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Carbon and Resin combination in EcoWater 3500 Refiner

Posted by MTech8 (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 6, 13 at 13:34

I'm looking into EcoWater's 3500 refiner. It has carbon and resin within the same tank. I read a few threads that talked about how resin and carbon don't mix (Excerpt1). I asked a EcoWater rep and go the following rebuttal. Does the rebuttal have any ground? Never having to recharge the carbon doesn't sound right. Is this possible? Infinite regenerating source of carbon?

Except 1 (don't remember where I got it from):
I agree that carbon and resins should not be mixed. They are basically the same specific gravity and will blend during backwashings. The advantage of removing chlorine to protect the resins is soon lost. Moreover, the resins are hard and the carbon brittle. The resin will grind the carbon into fines and they will be backwashed out every time it regenerates. There is usually little need to 'replace' carbon as it is mostly gone, depleted.

Moreover, the resins are hard and the carbon brittle. The resin will grind the carbon into fines and they will be backwashed out every time it regenerates. There is usually little need to 'replace' carbon as it is mostly gone, depleted.

Rebuttal 1
Industry standards have the backwash on water softener/refiner washing from top to bottom which means, the brine solution is washed over the resin and flows down. This can create channeling where the system mixes carbon and resins and problems occur. EcoWater backwashes from the bottom up not the top down I agree that carbon and resins should not be mixed. They are basically the same specific gravity and will blend during backwashings. The advantage of removing chlorine to protect the resins is soon lost.

Furthermore the carbon unit never needs to be recharged.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Carbon and Resin combination in EcoWater 3500 Refiner

Are you on a municipal water system? If yes, then antibacterials are added to make the water safe. If you choose to remove those antibacterials, and there are arguments pro and con to doing that, use a separate back washing carbon filter installed before an industry standard softener rather than a proprietary all-in-one cabinet design with mixed media.

All the hardware will cost much less than just the ECO softener. Separate units are easier to service. Tech info is readily available free on the net. Parts are readily available and a lot cheaper than for an ECO. There's always someone just about everywhere who sells and services Fleck or Autotrol or Clack based systems and parts. You are not married to or at the mercy of the ECO dealer.


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RE: Carbon and Resin combination in EcoWater 3500 Refiner

Hi. Justaluker.

Yes. I am on municipal. Thanks for your input. Definitely good information. Would you have an input on whether the EcoWater mixed system works? Does it work? Does it have problem? And does carbon not need to be recharged.

Noted the benefits of the separate units. Definitely part of my consideration.

Btw. the pro/cons of removing the antibacterial from my research is:
pro- prolongs life of resin
cons- possible bacteria in pipes? uhm.. is this why I get reddish rings around the water where the toilet sits?

Anything else I should be concerned with?


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RE: Carbon and Resin combination in EcoWater 3500 Refiner

Anti-bacterials are added to water systems for a reason.

The amount of anti-bacterials added is specified and regulated.

Most QUALITY softeners installed on municipal water systems will use 8% or 10% cross-linked resin which generally lasts over 10 years in service. The 8% premium resin in my softener is 10 years old and shows no signs of mushing or failure of any kind. I've disassembled softeners on municipal systems that were 20 years old and the resin was fine. How long would you expect it to last with or without anti-bacterials? Anonymous resin will have a shorter service life under all circumstances.

Bacterial colonization can manifest in fixtures, pipes, and appliances, There can be more serious consequences than a ring in a bowl.

Most water treatment professionals will advise against mixed media beds while all salespeople who sell proprietary softeners with mixed beds will tell you that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

The secrets are...

1. Identify exactly what in the water needs to be treated and treat it properly.

2. Correctly size the softener.

3. Choose a softener made up of first tier industry standard components.

4. Set the softener up for efficient operation.

5. Install the softener correctly.

6. Do routine maintenance on the softener.

This post was edited by justalurker on Wed, Feb 6, 13 at 15:38


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RE: Carbon and Resin combination in EcoWater 3500 Refiner

Furthermore the carbon unit never needs to be recharged.

If your Ecowater salesman is telling you this he is either: 1) Lying, or 2) Ignorant. Neither is optimal. Carbon can only remove a certain capacity of chlorine from water. Once capacity is reached it will remove no more, but will release some during pressure bumps. The carbon will absolutely, positively, without-question, have to be replaced. The only question is, "When?" and that is determined by the carbon characteristics and the level of chlorine in your water. What is certain is that the carbon would require replacement many years before your resin would need to be replaced, ensuring that you incur higher maintenance costs than you would if you kept the carbon and resin separated in two different pieces of equipment.


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RE: Carbon and Resin combination in EcoWater 3500 Refiner

Thanks! justaluker and aliceinwonderland_id, this has definitely been good information.

I think the Culligan sales rep actually mentioned something about if a certain valve was put in and something was backflushed that the carbon would last forever. I didn't pay much attention to this and was thinking in aftermath if that is what EcoWater technology used. At any rate, aliceinwonderland_id's explanation makes more sense to me.

I'm most likely going to stay away from EcoWaters now. The sales rep was selling me on the "lifetime warranty".. but then the written one clearly says 5 or 10 year depending on the part. Just too many things not adding up.


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