Friday, May 30, 2014

Iron, Manganese, Sulfur-The Troublesome Trio

Commonly referred to as the Troublesome Trio, Iron, Manganese and Sulfur, although not a real health concern, these dastardly elements will reap havoc on a plumbing system.  As little as 0.05ppm of Manganese will cause staining of plumbing fixtures.  Only 0.5 ppm of iron will cause staining.  And Sulfur?  P.U.!  Need I say more?

To battle the Trio, professionals have traditionally used Ion Exchange water softeners and Oxidation/Reduction media.  Ion Exchange only works on dissolved iron and manganese and is prone to fouling and won't treat sulfur.  So my experience is to apply oxidation media that has been treated with a coating of Manganese Dioxide.  These media are popular in the industry and are sold under the trade names of Birm, MTM,  Pyrolox, Filox, and Greensand Plus.  All these media have different percentages of manganese dioxide coatings.  The amount of coating determines their capacity.  The key to success lies with this capacity.

Manganese Dioxide acts as a catalyst that utilize oxidizers fed into the water stream ahead of the media bed to perpetuate the oxidation and reduction process.  Pre-feeding oxidizers is commonly called "regeneration". Please note, in all my years of experience, your success with these media depends heavily on choosing the correct oxidizer.  It is a VERY rare application where you don't need to pre-feed an oxidizer.   The most popular oxidizers are potassium permanganate (very messy because it stains everything purple) , Sodium hypochlorite (bleach), Air, or 7% Hydrogen Peroxide.  The most popular is bleach.  Be careful to follow the manufacturers guidelines for feeding oxidants.  To much will strip off the manganese dioxide coating.

Now The Exciting News:
Prince Minerals has developed a new Media called Pyrolox Advantage (PA).  PA is manufactured with a proprietary process that gives it a high capacity, yet maintains a lighter-than-most density so backwash rates are greatly reduced over traditional Manganese Dioxide products.  Thus the "Advantage" part.  Additionally, its lighter density will make it a direct replacement for another popular media called Greensand Plus.  An even bigger advantage, is that Pyrolox Advantage has nearly 3X the oxidation capacity.  Its increased capacity will lengthen run time between back washing saving significant amounts of water.  To conclude, if you are currently filtering with greensand plus or are battling any of the Troublesome Trio, please try Pyrolox Advantage.  It's priced right to win the fight!

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