Sunday, May 29, 2016

Trialing a New Water Filter for Removing Iron

When first thinking out and installing the well, I had really only considered the twin evils of particulates (ie: grit and gravel), and bacterial contamination.  As such, we had decided to continue using our Berkefeld filter system for our drinking water, but I installed a fine mesh filter to keep grit out of the storage tank if possible.

After a season of use, both Donna and I had to agree that there was a noteable orange buildup in the washing machine and Berkey filter.  When we filled the sink or water pitcher, the water definitely had a "hue" to it.



I had hoped that this would resolve itself, thinking that perhaps it was just a function of a new well, and the colour would eventually be flushed out.  Alas, I then decided to resign myself to the idea that perhaps we had a fair bit of iron in our water.

Researching options, I soon realized that most solutions involve installations of large equipment that require extra power.  I was and am willing to try to find more economical solutions, in triple terms of cost, space, and power requirements.

Obviously our particulate filter wasn't really tackling this issue, nor should it have been expected to.  Iron in water is probably a very tiny particle, or perhaps being carried within tiny bacteria that utilize this element.

Checking the particulate filter revealed on a number of occasions that it also wasn't being exposed to any sand or grit anyway - it was always quite clear of obstructions, even if it too was stained orange.

Probably would work fine for grit, but never really saw any!

You can see the slight staining on the filter section here.
I purchased a whole house water filter designed for city water hookups, and thought I would at least give it a crack at helping with our problem.

Removing the teflon tape from the old threaded connectors.
Kenny helped me to remove the old filter, which went slightly better than I feared - I had mounted it quite tight to the upper back corner of the kitchen cabinet, and so I didn't have much purchase on the pipe heading up to the water storage tank.  Luckily I was able to pull the threaded fitting out of that pipe and replace it with a right angle fitting.

You can see there wasn't much pipe to work with above this right angle connector.
The incoming pipe I bent in an arc over to the input side of the filter.  Then another right angle, threaded fitting came out of the filter and an arced pipe up to the water storage tank.

Oh bother, I slightly kinked it trying to make this turn.

Okay, incoming water all hooked up.

And outgoing all hooked up.
This filter is much nicer in the sense that it is far more accessible to me for filter changes and checking.  It also came with a wrench designed just for removal and installation of filters.  The original filter had a small, smooth surface, far up in the back of the cabinet.  I couldn't see myself enjoying checking and cleaning it on any sort of regular basis.

Far more accessible here!
I installed a cheaper, paper only filter and hit the pump switch.

Water pumped through!  Not many leaks!  A success so far...  Now to see if it reduces the water staining to any degree...

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