a floor drain right where the tank would go that can handle the steady state well pump output and I have an electrical outlet right there that I put in for my UV filter. So it sounds like Iíd be in good shape to move the tank right in.

One thing that does sound very nice about the tank system is that you hook er up and let er go , and you donít have to mess with it for many months (even a year) at a time. Is that your experience? I just assumed here that you have a down flow system with an automatic backwash valve Ė donít know why?

Thanks for you input!
 
  #6  
Old 02-26-09, 12:48 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 695
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
You don't need a backwash valve. 5.5 pH water flows in, mixes with the calcite and goes into your house water line, hopefully with a much improved pH.

Yes there is a BigBlue sediment filter before the calcite tank. It has a 20 micron pleated filter and has been in place for 13 months. I have a pressure gauge before and after the BigBlue so if there is a pressure difference of more than 5# in vs. out, that means it is time to clean/replace the BBlue filter.

There is also a small 1 micron or 5 micron filter (I have both) after everything and before water enters the house. It is called a polishing filter.

We have a bit of iron in our water. So, downstream of the calcite filter there is a 1.5 cu ft tank with Birm. This tank has a backwash valve. Works great.

I can keep track of the calcite (and Birm) levels in the tanks by shining a BRIGHT spotlight behind the tank (in dark/low light) and it will show the media level. Calcite goes down relatively fast. Think it was 60% full when installed and a year later it was 40% full. We added a 50 lb. sack of calcite couple of months ago. pH was 6.9 and after the addition went back to 7.2.

Keep us posted. Beer 4U2
 
  #7  
Old 02-26-09, 04:50 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,947
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks YaddaYadda-

Gotcha! If I understand, what you have is the upflow type and sounds like it works well and youíre pretty happy with it. I was going to put in multiple pressure gauges also Ė I just have one filter now. Maintenance for your system sounds pretty easy. Looks like you just have to monitor the ph periodically and add some stuff if it needs it. But certainly not a weekly or monthly task! I know the calcite prices I saw werenít too bad, especially 50 lbs spread over many months as in your case. I could live happily with your system.


I had heard about that bright light method to check the tank level for certain tanks. I was wondering how well that worked. Sound like you answered that.

Thanks again for all you time and the good information! Iíll post when I do something.

Thanks again!
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: