Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Can A Water Softener Remove Iron

Do Water Softeners Remove Iron

The question "Do water softeners remove iron" is often times asked for a couple of reasons the first being the cost of both a water softener and an Iron Filter.  Depending on whom or what company you buy your water softener from you can pay as little as $600.00 found HERE  up to over $5,000.00 and though the salesman may not agree with my statement they are work basically the same in that they do remove hardness from the water.  Here is a water softener review that you may like; https://youtu.be/QBn3Y2ykhHM

Iron filters can be expensive as well whereas you can buy one HERE for as little as $750.00 or up to around $3,000.00 or more depending on your water dynamics and what kind of system the sales person is trying to sell you in order for them to make the most money since many of them work off commission.

How to Remove Iron From Your Water

There are many ways of removing iron from your water and they can range from easy and relatively inexpensive to expensive.  We will cover just a few of ways of how to remove iron from your water; The method used most is an iron filter which will either use air, chlorine, ozone or hydrogen peroxide in order to oxidize the iron and precipitate it into a solid which is then caught in the filter media and then removed by back washing the filter.  Some people will just install an ozone generator and others more commonly will use chlorine which will not only remove iron but will remove odor and disinfect however in many cases a storage tank of some size is necessary for best results and making mention of a storage tank some people will just put a piece of PVC pipe into a storage tank and drill hole in the PVC to allow the water to spray into the tank (called a spray bar) thus mixing the water with air in order to oxidize it.

Using a Water Softener to Remove Iron

As most people know we use a water softener to remove calcium, manganese and other contaminants from the water however it's primary purpose is to soften water but there are also other benefits to a water softener.  It can remove barium, strontium, cadmium and other constituents in the water but more salt is needed to remove these constituents as well as calcium from the resin beads inside the tank.  So let's talk about using a water softener to remove iron from the water.
I have had a couple of occasions where my customers did not have enough money to purchase an iron filter and water softener so I used a water softener to do both, one case in particular I can remember is when the lady hard approx 17 gpg of hardness and 3ppm iron.  She however did not have the money for an iron filter and as you can see she really needed both.  What we did do was also figure how many ppm iron = gpg of hardness, so we multiplied 4x3ppm iron and got 12 then added 12 to 17 and got 29 so we estimated So she had 29 gpg of hardness.  Not many people would agree with doing this method but we did what we could for our customers and we never got a call back to fix the water softener.  However, what I did was install a water softener with a "Turbulator" distributor tube. The difference is that on a normal distributor tube the water is forced down to the bottom during regeneration and stirs the bed from the bottom up
Turbulator Distributor Tube
however with a turbulator you can see that there  is another screen towards the top which is there to ensure that the entire bed gets stirred up in order to allow the brine mix to be used at full advantage and that the bed is lifted completely.  If this doesn't happen then over time the weight of the iron since it has not been removed will foul the entire bed and either a super good cleaning is necessary or just replacing the media beads would be the other step.  Speaking of good cleaning you can do a couple of things in order to maintain the health of your water softener when using it to remove iron also, that is to adjust your salt setting a little higher according to your water softener size and hardness or you can purchase Resup which I highly recommend.  You can get a gallon of the cleaner HERE  keeping in mind you will also need a feeder which will help in cleaning the resin beads in your water softener and definitely extend its life.  Get a feeder HERE

Now we can see that a water softener can be used to remove iron though it is not recommended but can be done with the right equipment.