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Old 05-19-2010, 12:25 AM   #1
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Acid Neutralizer Issues


I had a problem finding calcite to refill my PH vessel. A local plumbing supply had fine crushed calcite so I used it. I filled the vessel to the normal level and everything worked fine for the first 5 days. Last night the vessel went through the automatic backwash cycle. Today the water flow from our faucets was much lower than normal. I bypassed the PH vessel and the faucet flow returned to normal so I know there is a problem with the vessel. I manually back flushed the vessel and flow from the faucet is normal at first, than it decreases. I pulled the head off of the vessel and the valve is clear of blockage.

I am going to try to remove some of the media from the vessel and hopefully that will decrease the resistance to the flow.

I am considering reversing the water flow through the vessel to raise the bed and unplugging the timer so it won't backwash. There is a water softener down stream of the PH vessel. Will the calcite fines harm the softener bed? I imagine whatever fines make it to the softener will just dissolve over time or possible get backwashed out.

Are there different grades of crushed calcite? Which grade should I use and where can I buy it?

Thanks,
Tom

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Old 05-19-2010, 01:22 AM   #2
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Acid Neutralizer Issues


Did you plug the distributor tube when you filled it up?
Did that distributor come up when you took the valve off to fill?


The fines or dust from the calcite will wash through the softener ,, so no problem there.

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Old 05-19-2010, 02:10 AM   #3
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Acid Neutralizer Issues


Yes, I put a pipe cap on the top of the distributor tube prior to dumping the calcite in the vessel. The top of the distributor tube is level with the top of the vessel.

So turning the down flow acid neutralizer into an upflow until the pressure drop goes away won't be a problem?

Last edited by Elamcup; 05-19-2010 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:54 AM   #4
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Acid Neutralizer Issues


Quote:
Originally Posted by Elamcup View Post
Yes, I put a pipe cap on the top of the distributor tube prior to dumping the calcite in the vessel. The top of the distributor tube is level with the top of the vessel.

So turning the down flow acid neutralizer into an upflow until the pressure drop goes away won't be a problem?
If you can flip or change the in for the out flow and not let the unit cycle, should not be a problem, normally when I do upflow neuts there is a simple in out head some thing like the clack 1190 ..
So if the control is in service and left in service with no power it should work.
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:10 AM   #5
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Acid Neutralizer Issues


I think I'll give that a try and watch the bed level. If it goes too high I'll have to suck out some of the calcite. I am thinking about using the eductor for a waterbed for that job.
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:31 AM   #6
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Acid Neutralizer Issues


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Originally Posted by Elamcup View Post
I think I'll give that a try and watch the bed level. If it goes too high I'll have to suck out some of the calcite. I am thinking about using the eductor for a waterbed for that job.
Wet Dry shop vac works great in removing media from a tank..

When there is a 13x54 tank under the house and the media needs to be change and there is no way on earth that tank is going to move any place... one has to think out side the box or use a very large box to think.. so the wet dry shop vac to remove the media from the tank to a point that the tank could be moved..
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:35 AM   #7
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Acid Neutralizer Issues


I didn't think about a shop vac, that will be easier and less mess. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:38 AM   #8
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Acid Neutralizer Issues


You should have backwashed the filter after adding mineral until the drain line water ran clear. And hopefully you didn't add too much mineral or the wrong mesh size.

Backwash it for like 15-25 minutes now and see what happens.
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:14 PM   #9
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Acid Neutralizer Issues


I did turn the timer so the vessel backwashed automatically after I filled it and I bypassed the softener and ran the water into the basement sanatary tub until it ran clear after a couple of minutes.

I hope the root cause is that I put too much calcite into the vessel. I thought that filled it up to the level that I thought the vessel came with but I may be wrong. The vessel is 10"x54" and the level of the bed was down to 24" then I put 100 lbs of calcite into it and brought the level up to 45". Looking at the acid neutralizers on the net the normal bed level should be 2/3 full around 36" and I am 9" too high.

The interesting thing is that there wasn't a problem with flow through the vessel until 5 days later when it did an automatic backwash. I got the calcite from a large local plumbing supply house. It comes in 50 lb bags and it was marked as "fine". It is finer than kitty litter but not a powder. Does calcite for acid neutralizers come in different coursness?
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:09 PM   #10
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Acid Neutralizer Issues


Quote:
Originally Posted by Elamcup View Post
I did turn the timer so the vessel backwashed automatically after I filled it and I bypassed the softener and ran the water into the basement sanatary tub until it ran clear after a couple of minutes.

I hope the root cause is that I put too much calcite into the vessel. I thought that filled it up to the level that I thought the vessel came with but I may be wrong. The vessel is 10"x54" and the level of the bed was down to 24" then I put 100 lbs of calcite into it and brought the level up to 45". Looking at the acid neutralizers on the net the normal bed level should be 2/3 full around 36" and I am 9" too high.

The interesting thing is that there wasn't a problem with flow through the vessel until 5 days later when it did an automatic backwash. I got the calcite from a large local plumbing supply house. It comes in 50 lb bags and it was marked as "fine". It is finer than kitty litter but not a powder. Does calcite for acid neutralizers come in different coursness?
I have seen calcite in sand form or fine and then like rock salt and then a size larger..

9" to high may or may not be a challenge.. it might be more that some of it got into the valve right after a back wash.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:41 PM   #11
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Acid Neutralizer Issues


I will offer a different view.
First I think your backwash after adding calcite was not adequate. In my experience it takes considerably more than a typical timed backwash to clean the new calcite. The procedure I use is to activate the backwash and unplug the control head and then observe the backwash discharge until it runs clear--frequently takes 15 or 20 minutes or even more. Then plug control head until it moves to fast rinse and unplug again and observe discharge until clear. Then plug in and let finish.

Second I think the extra 9" is also contributing to the problem.

So remove the excess calcite and do a manual backwash process as described above and see if that doesn't resolve the problem.
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:05 AM   #12
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Acid Neutralizer Issues


Thank you all for all the advice.

I will remove the excess calcite then put the vessel through a long backwash as decribed. The hose on my shop vac is grody and I don't want to stick it in the vessel because I know where it has been. I am thinking about using the waterbed eductor to suck out the calcite. Does anyone have any other suggestions for sucking out the calcite? I have a clean bucket with a lid to save the removed calcite for future use or will the calcite turn into a big rock?
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:09 PM   #13
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Acid Neutralizer Issues


SUCCESS!!!

The waterbed eductor worked but it took alot of water to suck the bed level down to 36". I manually backwashed the heck out of the vessel for 30 minutes as instructed. When I put the vessel in service and there is no drop in flow or pressure anymore!

I thank you all for your help,
Tom

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