Water softener/conditioner selection culligan vs. kinetico vs eco

davecoop1July 21, 2007

I just purchased a new house with well water. The previous owned had the old water softener removed because it was leased. I had four suppliers test the water and make a recommendation

Culligan measured the clear iron at 10 ppm and the hardness at 30 grains per gallon and the oxidized iron at .5 ppm

The recommendation was a Medallist 60000 water softener at $2000

Kinetico measure the clear iron at 10 ppm the total iron at 11ppm and the hardness at 20 gpg

The recommendation was a Mach 2100s at $3295

Ecowater or Servisoft  measure the iron at 7ppm and the hardness at 20gpg

The recommendation was a Ecowater 3500 R30 at $2349

The last supplier was a company called OmegaWater Treatment. He measured the iron at 7.5 ppm and the hardness at 11-12gpg. He suggested that no one piece of equipment (i.e. softener) was able to take out all this iron and hardness. He suggested an air injection iron and sulfur filter and a demand regeneration water conditioner but his price was only $2100 for both

Can anyone comment on all these suggestions? With 7plus ppm of dissolved iron can a traditional ion exchange softener remove all this iron? If so will I use a Âpile of salt each month? Will the water then have a significant sodium content making it bad to drink? Has anyone ever heard of Omega Water Treatment in Cortland Ohio?

Thanks to anyone for any help

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Living with well water is more comlpicated than living on a water system and requires some routine maintenance.

I would accept the highest tested levels as average and use them.

In general an ion exchange water softener will successfully treat about 3ppm of iron, no more. Kinetico does offer models that are designed to treat higher iron levels and, of course, they cost more.

Kinetico has been around a long time and has an extensive dealer/service network and a large and loyal customer base. One rarely sees anyone posting about problems with their Kinetico softeners.

Culligan has been around a long time also but are complained about more often on these forums.

ECO has also been around a long time. ECO, Culligan, and Kinetico are all proprietary desihns and parts and service are only available from their respective dealers. If you have a good dealer that doesn't matter but if you have a bad dealer... with real estateit's location, location, location, and with water treatment its' DEALER, DEALER, DEALER.

Ask lots of questions. Softening the entire house or just the water heater (bad idea)? Warranty, parts & labor or just parts, how long and on exactly what? Install, permits required, licensed plumber? Routine maintenance and costs? Do they stock parts? Response time for emergency (water leak) calls? If they don't explain things to your satisfaction that is a good indicator of how you'll be treated after the sale.

Ask your neighbors if they have any water treatment experience. They might tell you who's good or who to avoid.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 12:00PM
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With the correct resin, it is possible to remove iron up to 10 ppm with a softener. HOWEVER, 10 is maximum and well water varies so it is not recommended. If your iron goes up, you are sunk. The Omega rep was at least on to right track. The others, as good or bad as their companies may be, are just trying to sell you some equipment with, apparently, little understanding of their capabilities and limitations. Unfortunately this is a common problem in the residential water treatment industry. High profit, low technical ability.

There are a variety of methods to remove iron. Air-injection and filtration is one that works well, as do ozonization/filtration, greensand, and pyrolox (my personal favorite for homeowners). You may want to call local hotels or small commercial facilities such as dairies or other food production facilities (you'd be surprised how many there are) to see who they use for water treatment. You may be able to get better advice that way.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 8:43PM
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You have two types of iron, ferrous (clear) and Ferric (oxidized). A softener will not remove ferric iron anmd may cause valve problems. A softener like the 2100 Kinetico will handle that much iron but not the ferric type. A seperate filter or filtering system would be needed.

Never use a packed-bed type softener with that much iron and your tanks would need at least 1.5 cuft of resin at a high salt dosage/frequent regeneration schedule.

Some prefilters are effective at removing the ferric iron. Oxidizing systems (chlorine, ozone, H202, aeration, etc.) can treat all your iron but each has its limitations and advantages. Cost, space, effectiveness, 'babysitting' and available parts and supplies must be factored into selection.

I don't care for birm especially with that much iron and greensand filters, Uhm, who out there that has to work with them likes them? Not many. They are troublesome, not reliable and messy.

Since two companies measured around 7ppm and two around 10, I would error on the high side when it comes to iron. So figure 10ppm.

Andy Christensen, CWS

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 6:49PM
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