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Alliance SL indirect makes water hard?

I just replaced a 25 year old HB Smith boiler with a Burnham MPO IQ (115) boiler and an Alliance SL 35 gallon indirect water heater. I also have a Culligan water softener on the water inlet for both hot and cold. When it was installed, our water measured a hardness of 15.

The hot water is now what I would call hard, while the cold water is still soft. I checked the softener, and actually replaced the brine valve in it, and the system works fine. So, I think there's a problem with the indirect heater. I don't know how acid our water is, but living in NY, that might be a possibility. What I worry about is that there's some kind of corrosion going on with the stone lining in the heater. I know it's not really "stone", it's actually a form of cement called Alkrete. That means it has limestone in it which could be affected by acid water, from what I've read. And, that could mean that what I'm experiencing isn't really hard water in the normal sense, but some kind of interaction between the water and the cement tank linking, like between the limestone and the acid water, which makes the water feel hard.

Is this right? Is there something else I could check to find out why the hot water is hard? My installer (oil company) wanted to replace the anode in the heater, which is wrong because the Alliance doesn't have an anode given that it's a stone lining. Then they wanted to shock the water, but it's brand new, so I don't see how any bacteria could have built up yet, and the water doesn't smell. They're going to do water tests (for what, I don't know at this point), but they haven't flushed the tank yet.



  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited October 2012
    Hard and soft water:

    Did you have a thorough water teat done before they installed the water softener? If the PH of the water was below 7.0 and acidic, you need to correct the PH of the water to get it well above 7.0 for the softener to work. It will not work as well and the hardness in the corm of calcium may form on the potable water side of any coil. If you have a cement lined tank, it will be corroded by the acidic water.

    Where I work, it is all well water, including the public water supply because it is a sole source aquifer. The PH of the water is below 7.0 which is acidic. With copper tube, there is a real problem with women getting blue/green hair. If wells are drilled below 100', you may get into glacial shells laid down during one or many prehistoric eras. The local water company used shallow well fields that delivered water that was acidic and in the 6.5 to 6.8 levels. Then, they had two new wells drilled that were below 150'. The water from those wells are 8.4 PH. Now, heating coils are crudding up from the "hardness" in the water. But no more blue hair.

    Water treatment is very complicated and you need an accurate, comprehensive water analysis. Often, when you treat one problem, you create another. That's what I found. That's what always happened to me. That's why I have other "experts" take responsibility for it.

    Just how "hard" is this hot water in relation to the cold? And why do you rhink it is a problem?
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