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Iron filter Alpha Water, AFE10p-J8 not working

 
 
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 06:14 pm
I paid $1000 for this thing. It's been in for around 7 years and I don't thing the thing has ever worked. Our water softener has been doing all the work. As soon as the salt runs low or out the iron is there in force.
I called out the installer and he said it was just low on potassium permanganate. He filled it and still it does not work. It seems to slowly use the potassium permanganate but it never really takes out any iron. This is a greensand filter. I have the thing out of the piping and want to take a look at what the heck is wrong. Any suggestions on where to start. Someone told me the greensand being heavy forms channels inside so the backflush does not go through the media, it justs shoots through and does not rejuvenate. Help!!
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H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 11:02 pm
Potassium permanganate green sand systems are not very efficient or user friendly.
What is the Ph of your water? If it is 6.9 or lower you need a backwashing acid neutralizer - only then can you address the iron.
One of the ETF Iron filters from ECOwater is a good choice to reduce iron before softening.
Andy CWS
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2008 08:03 am
@H2O MAN,
I don't care for greensand that requires potassium permanganate as a regeneration solution. It can be very messy and many service tech don't working witht them. Sometimes your service water can turn reddish in color which means the pot-perm didn't completely backwash out. Backwashing rates must be exact to avoid this.

There is a newer and better media called GreensandPlus that doesn't require pot-perm. But becareful, there are some requirements for operation, as I have seen some advise to just backwash it withouit any chemical feed.

This has a wider pH range.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
Gary Slusser
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2008 10:35 am
@Andy CWS,
I've heard of greensand clumping but not channeling, it's too heavy to channel. More likely your mineral is loaded up with rust due to insufficient backwashing or not enough potassium permanganate being used; the dose. Being low on PP is an excuse, the amount in the tank has nothing to do with anything unless none could be sucked out of the tank; then the filter wouldn't get the right amount one time and none the subsequent regenerations until more was added. Did you allow that to happen?

Taking it apart isn't going to do you much good unless you are going to replace then greensand. If you do and you use a different mineral, you have to use one that regenerates because of your regenerating type of control valve, unless you convert it to backwashed only. That may be difficult to impossible depending on the brand and model of control valve.

So tell us more of the history and size, age of this filter and how much hardness, iron, manganese, the pH and anything else you know about the raw water quality.
0 Replies
 
Andy CWS
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2008 12:17 pm
@Ray Moore,
Clumping IS the otherside of the coin of channelling. Certain portions of the media "clump" forming large solid sections forcing water to go around (channelling) the clumps and moves whatever loose media remains.

Channelling an also occur with loose media when backwash pressure, frequency and/or volume may be deficient.

Simply changing your filter from regenerating into a backwashing is technologically possible with some valves. Simply changing the media to perform the desire results, may be more difficult.

Beware of those who say Greensand Plus needs only to backwash without some regenerant.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
Gary Slusser
 
  0  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2008 01:11 pm
@Andy CWS,
You can spin it anyway you want but if you want to be correct... Clumping must be present before your "channeling" can occur.

So the proximate cause of the problem is insufficient backwashing so you can't have channeling without clumping happening first but....

Moves loose media!! LOL Man that's a stretch even for you Andy! LOL

Channeling means the capacity of the media, resin in a softener or mineral in a filter, is exhausted!

You really think that greensand or any other heavy filter mineral, or resin in a channelized softener, is moving around in the service position huh. LOL, where does that loose moving media go? And you're WQA Certified Water Specialist II and supposed to know what you're talking about! WOW, they owe you a refund.

I suspect that you being a salesman for a Kinetico dealer you've never done it but with my instructions anyone wanting to can change mineral in a filter or resin in a softener in about 45 minutes.

ummmm I wonder what else you're wrong about...
0 Replies
 
John J CWS VI CI
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 09:56 am
Hello Ray,

Sorry you're having trouble with the filter. As suggested, there may be a couple of causes to the failure of the unit to operate. You need to first look at the whole water system. Backwashing is a must, so your well pump system needs to have the capacity. I assume that it did at the time of the start-up. Is the pump maintaining pressure during the backwash cycle? I would double check the bladder tank to make sure that the precharge is correct. A low tank precharge can cause rapid cycling and wildly fluctuating pressure and flow. Are there any other filters, such as sediment filters that might be restricting the flow? Check to be sure the drain line is working and unrestricted. Next I would clean the iron filter injector and screen. Wear latex gloves and junk clothes. Next I would check the potassium permanganate tank. You can dump the contents into a 5-gallon pail. There should be no crystals in the brine well or under the felt pad. Clean and flush the float valve assembly. The float determines how much pot perm is consumed during regeneration by only allowing so much refill water back into the pot perm tank. The felt pad prevents the crystals from getting into the bottom of the tank, so it should be refit carefully.

As far as the media, I have not attempted to check a greensand filter for channelling or clumping, but I would remove the distributor and poke around the media with a broomstick to feel for clumps. If the distributor will not pull out, you could try to flush it out by inserting a hose into the distributor tube which *may* help to break up some of the media. You would need the hose to flush the distributor back into the tank. This is going to be a very messy project. You can clean your hands with a mixture of 30 parts 3% hydrogen peroxide, 40 parts white vinegar, and 30 parts water.

After all of that, I would do two regenerations, one right after the other to see if the media can be brought back to life. Test for iron before and after the filter.

I have only installed one greensand-plus filter. I'm using chlorine caplets in the pot perm tank to regenerate. I was told AFTER I installed the unit that it would have been better to have a continuous chlorine feed rather than regeneration, although my vendor had told me intermittant regeneration would be fine when I first looked into it. It seems to me that the chlorine dosage during the regeneration is too strong for the valve components. I've already had to replace the piston seals on a Clack WS1 after only a year. Continuous chlorination would probably be easier on the equipment. Some sort of oxidant is required to regenerate the media. It MUST be regenerated before it's put online and must never be run to exhaustion.

Edit (Moderator): Link removed

I hope this post helps you Ray. That's why we're here .... RIGHT?

John

Gary Slusser
 
  0  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 03:33 pm
@John J CWS VI CI,
John J CWS VI CI wrote:
As suggested, there may be a couple of causes to the failure of the unit to operate. You need to first look at the whole water system. Backwashing is a must, so your well pump system needs to have the capacity. I assume that it did at the time of the start-up. Is the pump maintaining pressure during the backwash cycle? I would double check the bladder tank to make sure that the precharge is correct. A low tank precharge can cause rapid cycling and wildly fluctuating pressure and flow.

John, just attempting to be helpful here. If the unit is in the backwash position, short cycling of the pump is not possible due to the high flow requirements of heavy mineral such as greensand etc. but if it were possible, the pressure would on average be the same or higher than usual so the required DLFC gpm would be maintained.

John J CWS VI CI wrote:
As far as the media, I have not attempted to check a greensand filter for channelling or clumping, but I would remove the distributor and poke around the media with a broomstick to feel for clumps. If the distributor will not pull out, you could try to flush it out by inserting a hose into the distributor tube which *may* help to break up some of the media. You would need the hose to flush the distributor back into the tank.
After all of that, I would do two regenerations, one right after the other to see if the media can be brought back to life. Test for iron before and after the filter.


I have rebuilt a couple hundred heavy mineral filters and I've never been able to pull or float or flush a distributor tube out of any heavy mineral; or flush it back in after having it pulled out even a little bit.

You take them out by dumping and flushing all but maybe the last 18" of the mineral out of the tank. All heavy minerals require a gravel underbed and that will prevent putting a distributor tube back in to the dimple in the bottom of the tank. So you install the tube with the tank empty or at least have the dimple in the center bottom of the tank clear by laying the tank flat and getting the mineral to lay on the side exposing the dimple.

I've seen clumping to the pint that you can't get the clumps out of the tank and throw it all away.

John J CWS VI CI wrote:
........ It seems to me that the chlorine dosage during the regeneration is too strong for the valve components. I've already had to replace the piston seals on a Clack WS1 after only a year.

I have sold about 60 Clack WS-1 controls with both versions, continuous dosing and not chlorination systems and have not had that problem.

The oldest is about 5 years old and I heard from the guy wanting new chlorine pellets just last week. I think there was another cause of the problem John and you're mistakenly blaming chlorine or the Clack seals. I have had one valve that had a hard scale buildup on the piston that tore a 1/4" long piece out of the edge of a seal. I could send you pictures of both if you want to see it. The guy had hard water and my inline pellet chlorine system and mixed different types of chlorine pellets, that's what caused the scale, that tore the seal. The seals in a Clack, unlike Fleck, are self cleaning and self lubricating.

I'm glad to see you here to help members John, a few others here do a lot of ranting like in this thread and hopefully your level headed troubleshooting skills can help cut through the off topic personal attack clutter.
0 Replies
 
John J CWS VI CI
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 05:28 pm
Hi Gary,

I have had customers locally run out of air in the pump pressure (bladder) tank. This situation obviously is bad for the pump motor and pressure switch, but the customers didn't think anything was wrong. I only noticed it when I began a manual backwash and heard the whoosh as the pressure went up and down, following the cycling of the pressure switch.

While this may not be the case here, I thought I'd bring it up just to be sure. A symptom like that would catch our attention, but if the DIY is unfamiliar with all the components in the system, he/she won't mention it.

John
H2O MAN
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 07:57 pm
@John J CWS VI CI,
John J CWS VI CI wrote:


I've already had to replace the piston seals on a Clack WS1 after only a year.


That's interesting...
0 Replies
 
Gary Slusser
 
  0  
Reply Mon 29 Dec, 2008 01:32 pm
@John J CWS VI CI,
John J CWS VI CI wrote:
I have had customers locally run out of air in the pump pressure (bladder) tank. This situation obviously is bad for the pump motor and pressure switch, but the customers didn't think anything was wrong. I only noticed it when I began a manual backwash and heard the whoosh as the pressure went up and down, following the cycling of the pressure switch.

While this may not be the case here, I thought I'd bring it up just to be sure. A symptom like that would catch our attention, but if the DIY is unfamiliar with all the components in the system, he/she won't mention it.

John

John, whooshes aside, short cycling does not change the pressure range the pump is operated within, or the volume of water delivered, and in reality, the average pressure may actually be a bit higher than the normal average for the same system without a short cycling problem.

But you don't give DIYers much credit. Most will identify a short cycling problem while troubleshooting their backwashed or regenereated filter, or softener.

Possibly this also helped screw up your thinking. My added emphasis.

Andy CWS wrote:
... ... Channelling can also occur with loose media when backwash pressure, .... /or volume may be deficient.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II


So John, knowing our previous history on another forum, I guess time will tell if you are here and on the other forums you started posting on in the last day or two, as you started here, maybe after an invitation from Andy to help him disagree with me and stop online sales or if you actually promote DIYers' efforts to fix their problems themselves instead of calling a local dealer such as yourself.
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  0  
Reply Mon 29 Dec, 2008 09:09 pm

Slusser is a bit paranoid that everyone disagrees with him or her... we can all agree that he/she may be onto something.
Andy CWS
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jan, 2009 05:18 pm
@H2O MAN,
Really no need to even respond to posts of people who are frustrated and vengeful. There is one thing true of all paranoid persons: They are aware of theie surroundings.
0 Replies
 
 

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