3 companies came to do tests, please advise on which softener

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by dwassner, May 25, 2012.

  1. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    I have had 3 local companies come out to test the water. All came up with very similar results. I am in Upstate NY, the well is 308 ft drilled in December. Hardness is 28 grains, 2.0 Iron (they stated it was ferrous) no nitrates/chlorine/sulfur, TDS of 460, pH of 7.1, tested neg for chloroform and e. coli. It is my wife and I plus our toddler and new born. We plan on having more children. House is 2 bathroom.

    I was quoted without install for a Kinetico K2060 + 10" filter and 6 salt bags at $2300, or a Powerline single tank no install with Fleck 5600 valve for $1198 + filter and salt. I called later for a price on a Fleck 9000; $1930. They said they could get a 9100 in but didn't have any in stock. After much research I would like to go with a twin tank system. They told me I will get hard water past the valve on the 9000 series; the Kinetico is better and will not do this. Also I will get more life or less parts replacement on the Kinetico due to the previous sentence, and the Kineticos are easier to service. I have read that the electricity that the Kinetico saves is equal to unplugging a digital alarm clock. They were pushing the Kinetico but I need to see a cost justification to go that more expensive direction. Not that i doubt there is one I would just like to see it.

    My questions are:

    Is this true what they said about the Kinetico vs the fleck valves?

    If I order online is there anywhere I should avoid? I can google Fleck 9100sxt and under "shopping" there are a few places they are available and at less than I was quoted.

    How much electricity does the Kinetico save?

    Thanks in advance
  2. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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  3. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    thanks for the response, I didn't see the 7000sxt; I will go with that over the 5600 if I go that route. The reason I like the twin tank besides the efficiency is knowing that I will never use hard water when the single tank is regenerating; I can't guarantee that the shower will not be used at 2am or any time for that matter, due to medical reasons i would rather not go into detail about. I will look into old threads for distributors.

    So do you agree that the fleck valves will let hard water through and shorter lifespan?
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    1,911
    Location:
    Ontario California
    If you must have 24 hour soft water, the Fleck 9100 and Kinetico will both provide that. Electrical consumption of the 9100SXT in less than a $10 a year. The 9100 and 9000 do not allow hard water to go through during regeneration, or during cycling. The very old 9000 valves did have a very slight bleed issue, but that was corrected 22 years ago. http://www.pentairwatertreatment.co...eatment/Bulletins/229-Design Changes 9000.pdf I would highly recommend the 9100SXT over the 9000. the 9000 uses a brass body, the 9100 uses a plastic body. the plastic valve bodies are virtually indestructable. The powerhead, internals, are the same. This is an old valve that has been very well updated over the years and still remains a huge seller for light commercial and industrial applications.

    Considering your water, a 1.5 cu. ft. 9100SXT would be perfect, and I would recommend a cheap backwashing birm filter ahead of it. The birm will remove the majority of your iron, and it will save an estimated 300# of salt going into the environment annually.

    Valve longevity, if you have no chlorine, both systems will last at least 10 years without any problems. The 9100 and kinetico are both fairly easy to service, but the Fleck parts are more readily available if you want to repair it yourself in the future. Either of these systems will be a great choice.
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
  5. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    thanks for the info. Is the birm filter something I can add after I install the softener, and the water has been tested to see performance? Just doing a quick search they are the better part of a grand. Would you consider them necessary? Would I want to run the 10" pre filter before the pressure tank or after?

    Also just curious as to how you got a 1.5 cu ft size from what I stated the water at. When a dual tank system states that it is 1 cu ft per tank is the system a 2.0 cu ft system or 1.0?
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
  6. chevy427

    chevy427 Banned

    Messages:
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    Location:
    USA
    Although your water does have problems is not considered 'trouble' water and it very manageable.

    Prices quoted for the 2060 is what some dealers charge for reconditioned units!! Most dealers charge well over $3000.00 for that unit. The Fleck 9000 price is in line of hat others charge installed. I, too, would prefer the 9100sxt. I have seen the 2060 on much harder water with similar iron last for decades with no problems to speak of. A bigger 2100 would work as well. I would ask for the pleated, washable prefilter element since they are including.

    Of course shopping on line will bring costs down and for obvious reasons. You don't have the backup service, installation and professionals to handle problems, supplies, etc. The savings on electricity is too marginal to really use it as a big advantage. The 9000/9100 only use electricity during its regeneration stages with motors driving pistons and other parts. Electrical parts failure is a more common problem but not overwhelming. I have seen Fleck twins in the field l ast a long time as well. Kinetico is reliable, efficient, quiet and can be completely rebuilt around 2035AD with new resin and you will have a like-new product. If those are the prices asked, then that would make it even more attractive.

    Your title mentions THREE companies.
  7. chevy427

    chevy427 Banned

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    Location:
    USA
    Never place a filter cartridge BEFORE the pressure tank; always after. Yes, the BIRM can be added later. A twin tank quoted will be able to handle those water conditions with your water demands. A twin regenerates with softened, iron-free water.
  8. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    Thanks for the reply. I had Culligan out, and two local businesses, one is Anderson the other is Martin. I am not sure how well they are known outside of this area. Martin is the Fleck/Kinetico distributor. I believe I will go with the 9100SXT, but would really like to see the math as to how many cubic feet of resin I will need. After much research I am still not set as to how to match this with the right salt dose to get the most efficient salt use. It seems that using the salt dose to achieve the max capacity stated is wasteful? 15 lbs/cu ft? So going with a larger cubic feet of resin and using a smaller salt dose will be more efficient for salt use? I think it is 6 lbs/cu ft? The relationship appears exponential. Please let me know if this is correct.

    As far as the online ordering, a fleck is a fleck no matter where I get it right? If I am doing this myself with the oversight of a plumber, why not get it from wherever.com and save $500? I don't ask this with sarcasm or anything btw.

    Is a 1 cu ft per tank twin tank system a 1 cu ft system or a 2 cu ft system?
  9. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Alaska
    If my understanding is korekt, a twin 1 Cu ft system is still 1 cu ft, just one tank at a time. But you will never had hard water if you use your water during the regen cycle (though that would only happen if you were to draw water after 2 a.m. on regen day, pretty rare I'd say).

    Yes, you can get more gallons softened using less salt with a larger resin bed. On the advice of everyone here, I went with a 1.5 cu ft (48K) instead of a 1 cu ft (32K). But those K numbers are misleading, since a 48K will actually only obtain about 45K after the first cycle, and the 32K only about 30K. So here are some sample numbers for you...

    Using the following amounts of salt given the two diff size tanks, you can soften X amount of grains below:

    lbs/salt 1 cu ft 1.5 cu ft
    4 16000 24000

    6 20000 30000

    8 24000 36000

    10 27000 40500

    15 30000 45000


    Bear in mind you need to account for one days' worth of softening in case you get to your intended amount during the day; that way, you have a buffer to get you to 0200 the next morning. Using 6 lbs of salt, a 1 cu ft will get rid of 20K grains of hardness before a regen; 1.5 will rid you of 30,000 grains, but will use 1.5 times the amount of salt. So what you gain there is (days/gallons/grains) between regens.

    GPG X #PPL X GPPPD = grains to be removed per day. Assuming 36 gpg of hardness, 4 people in the house, and 60 gallons per person per day (GPPPD):

    Using 28 gpg of hardness, and 2 ppm X 4 = 8 gpg of iron, you need to account for 36 gpg if you wish to remove the iron with your softener (which some will say is ok, others say it is not advisable). 36gpg X 4 ppl X 60 GPPPD = 8,640 grains per day. If using 6 lbs of salt, a 1 cu ft will go about 1 day before a regen is necessary, but that will work the heck out of your valve. With a 1.5 cu ft, you will only get 2 days, but again, work the heck out of your valve. 7-8 days is about the minimum I have seen recommended between regens. In your case, you'd need a 2 cu ft system using 10 lbs of salt (X 2 = 20 lbs) per regen just to achieve 5 days between regens. 365 / 5 = 73 regens per year, at 20 lbs per, or 1,460 lbs of salt. That's 37 bags per year at $4 +, or about $150 per year.
    Last edited: May 27, 2012
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    My comments are in red.

    Micro managing like that will tend to decrease the satisfaction you get out of life... You can go a larger say 2.5 cuft

    So don't leave us hanging here, what do you propose if not using the softener to remove his iron and hardness?
  11. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    Location:
    Maine
    Well I agree on the micro-managing thing. You can get way too carried away messing around with stuff all for the sake of a dollar or two. I find that most folks really don't want to spend a lot of time fiddling around with things. Dumping a couple bags of salt in the tank is the extent of their interest. As you all know I have a company policy of not removing iron using a softener, now I'm not going to get carried away and recommend expensive filtration if they only have a couple ppm of iron but anything much past 3ppm and I start looking for a better solution.
  12. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Alaska
    Correct, and thanks for pointing out something that may not be obvious... dwassner, though I thought it would be clear from reading down my basic chart above, you could achieve the same 30K of softening by using the 1 cu ft and 15 lbs of salt. But my example shows you how much salt is saved (15 lbs on a 1 cu ft minus 9 lbs on a 1.5 cu ft to achieve 30K, or a savings of 6 lbs per regen).

    But I am fairly certain all here, especially you, have recommended regen cycles of at least 5-7 days on average. And even if the valve IS rated for daily regenerations, simple math says that if it regens every 10 days vs. every day, the internal wear parts will last 10 times longer; if a particular valve has a MTBF of (hypothetically, since no one knows for each valve) 1 year, that means the valve above will need parts in one or two years instead of 10-20 years. Common sense dictates one would not install either system above, I was simply giving him numbers based on his questions.

    No, I would not recommend that sort of micromanagement. A larger resin bed (not tank size, as Gary pointed out, though it is generally understood that one would not buy a 2.0 cu ft tank and only use 1 or 1.5 cu ft worth of resin; but I guess that is possible, so thanks for clarifying resin amount vs. tank size, Gary) would be in order. I was simply giving him examples based on the sizes he asked about.

    I'm pretty sure the math is korek... 5 days X 8640 grains per day = 43,200, plus a reserve of 8640 brings us up to 51,840, safely within the limit of 54,000 for 10 lbs.

    I don't propose anything, iron removal is a discussion for you and the other pros to engage in, I just sit back and enjoy the reading. :p

    But if you're asking what EYE would do... I would spend the extra $311 for a 3 cu ft, set it up for 8 lbs every 7 days, and be done with it. Then I would sleep well at night, knowing I will save about $22 per year in salt over the 2 cu ft system (which will take me only 14.1 years to make up the price difference in salt), but I will also save money on parts since I am only regenerating every 7 days instead of every day or two. That's how I'd handle it as a DIYer.
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    What you aren't aware of or thinking about, is that more rust (ferric iron) builds up on those wearable parts the longer you go between regenerations. The more the build up, the faster those parts wear.

    BTW, on average those parts last 10-15 years.
  14. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    just throwing it out as a question: If I have a specific amount of hardness I need removed, and salt dose x gives me the most efficient use of salt to get the job done, wouldn't that be directly relating to a total resin bed size? i would get twice as many regenerations with a twin tank, but each resin bed itself wouldn't know the difference. Please correct me if i am seeing this wrong. It seems to me like if a 1.5 cu ft single tank is appropriately sized, then going with a 1 cu ft/tank twin tank then becomes "too big"?

    My math:
    (28 gpg hardness) + (4 x 2.0ppm iron) = 36 gpg
    36 gpg x 4people x 60 gallons perday x 8 days = 69,120
    x 4 days = 34,560

    rounding this up I would need 70k of capacity or 35k per tank since each tank does half the work, or 35k total capacity or 17.5k per tank.

    It seems to be that I would be best with 1.5 cu ft resin bed per tank at the minimum or even a 2.0 cu ft per tank to have room as new family members arrive to be sized right.
    I have to be honest I was never given a manganese number from any of the three testers. Only one said that it was "clear water iron" the others never mentioned a type.
    PLEASE CORRECT THIS MATH IF IT IS WRONG!

    Gary, is this something I can monitor? Could I inspect the wear of the parts over say 6 month intervals and increase my regeneration frequency as necessary?
    Thans all
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You don't add the two tanks' capacity of a twin tank type softener together, although there are a web site or two that do that silliness. So each tank is used separately with the regeneration water being softened by the other tank. Which reduces the SFR gpm you normally get during a regeneration. The reduction is the number of gpm going out the drain line; the larger the cuft of resin in the tank, the higher the reduction and reduced water flow to your fixtures. And remember that you have to be using water to start a regeneration, so this reduction in flow continues until you stop using water. Does that sound like something you think you may enjoy? I should mention that the constant SFR has to be met with either tank and during a regeneration. Twin tank softener sales folks seem to always fail to mention those things.

    I don't think you need a twin tank but if you insist, you need each tank large enough for your peak demand flow rate plus the loss during regeneration. Capacity wise each will be the same size a normal softener unless you want to regenerate more frequently, and then your water use increases substantially. I fit were me, I'd go the normal softener based on the SFR needed to cover your peak demand flow rate and not use water for showers, baths, laundry, etc. the night of the regeneration, Regeneration would be on average once a week and you can see what night it will be by looking at the gallons remaining on the display.

    I didn't check the math but you can, and the 2.0' each tank sounds right to me as long as you don't run more than 13 gpm through the 2.0' of resin.


    No to the wear, the wear is microscopic unless a seal is torn and you wouldn't see a problem before it tore. The wear issue is an unfounded fear of f6hawk's (a first time softener owner), otherwise he'd be starting his vehicles much less often, or using washing machines, computers, ovens, the cook stove, toaster, water heater, his furnace, thermostats, TVs, etc. etc much less often.

    Yes to changing the data to use to add another person, or your mother in law and her new stud. Or Dad and his new girlfriend... But if you don't change the settings, the unit will simply regenerate sooner/more often. And that's why visitors are not counted, they leave and things go back to normal scheduled regenerations based on gallons used. That applies to a normal or twin tank type softener.
  16. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    Thanks Gary. I used the link in your signature and it stated that with an iron level of 2.0 I may want to regenerate every 3-4 days. Do you say on average once a week because of the type of iron it is compaired to 3-4 days?

    By using the calculator in your signature's link I am getting 70k capacity to have a 24 hr reserve. By looking at the salt dose chart, I am going to be using a whole lotta salt, alot more than I thought I would anyways. I hope I am seeing this wrong, but at 6 lbs salt dose I will need a 3.5 cu ft resin bed?

    I read how to use an outdoor faucet or tub but is there a way to be more certain? Can anything be added to these results to act as a buffer? Is the 7000 vs 5600 a matter of the valve porting and not the sfr of the resin bed itself?

    why is this?

    thanks for the information
    dustin
  17. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Alaska
    Not sure what he means by not using water the night of regeneration. Not many users will ever know WHEN their softener regenerates, and since the standard programming has it going at 0200, it should be moxnix, unless you are coming home from the club and showering during a regen. In which case, you'd be using untreated water in the event of a single tank system (not a big deal once a week or so), or perhaps exceeding the SFR on a dual-tank system.

    And the wear to which F6Hawk refers (and it's not a fear, it's a fact) is simply being pointed out that a system that regens every night will in fact wear out 10 times faster than one that regens every 10 days (assuming "industry standard" parts, and that nothing is defective to cause premature failure).

    Your numbers are correct, 69,120 in 7 days, covered by a 3.5 cu ft using 6 lbs of salt. You will use about 1095 lbs of salt, and cost yerself about $110 annually (assuming $4.10 per 40# bag).

    Or you could drop down to a 3.0 cu ft, save about $350 on the softener, program it for 24 lbs of salt, spend about $15 more per year... it would take you 23 years before you started seeing a gain in $$$ on the 3.5 cu ft system (assuming average online prices).

    Good luck!
  18. chevy427

    chevy427 Banned

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    Location:
    USA
    Bang. Bang! BANG! "Honey, are you in the shower? I told you not to do laundry today or any water other than the toilet and only for number twos. And don't let me walk in the kitchen and see that the dishes are clean. Don't you ever listen? I told over and over and over not to use any water at the end of the week because the softener might regenerate tonight," said the obsessively-worried-hardness-leakage husband.

    "But dearest, you thought it was going to regenerate last night...and the night before." said the not-really-enjoying-this-scenario wife. "Why didn't you get that twin-tank system so we would never have to worry about your leakage?"

    "Duh," he responded, "because I don't want to come home and find that you have all the faucets and spigots running, toilets flushing, dishwashing running, both showers spewing, washing machine going crazy, fridge water filling up the swimming pool and operating a cheerleading car-wash benefit only to find that hardness may have leaked through and put half-a-gallon of partial untreated water in our new heater." Geez, some women just don't get it."

    "Yes, dear, maybe tomorrow we can start to live another normal-life week---well six days anyway. Oh, by the way, did you remember to reset the softener since your three cousins, uncle and aunt, and that weird sister of yours left three weeks ago?"

    "Oh, shoot............I can't remember--I thought you did it. Why should I be the one to worry about that?"

    "Yes, dear...."
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2012
  19. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,269
    Location:
    Maine
    I think the OP said something about a medical condition that may require the use of the shower at night and that was the reason why he did not want the possibility of hard water coming through; although realistically if you have to take a shower late at night for whatever reason, I doubt you will be all that concerned with the hardness. Me, I stay away from twin tank set up's for residential use. I think they are expensive and overkill and more things to fail. Size a standard single tank set for your load and be done with it.
  20. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    I am convinced concerning the twin vs single tank. We will do what we need to to make a single tank work. At the worst we will be left with the same hard water that we already shower in...

    I have never seen a softener, so I do not know what the interface looks like. Does it display the remaining time left until regeneration?
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