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Water Quality/well water filters

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QUESTION: I recently purchased a home that has whole house filters for well water. We were low on PH, high on iron, high on nitrates, and high on manganese. The 3 filters we have are 1 for nitrates with a 740 logix timer, a neutralizer with an autotrol 440 timer and 163 valve, and a softener for iron and manganese with an autotrol 440 timer and 155 valve.
We had a fish odor to the water and were told that it was due to the iron/manganese filter getting stuck in a backwash cycle during a power outage. (but it is set to backwash at night and the outage was during the day). The odor kept occurring periodically and we noticed that the timer on the PH neutralizer tank was not keeping time. I have since gotten a home test kit and retested the water and ph was 6.5-8.5 range, nitrates were 5ppm range, and everything else (lead, hardness, bacteria, pesticides) were undetectable or negative.
We were told that each tank backwashes once per week, would this be correct? I want to make sure everything is backwashing properly and plan to replace the broken timer with a 460TC. We are a conservative family 2 adults and 3 children and use 1000-2000 gallons per week.
How often should the neutralizer backwash?
How often should the manganese/iron softener backwash?
How often should the nitrate filter backwash?
Are we correct in being told that each of the 3 tanks should backwash once per week and that our usage is not a factor?

ANSWER: Hi Jennifer;
Thanks for your question. The best advisor for your problems would be a certified water specialist who could do an on site evaluation and determination on the proper calibrations of your system and the proper maintainance of the system,including how often they should backwash and how long the cycle should be. They would advise you on the salt dosage your conditioner needs and what type of salt or additives may be required. Whoever told you that the usage isn't a factor is (to be kind) misinformed or mistaken. Usage is of primary concern. It should be obvious that a filter treating a hundred gallons a day has to backwash less often than if it were treating the same water at a thousand gallons per day usage!Home test kits may be good for aquariums but I think you need a professional to have an accurate analysis of your well. I know you say your filter is set to backwash at night but timers are only clocks and need re-set periodically. So if, as you say, you want to make sure everything is functioning properly I would suggest that you visit www.wqa.org. There you will find a certified water professional who will come to you,evaluate your situation and provide solutions based on his or her findings. They do this usually at no cost to you. Then you will have the facts you need to make an intelligent determination. There is an old adage I have used before it goes: "Only two kinds of people would attempt to repair a fine timepiece.. an expert watchmaker or a fool!"
I really don't think you are either of those so it might be best to get some onsite,professional help.I hope I have helped a little. Good Luck , Fred

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: We are at a crossroads in what to do because both local professional water conditioning companies have told us they set it to once per week for each tank regardless of usage. We had the water professionally analyzed and retested 4 times in December (we have only been here 2 mths). We've had the professionals out twice and their advice on once a week with no regard to usage did not seem right.

Answer
Hi Jennifer;
Awhile back you sent me a follow up to your question regarding regeneration of your system. I noticed that I did not answer. Sorry. What I think is your best option is a system utilizing a water meter and designed to regenerate after so many gallons of water has been used rather than a clock measuring time. Often the 'clock'-type either loses time or is subject to power outages,unless is has a battery backup!Ask the professionals if they have any equipment like that. Good luck!
Fred

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Fred E. Brunetti CWSV

Expertise

My field of expertise is in domestic water treatment. I am retired and have 28 years of experience in the water treatment field. I have earned the designation of Water Specialist, level five, from the Water Quality Association.I can offer help in the solution for private wells` problems as to `point of entry` and `point of use` treatments. these would include,disinfection,conditioning,and purification for drinking including reverse osmosis technology. Problems concerning well pumps,or plumbing or well drilling are out of my field,as well as commericial,industrial or municipal water treatment. I prefer to limit questions to the average homeowner`s use.Since retiring I have added consultation on the care and ,maintenance of domestic water treatment systems. These include filtration, conditioning/softening,chemical feed, and drinking water systems.

Experience

over 28 years testing private wells and application of various water treatment systems for a 65 year old water treatment company.Now retired and doing independent water consulting.BR>
Organizations
Water Quality Association

Organizations
Water Quality Association

Education/Credentials
WATER QUALITY ASSOCIATION CERTIFICATION AS WATER SPECIALIST V

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