Can a Water Softener Remove Red-Water Iron?

Water Softener for iron No. “Red-Water Iron” (also called ferric iron) is iron that has become a solid particle. If the iron is in a solid particle form, the softener cannot remove it. Why? Because softeners are meant to remove iron that is still dissolved in your water, sometimes called “Clear-Water Iron” (also called ferrous iron).

Which brings up an important point – successful iron removal depends on what type of iron you already have. “Red-Water Iron” is best treated with an “oxidation/filtration” method, which means the iron is exposed to oxygen and forced into particle form, which is then big enough to trap it and filter out.  Equipment like the Hellenbrand Iron Curtain will utilize this method.

Many customers are concerned with the staining in their sinks, showers, and dishwashers. Iron is one of the biggest nuisances due to its orange color. When Clear-Water Iron is exposed to oxygen, it comes out of solution and then stains your fixtures. So just because you can see the iron staining in your toilet does not mean you have Red-Water Iron coming from the well itself. The dissolved iron is just hitting the air and oxidizing.

Factors such as iron levels, hardness levels, acidity levels and homeowner preference will help guide the decision of which method of iron removal is best. An Iron Curtain or Birm must be used with iron levels below 5 ppm, and a pH of 6.8 to 8.5. And, these systems do not remove hardness from your water, whereas a Water Softener will.