We are feed up with this water


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Old 10-04-09, 11:39 AM
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We are feed up with this water

Hello
No one in my family has ever owned a water softener so you can figure out how much I knew about one. I have been reading a lot about them here on this great site. The problem: my daughter has the most terrible wash water you have ever seen. It is ruining her clothes. When she fill her washer with cold water it is hard sometimes to see the bottom of the tub. The water is tinged as we call it with a reddish brown color. No smell just dirty looking. We are on a small town water system and she lives only one block from the water tower. Her home is only about 10 yrs old and has all copper water lines. Some days the water is clearer. I am on the same water system and have the same problems but to a lot lesser degree. My wife has to wash our daughter’s clothes some time because her water is so tinged and ours isn’t. You can tell if the basketball referee is from here because he isn’t wearing the black and white shirt he is wearing the black and dingy shirt.
We are feed up with this water and have to do something about it. . The city says the problem is the old cast iron water supply lines. We haven’t had the water tested yet. I believe the problem is an iron problem. Since one day the water “looks”ok and the next it’s tinged will a test really tell us anything?
Who do we call, Culligan, Kinetico, Eco, Sears, GE, Fleck? Where do we start? The closes large town is about 1 hr. away. We need help. Can you walk us through the process of getting good clean water??
charlie
 
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Old 10-04-09, 07:12 PM
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We will be more than happy to help. First you need to get a sample when the water is "tingy". You can have a water company come in and test the water or take a sample the Sears or find a lab to test it. Post the results and we will be able to direct you to the best coarse.
 
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Old 10-04-09, 08:08 PM
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Thanks

I'll start tomorrow trying to get a sample tested.

charlie
 
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Old 10-05-09, 06:23 PM
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Contacted a lab today to get water tested. They want to know exactly what I want to test for. A ballpark figure of $25.00 per item tested for. So exactly what do I tell them?
Tomorrow I am going to the city hall and see if I can get an EPA water test result for our city water. I hate going in there.

charlie
 
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Old 10-06-09, 11:52 AM
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Ok I got a copy of the City's Annual Water Quality Report. If you have any questions from the report I'll try to answer. The city gets it's water from wells. If I am reading this right the Highest Level Detected for Iron is .83 ppb, Manganese is 250 ppb, and Sodium is 6.9 ppm.

Oh by the way no clothes getting washed today I have dirty water.

charlie
 
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Old 10-09-09, 10:28 PM
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What's up?

charlie
 
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Old 10-10-09, 08:53 AM
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Is your water supply chlorinated? I assume it is because this is generally required of all municipal water supplies.

If it is chlorinated the water leaving the treatment plant should be essentially free of iron and manganese. Any iron is presumably coming from the piping system between the treatment plant and your point of use and is probably oxidized iron that can be removed by mechanical filtration. This seems to be what you were told by the supplier.

It is possible that all you need is a sediment filter to remove sediments and debris that is being picked up from the old pipes. If this doesn't solve the problem you will need a test of the water at your home to determine the conditions you need to treat for. Water treatment companies typically offer some testing services. Alternatively you can have your testing done by an independent testing labratory.

It is also possible that your problem could be resolved if the municipal water lines were thoroughly flushed--does your water company regularly flush the lines?

Local water treatment companies should be familiar with the conditions in your area and may be able to offer a solution, including installation services for any equipment that may be needed
 
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Old 10-10-09, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by cgc68 View Post
Ok I got a copy of the City's Annual Water Quality Report. If you have any questions from the report I'll try to answer. The city gets it's water from wells. If I am reading this right the Highest Level Detected for Iron is .83 ppb, Manganese is 250 ppb, and Sodium is 6.9 ppm.

Oh by the way no clothes getting washed today I have dirty water.

charlie
3 ppb (parts per billion) is nothing. You should not be having the tingy water with this amount of iron. You need to get an iron test on the tingy water. It could be, as Bob has said, the pipes leading to your house. Also, test the pH of the water. It should aroung 7.
Have you asked your neighbors if they are the same problem?
 
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Old 10-15-09, 05:06 PM
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CGC68, when you say dingy, do mean it looks like iced tea or is it more orange? You may have Tannin in the water which often colors the water similar to iron. With iron levels at .83 PPB there is no way it would be discoloring your water. Generally iron will not stain until it achieves concentration levels of over .2 PPM (notice PPM is parts per million and PPB is parts per billion). You need to take a water sample at the point of the problem. The city may take samples of the water right after the treatment equipment while your problem may be dirty underground cast iron piping.
I would recommend calling a private lab and telling them you want an iron and tannin test performed and see what it will cost and if you can collect the sample. You can also usually call a water conditioning expert and request a free water sample - again ask for iron and tannin - but asking a service tech to come perform a free test knowing full well you do not plan to purchase any equipment from him is not the best of manners.
 
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Old 10-16-09, 09:38 PM
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Sorry for the lack of responces from me but I've been gone.

First thanks to everone for trying to help me.

"Is your water supply chlorinated?" Yes

"does your water company regularly flush the lines? "Regularly? no. Flush? yes

"Have you asked your neighbors if they are the same problem? "She asked only one and she said her water was ok but they have a water filter system.

"but asking a service tech to come perform a free test knowing full well you do not plan to purchase any equipment from him is not the best of manners." I couldn't agree more


My daughter did call a water conditioning expert from Aquathin. He tested her water and the iron is very high.
I'll get the numbers tomorrow and post them for you.

Again thanks

charlie
 
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Old 10-17-09, 07:22 AM
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One approach is for your daughter to find out the kind of filter system that the neighbor has. If it works for the neighbor it is very likely to work for your daughter.

With the water test--it is important what kind of iron is in the water--not just the level. And what type of equipment did the company that did the test recommend?
 
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Old 10-18-09, 10:50 AM
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One question I failed to answer; "when you say dingy, do mean it looks like iced tea or is it more orange?" iced tea. Let the sample set long enough and the "iced tea" will settle to the bottom. The water is dirty just as soon as it comes out of the tap.

Here are the numbers:

Water pressure PSI 48
Iron PPM (out of the tap) .3
Iron PPM (water sample we took 24 hrs earlier) 1 not .1
PH 7.7
Chlorine PPM 1
Hardness GPG 21
TDS PPM 330

The day the water was tested the water was clearing up. It had been much dirty looking for days.

Equipment the company (aquathin) that did the test recommended:

1. Pre filter (He left no literature on the filter) I think it is a 10 to 5 micron 4 1/2" Dia. change once a year (normally) filter.

2. Water softener 40,000 grains Warranty: 3 yrs valve, 10 yrs Resin, 25 yrs Clip Cabinet, Lifetime on pressure tank. Optional lifetime warranty.

3. RO/DI water purification system with booster pump (14gpd/21 gpd with booster pump) and 14 gal storage tank.

For more info go to Water purification system, filters, water softeners and quaility of drinking water softner with reverse osmosis filtration systems by Aquathin.com or I will try to get answers from the literture he did leave.

Price tag installed $3100

I wish he would have been there a couple days earlier when the water was really dirty.

Let me know what you think.

charlie
 
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Old 10-18-09, 11:15 AM
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From your description of the water and the fact that the discoloration settles out I think a 5 micron whole house filter would resolve most if not all of the problem you complain of. Such a filter can be purchased from an internet supplier for less than $200 delivered. (However, given the quantity of "dirt" in your water you might want to consider a backwashing sediment filter rather than a cartridge filter. You could purchase a 2 cubic foot filter AG unit for less than $550 from an internet supplier.) The water test results show quite hard water and a softener would be beneficial--I recommend it. You can purchase a high quality 40,000 grain unit from an internet supplier for less than $600. As to the RO unit you can buy it on the internet for around $300 delivered. However the 5 micron filter (or backwashing filter) plus softener will take care of the iron and dirt so it is not clear you really need an RO unit.
 
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Old 10-19-09, 09:48 PM
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The numbers still don't make a lot of sense. Even at 1 PPM iron I don't understand how the water is visibly discolored. I'm thinking you have more in the water than iron causing this problem. With the results you posted I'm sure a sediment filter would handle most of your problem and a water softener would be beneficial to reduce the hardness. I agree with Bob999 that an RO/DI system is more of a personal preference then a requirement. Plus it will only condition the water you're drinking, won't help with the laundry stains.

I always recommend 1 Micron or smaller sediment filters because most filters are rated as "nominal" meaning they will allow particles up to 4X their rating to pass through. The only way to get a "real rated" filter is to use an "absolute" filter which generally increases the cost dramatically. If you require 5 micron filtration then just use a 1 micron "nominal" rated filter and problem solved. Just keep in mind the smaller the filter, the more often you change it so use at LEAST a 10" long 4.5" diameter filter.

Someone a few posts back suggested you ask a few neighbors what systems they use... did you ever do that? I often recommend to customers that they consult with a neighbor about water problems to see what works and doesn't work.

I think the $3100.00 price is a bit steep but not having seen the job I don't know what plumbing he may need to do, what drain lines he may need to run, or what brand/array softener he's using.
 
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Old 10-20-09, 06:58 AM
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One question I failed to answer; "when you say dingy, do mean it looks like iced tea or is it more orange?" iced tea. Let the sample set long enough and the "iced tea" will settle to the bottom. The water is dirty just as soon as it comes out of the tap.
When municipal water is dindy, dirty or cloudy--especially temporarily--it is often caused by line flushing, maintenance or new istallations. If water is consistantly poor in quality, then a break in the line may be the cause. Other reasons may cause these problems such as the home's plumbing: water heaters rotting out, galvanized pipes decaying, electrolysis, etc.


Here are the numbers:

Water pressure PSI 48
Iron PPM (out of the tap) .3
Iron PPM (water sample we took 24 hrs earlier) 1 not .1
PH 7.7
Chlorine PPM 1
Hardness GPG 21
TDS PPM 330
Different methods of testing can cause different results as you have in the iron. Best to base your calculations on the higher than the lower. Chlorine can vary widely depending on water use in the city and the water plant's management and chemical feed policies.

Your number don't chime. The TDS of the reported hardness alone is 376ppm. Adding other elements such chlorides, iron, etc., would push those number even higher. Either a more accurate TDS meter is needed or estimate higher to be able to evaluate membrane rejection/life expentancy.


The day the water was tested the water was clearing up. It had been much dirty looking for days.
Murphy's law

Equipment the company (aquathin) that did the test recommended:

1. Pre filter (He left no literature on the filter) I think it is a 10 to 5 micron 4 1/2" Dia. change once a year (normally) filter.
Did they mention if that would be a depth or pleated filter type?

2. Water softener 40,000 grains Warranty: 3 yrs valve, 10 yrs Resin, 25 yrs Clip Cabinet, Lifetime on pressure tank. Optional lifetime warranty.
I wonder if the resin warranty requires chlorine removal. Is this a cabinet model softener. My preference would be to avoid cabinet-type softeners unless space is a premium or there are other specific reasons. I am ALWAYS weary of so-called lifetime warranties. Pressure tank you mean the softener tank, right? Those are very durable and little goes wrong outside of freezing, improper installation, excessive high (or low) pressure or abuses. Does your house have a pressure regualtor near the incoming line?

3. RO/DI water purification system with booster pump (14gpd/21 gpd with booster pump) and 14 gal storage tank.
I am a strong supporter of ROs but not DI units for drinking water. A booster pump is a good idea for ROs as they lead to fast prodction and less water down the drain per gallon produced. Is that a 14-gallon tank (giving you about 5-6 gallons downflow) or a 14 gallon per day system???

For more info go to Water purification system, filters, water softeners and quaility of drinking water softner with reverse osmosis filtration systems by Aquathin.com or I will try to get answers from the literture he did leave.
This is the first time I have seen this site and looked at it only a bit. Obviously they are very serious with their business but look more later.

Price tag installed $3100
Everything is relative and price can depend on may factors including after-sale support, quality equipment, capacity, etc.

I wish he would have been there a couple days earlier when the water was really dirty.
I tell my customers, to save a sample of the water that concerns them. In many cases the problems will remain for later testing, but sometimes, like with sulfur, they may not. Iron may be converted from Fe++ to Fe+++.

Let me know what you think.

charlie
 
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Old 10-21-09, 09:05 AM
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What great responses. Thanks

My daughter does have a 5 micron whole house filter. It uses two 10" X 2 1/4" string filters stacked on top of each other with a coupler between the filters. “most filters are rated as "nominal" meaning they will allow particles up to 4X their rating to pass through”. Not to surprising but I didn't know that. She has always had dirty water but there was some good days. We did install another brand (OMNIFILTER RS2-DS) of filters and she hasn't had any good days since. I did change the filters again after 3 weeks.

The water heater is about 10 yrs old and we are looking to replace it. We know it is causing some problems when using the hot water. All the water problems I have described are related to cold water only.

We haven't asked the neighbor about their filter system. My daughter just asked if they were having any dirty water. I will try to find out.

Is this a cabinet model softener? I guess the water softener is a cabinet model. Everything is inside a plastic cabinet.

I don’t think there is a water pressure regulator near her house. She is only a block from the water tower and when the city installed the new water line to her house they "tee" connected it to the main line.

I agree the RO system isn't necessary but a personal preference.” I am a strong supporter of ROs but not DI units for drinking water”. I was wondering why.

There were some questions asked I can't answer now. I will try to find out and let you know.

Again thanks for all the help and advice.

charlie
 
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Old 11-11-09, 06:28 PM
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Well it's a done deal. She went with the Aquathin system talked about in my Oct 18th post. It has been in only 10 days and she loves it and so do I now she is doing her own laundary.

Again thanks to all of you for your help. I knew nothing about water softners and you helped me.

charlie
 
 

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