Ferric Iron removal


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Old 05-27-09, 09:19 AM
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Ferric Iron removal

Can a standard water softner (most Culligan, Water Boss, GE, etc.) remove ferric iron. Overall, my adjusted for ferrous iron hardness is 21 GPG. I have a couple of dealers indicating they can add an acid solution (or at least that is how it was weakly described) into the process to take care of the ferric iron. I have not seen any evidence it works or how it works. Can somebody verify if this works, and how it works?
 
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Old 05-27-09, 03:00 PM
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Standard water softeners will remove iron. They are limited to the amount. A rule of thumb I use is 10 ppm clear water iron and 2 ppm red water iron. You must use a resin cleaner to keep iron off of the resin. You can find Super Iron Out at your local grocery store in the cleaning asile.
 
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Old 05-27-09, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by EAMetheny View Post
Can a standard water softner (most Culligan, Water Boss, GE, etc.) remove ferric iron. Overall, my adjusted for ferrous iron hardness is 21 GPG. I have a couple of dealers indicating they can add an acid solution (or at least that is how it was weakly described) into the process to take care of the ferric iron. I have not seen any evidence it works or how it works. Can somebody verify if this works, and how it works?
In general, softeners will not effectively remove ferric iron. The resins will get fouled and need to be replaced. Some kind of filter will be needed before the softener to remove ferric iron. Depending on the amount you have, the filter will have to be sized accordingly. A backwashing filter could be used beforre the softener.

The acid solution that they recommended: was that white vinegar? I'm not sure why an acidification was recommended, unless your pH is around 11 or 12.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
 
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Old 05-27-09, 06:48 PM
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I think I was told that the solution was acidic. The purpose was to clean the resin of iron that might collect there. I don't think it's purpose was to acidify the water. I was told that I could buy the solution at the softner company store, or any home improvement big box retailer. I am thinking that "biermech" is leaning in the right direction.

My ferric iron runs from 1.75 - 3.5 PPM (everybody got a different reading), of which I have two basic proposals in front of me. An oversized standard system with resin cleaner (overzized relative to what typically would be installed in a 3-4 person home), and the Kinetico 4060.

Speaking of variable ferric iron:

    With this said, what pitfalls may there be with each type of system?

    Thanks.
     
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    Old 05-27-09, 08:28 PM
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    Originally Posted by EAMetheny View Post
    - We ocassionally will get heavy rust colored water in spurts. I haven't been able to determine if this was because the current softner in our house that has failed was loading up and dumping, or if this is native to our well.

    Thanks.
    Is it first thing in the morning? If is right after a regen, it could be the the unit can not rinse all the iron. The Super Iron Out will help quite a bit.
    As far as the Kinetico, I'm not a big fan for use in residentual applications. Why do you need soft water 24/7. I feel they are over priced and if you don't know how to work on them, you are forced to use the local dealer. They can charge what they want because they know one else can get repair parts or know how to fix them. Even the owners manual doesn't show the internal parts.
     
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    Old 05-28-09, 09:46 AM
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    Relatve to "Biermech" post:

    I cannot say if it is after regen. I'm leaning towards after regen, but I cannot say with definity.

    As far as the Kinitico:

    I don't find much advantage to the 24/7.

    I do find advantage to: 1) No electronics (I'm an electronics engineer - go figure) 2) soft-water valve operation (and brine tank??), 3) cost/time of operation (less salt, no media cleaner, no pre-filters to replace).

    Disadvantages are: 1) Upfont cost which is way too high for what you get. I couldn't value the system to sell for more than 2,500 - 3,000 installed with tax. They are asking $3,700 2) repair costs are probably twice as high (but probably less often due to simpler system). 3) Better warranty.

    I figure the payback is about 10 years (-2 +4), which is a long time for this type of product.

    I've seen some post/comments that Kinitco's are no more reliable than anybody else. If anybody has experience with this, I wouldn't mind hearing it.

    Thanks for everybody's help.
     
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    Old 05-28-09, 11:08 AM
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    Originally Posted by EAMetheny View Post
    Relatve to "Biermech" post:

    I cannot say if it is after regen. I'm leaning towards after regen, but I cannot say with definity.

    As far as the Kinitico:

    I don't find much advantage to the 24/7.

    I do find advantage to: 1) No electronics (I'm an electronics engineer - go figure) 2) soft-water valve operation (and brine tank??), 3) cost/time of operation (less salt, no media cleaner, no pre-filters to replace).

    Disadvantages are: 1) Upfont cost which is way too high for what you get. I couldn't value the system to sell for more than 2,500 - 3,000 installed with tax. They are asking $3,700 2) repair costs are probably twice as high (but probably less often due to simpler system). 3) Better warranty.

    I figure the payback is about 10 years (-2 +4), which is a long time for this type of product.

    I've seen some post/comments that Kinitco's are no more reliable than anybody else. If anybody has experience with this, I wouldn't mind hearing it.

    Thanks for everybody's help.
    I worked for a Kinetico outfit for 2 year so I know a bit. Hard water still passes through the valve. There are so many parts to them. You will still need a media cleaner with iron in the water and we alway installed a prefilter because of the small ports in them. The way I see it is you are buying 2 units. One tank is providing soft water while the other is either in a regen or a stand by mode. Don't get me wrong. I like the Kinetico because of the design. I don't like the fact that they have you by the balls when it comes to repairs because of lack of repair parts and detailed repair instructions available to the end user.
     
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    Old 05-28-09, 11:20 AM
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    In all my years of dealing with Kinetico, I have never heard once a customer exclaim the 7/24 value. Not once. That is usually brought up by those trying to put it down. Odd, I should think, that to degrade a competitor's product is to state one of its unique and positive features. Obviuosly something they can't provide. Why buy a car that can do 90 when you only want to go 65?

    But again, no one uses water 24 hours a day (although my wife does do laundry when she goes to bed) and I don't know anyone who has made that claim, so to argue in favor of a positve feature of one's opponent in order to put it down, does not do well in techiques of debate. I always find that puzzling.

    I have heard those who want to avoid systems with advanced electronics (computers) due to impending failure, make claims for simplier electrical units. Well, Kinetico would take that point to the extreme, wouldn't you say? This eliminates 100% of all electrical anomolies, interferrences and replacement/repair issues, costs, and headaches. Now that is a major issue in the longevity, relaibility and durabilty of water treatment equipment.

    I have seen Kinetico units over 30 years old still working fine. Occsaional maintenance and sometimes a service call is required, but they are very relialble if properly sized and maintained.

    Economics must always be consider in two aspects: up front PRICE (not cost) and future operational and maintenace COSTS. Yes, Kinetico is not cheap (neither the most expensive) but it is a quality machine and operational costs can be significantly lower over time. Most water treatment owners want something that lasts decades, not years of trouble-free great water.

    As for your water quallity, before you buy anything, get accurate results on iron (ferric, ferrous and organic). The total iron must be treated very carefully of future costs can skyrocket if shortcuts are taken. A softener's resin cannot take out ferric iron in an effective or positive way! So a backwashig filter, retention system or some other means to reduce/eliminate ferric (or organic) iron needs to be considered very carefully.

    Andy Christensen, CWS-II
     
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    Old 05-28-09, 07:56 PM
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by AndyC View Post
    As for your water quallity, before you buy anything, get accurate results on iron (ferric, ferrous and organic). The total iron must be treated very carefully of future costs can skyrocket if shortcuts are taken. A softener's resin cannot take out ferric iron in an effective or positive way! So a backwashig filter, retention system or some other means to reduce/eliminate ferric (or organic) iron needs to be considered very carefully.

    Andy Christensen, CWS-II
    No organics (and no associated smell), thank goodness. The 4060 has one of Kinetico patented materials in its tank called Macrolite. In reality, it is two double tanks, where the upper tank contains the Macrolite on top of sand. The lower tank contains your typical resin found in softener systems. My understanding is that the Macrolite is effectively the ferric iron collector, which gets dumped on the back-wash. I'm going to make sure there is some margin for ferric iron in both systems before purchase.

    That reminds me of another positive. Less water and less added materials in the backwash. In our house, we have a sump, which will last longer....

    So, thanks to both of you for helping me with my dilema. It looks like either softener will work fine, and it really comes down to price / cost. Its great to see varied opionions (albeit confusing)
     
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    Old 05-28-09, 09:10 PM
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    You have been well-informed of some of the features of the 4060 Macrolite. The Macrolite is certified to filter down to 3-5 microns. I would use an iron cleasning salt or added iron removal. This will help clean the Macrolite.

    Do you have tech-specs on the unit?

    If you go with a single tank, electric softener, then add a backwashing filter before it. The most common filter media is filter-ag, which filters down to around 20-30 microns. A 9" tank would work for a typical family sized demand.

    Good luck and let me know how it goes.
    Andy Christensen, CWS-II
     
     

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