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Thread: Recommendation for a new setup

  1. #1
    gmobley is offline Junior Member
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    Default Recommendation for a new setup

    Hi,

    I am reviewing my options for setting up a filtration system. I apologize for the length of the post as I'm trying to cover a lot of ground.

    Here's the background.

    Our water is supplied from a multi-well community water system in NC which is delivering treated water with following attributes:

    Hardness 5 grains
    ph 6.2
    iron 0.3
    nitrate 1 ppm
    sulfur 1 ppm
    chlorine 1ppm
    manganese 0.10
    Trihalomethanes 0.27
    TDS 85 ppm
    Fluoride 0.07
    Sulfate 3.36 ppm
    Chloroform 1.30 ppB

    My goals are:

    1) To solve the slight rust and manganese issue (iron colored toilet reservoir) but no discoloring of the fixtures themselves
    2) Reducing or eliminating further iron / manganese accumulation in the CPVC plumbing which after 10 years surprised both me and my plumber and possibly caused a problem with some valves I had to have replaced.
    3) Removing the chlorine and future chloramines as I've been told we may be switching treatments in the near future
    4) Whatever I do, low maintenance is key as I do not what to be changing filters every 3 months, hence the larger 20" filters, nor do I want to have to dump the larger media tanks and refill.
    5) The setup must be reliable (Pentek and 3M filter housings)
    6) The setup must be easy to judge the condition of the media (hence the clear Pentek housings).
    7) The setup must use 1" NPT connections to maintain flow rates
    8) Outside faucets are NOT on the direct house feed and will not be routed thru anything I do

    Regarding the iron / manganese - I had a whole house carbon filter installed for the kitchen legs originally 10 years ago and when we removed it recently for some other work, the input side of the CPVC FlowGuard Gold tubing had a black / brown coating (iron / manganese) while the filtered side (simple carbon filter) looked almost new. This set me off because I had an issue with two control valves which may have been affected by these accumulations.

    I've considered installing a simple serial water filtration setup and MAYBE a softer but am not sure what my best value is given my specs. I'm pretty sure I do not want to get into the large replaceable media solutions where I have to dump and replace the media (carbon or KDF,...) every 3 - 5 years. That's why the AP903 caught my attention with is 100,000 gallon ratings and I do not want to create a breeding ground for bacteria either on GAC.

    My 3 person family uses about 1600-2000 gallons of water per month and I have 1" feed lines for the main feeds and would like to not restrict these feeds.

    Some of the commercial "treatment" units I've looked at, such as Hague offer to treat the entire package but I am not sure they offer me the best value or whether they would solve all my issues. I cannot find a lot of "reviewed" info about the Hague units.

    Instead of in addition to a softener, I am looking at using the following serial filters:

    1) A CLEAR (so I can monitor) 20" x 4.5" Pentek "Big Clear" coupled with a Radial Flow Reduction Cartridge for the IRON / Manganese. Given the gallonage we use and specs, this cartridge should last 3 years based on gallons used but I would probably change it every 12 - 18 months.

    2) One of the newer 3m AP903 Carbon / 5 micron whole house filters with 1" connections. Rated for > 100,000 gallons which is 3-4 years at my usage rate.

    3) A final polishing filter perhaps a 1 micro simple filter again in a CLEAR 20" x 4.5" Penteck Big Clear so I can see how well the other two filters are working with the Iron / Manganese.

    FWIW, I am having trouble locating the Pentek 20" Big Clear filter housings. Everyone has the "Big Blue" version.. any suppliers?

    Overall, does the community have specific recommendations for what I should consider given these spec values and my goals or what the best options would be for my situation. I'd like to fix the the few problems we have in the most cost effective way possible and also protect some of the automatic valves I just had replaced.

    Any advice from the experts out here would be welcome.

    Thank You.

    G. Mobley
    Last edited by gmobley; 05-27-2010 at 05:46 AM.

  2. #2
    Akpsdvan is offline Senior Member
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    My idea would be to take this one step at a time..
    The pentek filters that you are talking about will not be long lasting.
    If you are looking for soft water in the end there will need to be a softener, there is no way around that.
    Ph correction can be with soda ash injection or calcite..
    Calcite will correct the ph to 7 and might filter out some of the iron and it might just might take out some of the Mn that you have.
    If the calcite filter has a backwashing valve on it, it should back wash about every 3-5 days.
    Carbon of about 2 cubic foot will handle the chlorine and some of the taste that you have in the water and would most likely be replaced about every 3-4 years if not a bit longer if it was under a backwashing valve..
    I would stay away from the Hague all in one unit, not enough room in the tank to really move around the media in back wash or cleaning cycle.

  3. #3
    gmobley is offline Junior Member
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    Maybe I misunderstood but short of using Stainless Steel filter housings, from my research and talking to folks, the Pentek "Big Blue" filter housings is one of the the better brands along with 3M's line and maybe the Watts. I wanted to use the Pentek "Big Clear" housing so I could see the state of the filter, which will be in my basement, not exposed to sunlight etc. but I'm having trouble locating someone who carries them in the 20" x 4.5" model. Everyone seems to have the "Big Blue" Penteks.

    Are there another filter housing brands which are superior, less trouble with leaks and removal, parts etc..

    Or did I misunderstand?

    Thanks, G. Mobley

  4. #4
    NH Master is offline Senior Member
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    Calcite backwashing filter then softner then carbon filter. You could also go with an RO under the kitchen sink but I don't think iot's really needed.
    For equipment, Fleck or Clack. I like flecks stuff a little better. The valve is much more rugged than clacks though the Clack is slightly easier to service and I stress slightly.

  5. #5
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    Having a clear sump will not really diagnose the condition of the filter and would be rather superficial. A better means of determining the effectiveness of a sediment filter would be placing pressure gauges on either side and monitoring pressure loss during flow.

    If your water has staining minerals, eventually te clear housing would become stained and even placing a brand new filer element in it, you would have difficulty seeing its 'condition'.

    Having a clear sump will not help you tell if the carbon filter for removing chlorine is still effective. That would require a chlorine test kit.

    Actually, there are very few advantages to clear housings and they are always more expensive. If you wanted to customize the filter, get a standard one and drill/tap a hole in the bottom and place a drain with a ball valve. That way when you want to change the filter, you can completely drain it. It also serves as a periodical maintenance method. Just drain a little once in a while to see what has accummulated in the sump over a given period of time.

    Andy Christensen, CWS-II
    Last edited by rscardigno; 05-14-2010 at 11:55 PM.

  6. #6
    NH Master is offline Senior Member
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    with the exception of Fleck

  7. #7
    Akpsdvan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    Nope, no exceptions. The Clack WS-1 has the latest improved version of the Fleck seals, spacers piston design, and the Clack WS-1 was invented by three ex Fleck engineers with over 72 years experience at Fleck; 28, 22 and 18 years.

    No commonly available Fleck valve has all the features of the Clack WS-1 CS and no Fleck control is as simple and quick to repair.
    But even the Clack has some cons.. if there is high iron or grit in the water that is not taken out before the valve it will do a number on the seals that clack is using.
    And there is no trading around of still good seals or spacers from valves that have been worked over on a rebuild and a few good parts are still usable, the Clack is an all or nothing meaning that there is no chance to save a customer some money by using still good parts , but rather a full new kit.

    Yes Fleck should have grown into what the clack valve is today... but the Fleck is a better valve than the Autotrol or Sears valves and even better than the Culligan valve for the new and up graded Mark 89 Mark 812.. the valve is the same, just the controls are upgraded to new elect...

  8. #8
    NH Master is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    Nope, no exceptions. The Clack WS-1 has the latest improved version of the Fleck seals, spacers piston design, and the Clack WS-1 was invented by three ex Fleck engineers with over 72 years experience at Fleck; 28, 22 and 18 years.

    No commonly available Fleck valve has all the features of the Clack WS-1 CS and no Fleck control is as simple and quick to repair.

    You should start the paragraph with. " In my opinion" because there are still an awful lot of us out there that service these things on a daily basis and we much prefer Fleck. Ak is correct. Though the Clack valve is a nice piece of equipment it is very intolerant of sediment. Fleck is an industry standard and has been used sucessfully for many years on a crap load of OEM equipment.

  9. #9
    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan
    But even the Clack has some cons.. if there is high iron or grit in the water that is not taken out before the valve it will do a number on the seals that clack is using.
    In over 1400 sales over 6.5 years, some on iron up to 13 ppm and on turbidity filters for muddy water, I have not found that to be true. You don't sell the valve so you are repeating gossip.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan
    And there is no trading around of still good seals or spacers from valves that have been worked over on a rebuild and a few good parts are still usable, the Clack is an all or nothing meaning that there is no chance to save a customer some money by using still good parts , but rather a full new kit.
    I think you are trying to say that you can't change a stack (seals and spacers) without a new piston too. Clack or Fleck, you should always replace the the seals and spacers and piston, not one or the other because you can't see microscopic damage on either. Otherwise it's like changing your engine's oil but not the filter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan
    Yes Fleck should have grown into what the clack valve is today... but the Fleck is a better valve than the Autotrol or Sears valves and even better than the Culligan valve for the new and up graded Mark 89 Mark 812.. the valve is the same, just the controls are upgraded to new elect...
    That I agree with. The Culligan copy of the Fleck valves is nowhere as good as Fleck or Clack, many more and cheaper parts and difficult to work on for a DIYer customer. Plus they can't get parts from Culligan.

  10. #10
    NH Master is offline Senior Member
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    Well thanks for your opinion. I will take it for what it is worth.

  11. #11
    Akpsdvan is offline Senior Member
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    Here goes another thread.. off in to the wild blue never to be heard from again..

    This is information not a forum to SELL.....

    My information on the Clack valves is from a Man that I have known for 20 years. He was at Alamo... then Fleck.. now at Clack. So what I have said is correct even if one may not like it.
    I do not sell them yet, but service a number of them when the need comes up.

    Selling is one thing.. field work with getting the hands dirty is another.

  12. #12
    Driller1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan
    Here goes another thread.. off in to the wild blue never to be heard from again..

    This is information not a forum to SELL.....

    My information on the Clack valves is from a Man that I have known for 20 years. He was at Alamo... then Fleck.. now at Clack. So what I have said is correct even if one may not like it.
    I do not sell them yet, but service a number of them when the need comes up.

    Selling is one thing.. field work with getting the hands dirty is another.
    Agreed, same thing again!!!
    Trying to help people NOT get cheated ON THE NET.

  13. #13
    NH Master is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser

    As to selling... what do you see me selling other than accurate information? What I see you selling is your misinformation aimed at me. Why does it bother you if someone on a forum contacts me and buys something from me? I don't sell what the owners of this or any other forums sell. And I bring the forums traffic.

    BTW, I don't think anyone from this forum has ever bought anything from me. And I don't sell pumps (since early 2005) but I have helped many people with pump problems. And then there are forums that I don't post on that I get sales from.
    Accurate information in your opinion. In the opinions of a whole lot of other professionals that service these things every day.... not so much.

    I am looking at the traffic over a another site. There has not been a post on the filters threads for 4 make that 5 days now. I wonder why? So much for bringing "traffic" But, let's get back to the issue. Clack, Fleck, Kinetico, Culligan, GE, for 90% of the folks that have filtration equipment whatever they buy is going to work as advertised as long as it was properly installed and maintained. We might as well argue Ford VS Chevy. You love Clack, fine, sell Clack. I don't limit myself, I sell and install both. BTW I note you also sell Fleck on your site so you haven't closed that door yet either.
    Last edited by NH Master; 05-16-2010 at 07:01 AM.

  14. #14
    gmobley is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    You will not be happy with any disposable cartridge filter. You will not get 100k gals, or be able to determine the condition of the filter by looking at it.

    You do not have ferrous iron or dissolved manganese in chlorinated water, you have particulate matter (that is harmless) caused by the oxidizing chlorination. The coating inside your water lines is not the problem you think it is; actually it is normal, and the plumber should have known that.

    A backwashed AN (acid neutralizing) filter followed by a softener is the right way to go. Both should have a Clack WS-1 control valve on them; there is no better control valve on the market.
    Hi!

    Yes, I agree - pressure differential is the best way to measure a filters lifespan. I had planned on putting those on the filters.

    3M's AP903 is rated for 100K gallons so I do understand that YMMV depending on chlorine loads. The attractive part of the filter is very easy change out, no wrenches etc.. and based on my 24K gallons of use per year, I'd probably not have to change it more than once per year unless the chlorine taste/smell returned which is my wife's biggest concern.

    I'm not a chemist, so I do not understand your comments about ferrous iron and manganese, oxidation. Would you explain? Are you saying I do not have an ferrous iron / manganese problem? I assumed I had a "clear water" iron / slight manganese issue and the chlorine. Educate me (and my plumber)... please!

    What's inside my pipes as the insides of the 1" CPVC were literally black/brown when I removed them to replace an expensive control valve which has an optical sensor. This black/brown gunk is what I believed caused the optical sensor to fail and then the control valve.

    If this is particulate matter residue from the chlorination coating my pipes, shouldn't a small micron filter be able to remove it?

    Thanks, G. Mobley

  15. #15
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    [QUOTE=gmobley]Hi!

    Yes, I agree - pressure differential is the best way to measure a filters lifespan. I had planned on putting those on the filters.
    Yes, this simple method is quite effective at determining the filter life of cartridge type filters designed for sediment or particulate matter.

    3M's AP903 is rated for 100K gallons so I do understand that YMMV depending on chlorine loads.
    Of course, carbon life depemnds on a few factors including total uage and chlorine concentration.

    The attractive part of the filter is very easy change out, no wrenches etc.. and based on my 24K gallons of use per year, I'd probably not have to change it more than once per year unless the chlorine taste/smell returned which is my wife's biggest concern.

    I'm not a chemist, so I do not understand your comments about ferrous iron and manganese, oxidation. Would you explain?
    As many elements come in a dissolved state (ferrous iron-Fe2) is converted to a precipitant by an oxidation process they become a visible solid (Ferric iron-Fe3 or rust) and these can leave stains

    Are you saying I do not have an ferrous iron / manganese problem?
    Your iron at 0.3 ppm is at a point whereby staining can begin to be noticed if not treated.

    I assumed I had a "clear water" iron / slight manganese issue and the chlorine. Educate me (and my plumber)... please!
    Chlorine is an oxidant and this will cause iron to convert. It is very possible to have ferrous iron even in chlorinated water supplied by municipal service depending on other treatment aspects.

    What's inside my pipes as the insides of the 1" CPVC were literally black/brown when I removed them to replace an expensive control valve which has an optical sensor. This black/brown gunk is what I believed caused the optical sensor to fail and then the control valve.
    Did I miss the valve yo0u are speaking of? Optical sensor? The stains on the insides of the pipes are evidence of elements traveling though the city lines and reaching your home.

    If this is particulate matter residue from the chlorination coating my pipes, shouldn't a small micron filter be able to remove it?
    Well, yes, to a point of the micron rating. To answer your questions as to why you would need a AN filter for the low pH: No, a softener is not meant to correct low pH problems. A mineral based AN filter will also act as filter to remove more efficiently the particles that your cartridge would. It is more expensive, of course.

    Andy Christensen, CWS-II


    Thanks, G. Mobley

  16. #16
    gmobley is offline Junior Member
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    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for the follow-up. The info on the AN is helpful to those of us who do not handle the info daily. There are so many options.

    See my earlier post about a breakdown, but chlorine tested out a 1ppm and as part of doing this, we want the chlorine eliminated.

    Yes, we see staining in the rear of the toilet but do not have staining in the polished sections of the bowl.. at least none we can see.

    We are on a community well system which has treated water and from the analysis (see first post), they are using chlorine.

    The FloLogic is a whole house monitoring and auto cut-off value which uses an optical sensor to detect water flow as low as 1 oz / min. The original (early prototype) valve failed and I suspect now the optical port was blocked from the red/black crude on the incoming pipes (no filtering before the valve). I also had a 1" CPVC valve in line before the floLogic which had to be replaced because it froze up and would not close completely. I suspect both failures are related to the red/black gunk we saw when we cut the lines which is likely the iron/manganese combo from the chlorine treatment in the community system.

    Did I also mention I live in the end of a cul-de-sac and probably get all the gunk flushed my way?

    I assume if I use an AN filter, that will harden the water and hence a softener will need to be used afterwards?

    I do want low / easy maintenance in a KISS package. I don't mind changing filters every 6 - 24 mths but I've never handled the larger tank solutions which look like they might be a pain to change or refill.

    The confusing thing is the chlorine / VOC filters like the 3M AP903 have ratings which force them to be changed much less often.

    I was considering something like the following, all 1":

    25micron -> 10 micron -> 1 micron -> AP903 -> floLogic -> good on-demand softener min 48K (needed flow rate for showers).

    Sounds like I may need to drop an AN filter somewhere in the flow.

    Thanks! GC Mobley

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