Quality Water Filters 4 You Posting Page
Friday, April 22, 2011
In many parts of the country, red water and red stains are a common complaint among homeowners. In virtually all cases, this reddish color is caused by iron in the water or iron in the water supply (pipes).
One of the reason iron is so prevalent in water is because it is one of the most common minerals on Earth. Because of its molecular structure, iron easily dissolves into water, especially rain water and underground aquifers.
Red water can be found in homes that are served by surface water sources or by groundwater sources, but it is most often found in groundwater sources and well water.
It does not take much in order for iron to turn water reddish. Amounts of iron, as small as 0.3 mg/l, can affect water, causing it to turn red or reddish brown. When present in water, iron is in one of two forms. It can be soluble ferrous iron or it can be the insoluble ferric iron.
When ferrous iron is present, the water is normally colorless until it is exposed to air. Then it begins to change color. This can happen in water pipes, hot water heaters, and pressure tanks. The solid matter often found at the bottom of a water heater or pressure tank is ferric iron—iron that has oxidized and will not dissolve.
Ingesting iron in small amounts is not dangerous to health. In fact, iron is a necessary mineral for good health. The main issue with iron in water has to do with staining, but many people find the taste to be offensive as well. This becomes even more disagreeable when the water is used for tea or coffee.
If you have red water, your first task should be to find out where it is coming from. This can be a challenge for some homes. The source of iron may be in your in-home plumbing. Corrosion of iron pipes and steel pipes may be the cause. The same may be present inside your water heater or water tank. Even plumbing connectors may be the cause.
One way to narrow down your search is to test the water before it comes into the home and to test it again from an inside tap. The two tests you want to conduct are the pH test and iron concentration test. Water that has a pH below 6.5 may be corrosive. For the iron concentration test, you can get a test kit from many home supply stores or from a certified lab.
If your water comes from a water company, contact them if you have problems with red stains. They may be able to help you and provide important information about the water coming into your home.
There are many water filters you can add to your water system to help you alleviate iron water problems. In Part 2 of this series, we offer information on the various water filter options you have.
by: Chris Tracey