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. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Alaska
    Well, I know how you don't think Aquatell puts out valid data, but perhaps you might put more merit into it than info coming from a 3-week old "softener expert" such as myself. But THEY seem to think that frequent regens speeds up the wear of the valves... http://www.aquatell.com/knowledge-center/understanding-true-water-softener-capacity Read Paragraph 3. in blue, near the bottom...

    All those years in engineering school musta been wasted, if I think that moving parts, moving either faster or more often than "normal", would wear faster. DARN my old Physics and Statics professors!!
  2. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,308
    Location:
    Maine
    You want to see something fast? You should see how fast the motor (reversible DC) on the Fleck 5800 cranks. Ladies and gentlemen, keep your hands and feet away from the moving parts.
  3. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,938
    Location:
    Ontario California
    LOL, I have one of the Version 1.0 boards, it would not find its position as quickly as it should have, so the system would cycle the piston a couple times while the computer counted, now that was dangerous! The new verion, (production) finds the positions without a cycle, so going from service to backwash is less than a second. Amazing design on the gear train, I especially like the thumb slot on the back so you can manually move the piston, I dont know if you noticed that feature, but check it out. It is on the back side of the valve, you can easily move the piston. The brine cam is also b-directional, so it soft open, and closes the traditional Fleck brine valve design. SO far, I am liking it. I should have my first few pallets in a week, I will do an LXT review shortly as well. The programming.

    Now... regarding systems cycling too often and wearing out, F6Hawk, you are absolutely correct. Anybody who has real world experience would know firsthand of the wear problems with all of the manufacturers equipment when they are applied or programmed incorrectly. For regular residentail applications, you can wear out a seal and spacer kit in as little as 5 years on either a Fleck or Clack if they are regenerating daily and certain water conditions exist. The real problem comes with the demand flow systems, (commonly know as system 14). If these are not carefully programmed properly, short cycling can occur on either the Fleck lower piston, or the External shut offs on the Clack valves. When this occurs regularly, we see seal and spacer kits wearing out in as little as a few months, or leaks from the piston o-rings, etc.

    Then again, like you said, systems constantly regeenrating or cycling will obviously cause more wear and tear. I am still trying to figure out the contreversy.

    And BTW, the knowledge you have learned in a short amount of time is impressive, your ability to apply it is even more so. You are the type of guy that would make a great field technician, you would be easy to train.
  4. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Alaska
    Man, can I get you to email that to my wife??? LOL

    Thanks for the compliment, but really, the kudos go to you guys who have taken the time to explain things so completely. Taking the time to help someone from whom you will never receive a dime is a true testament to your professionalism and dedication to the field.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    "cycling too often".... define too often.

    First it was cycling too often with no definition and now it's "applied or programmed incorrectly", with no explanation.

    Now it's "cycling too often", "applied or programmed incorrectly" and "regenerating daily and certain water conditions exist".

    And now we see where "cycling too often", "applied or programmed incorrectly" and "regenerating daily and certain water conditions exist" comes from.... How many people that post here will have a system 14? Folks, the answer is NONE!!

    The fact is that most control valves will not have a wear problem of their piston, piston seals or flapper valves etc. unless something in the water causes it.

    Here is the bottom line, to say that regenerating a softener daily will wear out the piston, piston seals or flapper valves sooner than not simply is not true UNLESS there is something in the water to cause failure of those parts.

    Those parts are industrial quality and made from industrial type materials. And they are meant to be used daily for many more than a few months or years as is being mentioned here.

    On average most people will never suffer a failure of those parts over the life of their softener which is usually 10-20 years. And if they do, the parts are very affordable and easily replaced in most valves by most anyone if they have instructions of how to do it.
  6. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Alaska
    Then perhaps you should get on the phone and get Aquatell to remove their communistic blather that they have posted on their site about valve wear.

    Now, thanks to you and your insight on the world of moving, industrial grade parts, I can tell my son that it's ok to drive around in his car at redline instead of telling him to take it easy on the gas. Little did I know that revving the engine faster does NOT wear it out faster. And that old geezer down the road, the one with the car in the garage from 1957, who CLAIMS it has lasted so long because he put very few miles on it and drove it gently... what a dork! It must be because nothing was introduced into the engine to cause that extra wear, like "invisible dirt". This is going to revolutionize the world of.... well, EVERYTHING, since nothing will wear out any faster if you use it more! Thanks, Gary
  7. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Alaska
    Simple math
  8. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,938
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Amazing how EVERYTHING I say is incorrect, or misleading. I am obviously a poor exceuse for a water treatment professional and I should just leave the field, as should everybody else on this site except for the master.

    Or, someone here simply hates not being the sole giver of advice and since they are unable to make a competing forum that gets any traffic....

    BTW, I have already tried simple math, dont bother. some people dont beleive in math, charts, equations, test kits, but they will recommend fixing a plumbing leak with duct tape.
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Fact is that Teflon coating usually doesn't fail unless it is scratched. Most of Fleck's pistons are Teflon coated. The seals fail to seal on the piston(s) when they are scratched or torn by the scratches in the Teflon. OR, from a build up of something in the water that builds up in between the spacers between each seal, that prevents the seal from running on a smooth piston surface.

    Now I don't know but from what you've said here in numerous threads, you are a first time softener owner for like a month... my guess is that you have never seen a piston or seals or spacers in a Fleck or the stack and non Teflon coated piston in a Clack, or, the flapper valves in an Autotrol valve. I have 25 years of seeing them and replacing them. BTW, the seals are not 0-rings.

    So you are working on a theory, and I'm working from actual field experience and as Yogi Bear used to say, ā€œIn theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.ā€.

    So you hang on to your theory and I'll speak from my first hand experience, especially the part about too infrequent regenerating, especially in this case with iron in the water, and my seeing a fair amount of build up on spacers and pistons and readers can decide for themselves as to which way they view the future serviceability of their control valve.

    Here are pics of a Clack pistons (there is a black brine piston on the far end of the main piston) and seal stack. Note the rust build up on one of the spacers? The stack/pistons were only a few months old and was allowing an internal leak in the valve. A new complete piston and stack cured the problem.

    I have pics of a hard whitish biuld up on the main piston and spacers and a torn seal but I can't find it just now and knowing yous guys, I'd probably be accused of doctoring anyway, so these are all ya git.

    DSC02493 (Medium).JPG

    DSC02495.JPG
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012
  10. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    Months later and I am back with a few last questions. I have the softener finally installed and running. After going through the best set up manual I could find on-line, I don't understand how to set the salt dose. It is the 80,000 tank, which if I remember is 2.5 cu ft and although there are 4 of us, 2 are below the age of 3, so if possible I would like to base the figures off of 2.5 people. At 28 grains hardness plus 2 grains of iron I was able to set the hardness at 36, although the manual says to figure 5 grains per every ppm of iron.

    What the manual didn't cover:
    How do I set the salt dose?
    In the master settings the days that it will automatically regenerate regardless of how much life is left is 14. Should I change this?
    What should I keep the salt level at in the brine tank?
    What should the water level be at? The float is in the down position and no water has filled the tank. Was this supposed to happen on its own? I believe I already did a manual regeneration because I held the cycle button down while plugging in the unit do do a hard reset and the unit took off and started doin its thing.

    Please advise
    thanks.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  11. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,938
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Salt dose is set by the brine refill time. In the master programming the refill time can be adjusted. See the programming guide below that we ship out with our equipment. You will need to determine what BLFC you have, it will be on a small white sticke on the back of the valve.

    14 days is the over ride. Should you leave for vacation, or if your water usage causes the system to regenerate infrequently, the system will regenerate on the 14th day and will reset the meter count. If you are using your system for Iron removal, the system should be regenerated at least every2 weeks, if you are not using it for iron removal, you can easily go 30 days between regenerations.
    Brine tank salt level, keep it full. Try to not let the salt level fall below the water level. if it does, it will not hurt anything. As long as their is undissolved salt in the brine tank.
    Water level in the brine tank... it depends on the BF setting, and if the valve is programmed for Brine Fill First or Standard. I recommend standard unless you are use Potassium Chloride.
    If you did a master reset, you will need to fully reprogram the valve, use the guide below to do this. Most companies pre-program the valve to the system size before shipping, all you are supposed to do is set the hardness, and time of day, the rest will be taken care of by the valve.
    7000 email 25.jpg
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Obviously the people you bought from did not include the instructions and data you need. Although Dittohead says otherwise, most online dealers don't.

    The red Click Here link in my signature will teach you what you need to know to be able to complete the programming.
  13. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    Thanks for the replies. After crunching the numbers, I am at roughly 41000 - 51000 per regeneration at 8-10 days respectively. This means that I fall between 6 and 8 lbs/cuft. for the most efficient salt dose. Can a 7 lbs dose be done? or must I round up to 8?

    Does so many minutes of brine refill time equate to 1 lbs per cu ft.?

    On the back of the valve it states a .250 blfc, 4 dlfc, and 0 injector.
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I can't recall but think you bought a softener with a Fleck control valve. If so the formula to set the salt dose with is in the valve service manual that you should have received. If not get one from the Fleck site or the guy that sold you the softener. Keep the manual and anything else you think you may need in the future with the softener so you can find it when you need it.

    You can use any number of lbs of salt as long as you get the volume of refill water right for that number of lbs. And I always rounded up fractions to the next higher whole number.

    You program for a specific K of capacity, and then come up with the amount of salt that requires.
  15. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    I looked at the manual online and was not able to find what I need. I also looked at the wrong column in the chart. If I use a capacity of 41,000 how do I come up with the salt dose? With a blfc .250 I will get a gallon every 4 minutes but how much salt is this equal to?

    Yes Gary is a 7000sxt with a 2.5 cu ft resin bed.

    Last question: I did a test this morning with my Hach hardness and iron testing kit. I now have zero iron and it only took 1 drop to turn the test water from purple to blue. Does this indicate that I have 0 hardness or 1 grain per gallon since it took 1 drop?
  16. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    At .250 gpm it takes 4 minutes to get one gallon. One gallon dissolves 3 lbs of salt.

    41,000/3333 grains per lb salt efficiency gives you the number of lbs needed.

    Yes 1 gpg and 0 ppm.
  17. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    OK, thanks. If I do another test in a few weeks and am still getting 1 gpg hardness, what do I do to bring this to 0? If I understand correctly, the salt dose will not fix it, this only determines how many days I can go before I need to regenerate? For the time being, I have it programmed to what dittohead posted, and following the changes I did a manual regeneration. If realistic, I would like to bring the dose lower than the 8 lbs that he posted, but if not then it will be fine. Its really not that big of a difference but if I can save 20-30 bucks or so per year then why not.
  18. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,938
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The hardness is determined by the amount of salt used. it is a quality vs efficiency calculation. Extremely efficient settings of 4 pounds per cu. ft. will give the hardness reading you are seeing, this is normal. High salting is much less effiicient but will give higher quality (lower hardness). To properly test to the levels you are looking at would require a different test kit. In all reality, I would leave it as is, wait a couple weeks and see if the quality meets your needs. The difference between 1-5 PPM vs 5-10 usually only matters in steam boiler or EDI pre-treatment, not in resideantial application. FYI, 17.1 ppm = 1 GPG. Your test kit is a GPG test kit. GPG is adequate for the vast majority of testing needs.

    See the chart below for a better explanation.
    hardness leakage.jpg
  19. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    It seems that isn't working for you. Maybe you should try it my way because my customers tested and got 0 gpg and if they got one or more gpg, my instructions told them that something was wrong.

    Waiting a few weeks to retest is going to do what for you? It isn't working right now and waiting a few weeks to retest isn't going to fix it IMO. It will probably get worse. Or did you use the softener before you programmed it?

    No, the number of days between regenerations comes from the number of gallons or days you set the control valve for.

    The K of capacity is controlled by the lbs of salt used per regeneration. Salt efficiency is the K of capacity divided by the lbs of salt.
  20. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    The reason I wanted to wait was because I changed the settings to what dittohead posted. The settings I had before were incorrect and I wanted to test at the new settings. So yes, I did in a way use it before I programmed it. Will the Rapid Rinse, Brine fill, or either backwash have to be changed if I change the brine draw? What do these affect?
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