10 Nov 2000 at 11:11 pm #273861Anonymous
I recently bought a nine year old house that came with a water softener. My water has high levels of calcium, magnezium, and iron. I also have sulfur water. I have increased the backwash cycle from 4 days to 3days but the problem isn’t better.
When I flushed out my 60 gallon hot water tank, chunks of white and black( I think it’s mineral deposits came out. Sometimes when I turn on the hot water faucet I have black specs in the water, the water is also dark to black colour.
When I fill up a water bottle with cold water I have to leave it uncovered in the fridge so as to not taste the sulfur. If the water is left in the bottle for a few days it will have an iron tint to it. My water has also stained my toliet bowls; sinks; and tub.
I would like to know if there is anything I can do to solve these problems. I have spoken to a plumber and he suggests that I add another type of system to my softener. This would add more air to the water to eliminate the sulfur and allow the softener to work on the calcium, magnezium, and iron.
Thank you for any help that I might receive.
11 Nov 2000 at 7:10 am #288715
Please visit the following sites you will find the answers to your questions. http://www.ianr.unl.edu/PUBS/water/g1275.htm http://www.ianr.unl.edu/PUBS/water/g1280.htm
Have your water softener serviced by a professional to make sure it is working effectively. I would recommend a reverse osmosis system for your drinking water
You will be adding some additional treatment to your system.
Respectfully David F. Walling
11 Nov 2000 at 5:41 pm #288716
Hi! Here is your friendly chemist to save the day. Magnesium and calcium, if you look on a periodic table, are both alkiline earth elements. Also, even though a water quality lab (such as mine, and others with more sophisticated equipment that I have worked with) report hardness as either % or per parts per million (ppm) CaCO3. But, that is just to simplify things, in actuality you have other forms of calcium, and magnesium.
Back to your problem, i doubt that the color is from some contamination from an outside source. more likely is a gasket or a washer is being eroded into your system, but for that you need a licensed plumber to figure out from where you are getting it, not a lowly chemist
A good way to check if your water softener is on the blitz is to turn it on your shower, and see if it sprays all over. If so, remove the shower head, place it in a bowl of vinegar (vinegar is 15% acetic acid by volume, and will dissolve the calcium/magnesium deposits). Let it sit for an hour or so, then put it back. If it works, your problem is indeed magnesium/calcium deposits. as for the sulfur, you need a plumber to determine which filtration system is best for you, but any such system MUST be maintained or its worse than having no filter. I don’t know what region of the country you are from, but if your water smells a little “fishy” you have amines, which is common runoff from farms.
I hope this helps
[Edited by Richard on 11 November 2000]
11 Nov 2000 at 8:28 pm #288717
A water softener will not remove any sulfur odor causer. A water softener only softens water if it is mechanically functioning correctly. I agree with Dave that you should have it checked.
You should also have your water tested to determine what it’s problems are and then proceed to correct whateve is called for.
Sulfur odor can be caused by Sulfate Reducing Bacteria. Not harmful but odor nuisance causers. Chlorination can correct that. It can also be caused by the Mag Rod in your water heater. That can be corrected by removing it. Check with your plumber to do that.
The softener may need cleaning since you indicate staining. Check with a local water treatment specialist or the supplier of your softener. Iron can foul the water softener resin but can usually be cleaned to eliminate it.
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