Thursday, November 7, 2013

What is the Difference Between Fine Mesh Resin and Standard Resin?

I’m getting ready to order my water softener from you, but just had another question. Should I get standard or fine mesh resin with my softener? My iron is 2.6ppm and wasn’t sure which way to go.

Generally we recommend an iron filter for iron removal, but if your iron is ferric (rusted) and not ferrous (clear) and your water's pH is around 7.0, you can use fine mesh resin in your softener.  The difference is that fine mesh resin will be a bit more effective at removing iron than regular resin. 
Fine Mesh Resin
Fine Mesh Resin
This is because fine mesh resin is smaller and packed more tightly than regular resin, and has a larger surface area to which iron can attach.  Fine mesh resin can filter up to about 10 ppm of iron from water, so it should work just fine for your application if your iron level is only 2.6 ppm.  
While we do recommend fine mesh resin for your softener if you intend to remove iron, we also want to note that there are some drawbacks to using fine mesh resin. To start, it is a bit more expensive than standard resin.  Moreover, it can be fouled rather easily if iron sits on the resin beads for too long (i.e. if the resin is not properly, regularly cleaned) at which point you'll also need some resin cleaner.
Another problem when using fine mesh resin is that even if your iron is totally ferrous, it may still become oxidized by your softener as it sucks in brine from the salt tank through a small injector or venturi.  When oxidized in this way, iron can foul your injectors and necessitate more maintenance of the system.  
Res-Up Auto Resin Cleaner Feeder
Res-Up Automatic Resin Cleaner Feeder
However, these problems are not too critical. The injectors can be cleaned fairly easily, and you can avoid fouling your fine mesh resin with iron by using an automatic resin cleaner feeder or by running your softener's regeneration cycle frequently, perhaps every few days.
All that said, we do recommend using fine mesh resin in your softener to remove iron. Just be sure to properly maintain your system and you should see that iron disappear in no time.
Thanks for the letter, Cody.

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