New to Water Softening... Test Results

gbsim1October 12, 2012

We're building a new house and are several weeks away from occupancy.

The well was dug a few months ago and is currently at "hydrants" outside but hasn't been used in the house yet. That should happen this week.

We've moved to the land of limestone and hard water, so I know that we'll need to soften.

We're handy people (although we currently know zero about softening) and our plumber is on board to help install whatever parts we come up with.

Details: Well Water

Household of 2 full time

No special use items such as hot tub etc

Flow rate at hydrant very high (I seem to remember it was 20-25 gpm according to the well digger)

Water hit at 180'

I sent a sample into an independent lab and received the following results:

ND: The contaminant was not detected above the minimum detection level.

Unless otherwise indicated, results and standards are expressed as an amount in milligrams per liter or parts per million.

Total Coliform by P/A Total Coliform and E.coli were ABSENT in this sample.

Inorganic Analytes - Metals

Calcium 125.0 mg/L -- 2.0

Chromium ND mg/L

Copper ND mg/L

Iron ND mg/L

Lead ND mg/L

Magnesium 9.56 mg/L

Manganese ND mg/L

Potassium ND mg/L

Selenium ND mg/L

Silica 10.7 mg/L

Sodium 14 mg/L

Physical Factors

Alkalinity (Total as CaCO3) 300 mg/L

Hardness 350 mg/L

pH 6.7 pH Units

Total Dissolved Solids 410 mg/L

Turbidity 0.2 NTU

Inorganic Analytes - Other

Chloride 31.0 mg/L

Nitrate as N 2.3 mg/L

Nitrite as N ND

Sulfate 42.0 mg/L

Thanks in advance Justa and Alice for any help and advice you can provide.

Grace

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aliceinwonderland_id

Grace - Sorry, I missed your post.

Does your water have any odor? Sometimes this one is difficult to assess before living there.

Since this is a new well, it will be important to watch for sediment. You mentioned that your house is new construction. If there is other construction happening in the area, each new dig has potential to disrupt your well for a period of time. I suggest installing a sediment pre-filter to catch any temporary or ongoing sediment. Two "big blue" filters plumbed in parallel with valves to bypass each one works well. It will minimize pressure drop and allow you to bypass one filter to change a cartridge without shutting off water to your house. If you can install them in your pump-house upstream from your pressure tank, your whole system is protected. I prefer the clear housings so I can see sediment levels, but that is not a necessity. Pressure gauges installed before and after filtration will tell you if the filters need to be changed.

You want to ensure that the house is plumbed such that softened water does not go to outside water. You MAY want to have one outdoor spigot plumbed with soft water for car washing.

For your situation, a 1 cubic foot softener will do nicely, with a Fleck 5600SXT or equivalent control valve.

As you call around looking for prices and companies you feel comfortable with, specify that you want the following:

1. Gravel underbed - This ensures proper flow pattern to prevent channeling and provide good backwash.
2. Top distribution basket.
3. 8% cross-linked American made resin
4. Noryl bypass valve
5. Ask what type of service they provide after the sale. Can you call if you have installation questions? Will they assist with troubleshooting? Do they provide a detailed installation guide (in addition to the manual provided with the softener)? Do they employ technical staff (as opposed to just sales staff)?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 10:11AM
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gbsim1

Thanks Alice!!

Today our plumber suggested going ahead and installing two whole house filters . He's planning on installing them before the pressure tank and recommended a 25 micron filter followed by a 5 micron.

Thanks for the suggestion about the pressure valves as I hadn't thought of that either.

The water has no smell and no bad taste either. We're in a rural area on acreage and so I'm not worried about construction affecting things, but I do still occasionally see some sediment when opening a hydrant for the first time after it sits for a while.

Thanks SO much for the list of recommendations. I'd like to get this going this week. We're going ahead and bringing the water into the house this week since it's time to start putting in the fixtures. I'd love to minimize the time spent without a softener.

All outside spigots will be bypassed from the softener. Also we plumbed it so that the cold water at the kitchen sink can be "regular" water. Do you think this is a good idea?

Was Ohio Pure the company that was recently talked about here with good feedback?

Thanks again!

Grace

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 10:33PM
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aliceinwonderland_id

If you install two sediment filters in series as your plumber suggests, they should be larger filters to avoid too much pressure drop. Take a look at the specs on the filters your plumber suggests, or just ask what their max flow rate is and what pressure drop that will cause to ensure the pressure into your home stays high enough.

If you like the taste of your water, it's fine to have a line plumbed to the kitchen sink. However, if what you are talking about is one faucet where the hot is softened and the cold is not, you have some potential for buildup in your faucet after the mix valve as well as in your sink. It's your call, of course, but you might consider installing a separate drinking water faucet with the hard water plumbed to it and have all the water to your main faucet softened.

I have no problem with Ohio Pure, but I don't endorse any particular company that sells water treatment equipment. Take a look around - there are quite a few - see which one you are most comfortable with.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 11:05PM
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