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Installing Filters

  1. Backwash/Whole House Filter Questions & Answers

    How often should filters be backwashed?

    As filtration proceeds, the void areas in the medium become filled with particles removed from the water, resulting in pressure drop from the outlet. Flow rates through the filter medium decreases until it becomes insufficient to meet the demand. A partially clogged filter bed also results in deteriorated water quality.

    One way to make the when-to-backwash decision is to install pressure gauges before and after the filter. Backwashing should be performed when the pressure drop reaches a pre-determined maximum value (typically 15 PSI for whole house systems). Backwash the system on demand by pressing the Regeneration button on the home screen. Manual Regeneration can only be used while the valve is in the treatment position. 

    Please note that a minimum of 20 psi (1.4 bar) of water pressure is required for the backwash/regeneration valve to operate effectively. You must have an air gap on the drain line to prevent back flow of drain water into the system. A 2x the drain line pipe diameter air gap is required with a minimum 1" air gap.


    How often should softeners be regenerated?

    Once you test and enter the hardness level of water in your UXC softener control panel, the automated control valve decides when to regenerate based on the amount of water passed through the softener. Our softeners are programmed to 'Softener Delayed' regeneration type. This means that your softener measures water usage and regenerates the system at the selected Regeneration Time after the calculated system capacity is depleted. The control calculates the system capacity by dividing the unit capacity by the feed water hardness and subtracting the reserve.

    The reserve should be set to ensure that the system delivers treated water between the time the system capacity is depleted and the actual regeneration time. Reserves can be set at a Fixed Volume, Fixed Percentage of capacity, a Variable Reserve based on the previous calendar day's water usage, or a Weekly Reserve based on the average water usage for the current day of the week. The default for the day override parameter is OFF, and the default reserve type is Weekly Reserve. A Softener Delayed control will also start a regeneration cycle at the selected Regeneration Time (2:00 AM default for softeners, 12:00 AM default for filters) if a number of days equal to the Day Override pass before water usage depletes the calculated system capacity. If the regen type is changed from Softener Immediate to Softener Delayed (or vice-versa), all parameters within those types will be reset to factory default.



    What service flow velocities are possible?

    Please vist the equipment web page for a service flow and backwash flow chart or contact a WECO support professional.


    Where should a softener/backwash filter installed?

    Make sure the installation location meets following requirements.

    1. Water pressure and flow rate are sufficient to support backwash/regeneration.
    2. There is an adequate drain for maximum total volume produced during the regeneration cycle and can be used with an air gap device per local plumbing codes.
    3. There is an electrical outlet to connect the control head transformer.
    4. Adequate space for installation.

    Backwash Filter Plumbing Diagram


    Does the filter media/resin in filters ever have to be changed?

    Media life will depend on the type of media used in your backwash filter. NEXT sand is advertised to last 5 year or longer. Katalox light recommended media life is 7-10 years. Catalytic carbon filters typically need media changed every 4-6 years. A water softener resin bed normally lasts 5 to 10 years.


    How can I disinfect the filter/softener?

    The materials of construction of the modern water softener will not support bacterial growth, nor will these materials contaminate a water supply. During normal use, a softener may become fouled with organic matter, or in some cases with bacteria from the water supply. This may result in an off-taste or odor in the water. Some softeners may need to be disinfected after installation and some softeners will require periodic disinfection during their normal life. Depending upon the conditions of use, the style of softener, the type of ion exchanger, and the disinfectant available, a choice can be made among the following methods.

    Sodium or Calcium Hypochlorite

    These materials are satisfactory for use with polystyrene resins, synthetic gel zeolite, greensand and bentonites. 

    5.25% Sodium Hypochlorite
    These solutions are available under trade names such as Clorox*. If stronger solutions are used, such as those sold for commercial laundries, adjust the dosage accordingly.
    1. Dosage
         A. Polystyrene resin; 1.2 fluid ounce (35.5 ml) per cubic foot.
         B. Non-resinous exchangers; 0.8 fluid ounce (23.7 ml) per
    cubic foot. 
    2. Salt tank softeners
         A. Backwash the softener and add the required amount of hypochlorite solution to the well of the salt tank. The salt tank should have water in it to permit the solution to be carried into the softener.
         B. Proceed with the normal recharge.
    *Clorox is a trademark of the Clorox Company.

    Calcium Hypochlorite


    Calcium hypochlorite, 70% available chlorine, is available in several forms including tablets and granules. These solid materials may be used directly without dissolving before use.
    1. Dosage
         A. Two grains (approximately 0.1 ounce [3 ml]) per cubic foot.
    2. Salt tank softeners
         A. Backwash the softener and add the required amount of hypochlorite to the well of the salt tank. The salt tank should have water in it to permit the chlorine solution to be carried into the softener.
         B. Proceed with the normal recharge.


    References:

    1. Fleck 5810 XTR2 Control Valve Service Manual
    2. “Troubleshooting Problems with POE Backwashing Tank Filtration Systems.” Water Quality Association, Knowledge Base Administration, www.wqa.org

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  2. How do I boost pressure in a reverse osmosis system?

    What is the perfect water pressure for my RO?

    Most revers osmosis membranes are designed to work with 60 PSI or higher water pressure, where they are tested to yield a stable rejection rate of at least 97.5%. If the water pressure feeding an RO system is less than that, the system will produce less water and at a lower quality. Additionally, production is reduced whenever the water temperature is below 77 °F.

    What if I connect my ice maker?

    RO water will produce cleaner ice cubes because of the purity of frozen water. So, connecting your RO to the ice maker makes a lot of sense. However, new ice makers require 30-40 PSI incoming water pressure to function properly. You may not have enough pressure at the pressurized water tank since your RO cuts the line pressure by 30-35%.

    How can I increase water pressure?

    We will discuss several ways to boost the pressure coming out from your cold-water line to run the RO.

    Permeate pump

    Permeate pumps use the energy of drain water flow from reverse osmosis system as leverage to push the purified water into the holding tank. Aquatec, the manufacturer of ERP-1000 permeate pump states that these pumps dramatically improve the efficiency of reverse osmosis water (RO) production, reducing wastewater by up to 80%. Permeate pumps can easily be retrofitted to upgrade existing RO systems.

     WECO Permeate Pump Installation Diagram

    Electric booster pump design 1

    An electric booster pump such as Aquatec CDP-6800 can very efficienty boost the line pressure up to 80 PSI. This simple low-cost setup is the most commonly used design in residential reverse osmosis industry. A differential pressure controlled automatic shut off device (ASO valve) and a high-pressure switch controlls the pump and water flow into the membrane. When the tank pressure gets up to 60% of the incoming pressure the valve internally closes off the inlet. This will build up pressure on the high-pressure switch.

    ELCON-56 kit includes the ASO valve, pump, transformer and a high-pressure switch.

     WECO Booster Pump Installation Diagram 1

    Electric booster pump design 2

    Most commercial reverse osmosis systems and high-end residential ro systems use the following design. Booster pump here is controlled by two pressure switches. A low-pressure switch at the inlet (activated or conducting current around 5 PSI) makes sure the pump will not run dry. A high-pressure switch (deactivated at 40, 60 or 80 PSI) cuts off power to the pump when the pressurized water storage tank has reached the capacity. A solenoid valve stops water supply to the membrane when the pump is off, preventing water running down the drain continuously. Wiring and plumbing diagrams below.

    ELCON-24 kit includes the solenoid, pump, transformer and high/low pressure switches.

    WECO Booster Pump Installation Diagram 2

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  3. How to Install a Water Softener

    Water Softener Instalation

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  4. Big Blue Sediment Filter Installation

    Sediment in your water supply will reduce water flow by clogging faucet aerators and water filters. Rust, sand and grit damages dishwashers, washing machines, coffee makers and toilet fill mechanisms. A sediment filter captures abrasive sediment before it damages appliances and clogs plumbing. A whole-house sediment filter protects every faucet and water outlet in the home.

    1. Read the installation instructions that came with the filter. It will give you an idea of what you’ll need to connect the sediment filter to the main water supply. Installation is a DIY project but a plumber is recommended if you are unfamiliar with plumbing practices. 
    2. Select a near the incoming water source. Ideally the filter can be located where it is easy to access during cartridge changes. Be sure to leave about four inches of clearance below the filter so the housing can be removed. 
    3. Turn off the main water supply. 
    4. Turn off power to the water heater at the breaker box. 
    5. Relieve the water pressure by draining water from the plumbing system. Open sink valves and outdoor hose connections to empty the pipes of water. 
    6. Since filters are installed to many different water line sizes, adapters and threaded fittings may be needed to adapt to your pipe size. These are available from a hardware or plumbing supply store. 
    7. Use a tubing cutter to remove a section of copper pipe, allowing room for the filter to be installed between a gap between the pipes. 
    8. Using the proper fittings, connect the filter to the pipes. It is helpful to remove the filter housing while attaching the fittings. 
    9. Replace the filter and housing then turn on the main water supply. 
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  5. Installing a Backwashing Arsenic Filter

    Installing a Backwashing Arsenic Filter

    Arsenic

    Arsenic (As) is a part of the earth’s crust, occurring naturally in soil and rock. Arsenic can dissolve into groundwater, the primary source of drinking water for many Americans. Some industries in the United States release thousands of pounds of arsenic into the environment each year. Airborne arsenic is washed from the air by rain, snow, and gradual settling. Once it is on the ground or in surface water, arsenic can slowly leach into ground water. High arsenic levels in private wells may also come from certain arsenic containing pesticides used in the past or from old industrial waste dumps. Arsenic remains in the environment for a long time. Until January 2004, arsenic-based wood preservatives were used to treat some wooden foundations, decks, and children’s play structures.

    How can I tell if my well contains arsenic?

    Even in high concentrations, arsenic has no smell, taste, or color when dissolved in water. The only way to know is with a laboratory analysis of your water supply. Each state’s Department of Health has a list of certified water analysis laboratories that are approved for testing arsenic. Inexpensive test at home kits are also available and have been proven to be accurate and dependable.

    Are there any regulations for arsenic in water?

    Municipal water supplies must test for arsenic. The current drinking water standard or Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 0.010 mg/L or parts per million (ppm). This is equivalent to 10 ug/L (micrograms per liter) or 10 ppb. In 2001, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reduced the regulatory MCL from 50 ppb to 10 ppb on the basis of bladder and lung cancer risks. The MCL is based on the average individual consuming 2 liters of water per day. Long term exposure to drinking water containing higher levels of arsenic increases the chances of getting cancer.

    What are the health concerns from drinking contaminated water?

    Arsenic ingestion has both long-term and acute (short-term) health effects. The acute effects are nausea, vomiting, cardiovascular troubles and neurological issues like numbness or burning sensations in the hands and feet. A decrease in the production of red and white blood cells leads to fatigue. Long-term ingestion can cause changes in skin coloration and small corn-like growths that can develop especially on the palms of the hand and soles of the feet. Chronic exposure to arsenic contaminated water has also been associated with an increase in lung, skin, and bladder cancer. Newer evidence suggests that long-term exposure to arsenic increases the risk of prostate cancer. The health risks are determined by these factors:

    • The concentration of arsenic in the water
    • The amount of water consumed each day
    • Sensitivity to arsenic

    Source: Human Rights Watch

    What type of water filter do I need to remove arsenic?

    One of the best ways to remove arsenic from your drinking water supply is with a whole-house backwashing filter. A whole-house arsenic filter contains a special filter media designed to remove arsenic from well and municipal water supplies. The backwashing filter is connected to the main incoming water supply, so that every sink, shower and water-using appliance receives purified water. The filter will periodically backwash to remove captured particulate matter and keep the filter working efficiently.

    Recommended Backwashing Filter Setup

     

    1. Read the installation instructions that came with the filter. It will give you an idea of what you’ll need to connect the backwashing filter to the main water supply. Installation is a DIY project but a plumber is recommended if you are unfamiliar with plumbing practices. 
    2. Select the right location. Ideally, you’ll be able to locate the filter near the incoming water source. Note that the backwashing action of the filter requires a drain line. The drain should not be more than 30 feet away from the filter. The drain line will not work properly if elevated more than 8 feet above the floor. The filter’s monitoring and backwashing controller requires a 110- volt outlet to power the 12-volt transformer. 
    3. Turn off the main water supply. 
    4. Turn off power to the water heater at the breaker box. 
    5. Relieve the water pressure by draining water from the plumbing system. Open sink valves and outdoor hose connections to empty the pipes of water. 
    6. Measure, cut and install copper pipe to join the incoming cold-water line to the by-pass valve (optional). You’ll need to solder the correct fittings to the copper lines to route the incoming water line to the bypass valve. If no by-pass valve is used, connect directly to the filter controller. 
    7. Attach the bypass valve to the controller on top of the backwashing filter. 
    8. Install the drain line according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 
    9. Turn on the main water supply then turn on the water heater. 
    10. Put the bypass valve in the service position so water will flow into the filter. 
    11. Plug in the digital controller’s power supply. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up the digital controller. 
    12. Run the filter through a backwash cycle to flush the system of any filter media fines. 
    13. Check for leaks and tighten fittings if necessary.

    Backwashing Filter Installation

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