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Boiler water/demineralizers like the Axiom Puropal method of demineralizing?

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Finishing my hot water boiler install, and going to fill it soon. My boiler manufacturer recommends a hardness between 5 and 12 gpg but doesn't explicitly say to avoid use of a water softener (from their instructions, "Hardness levels that are above 12 grains/gallon can lead to lime scale buildup throughout the boiler system. If the fill water is below 5 grains/gallons, usually due to use of a water softener, it is recommended to mix in some potable water at the inlet to increase the hardness of the water to above 5 grains/gallons"--Lochinvar)

Apart from a hardness of 17 gpg/280 ppm, my municipal water is otherwise very good and meets all of their requirements (pH 7.5, iron 0.25 ppm, chlorine < 1 ppm, sodium 28 ppm, chloride 5 ppm, etc.) Of course, if I use my softened water to fill, the hardness will be gone but the sodium will be nearly 500 ppm, which I understand from reading many posts is not ideal due to increased conductivity.

So I was thinking the best plan of action would be to mix enough of my hard water to get 5 gpg with either store bought DI water or make demineralized water on site using the Axiom Puropal or something similar. (The former should avoid the overly harsh dissolving action of DI water given the mixed in 30% hard water.) Certainly the deminieralizer on site would be easier since I can skip the transfer pump etc.

Any feedback is appreciated, however, my one question is on how the devices like the Puropal work. Aren't they just ion exchange medium that would presumably exchange sodium ions for the hardness minerals and thus be no better than my softener? Or are they some other sort of medium that doesn't release an ion and hence can't be regenerated.

Thanks!
Chris

Comments

  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,548
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    You should read the German VDI 2035 or the North American ANSI H 1001.1 (None Chemical portion)
    You can PM me or call low energy products in Denver CO 1 800 873 3507. Talk to Seth or Tom.
    chrismarcellino
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,426
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    Unfortunately I can't seem to find information on what the principle of operation of the Puropal unit is -- so I really can't tell you whether I would recommend it. The manufacturer seems to be very enthusiastic. If it were my system, I would skip the gadget, however, and simply fill the system with deionized (not necessarily distolled) water plus a water treatment and, if necessary, glycol. And stop. If the system is properly installed, you won't have to add more water for years.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    chrismarcellino
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,548
    edited April 18
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    Here is another source of information that may help:
    https://www.caleffi.com/sites/default/files/media/external-file/Idronics_18_NA_Water quality in hydronic systems.pdf

    https://www.elector-wasserbehandlung.de/home.html

    We use a PH Balanced premium Resin and additional devices in order to Balance the PH.
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,065
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    Axiom tells me that due to the media using positive and negative charged ions it does not add anything to the water, just demineralizes it. The data sheet on this doesn't clarify that very well, and I haven't run a test sample through one to test the water coming out. They are fairly popular for filling, but you generally can't go wrong with sourcing your own DI water somewhere else. If you use antifreeze with the system you can get a ready to use style glycol mix in buckets that is already blended for you. If I were you I would contact the boiler manufacturer regarding the water quality requirements first, generally I see new condensing boilers request no more than 7gpg hardness, I have not seen one require a minimum hardness level

    Do not use traditional "soft" water that has been treated via a sodium ion exchange.
    chrismarcellino
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,548
    edited April 18
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    Advantages of using a cartrigde vs. sourcing DI water in containers:

    Sourcing Deionized water:
    1. Have to drive somewhere which wastes Time and Gas
    2. Cost of the Deionized water per gallon is higher.
    3. Hauling the deionized water at 8.34 pounds per gallon... i.e 30 Gal X 8.34 LBS = 250 LBS ! thats fun when you must haul it down a set of stairs.
    4. Being stuck with more Plastic containers which sometimes the even the Recycling centers do not accept.
    5. Have to use a tranfer pump.

    Deionizing cartridge:
    1. Order online and have it delivered via UPS.Fedex.USPS.
    2. Cost less per gallon
    3. A cartridge which weigth is probaly less that 5LBS which is easy to carry down a set of stairs.
    4. Less plastic waste.
    5. No need of the Transfer Pump to install from container to system
    chrismarcellino
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,283
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    Slow but steady? Sidestream deionizer?
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,548
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    jumper said:

    Slow but steady? Sidestream deionizer?

    That works..Just make sure that it is either hardpiped vs leaving it setup with just hoses...
    Also a word of caution on behalf of the temperatures that the Mixed resin bed is subjected to:
    This time of the year when the supply and return temp are lower based on ODR with a modcon most system will not melt the polymers used for the resin bed...Once we get into lower outdoor temperatures which will increase the fluid temp. the Mixed resin bed can melt and clump up in the filter. :(
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,251
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    DI, deionized water or RO, reverse osmosis water is about the same purity.
    Carwashes usually final rinse with RO water and they have large plastic tanks that the store it in as it is a slow process to get RO water. If you know a car wash owner😗

    With either method the ph of the purified water will be low, it will buffer up exposed to the metals in the system. Just exposed to air will start raising the oh of pure water.

    I feel adding a conditioner to good fill water has some advantages to protect the metals and buffer the ph.

    But do a good cleaning of the system first with a hydronic cleaner and a flush. No sense in adding
    purified water to a dirty, oily, rusty system.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,548
    edited April 20
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    Not all Resins are made the same ... :#
    We and other Contractors found that when using one of domestic resins made by C...... the system fluid would become VERY aggressive within a couple months.. :(
    The "European Premium Resins" that we started using a couple years ago have a "secrect" PH buffering capability which is very helpful.
    I think that the PuroPal product also has the PH buffer agent..Soo no need to add anything! Just H2o !
    Unlike some of our domesticly offered resins the "Premium Resin" also Do Not raise the Electrical Conductivity (EC) which is expressed in Micro Siemens.
    As per the VDI 2035 standard the Micro Siemens should be below 100 in order for the galvanic reaction between the different materials to be reduced.
    Again as per the VDI 2035 the addition of Buffering agents is not recommeded as it may raise the EC which is counter productive
    Although many very smart people may not agree with some of the VDI 2035 stardards we have many systems here in the frigid High Country of Colorado that run on pure "Heating system Reinheitsgebot"Deionized water in conjunction with Sacrificial Anodes.
    We do check each of these system frequenty for PH,TDS,Sal,and Hardness (DH) and have found that most of the system need very little system fluid adjustments without the use of Chemicals.
    We have had no issues with leaks,premature failures of Circulating pumps,Clogged or failing Heat exchangers.
    The chemical companies do not like the VDI 2035 as it can and will reduce the sales of Glycol and so many other over the counter available magic cure alls that come in a easy to use unrecyclable can.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,251
    edited April 19
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    I d suggest it is important to listen to both the pure water enthusiasts as well as the hydronic conditioners folks. That is what I did when on the committee that developed the ANSI standard. Make your decision based on the track record and experience of the combined knowledge. It’s not an either or decision for everyone.

    There are chemicals used in hydronics that are not glycols and there are hydronic chemicals and glycols made and used by even Germans🤔

    Certainly the snowmelt and solar thermal systems have and will continue to use glycols, in many if not all countries, some of many of the heat pumps manufacturers state warranty is void unless glycol is used in their monobloc systems. Both for freeze protection durning the heating mode and protection for the HX in cooling mode.

    I’m guessing there are not many snowmelt systems operating successfully without antifreeze chemicals in Colorado? I know there are plenty solar thermal systems running glycols in Colorado.

    So you can run but not hide from chemical in heating, cooling, and solar thermal systems. Use as directed any you can live happily together. Both pure water and chemical systems need monitoring and possibly adjusting as pure water does not stop O2 ingress any better than glycols or hydronic conditioners.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    chrismarcellinoDerheatmeister
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,548
    edited April 19
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    hot_rod said:

    I d suggest it is important to listen to both the pure water enthusiasts as well as the hydronic conditioners folks. That is what I did when on the committee that developed the ANSI standard. Make your decision based on the track record and experience of the combined knowledge. It’s not an either or decision for everyone.

    There are chemicals used in hydronics that are not glycols and there are hydronic chemicals and glycols made and used by even Germans🤔

    Certainly the snowmelt and solar thermal systems have and will continue to use glycols, in many if not all countries, some of many of the heat pumps manufacturers state warranty is void unless glycol is used in their monobloc systems. Both for freeze protection durning the heating mode and protection for the HX in cooling mode.

    I’m guessing there are not many snowmelt systems operating successfully without antifreeze chemicals in Colorado? I know there are plenty solar thermal systems running glycols in Colorado.

    So you can run but not hide from chemical in heating, cooling, and solar thermal systems. Use as directed any you can live happily together. Both pure water and chemical systems need monitoring and possibly adjusting as pure water does not stop O2 ingress any better than glycols or hydronic conditioners.

    No running or hiding here...
    I also Respectfully listend very careful both the Chemical and the none Chemical committee members when i was Chairman of the "None Chemical portion" of the ANSI H1001.1 committee. ;)

    Of course Snowmelts and Solar systems that we fequently service and install will require Glycol.

    Get this....We just installed 5 New old Stock Buderus SKS 4.0 Solar Collectors on my own roof and believe it or not installed approx 8 Gallons of Tyfocor Glycol into the collectors and the Latento Storage tanks coils.
    If i did not allready have these collectors sitting around the shop taking up valuable Summit county Real estate i would have installed a drain back system using Sun earth Collectors and just H2o like we have done numerus times.

    As for the O2 ingest: We have found that generally due to the Chemicals being Oxidized beyond their capabilities it causes premature deterioration which causes the PH to drop and in some cases become VERY agressive..
    When the PH drops all there is left to do in these cases is to Start with a fresh slate.
    This incorporates the following:
    1. Removal of all the Glycol (We send to to Denver to have it refined since it also has Heavy metals and phosphorus properties ).Most other contractors just put it down the Drain.
    2. Flushing the system.
    3. (Believe it or not) Installing a CHEMICAL such as Fernox
    4. That was the first Visit....
    5. Second Visit after a couple Days:
    6. Flush the Cleaner out of the System and down the Drain :( .
    7. Install New Glycol in conjunction with DEIONIZED water as the Manufacturer recommends.
    8. Depending on the Oxygen ingest this all of the above mentioned will need to be address over and over again over the life time of this system..(Very frustrating and costly)

    As you may know and appreciate we have started using Deionized water in conjunction with Anodes and have had very good results on None barrier system...
    Yes these systems will need a brush up every now and then.
    To be fair we are using a Plastic polymer for the Resin but it just is as simple and hooking up the Resin bed filter and letting it do it's job for a couple days..(Caleffi sells these"Gruenbeck" resin bed fliter systems)
    I addition with the Deionized water and the Anode the only thing that i wish we had more of domesticly availabe would be a Degassifing units for the residental size such as they are offering in europe.
    As i have always said :There is a time and place for everything and Listening both Opinions is very important.
    As you can see no one is a Angel and we also implement Chemicals when needed.
    Sorry for the Germenglish wording.
    Hope you and your Family are doing OK. :) and have a nice weekend.
    Your Hydronic Friend Richard.
    chrismarcellino
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,251
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    Do your local auto parts stores take glycol?

    No problem mixing EG and PG in the recycling barrel. Automotive glycol is both PG and EG these days, it gets recycled together. Once it goes through all the steps to recycle it it is re-inhibited as EG. Some repair shops recycle glycol in their facility.

    Regardless of which water treatment option you chose, pure water, or water with conditioner. The key is checking and maintaining.

    Probably a lot of hydronic and solar glycol is mixes on site with hard or high TDS water. Basically compromising the blend from day one!

    Best to use the pre-blended stuff.

    I think the film providers that come in the hydronic conditioners save a lot of the multi-metal systems that we install now a days.

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