water systems help I dont want to be douped!

mrs.sergeantNovember 28, 2012

Hi! I am a newbie to posting but I have been lurking on this site for a year while we were building our house. It has been such a valuable resource and I'm so happy I found it!
I was really hoping I could get some non biased expert advice on some problems we are having with our water. I would be so appreciative for some input. We live on 1.5 acres brand new house on a well. The well is 140 ft deep and has problems with Iron at 2ppm, Hardness at 7gpg, PH is 6.5, and mild sulphur smell at .5. The TDS is 160 and we do have a slight bacteria with orange brown sludge in our toilet tanks and brownish orange water collecting in toilet bowls, dog bowl, bath water etc. The flow rate is 16 We have pex piping and wrisbow fittings so we are not worried about damage to those.
Please tell me your opinion on these systems or a suggestion on a better one, I have two estimates Ive narrowed down

Kinetico 2060 Ssoft, pgh line fitter and post carbon filter- $3135
Watercare 10x54 total water care conditioner with min plus pre filtration and post filtration $3600 plus need an outlet

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Without the following, there is no way to tell you a correct softener size:

1. How many people in your household?
2. Do you have plans to change the number in the household?
3. Frequent guests?
4. Do you have any high water use fixtures, such as jet tubs or mult-head showers?

Some concerns:

  1. 2 ppm iron does not tell us the form of the iron. Is it ferric (particulate) or ferrous (water is clear when drawn but gains color when allowed to sit)? With the correct resin, although it's not ideal, a softener can remove ferrous iron, but not ferric.

2. sulfur has the potential to foul your softener resin

3. It does not appear either company has really addressed the pH of your water.

Kinetico: This is a fine company that provides quality, reliable equipment. I find their prices to be on the high side, but many people have had years of trouble-free service so they are worth a look. I would ask about pH adjustment, however. Also, I would ask about the reason for the carbon filter they have suggested. What is a pgh line fitter?

Watercare: I have some real concerns about them. 1. Using chlorine to oxidize iron followed by filtration is fine. However, your softener should not be your filter. You will end up with poor filtration or poor soften, or both.

2. The system adds water to the salt to form the brine 4 hours prior to regen time. This is completely backward and only a company with little knowledge would use this method. Water should be added to the salt right after regen so it has plenty of time to dissolve. It takes 48 hours to obtain a strong brine solution. 4 hours absolutely will not do it unless you use warm water and constant agitation. Bad design. Period.

3. Propriety controls and equipment means you are married to the company(Kinetico has this same issue). I'm not a fan of proprietary items for water softening. Softening is not new tech and standard equipment is less expensive to purchase and work on and parts are readily available when needed.

4. What type of pre and post filtration? What will these filters remove from your water?

5. They state the optimum pH adjustment occurs at 3 gpm or lower flow rate AT MAXIMUM SALT SETTINGs. So, if you use more waster than that, your pH will not be where you want it. Additionally, your softener will have to be set for poor salt efficiency in order to achieve good pH adjustment.

6. Their spec sheet has zero information about pH adjustment and iron removal, aside from a note saying that neither will work if your conditions arene't just right.

7. I would dismiss Watercare entirely.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 7:20PM
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thank you soooo much for your informative input!
we currently have 2 people in our household but will prob have 1-2 kids in the next 5 years. We have no extra showerheads or jet tubs. Not frequent guests. It is a 3 bed 2 bathhome. They are both reputable dealers but they are each telling me the other persons system will not work for my issue agghhhh!
heres the exact verbiage for the watercare estimate

Water-Care 10" x 54" Total Care Water Conditioner with MinPlus (30%
WT-PBH4... Pre-Filtration
4.5" x 20" Bag Filter Housing and Bracket
50 Micron Bag Filter
4.5" x 10" Big Blue Housing
2501 Cartridge Filter
Installation & Labor for Water Treatment Equipment and Pressure Tank
Installed at Same Time

for kinetico 2060 s soft pgh line fitter may be the brackets he installs with it?? I dont know
post carbon filter package and pex fittings...

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 9:21PM
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You have complicated water and unfortunately that means there is no cheap, easy solution.

If they are specifying pre-filtration, either 1) They are concerned about particulates in your well water, or 2) This is just what they always do.

For two people, the size they have specified would be fine if it were a standard softener. However, for four people, it will be undersized. Here is what I would do:

1. Acid neutralizer. This will be a tank containing calcite that dissolves to neutralize the acid. A 2.0 cubic ft tank will allow 10 gpm flow rate, reasonable for your household. Maximum flow rate would be 20 gpm for unusual instances of high water use (short term only). This would add some additional hardness to you water, up to 5 gpg. Calcite would need to be added approximately annually.

2. Iron filter, such as Pyrolox, birm, Terminox, MangOX to removed iron, manganese, sulfates and particulates. This is catalytic iron removal and the system pretty much takes care of itself with periodic backwashes.

3. Softener. 2.5 cubic ft of standard size, 8% crosslinked resin

ALTERNATELY, if three separate pieces of equipment is a problem:

1. Acid neutralizer, same as above

2. Sediment filter (big blue or similar cartridge filter is fine)

3. Softener. 2.5 cubic ft of mine mesh resin. This will be better for iron removal.

As a general rule, I don't like softeners for iron removal, but they can work if we size them correctly. Realize that resin life will be shortened and there is more potential for problems. However, sometimes there are space and money constraints and we do what we have to do. My main concern with the alternate option is that it does not address the sulfates.

Kinetico suggests a carbon filter. I can only assume their thinking is that the carbon will remove the sulfates. This would be true if they were specifying hydrogen peroxide injection followed by catalytic carbon, but it does not appear to be the case. If this is what they are suggesting, the peroxide/catalytic carbon should be installed upstream from the softener.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 10:37PM
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On a slightly different note, if this is your first experience with a well, it also may be the first with a septic tank. While they do not make up large volume, hair and nail clippings do not decompose in the septic system. Put them in the trash can.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 10:30AM
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Aliceinwonderland, I'm wondering what you'd expect the cost of your alternative solution to be? Our numbers and situation are almost identical to the original poster's, but we have very limited space to implement a solution, hence the alternative's appeal. Cost is also an issue; in our last house, we paid Culligan over $4000 to install a system which we later found out was all wrong and caused us plumbing problems, AND was overpriced. Now we are apprehensive to do anything, for fear of being taken again.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2014 at 10:25AM
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If you are having a water treatment company come in and supply everything, $4000 wouldn't be out of line. The acid neutralizer will take up at least as much space as a softener so you would need room for three pieces of equipment - the neutralizer tank, the softener resin tank and the softener brine tank. If you have sulfides in your water as well, however, you may wish to reconsider and install iron/sulfide removal. At any rate, to the untrained eye, there can be a great deal of difference between "almost identical" water conditions, so water analysis details will be required before I can be of further assistance.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2014 at 1:00PM
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Bridget Helm

Not sure if this is what you're looking for or if it even can be used in your situation? But for wvat it's worth, we had an aquasans rhino whole house water filter in the last house we lived in and I loved it! I would like to get one eventually for the house we are renovating.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2014 at 12:05AM
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