Hard Well Water With Iron - When To Replace Iron Filter

Old 04-01-20, 01:31 PM
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Hard Well Water With Iron - When To Replace Iron Filter

I have well water. I've got a pump/pressure tank/iron filter/water softener setup and it seems to work pretty well. I don't have any problems with iron, that I can tell anyway.

The company that installed my iron filter was great - but it was not cheap. Anyway, they sent me a reminder that it's probably time to have some maintenance done/replace something inside the iron filter.

And it'll cost $500 or so.

The thing is, $500 is a lot of money and we've had our hours cut back a bit so, I'd like to avoid/delay if at all possible.

If I wait until I notice iron in my water - will that be too late to avoid costly problems? What I mean is, will my water softener start picking up the iron and end up with it's resin completely ruined before I notice the iron inside the house?

I don't want to end up needing to pay $500 for the iron filter AND $500 for repairs on the softener or to fix the hot water tank or something else that was damaged by the iron? Or am I just being paranoid and can leave it until it becomes a problem?
Old 04-01-20, 02:09 PM
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In my experience maintenance is usually around $200 and not necessarily annually, but obviously individual systems have differing requirements.
Old 04-01-20, 02:37 PM
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What kind of iron filter is it?

I've had water treatment equipment for 30 years. Over the years I have learned, it's not rocket science, despite the voodoo black magic many companies try to make it seem like.

You really need to figure out what your equipment is, what type of maintenance it requires and just do it your self at a fraction of the cost that they are charging!
cwbuff voted this post useful.
Old 04-04-20, 03:41 PM
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I've got a fair amount of experience with this.
first off, it really depends on how much iron is in your raw well water. do you know? if you have high iron >4ppm then you really need to service the iron filter annually.
second, the maintenance typically involves replacing the seals in the valve body, and doing a general cleaning of the air injector and some other parts (assuming you have an air injection unit). depending on your model, you can usually buy the parts for about $50 and watch youtube videos to learn how to do it. It takes me about 40 minutes to replace my seals and do a thorough cleaning.
If you don't do it eventually the insides will clog with rust deposits and eventually the seals will fail and the unit will discharge water all the time. it will also stop removing iron, and you might clog your filter media to the point it will not clear when backwashed.

I am speaking from experience here. after 5 years my iron filter is not very effective anymore. I have to backwash it every night for it to work. My next step is to replace the filter media, and that should improve things.

As for what will happen to your water softener... well it will remove the iron up to a point, but will then start to clog with iron deposits as the normal salt regeneration will not remove the iron. You will then need to use an iron removal cleaner. there are a couple on the market that use Phosphoric acid, and that seems to work. I've heard food grade citric acid also works, but I have not tried it. I have tried "SIO" and it did not work for me at all.
Old 04-04-20, 04:01 PM
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for example this is the repair tutorial for my fleck 5000 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Db0cWKWju54

also, there's a product called crystal clean iron filter in a bottle. it's a water softener cleaner. I have used it and it works well. it seems kind of pricey at first, but really it comes down to how much is clean water worth... $10/mo really isn't that much especially when you're fighting poor water quality. but you can try the cheaper phosphoric products at menards first to see if they work for you.
Old 04-04-20, 07:25 PM
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What iron filter is it, and what type of iron? There are many.
  • Soluble “Clear Water” Iron
  • Insoluble Oxidized “Red Water” Iron
  • Organic Iron
  • Iron Bacteria

Mostly if a Birm , filters are commonly rebedded. The filter media will last for 4 to 8 years depending on usage and conditions. It is easily replaced.

If greensand then backwashes with pot perg..The filter media will last for 4 to 8 years depending on usage and conditions. It is easily replaced.

I would get test strips. bypass softner and run water after iron filter backwashes.

Test and see if the media is still working..


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