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potable water air elimination

Fortunat Member Posts: 103
I know this is a heating forum, not a plumbing one, but I'm hoping someone here can help answer this question anyway:

We have a customer who has some sort of water cleanup system that involves basically aerating the well water on the way into the tank. The water then flows through a 'burp' tank which removes the air and then on to our water heater.

What we're finding is that (unsurprisingly) additional air is coming out of solution in the water heater and ending up in the hot water line where it sputters and pops when the tap is opened after a period of non use.

So, my question is, is there any acceptable means of air separation on a potable water line (ideally the potable hot water line). I presume that high vents and spirovents are generally not rated for potable pressure, right? any other options?

Thanks for the help.



  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    My mountain neighbor had a similar problem, except...

    the "gas" was coming FROM their well water. Every time you'd turn on a faucet, it would SPIT before it ran water. It made for an emberassing situation if you happened to be using the bathroom lavatory to wash your hands after elimination. It made a BIG wet spot, just about crotch high...

    I put a microbubble resorber on the cold water line coming into the house, and put on on the outlet of the hot water tank, which would be the point where dissolved gasses had a tendency to come out of suspension.

    Out of curiosity, the HO decided to check the gas coming from the resorber with a flick of his BIC lighter. He lost all of the hair on his arm.... So, I guess he confirmed that it is hydrogen gas :-)

    If you go this route, make sure that the resorber is capable of handling the system operating pressures.

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    generally not rated for potable pressure

    I do not know about HiVents and SpiroVents, but the Taco 4900 series vent on my system is rated up to 150 PSI and 240F. They say the flow can be up to 5 feet per second. Mine is the 1 1/4 inch size and it is fairly heavy brass casting. They have their vent built-in. It comes in 3/4", 1", 1 1/4" 1 1/2" and 2" size. They also have another 4900 series set in industrial sizes.
  • Fortunat
    Fortunat Member Posts: 103


    when you say Microbubble resorber, you mean something like a spirovent, right?

    Do they tend to be rated for potable water pressure? I noticed that the Taco 400 series Hyvent says 150 psi on it.

  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Yes, like a Spiro or Caleffi

    In my neighbors case, he's on a well that runs at about 40 PSI, so it was not an issue.

    The Spirotherm Jr is rated for 150 PSI...


    You should be OK as long as you have a T&P relief valve in the system.

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Greg Maxwell
    Greg Maxwell Member Posts: 212
    air elimination

    What you are describing sounds like a system that introduces air into the water, which is to oxidize dissolved iron and manganese in your well water, so it can be filtered out after turning into a solid. It is a pretty common type of system. I would not go adding anything just yet, I would recommend contacting the system installer, or a qualified water filtration contractor in your area. It may be a problem with the equipment. As far as a spirovent type of an air eliminator, dont use it on a potable water system uless it is NSF approved.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited June 2011
    Air Elimination:

    Greg is correct. There is an iron removal system that uses a venturi snifter valve to suck air into the well water when the pump is running. It puts air/oxygen in to the water where it will oxidize the suspended iron in the water to a solid where it can be filtered out. The filter tank usually removes the air also. If you get too much air in the system, you usually close down on the air by closing down on the cap.

    Either way, you or your friend needs a trained water treatment specialist that has experience in the system you have. If it is a Cuno, call them for help. This is a service problem. You don't need any air absorber or Spirovent.

    I did water treatment for a while. It is a PITA. When you start with a problem, you install equipment to fix the problem. That creates another problem. Fix that one and you have another one. Customers and installers have no idea of the amount of service these things need.   

    Call the installer or someone that does water treatment and have them go over the system.
  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    Ditto to Greg and the Ice man.

    It is most likely a Cuno Snifter.  If you are still getting air after the treatment to remove the iron, then there is a problem with their equipment.

    Have the treatment guys service the equipment.  Most likely a problem with the little spring/ball check on the Fleck Head.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,853
    if it is an iron

    removal system it may have a contact tank. This is typically a blank steel or galvanized tank that allows the air (O2) to contact the water and react with the iron. Usually that tank has a float type air vent to regulate the air "bubble" level.

    After the contact tank my water flows thru a tank similar to a softener that backwashes the "red" iron out.

    Look for this vent and check an clean it.

    I switched my system from one of those venturi valves to a small air compressor that pushes the air into the contact tank. That small orfice valve can be a maintenance headache and requires the pump to work a bit harder.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
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