Trace clay heavy water

gomangogomango Registered Users Posts: 24
I have gravity feed water and am using an on demand hot water system. The water here has a tendency to close off a 3/4" pipe to about 1/8" capacity in about 5 years due to heavy water buildup. In all instances we have never seen this in copper or plastic lines so i constructed the entire house using copper and plastic. I was thinking of using some sort of water softener system on the hot water side to eliminate the need to vinegar flush the heater. Has anyone used a softener or filter system on gravity feed? Is it possible? Is there a better cure?

Thanks
Dave

Comments

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trace clay heavy water

    I don't believe there is a low pressure softener system out there, ours needs at least 30 pounds pressure to mix up the resin beads in the tank.
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: Trace clay heavy water

    Thats sludge ! filter it using gravity to a much larger filtered holding tank.
    when the filters plug , have a cleaning system setup to keep a pair of filters read to swap in. Filters I used were 1m / 3' long.

    I had a creek pressure setup like that in the 70's up northern wet coast.
    cold showers to keep me in check ;)
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trace clay heavy water

    Concur with CDN_VT.

    Looked up Tiller, Or. I now see that you are just west of Crater Lake. I will bet dollars to donuts that it is Volcanic ASH. Very hard to filter out, but good for removing old flakey skin in a shower... another name is pumis... I would not bet on a filter lasting too long though based on a 'local' school that had that type of water from a very deep well, they tried everything but to avail.... sorry for the bad news, hope it is manageable.
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trace clay heavy water

    Re-reading the OP, it sounds like the buildup is only happening within the on-demand water heater, and nowhere else in the system. I'm definitely not familiar with ash laden water, but in my part of the world, such buildup only happening within a domestic hot water coil, heat exchanger or on-demand heater, would indicate mineral dissolved within the water. Mineral that comes out of solution and redeposits when heated. Mineral buildup that can be dissolved and cleaned out, using an acid. (Usually an acid stronger than vinegar though)
    You're thoughts?
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trace clay heavy water

    right Wayne, it is not really clear as to whether it is just the HW or entire house,,, but it seems to point to the HW side.. We have 64 grains of hardness in our well, darn hard and a regular HW tank will only last 10 - 15 yrs before the flake in the tank buries the bottom element.
    We switched to a Hi tech demand heater 2 years ago and the first one lasted 1 year before it plugged up, bad choice..??.. turned out our water softener was not working as it is supposed to, current HWH is working fine, just have to ensure the softener is working...replacement in the offing.

    to the OP, what is your water pressure at ? What type of pipe plugged up? Iron? What is the Hardness rating of your water?
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trace clay heavy water

    i'm not an expert here, but it sounds like whatever metal the pipe was caused a reaction to the clay to coagulate as per indications from a search i made.
    http://www.ehow.com/how_12186375_filter-out-colloidal-clay-well-water.html
    i don't know if putting that stuff into the well itself would be wise as it could coagulate in the pump and pipes prior to being filtered out and aluminum i would never recommend if it's to be consumed. from my reading, clay is tough to get out of water.
  • gomangogomango Registered Users Posts: 24
    Re: Trace clay heavy water

    My pressure is only at 18lb. Tiller is just outside the volcanic area and what we are dealing with is more like a tanish red clay that dissolves in the ground water. I have yet to have a water test to identify exactly what is in the water. I know that in about two years I start to get a sour smell in clothes that are washed in it and that galvanized and black iron pipes fall victim to buildup.

    Description of the system.

    Concrete holding tank is located a few feet under ground and leach water fills the tank via a porous wall on the up-hill side. Polly pipe brings the water to the house via gravity feed, and is located a couple hundred yards from the spring. The house is 100% PVC and CPVC. The only metal components are the faucets and the on demand heater.

    I have used filters several years ago to filter drinking water but found that the filters become clogged after about a week. That is why I was looking for another solution. I know that I get about 5 years from the demand heater before it needs to be serviced. The copper coils are better at resisting buildup than the iron, but they do build up.

    Finding another water source is not possible without pumping. This system has been in service for about 50+ years, and the water has never killed anyone. In fact I believe it is the source of the strong bones and the cavity free life I enjoy. In years past hot water was derived from wood stove heat coils, and when they plugged the pipes were inexpensive to replace. Now with on demand heaters in place, I may need to budget high maintenance costs or even replacement periodically.

    Thanks for all the info guys. Love the forum, and all the great advice I have read here.

    Dave
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trace clay heavy water

    Would be very interesting to see the mineral content results of a water test, if you ever get one done. Weird stuff indeed.
    Best of luck for sure.
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trace clay heavy water

    Westbranch. I would be happy for an electric waterheater to last 10 or 15 years. Most of them only have a 6 year warranty. solarvic
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trace clay heavy water

    I am struggling trying to find a way to effectively filter the water. I am thinking of some sort of and filter ideally on the inlet side of the cistern, followed by perhaps another sand filter on the suction side of the pump. Every filter medium reduces flow rates in the net, but a large filter with a low flow rate might begin to solve the problem. Perhaps even a series of swimming pool type sand filters that are easily flushed or have the sand replaced

    Just thinking out loud on a spring night! There must be some filter experts out there,

    Tony

    http://www.cleanwaterstore.com/sediment-filters-backwashing.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_sand_filter

    http://en.howtopedia.org/wiki/How_to_Filter_Water_with_a_Sand_Filter
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,274 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trace clay heavy water
    icarus wrote: »
    I am struggling trying to find a way to effectively filter the water....

    A slow sand filter will get out organics (Schmutzdecke)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_sand_filter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schmutzdecke

    And if you have a holding tank for your water, a ozonater will clean up a lot too.
    (it bubbles ozone up through the water, and the moving water, pulls dirty water into the washable filter)
    http://www.tripleo.com/

    Thats what I use anyway.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trace clay heavy water
    solarvic wrote: »
    Westbranch. I would be happy for an electric waterheater to last 10 or 15 years. Most of them only have a 6 year warranty. solarvic

    Was thinking the same thing. Although I'm extremely lucky with my water, and tanks have lasted 20 years for me, most people around here only get 5 or 6 years, and one town in an area with very hard water has such a problem they're lucky to get 3 or 4 years out of a tank.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Trace clay heavy water

    For anyone to say they are a Water Filtering Expert would be like saying that you are a Solar Expert, to many variables. Filtering water is not cheap. To make it Biologically safe is one thing, to make it Crystal clear is another. Cleaning it depends on two things PPM ( Parts Per Million ) of Saturation and Micron Size.

    I have been Filtering Lake Surface water for 20 years, It's a ever changing battle, as the water changes. As the water changes so do the filtering techniques required to get it in a manageable state. I divide my water in two different systems, one for drinking, Ice Maker, dish washing, etc. and one for everything else. The Laundry is a area that is a big user and creates a issue on what system it should be on. ( depends on the water ) I can tell you what my wife says.....lol ). Each system has a different level of clarity and treatment. Both systems are Biologically safe to drink ( potable ).

    Knowing the TDS ( Hardness at Ion Level ) is a good place to start. You have to know the dissolved solids in the water to be able to select how you are going to clean it. The Micron size of all the suspended solids will help you know what filtering technique you employ against it.

    Sand Filters will work, but only to 20-30 Micron size, thats still real dirty. ( Like a hand full of concrete dust in a bucket of water ) Sometimes it's just having a settling tank to give the solids time to settle out, sometimes it's using a coagulation and flocculation to capture the suspended solids and allow them to settle. The PH of the water has to be balanced and tailored to what you employ to clean it.

    So what I am saying, it's all about the effort you are willing to expend. It can be expensive. You have to design your system to your expected use in a 24 hr time period. Mine is 300 GPD , I can do more, but usually I do do 50-75 GPD in a Batch.

    Post back if you want to talk. Successful water is like Successful Solar, it don't come easy. I am a Batch Processor, my system requires me to do a couple things. If your in a house and have constant water quality, then your system can be a continuous system of flow and process.

    A good place to start is a commercial processor in your area and see what they do and if their water is ground ( well ) water or Surface ( Lake or River ) Water temperature real critical when being treated. In my case, I pretty much have a Water Lab where I analyze it, so I know what to do. Not a big deal, but it like having a Clamp on Amp Meter. If you don't know, your just guessing.
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