Well water issues: white powder & new softener

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Old 04-15-20, 09:34 AM
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Well water issues: white powder & new softener

Our new home has extremely hard water. Not even sure what it is as it tests off the charts, our tests only went up to about 500ppm. We installed a Fleck 5600 80k grain water softener and it brought the hardness down to 25ppm. It's enough to keep the rust away, though I wouldn't call it very soft. The toilet water in a while bowl tints slightly yellow, but I can live with that.

The problem is this white powder. It's not scale as it easily wipes off with no effort. It's very dusty and powdery. I notice it a lot of our black refrigerator. The water/ice maker always has white power where the water drips from people filling cups. I wipe it daily, one quick swipe and it comes right off.

My husband is a plumber, so he is capable of installing anything needed, he just doesn't know much about water treatment. I'm trying to figure out what I need. Whole house filter? Iron Curtain? Something else?
 
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Old 04-15-20, 11:11 AM
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Our new home has extremely hard water
It's very dusty and powdery. I notice it a lot of our black refrigerator.
Confusing, how does white dust have anything to do with hard water?
 
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Old 04-15-20, 02:45 PM
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I think the powder is mineral deposits. As a test put some tap water in a stainless steel or glass pot and put it on the stove and boil away the water. You'll see how many minerals are in your water. Keep in mind that a traditional softener doesn't remove minerals from the water like distillation or reverse osmosis. It simply exchanges calcium and magnesium ions with salt. Your soap works better and you get less mineral buildup on shower heads but there is still a lot of stuff (salt) dissolved in your water.
 
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Old 04-16-20, 02:49 AM
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Welcome to the forums Niki!

I had a well when I lived in central fla and I thought I was the only one that had water too hard to test unless it went thru the softener first

Way back when Sears would give you a packet where you could send a sample of your water off to be tested for free. I doubt they do that now but you should be able to find someone that will test for free or low cost. They'd likely want to sell you whatever it takes to fix it but you don't have to buy from them.
 
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Old 04-17-20, 04:51 PM
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the first thing you need to do is get a Hach HA-77 iron/hardness test kit. https://www.hach.com/hardness-and-ir...?id=7640217334
This will tell you (with high accuracy) how much iron and hardness you have. You will need this kit, and will use it often. it is worth the money. I use mine at least once a month to make sure my filtration/softener systems are working as expected. I suspect your system is not producing soft water near the end of its cycle before regeneration.
Once the test kit tells you that you have 5-10ppm iron in your RAW well water then you will know that you need to deal with the iron (even though you already seem to know that).
So what to do about the iron?
1) if you have less than 4ppm iron you can probably get by without a dedicated iron filter. BUT you will need to clean the softener continuously to remove the iron. Regular salt regeneration does NOT remove iron from a softener, and over time it clogs. So how do you clean it???
1a) First, try a product called Out Filter Mate Heavy Duty Softener Cleaner from Menards. https://www.menards.com/main/plumbin...882-c-8682.htm Its basically a phosphoric acid cleaner that removes the iron. You will need to use a lot of it.
1b) If the phosphoric acid doesn't work, step up to a product called Crystal Clean Iron Filter in a Bottle. https://www.crystalclean.us/ . I have used this product for a year and can tell you it DOES WORK. and it works very well. We have 4ppm iron and it works for us. You can add it manually every time your softener regenrates, or you can buy their pump system to slowly dispense it. I have the pump.
2) Alternately, you can buy a dedicated iron filter. I don't know anything about Iron Curtain... but if you have less than 10ppm iron you should be good with an Air Injection, Katalox Light based iron filter. Katalox is the filter media. The type of filter media used is VERY important, and Katalox seems to be one of the best. I have an air injection system that uses activated carbon and it failed in 3 years.... I need to replace the media... in the meantime i've been using Crystal Clean and it works very well, but I do plan to rebed my Fe fitler with Katalox at some point.,

Since your husband is a plumber I'd definately get the Air Injection Iron Fitler (you can buy one on Amazon and he can install it). Get one with Katalox media. Learn how to maintain it (rebuild the valve body every year) and you should be good to go.

But even if you DO get a dedicated Fe filter you will still need to clean your softener at least once, since it has been in service with iron in the water it is certainly partially clogged with Fe deposits.... here''s the rough math --- 1ppm Fe is worth about 3 grains hardness... assume you have 40grains hardness and 5ppm Fe in your raw well water.... your 80k softener should be good for about 1,200 gallons softened water (allowing for some margin... you don't want to go to the full 80k grains...). My guess is you're only getting 900 gallons out of it due to the clogged iron inside, and that's why you're getting iron and mineral depsits on your fixtures. you could test this with the Hach HA77. you need to clean it as described above no matter what you do.

BTW - once your husband learns about Fe filters and softeners he can start installing and maintaining them in your area and boost his income... I guarantee you there's many people in your ares fighting the same water problems....
 

Last edited by sky jumper; 04-17-20 at 06:38 PM. Reason: adding note
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Old 04-20-20, 05:19 AM
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Thank you all for the wealth of information! You have me some good directions to goo in and research more! Much appreciated!
 
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Old 09-14-20, 01:08 PM
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Update:

Here are the settings: Hardness 75, RC 200. We ended up installing a Pentair Fleck 5600SXT 80k grain water softener. We have it set to regen every 7 days or I think 800 gallons, I'd have to double check that. I had to keep decreasing it as it wasn't handling the load and getting hard before regen.

Here's our water test; (I'm using a TF-100 for pools, it's a pretty precise in-depth test kit, I hope it is sufficient.)
Straight from the well:
Hardness 600ppm
Copper 3
Iron 0
Alkalinity 80
pH 7.3 to 7.4

After softener:
Hardness 25-50ppm
Copper 3
Iron 0
Alkalinity 80
pH 7.2

Boiled water in a pot and it ends up with the white powdery residue. What do I need to add to my system to remedy this?

Water is still pretty yellow in toilet bowl and when refilled our hot tub from the softener. What could be causing that?

What can I add to this system to treat the water even more? The yellow tinge made me thing I needed another iron filter, but the iron test says 0. I have used the softener cleaner from Menards recommended, but it didn't seem to make a different visually in the toilet water.

Thanks in advance!
 

Last edited by PJmax; 09-14-20 at 08:54 PM. Reason: combined threads
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Old 09-14-20, 08:58 PM
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Threads combined for continuity.
 
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Old 09-15-20, 02:29 AM
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Thank you PJ.

Your water is extremely hard, hard water is defined as anything over 120 mg/l. Even after the water is treated your still at mild hard water rating so it's not surprising that you are seeing some mineral deposits.

If my math is right, 600 mg/l /17.1 x 300 gal per day (avg of 75 gal x 4 people) your water softener needs are 73K grains.

Your running your softener at the upper edge of performance!

You could add a second softener, of go with a twin tank design. I have never had any experience with either.

First thing, set the regen to every 3-4 days and see if that helps!
 
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Old 09-17-20, 04:52 AM
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We bought a Genesis 2 on Amazon and the install of it was not difficult. We found the directions to be detailed and easy to follow. Programming the unit was a snap. We had a question about testing the softness of the water after the install and the support team was very responsive and knowledgeable. As you can see from the test strip photo the unit is doing the job quite well.
 
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Old Today, 10:38 AM
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Ours is set to regen by gallons used. It's already regenerating every 4 days. Would it make sense to make it regen every 2 days to see if there is improvement. If so, then we likely need to add a second unit?

Is a Hardness 25-50ppm enough to have tinted yellow water and the white powder?
 
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Old Today, 11:16 AM
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Is a Hardness 25-50ppm enough to have tinted yellow water and the white powder?
I already answered that, your post treated water is still mildly hard.

Give it a try, you have nothing to loose!

I dont understand the yellow water, you show no iron, there may be other impurities in there!

Might want to do a follow up water test to see what they show!
 
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