Water conditioning systems
#21
  Re: Water conditioning systems by WxMan (Our home is in a rur...)
Mr. Mike

There is a government department that is in charge of well and septic systems for homes in your area.  They can tell you how can perform the tests.
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#22
  Re: RE: Water conditioning systems by Mr_Mike (Fair enough. Where ...)
(11-02-2018, 05:39 PM)Mr_Mike Wrote: When we bought the house, we had a hydrogen sulfide smell.  We bleached the well (and all inside plumbing) and that took care of it mostly.  Replaced the water heater anodes and that solved the smell.  However, we don't know if we still have bacteria that is harmful.  

So, I guess I'm asking, "to what level of detail do I need a water analysis and who to do it?  I have not been very successful in coming up a comprehensive testing house.

Sounds like what you were smelling is decomposing rust/iron in the hot water.  The bacteria from the iron interacting with your old anode created that smell. I guess you switched to an aluminum-zinc anode? The zinc kills most of that bacteria and reduces the smell. It's been a while since I read about that stuff but I think I'm pretty close. I put the same anode in this house and it did help a lot.

But that's telling me you have an iron problem. The fact that your well is in limestone tells me that you may also have PH issues (most wells do). You can expect to see bacteria in your well too. If it's not there ... buy a lottery ticket.

If you test the water yourself, make sure you buy the right kit. It won't be as accurate as a lab test but it will certainly highlight your main issues.  Some of the kits are pretty crappy. The PurTest kit at HD is pretty decent. Make sure you follow the directions to the letter and don't shock your well any time soon until after testing. From a home inspector's point of view, I'd steer clear of Pro-Lab kits.

Here's a link to the PurTest kit

[url=https://www.homedepot.com/p/PurTest-Home-Water-Analysis-Kit-777/202711663][/url]Any local plumbing suppler will be able to give you the name of a local lab if you're more comfortable with that. They may even have sample viles you can pick up and drop off there for testing.

I'll say it again. Use the information and go to the Ohio Pure Water site and fill in the info sheet. They'll read it and email a quote and an equipment break-down for a system set up to treat your issues. They are a lot cheaper than buying from a local supplier. You will also have to do a flow test and they'll give you instructions on how to do it. A salesman Won't call you. It's not like dealing with the Culligan Man r a high pressure water treatment company who will just sell you the most expensive thing he's got.

If you aren't comfortable installing it yourself, hire a plumber for the install. It took me about 6 hours and I'm not a plumber. A plumber should be able to do it quite a bit faster.
 
"My mortgage self-identifies as a student loan."
... Kizar Sozay


Neil Summers Home Inspections
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#23
  Re: RE: Water conditioning systems by Snipe Hunter ([quote='Mr_Mike' pid...)
(11-02-2018, 07:40 PM)aquaticjim Wrote: Mr. Mike

There is a government department that is in charge of well and septic systems for homes in your area.  They can tell you how can perform the tests.

I'd have to go look it up again, but if I recall correctly, the local Gov't recommendations seemed incomplete. One guy did pathogens, another guy did dissolved solids. I just want a guy to give me a comprehensive result. I didn't get to the point of even figuring out how to get them a water sample.

(11-03-2018, 10:33 PM)Snipe Hunter Wrote: Sounds like what you were smelling is decomposing rust/iron in the hot water.  The bacteria from the iron interacting with your old anode created that smell. I guess you switched to an aluminum-zinc anode? The zinc kills most of that bacteria and reduces the smell. It's been a while since I read about that stuff but I think I'm pretty close. I put the same anode in this house and it did help a lot.

But that's telling me you have an iron problem. The fact that your well is in limestone tells me that you may also have PH issues (most wells do). You can expect to see bacteria in your well too. If it's not there ... buy a lottery ticket.

If you test the water yourself, make sure you buy the right kit. It won't be as accurate as a lab test but it will certainly highlight your main issues.  Some of the kits are pretty crappy. The PurTest kit at HD is pretty decent. Make sure you follow the directions to the letter and don't shock your well any time soon until after testing. From a home inspector's point of view, I'd steer clear of Pro-Lab kits.

Here's a link to the PurTest kit

[url=https://www.homedepot.com/p/PurTest-Home-Water-Analysis-Kit-777/202711663][/url]Any local plumbing suppler will be able to give you the name of a local lab if you're more comfortable with that. They may even have sample viles you can pick up and drop off there for testing.

I'll say it again. Use the information and go to the Ohio Pure Water site and fill in the info sheet. They'll read it and email a quote and an equipment break-down for a system set up to treat your issues. They are a lot cheaper than buying from a local supplier. You will also have to do a flow test and they'll give you instructions on how to do it. A salesman Won't call you. It's not like dealing with the Culligan Man r a high pressure water treatment company who will just sell you the most expensive thing he's got.

If you aren't comfortable installing it yourself, hire a plumber for the install. It took me about 6 hours and I'm not a plumber. A plumber should be able to do it quite a bit faster.

You can get sulfur problems with or without Iron from what I have read. If you have iron, you will get the rust coloration, and I don't have that. Fortunately, the bacteria that produces the rotten egg smell is harmless. Doesn't mean I don't also have coliform problems. (or other pathogens)

I'd rather have a pro do a comprehensive test or tests. I'll give the guy who drilled the well a call for a local lab and see what they can do.

I'd likely install myself. This stuff is dirt simple to install. Just pipes and fitting. Biggest thing is I'll likely use ProPex and that requires a very expensive tool. I have plenty of garage wall space for an install.

They guy I had out was from a company that used Aquaedge products. He quoted $6k for a softener installed and warranted. But wait! If you commit right now, we will give you a 5 year supply of laundry cleaners (Amway type stuff) and a set of new pots and pans. I don't do high pressure sales pitches. I can buy the same capacity unit for under $2k. $500 in parts and tools and I'm done. But, I still need to figure out exactly what I'm filtering out. Without that, the rest is useless.
Rocket Science is more fun when you actually have rockets. 

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government." -- Patrick Henry
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#24
  Re: Water conditioning systems by WxMan (Our home is in a rur...)
Mr Mike

It sounds like you have a direction and are smart enough not to fall prey to sales people.  Limestone is a great filter.  It will slightly raise the pH of the water.  Lime is used in industrial water treatment to precipitate natural metals out of the water and give cleaner water.

Assuming you have a certain type of bacteria in the water based on smell would be a reach.  Again, see what you can do to get a water analyses.  You have to have an organic source nearby to get the bacteria.  If bacteria exits, it may come down to a simple bleaching of the well each year.

$2K would buy a lot of water treatment equipment. $6K installed from the local guy buys him a new car.
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#25
  Re: RE: Water conditioning systems by Mr_Mike ([quote='aquaticjim' ...)
(11-05-2018, 07:20 PM)Mr_Mike Wrote:  If you have iron, you will get the rust coloration 
 
Not necessarily true. Sometimes all you well see is a little black stuff in the toilet bowls. No rust at all. You'll probably see rust if it's real bad but dissolved iron might not leave much of a trace. It's there in a water test though.
 
"My mortgage self-identifies as a student loan."
... Kizar Sozay


Neil Summers Home Inspections
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#26
  Re: Water conditioning systems by WxMan (Our home is in a rur...)
Think I need to replace the resin beads in our softener, so I'm paying more attention than usual to these threads.

Thought I'd mention that Ask ToH had an episode with one of the citric-acid based conditioners:
  https://www.thisoldhouse.com/watch/ask-t...shadow-box


Matt
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#27
  Re: RE: Water conditioning systems by mdhills (Think I need to repl...)
(11-05-2018, 11:45 PM)mdhills Wrote: Think I need to replace the resin beads in our softener, so I'm paying more attention than usual to these threads.

Thought I'd mention that Ask ToH had an episode with one of the citric-acid based conditioners:
  https://www.thisoldhouse.com/watch/ask-t...shadow-box


Matt

That's the segment I saw that got me to thinking about alternatives to salt-based systems; I saw it many months ago, and I've been looking at various systems since.  The system cited by TOH is the NuvoH2O system; I mentioned it in the post that started off this thread.  It's pretty pricey.  My research led me to find other systems as well like the Aquasana.

Taking aquaticjim's advice, I've looked up a lab that will conduct a full water test for my system.  I need to contact them to establish a baseline of what's in my water.  After that, I'll decide which way I'm going to go.  Looks like that lab test will cost about $100.
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#28
  Re: RE: Water conditioning systems by WxMan ([quote='mdhills' pid...)
(11-06-2018, 08:45 AM)WxMan Wrote: That's the segment I saw that got me to thinking about alternatives to salt-based systems; I saw it many months ago, and I've been looking at various systems since.  The system cited by TOH is the NuvoH2O system; I mentioned it in the post that started off this thread.  It's pretty pricey.  My research led me to find other systems as well like the Aquasana.

Taking aquaticjim's advice, I've looked up a lab that will conduct a full water test for my system.  I need to contact them to establish a baseline of what's in my water.  After that, I'll decide which way I'm going to go.  Looks like that lab test will cost about $100.

Oops... looks like my "more attention" isn't "enough attention".

In the episode, they mentioned that the scale on the fixtures would gradually disappear after they started using the conditioner.  Is this because it is dissolving in the water (and no new deposits to offset), or is there some residual acidic component that is facilitating this?

Our current softener was through Gary Slusser's Water Quality Asssociates -- where you do a water test and discuss the system capacities needed, and they end up shipping an unbadged Clack controller with the brine and resin tanks and other tidbits.  Reminded me of the post mid-thread for ohio pure water.  I will say that my original calculations and settings resulted in almost no salt being used, so I did end up bumping those numbers up.

I'm not aware of any local push-back on the salt discharge (which seemed to be one of the motivations for the citric-acid based system in the Ask ToH episode)


Matt
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#29
  Re: RE: Water conditioning systems by WxMan ([quote='mdhills' pid...)
(11-06-2018, 08:45 AM)WxMan Wrote:   Looks like that lab test will cost about $100.

Money well spent
 
"My mortgage self-identifies as a student loan."
... Kizar Sozay


Neil Summers Home Inspections
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#30
  Re: Water conditioning systems by WxMan (Our home is in a rur...)
When you take the water sample. make sure you triple rinse the container and fill it to the very top.  Water is the universal solvent and everything will dissolve in it including air.  This is an issue with iron in a water sample.  The sample when taken can look very clear but as it sits, gasses dissolve in the water and the iron can precipitate out.  In your house, the water in the toilet bowl may look clear but there is a red or brown film on the porcelain surface.  The dissolved iron is dropping out of solution and clinging to the bowl.

If you have a method to check pH,  it is best to take that as soon as soon as it comes out of the faucet.  A god lab can use that information to pH balance the sample before testing.
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