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Old 07-11-2005, 12:55 PM
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Well water (iron in water) Automotive paint

I hope this is posted in the correct place.
I have well water at my house, (city water is at the street but the city has not gave me the OK to tie in yet) the water is terrible has lots of iron in it, its just OK if ran through a softener but still not good. We do not drink it, its that bad. but my question is this.

Will it hurt the paint on the cars if I were to wash the car with this water. When they let me hook to the city water I would like to keep my well for washing the cars and watering the grass and so on. If I need to run it through the softener I will do so. If any body can give me any insight on this it would help. Thanks

Steve

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Old 07-11-2005, 01:18 PM
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My water is pretty hard and spots terrible when it air dries,
I would think that as long as you chamois it off so it
doesn't dry in place it shouln't matter to much.
If you use car wash soap and keep your car waxed I would
think it to be fine, just my opinion.
Maybe someone in the know will tell us more.
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:18 PM
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It will not hurt the paint, and you dont have to run it through a softner
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:32 PM
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If you run my water for any length of time say in the white sink with out the softener working. it will turn orange. Also if you boil tap water without the softener the bubbles are orange and it has a smell to it. It will also stain the siding on the house. Its that bad.

Steve
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:33 PM
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About 8 years ago I did some testing on this when I was trying to formulate the waterborne wax and grease remover.

Some wells also have a high Sulfur content but be it iron or sulfur as long as you dry it, it does not hurt to use over bare metal or paint.

Here is what I also found, I started out with distilled water and found "CERTAIN" city water systems actually performed better than the distilled. Not all but keep in mind all these city water systems have a different set of additives to get it where they want it.
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Old 07-11-2005, 06:23 PM
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Thanks everybody for the info.

Steve
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Old 07-13-2005, 06:02 PM
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Have you tried to use "rain water" to clean your car? By the way it is not a kind of water, just the water that falls when it rains outside . I heard it was one of the best water to clean a car (when you don't leave next to a chemical industry). An easy way to collect rain water is to put a barrel under your house gutter.

I know it is not the answer to your question but is good alternative.
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Old 07-13-2005, 06:53 PM
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Steve,

I am a Hydrologist. (It's nice to be able to use my professional expertise on this forum for a change )

The iron water won't hurt your paint's finish. However, iron along with other naturally occurring elements in water, will leave spots.

You will want to do what really most car enthusiasts do anyway; have a good coat of high quality car wax on your car, use a detergent designed for washing cars and use a chamois to get the water off before it can dry and leave spots.

One thing I do after washing the car is to use an electric yard blower to blow most of the water off the car before using the chamois. This saves a bunch of time as I don't have to squeeze the water out of chamois so many times. It also gets the water out of the nooks and crannies on the car. My brother laughed at me the first time he saw me do this and now it's his standard procedure.

Roger

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Old 07-13-2005, 07:29 PM
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hey roger what do you think about reverse osmosis filter systems

steve the best thing for you to use is a "absorber" Synthetic chamois they work 10 times better than the natural ones and if you to get spots use "fall out remover"

down here if you dont dry it ,it will get calcium or lime deposits

i had a customer who was spraying his truck off every day during the drought and it was almost getting crusty

use car wash soap with the fall out in a pump up sprayer in the shade and no more spots

good poop

sr66
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Keller
hey roger what do you think about reverse osmosis filter systems
Rob, R/O would be overkill and too expensive to consider for car washing at home. Better to use the procedures described above. However, it would eliminate the spotting. You would need a large R/O unit as the kind you buy at Home Depot will only treat 10 gallons a day. I have a 50 gpd unit in my kitchen and that still takes the better part of an hour to fill it's 3 gallon tank.

Commercial car/truck wash facilities do treat their water when necessary as many of them need the vehicles to be spot free when they are not dried thoroughly or at all.

With the iron problem that Steve describes, he would still need to treat the water for high iron before it went to an R/O system because the R/O system pre-filters wouldn't last long. There's lots of information on how to deal with iron in water as it is a very common occurrence in water wells.
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Old 07-14-2005, 07:45 AM
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Thanks Roger1 for the info.

Steve
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:29 AM
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i used to detail a few vehicles plus my own to the point i was looking for something and i saw ...maybe car wash tech on the history channel(don't quote me) that how i found out about the R/O.

in typical home depot fashion i was unable to learn any more and was off line at the time and basically for got until now.
i had no idea the the process for cleaning up the H2O was so legnthy (like my post) .
LOL
but i thought that i would use that for a final rinse like that Mr clean thing ,which by the way does work for the most part just don't expect if you have any amount of wax on it to lay flat an sheet off.

thanks Rodger 1for the great info and thanks 1931 Steve for creating this thread... most informative!

thanks guys
rob
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