Acid Neutralizer Options

toopiddogApril 28, 2011

We are finally getting around to addressing the ph of 5.1 for our well water before our copper pipes are eroded away. Luckily are mineral load is very load, so our water will not turn hard by adding a neutralizing system. I had one person come out and he recommended an upflow system. My understanding is a downflow system needs a drain, and the Septic rules in the state (Title V-Massachusetts) do not allow drainage into the septic for this kind of thing. I would have to get a dry well for the downflow system. He doesn't sell injecting systems because they often need fixing because the injecting site eventually gets blocked. He states most of his customers use him to do the about yearly change in Calcium Carbinate/Mg, which runs around $250, which seems a little high. There are also two filters that will need replaced, which we can do. The downflow systems I was researching seem to all indicate we could do it ourselves. Just any thoughts on the subject, especially from people that have acid neutralizer systems.

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Mineral load is very load. ??? Not sure what you mean there. How would adding an AN not make your water harder?

Where did the recommendation for the upflow be placd in the sequence of water equipment?

Could explain a little more about not being able to drain to your private septic system? Is there a volume problem or contamination problem?

At 5.1pH (or there abouts) you may need a different system than an upflow or backwashing system. What are your hardness, Iron and TDS counts.

Andy Christensen

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 9:32AM
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Sorry, I meant low. The hardness and mineral content is very low, looks like shallow well but it isn't. So there will not be a problem with hardness. (iron is 0.01 mg/L)

Title V legislation is Massachusetts is interpreted by towns to mean that I cannot drain a treatment system into a septic system, so I would need to dig a dry well if I needed to drain from the system, which adds a lot to the cost. Draining outside is problematic because of freezing in the winter, hence the recommendation for an upflow system.

My understanding of the upflow placement is after the tank with two lines (one in/one out) with filters. I course I could completely be misunderstanding the drawing he did.

What other neutralizing system is there, beside injection which my understanding is they tend to clog up and have problems.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:13PM
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If this helps anyone, my well water is great as far as hardness goes, only issue is ph=6.5. 17 yrs ago I put in Rainsoft neutralizer. Yearly maintenance was about $150, all was great. UPgraded to newest mechanical head (dials, backflush control etc) in around 2004. Tried to get service in 2007 and they charged me an extra fee for being 45 min away. I was mad, so didn't have them back. Water's been ok, but slowly went back to 6.5. Long story short, last night (Nov 2012) the backflush stuck on. I browsed the 'net, found this site and read about Fleck, Culligen, Kinetico.
Should I rip out the whole Rainsoft and start over? Should I try to fix it? Prices of Flecks seemed to be $650 or so.

But just to give Rainsoft another chance (I really liked the resulting water), I located another dealer about the same distance, called and they didn't charge any extra fee. I spent an hour describing all of the above, and got the following:
option 1: replace current mechanical head with like kind = $800
option 2: replace it with all new digital head=$1350
option 3: since I'd had the upgrade to the newer mechanical head, swap it out with digital but keep piston, motor, seals=$775. Lengthy discussions ensued, including my question why not get a whole new Fleck?
Answer was Fleck makes Rainsoft head, an exclusive and higher end version.
Why not get a new tank and all for cheaper than option 3?
Ans: be careful about the tank. It may be fiberglass, but if it is "blown", or molded and not spun, it can eventually give way under the constant pounding of the on/off of the pressure tank. The spun tanks are rotated at high speed while 3 miles of fiber randomly wrapped to be really strong, lifetime.

So, I scheduled for them to do option 3, and am keeping my fingers crossed. FWIW, I have really liked the water from this neutralizer unit (uses a blend of calcium carbonate and manganese) and other than my lack of getting service, and that one 'extra mileage' fee, have been very happy with it.

One more note of caution, I live in MD and the Rainsoft guy said to check with homeowners insurance about installing and servicing it yourself. He said that MD defines a warranty invalid if not done by a master plumber or liscensed water service guy, and some homeowners insurance will use that to deny coverage of flooding or damage from the unit. So saving $150 or so a year might cost $5000 in damage. Just be aware.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 3:44PM
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Your story should help people - it should serve as an example of the type of sales tactics people fall for. It MIGHT be reasonable to pay $775 for your option 2, but certainly not option 3. Or, you could have purchased it yourself and had a plumber install it. You were robbed. Sorry.

Did you actually call your insurance provider or the state? I suspect you were sold a bill of goods on that as well. True, improper installation can void a warranty, but DIY does not equal improper. Hopefully someone who actually knows something about Maryland code will chime in.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:50PM
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