|Frequently Asked Questions About Iron Filters
Q. How do Pro-OX iron filters actually remove iron?
A. Pro-OX iron filters work by oxidizing (rusting) the iron and then filtering it out. We all know that simple iron or steel will rust in the presence of air and water. Rust is one type of oxidation. When water is underground in most wells, it is in a clear, also known as 'ferrous' or clear water iron. Iron filters take this clear iron and transform it to rust or ferric iron in the process known as oxidation. These trapped particles are periodically and automatically backwashed out to drain, usually once or twice a week. Iron filter systems also remove so-called red or red‐water iron, iron bacteria, manganese and in some cases hydrogen sulfide by oxidation and filtration.
Q. What is the difference between Pro-OX, Birm and Greensand iron filter filters?
A. All of these filters use a manganese-dioxide filter media, but media such Birm, Katalox and Greensand are manufactured with a thin coating of manganese dioxide over a core of some other cheaper filter media. Manganese-Dioxide is a powerful oxidizing filter media and is highly effective for filtering iron and manganese from water. The higher the concentration of the manganese dioxide, and the more porous the manganese dioxide media is, the faster it works in removing iron and manganese. Pro-OX manganese dioxide is over 85% manganese dioxide, compared to 10% or less for the other less expensive filter media. The result is far superior performance with higher flow rates in smaller filter vessels, compared to other types.
With the coated manufactured types of iron filter media, the coating eventually wears off and breaks down. With Pro-OX media there is no coating to wear off and the media lasts much longer, up to 20 years typically.
Q. Don't the Pro-OX type iron filters waste a lot of water compared to other iron filters?
A. No. The Pro-OX filters remove a higher amount of iron before requiring backwash, so they do not use significantly higher amounts of water over-all. In fact, compared to air-charging types, which suck in a head of air each night during backwash and run water for 45 minutes to an hour, the Pro-OX filter use much less water.
Q. Can't I just use a water softener?
A. Water softeners will remove dissolved clear water iron by a process known as ion-exchange. However, iron, manganese and/or hydrogen sulfide gas can eventually foul and ruin the ion-exchange resin. If your water contains less than 2.0 ppm of iron and manganese combined, and no sulfur odor, then you may be able to use a good quality water softener with fine mesh resin and a special type of resin cleaner in the brine tank. The resin cleaner will help clean the resin when the softener is being regenerated with the salt water. We don't recommend this approach however, its better to use an iron filter in front of the water softener for best results.
Q. I don't want to use chlorine or any chemicals of any kind. My water has sulfur odor, a LOT of iron, and manganese as well. What system should I use?
A. The best approach is to use our air-compressor air injection system with the Pro-OX filter. This is not only non-chemical, it is also virtually maintenance free and requires no regular or routine maintenance.
Q. I use a chlorinator already to control odor and disinfect the water, but I want to use an iron filter. Which one is best?
A. The Pro-OX iron fitlers works the best, and no potassium permanganate or other chemicals are required.
Q. I have very severe water. i have very high iron, high manganese, and a terrible hydrogen sulfide "rotten-egg' sulfur
problem. I suspect iron bacteria, because our toilet flush tanks are very slimy. Which one should I use?
A. For some types of very severe water, we recommend injection of chlorine or hydrogen peroxide, depending on the water chemistry, followed by a contact retention tank, then a Pro-OX iron filter, and in some cases an additional carbon backwash filter. This approaach can handle very high levels of odor, iron and manganese. Contact us for a fast quotation for this type of system.
Q. I would like to use the Pro-OX iron filter, with a chlorine injection system, but I don't want chlorine in my house. What can I do?
A. The chlorine can be adjusted so it degrades as it flows through the iron filter, so you don't have the taste or smell of chlorine in the water. You can also use a backwashing carbon filter or a large carbon cartridge after the Pro-OX or Greensand filter to remove all trace of chlorine before it enters the house.
Q. What does 'backwash flow rate" refer to?
A. All iron filters require a certain amount of water flow to able to backwash and clean the iron filter media periodically. For example if your well pump can fill a 5 gallon bucket in 60 seconds, then you well pump can pump 5 gallons per minute, or 5 GPM. If your well can fill the 5 gallon bucket in 30 seconds, then you have 10 GPM. Most residential wells can pump 10 to 20 GPM but it is important to verify it before selecting your iron filter. If you have low flow rate of say 5 GPM and you select an iron filter that requires 10 GPM, then the iron filter will become fouled over time.
Q. How can I find out how many gallons per minute my well pump can produce?
A. You can find this out very easily yourself. See this link here for simple instructions on measuring your flow rate. If you have a "constant pressure variable speed pump", consult your well driller or pump supplier or let us know the pump and model number and we can estimate it based on your well depth and type of pump you have.
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The iron filter system is working very well. We're very happy with the system, and really appreciate your help.
Dear CWS - The installation was straightforward (if not simple) and your instructions were excellent. The system has made such a huge improvement to our water. Above all, I would like to thank you for your unfailing professionalism and generosity with your time in answering my questions. Many thanks