Sediment filter in front of softener necessary?

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Old 08-07-11, 11:54 AM
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Sediment filter in front of softener necessary?

Finally ready to install our softener (Twin Kinetico 60 tanks mated up to a Flek 9100sxt head).


Should I throw in a sediment filter before the softener to protect it? (We have city water here)

I already have a charcoal filter further downstream filtering the rest of the house FWIW.
 
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Old 08-08-11, 04:06 AM
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What do you mean by 'charcoal' filter? That is a rather ambiguous term and yet there are quite a few different carbon filters used in water treatment? What is the reason for that filter as there are many reasons to use carbon filters?

As far as a sediment filter before a softener on city water, it is used for that occasional situation where dirty water (water main break, hydrant flushing, etc.) and helps prevents the dirt from getting into the softener and the house.
 
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Old 08-09-11, 01:09 AM
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Sheesh?!?! Why get on the guy about his carbon filter? He simply asked if a sediment was needed?

Yes and no to your sediment. I'm the type of guy who will tell you that it can't hurt to have one but if you never have anything or too much for it to take our then are you wasting money. On the other hand the one time that stuff does blow through then it would be worth it.

I say if you use it and it collects stuff and you are happy then keep using it. I also say if you don't and never have a problem than you didn't need it.
 
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Old 08-09-11, 03:12 AM
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No ill intent, I'm sure. Many times when someone says charcoal they mean a granulated activated charcoal (GAC) filter; other times it means any type of carbon filter. Understanding the difference can avoid some selection issues.

Under some circumstance, I would suggest moving the carbon filter BEFORE the softener. However, depending on the type of carbon he has this could be a problem rather than a benefit. If it is a carbon block or pleated carbon type filter, it can be placed BEFORE the softener to do double duty. It can act as a mild sediment filter and to remove chlorine to protect the resins in the softener. If it is a GAC type, then I would still say put it before the softener but place a sediment filter before IT. A GAC filter is a loose media filter in an upflow cartridge and can get clogged easily in trying to remove sediment. Thus it is a poor sediment filter.

A carbon before the softener, will help resins last much longer. One must make sure the carbon, wherever it is placed, is adequate for water conditions and volume.

Although block and pleated type filters are not designed to remove sediment, under light conditions they will work fine as long as filters are sized not to inhibit flow to a great degree.

Success in sediment removal is determined but flow reduction; by chlorine removal, it is done by simple testing. When either has reached its limit, change them.

If you do use a GAC filter up front, then place a sediment filter before it.

In my area, the city flushes lines and a lot of dirt comes through. A sediment filter will catch this. Other times less commonly, a water main breaks and floods the house with really dirty water--sometimes a boil alert--and a sediment filter will get completely clogged up. In these cases, I am glad my softener isn't loading up with all that junk.

So my question would remain...what type of filter are you currently using?
 
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Old 08-09-11, 01:28 PM
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My bad, I hastily called it a charcoal filter. It is indeed a carbon block. (Matrix CR1) mainly for chlorine reduction.

I'm hesitant to move it to before my softener because it's only a 2.5x10" housing and I fear for too much flow reduction should the softener regen while I'm in the shower or doing dishes.

Our chlorine levels are so high here, cartridges don't last too long. So another reason to leave it aft of the softener?

Hope that helps clear things up.
 
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Old 08-09-11, 01:41 PM
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Carbon should be before the softner to protect from chlorine damage.

Is it a whole house carbon filter?

Also answer to your question, yes IMO a sediment filter should be installed. First item on thewater line, then carbon. I would use a 30-50 micron. A human hair is 75 microns. You just want to get the large stuff out. The carbon filter should be in the same micron range. You dont want nothing too small micron wise or they will clogg often.

As far a how often to change the carbon due to being spent from the chlorine, I believe it based on time and average use. A pool test kit is helpful. Test chlorine level without, then with the carbon filter. It will give you a starting point. Then test chlorine levels monthly. Change filter when levels increase to near the reading recorded with no filter.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 08-09-11, 02:49 PM
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Is keeping a filter (of any sort) after the softener in case of resin leaking out just being paranoid?
 
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Old 08-09-11, 04:57 PM
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Basically, yes. It happens that resin blows but not often.
 
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Old 08-09-11, 06:12 PM
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So perhaps I can do the best of both worlds by leaving my smaller carbon filter in it's place and just installing a single, large (4x10 or 4x20) carbon filter before the softener. I'm overthinking this..
 
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Old 08-09-11, 06:50 PM
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Just so you know to do properly you may spend a small fortune.

Filter housing x 2 = 260 bucks

Premium whole house water filter housing, Big Clear Type

Sediment 55 bucks.

Premium sediment water filter for the whole house BB

100,000 gal carbon filter 100 bucks.

Whole house water filters- BB high flow carbon filter

$400 bucks. This will protect the softner IMO. But then you are getting up there in price. A larger bacwashing or upflow unit may be a better option. I would still have the sediment filter first on the line. Then possibly one of these. They give you a free sediment filter.

10 GPM, Premium Green-Carbon-10 Water Conditioners-Whole House Water Treatment System | APEC Water


I used this company before. IMO they have very good stuff and excellent customer service. There are many out there though. You could shop around. Ohiopurewater, ASPwater, etc.....

You have to decide what you are trying to accomplish. If it were me I would want to protect the softner best I can.

Mike NJ
 
 

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