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. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I suggest 2 manual regenerations, one right after the other with no water use during or between them, at the max of 15 lbs/cuft of resin. That regenerates all the resin, then when the second one is done, set the salt dose you want to use.

    You don't change the other settings.
  2. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    I am now at day 10 and still have at least another days worth, more like 2 left until a regeneration. This is with normal water usage, and we also had a house warming party this weekend with roughly 30 people over and a lot of cooking. I am wondering now what I should change my settings to because I don't want to hit day 14 and have the unit do an auto regeneration. I will admit I am finding calculating this math to be difficult.

    For what its worth, I retested the water after having made the changes posted by dittohead and am at 0 gpg and 0 ppm iron.
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Do a hardness test each day until it regenerates and see if the water stays soft.
  4. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    I can do that. The first day I retested it was day 7 so I will assume that days 1-6 were at 0 gpg 0 ppm.

    So tonight I went to take a shower and the water smelled like eggs, I am assuming its sulfur. I will get a water specialist over here to test it.
    If the well changed and there is sulfur will it hurt the softener? What is the best way to take care of sulfur in water?
    It is strange because the smell is only present when the hot water is on, so far at least. it also is not consistent, it comes and goes.

    Also I wanted to ask much earlier but forgot to: Should I have a pre filter before the softener?
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  5. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    The softener regenerated on day 14. The water tested the same every time after I made the adjustments.
  6. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    Can someone please give me a step by step on the math for how to figure out what I should program this to?
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

  8. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    Hello again. I had an inspection done on my boiler. I mentioned to the tech. that I have 0-1 gpg hardness and he stated that I should attempt to get 3 gpg because at 0 gpg hardness the water can be corrosive/acidic for the heat exchanges in the boiler and in the indirect hw tank. After crunching the numbers again:

    28 gpg hardness + (2.0 ppm iron x 4) = 36 compensated hardness - 3gpg that I now want to keep = 33 compensated hardness

    33 x 210 gallons per day x 8 days = 55,440 grains needed to be removed (62,370 gains if adding an extra day for reserve.)

    Looking at charts, I am in the 8-9 lbs/ft for salt dose. Again, it is a 2.5 cu ft softener. fleck 7000sxt

    Questions I have:
    -Does this look correct?
    -Will Iron start to appear in the water along with the hardness I am trying to keep in the water?
    -My manual mentions a "Safety Factor" setting. Is this not the same thing as adding the extra days worth of reserve to the total grains? Is adding a reserve amount into the equation redundant when using the "Safety Factor"?
    -Is my "Unit Capacity" setting supposed to be at 80x1000 since I have an 80,000 grain system, or is this setting referring to something else?
    -What should I set my "feedwater hardness" setting to. I would assume that it should now be set to 33, since this is my compensated gpg hardness?
    -From re-reading the above posts, it appears that I set the desired salt dose by changing the times of the "regeneration cycle step times". If this is the case, what does the "feedwater hardness" setting do?

    thanks in advance,
    Dustin
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Your boiler guy is wrong. Most boiler applications require the least hardness in the water that can be achieved; like in a few ppm, not in gpg.

    You have to softener all the water and then add in his 3 gpg by adding hard raw water to the outlet soft water stream from the softener, but that will scale up your boiler your time an that is and. Ion exchange softened water is not corrosive.
  10. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    Is it the pH that he is referring to as corrosive? Can you address the questions about the settings in the unit? Even if I don't attempt to keep the 3 gpg in the water, I need to change the settings because I am hitting the 14 day override every time...
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Click on the link in my signature and do the math to get the K of capacity you need for the number of gallons you need between regenerations based on the number of days between regenerations that you want. Then set the salt dose lbs (minutes of refill) to regenerate that K of capacity based on 3 lbs per gal. of refill water.
  12. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Ontario California
    I would research your specific boiler to determine the water treatment requirements. I am a licensed Boiler Technician, and many of the boiler manufacturers literature is poorly written. I can only guess someone wrote a manual badly 40 years ago and many boiler companies simply copied the original bad one. Some boiler manuals poorly state that water should be maintained at below 3 grains per gallon, most modern manuals now say 3 ppm. There is also many other considerations. Is your boiler recieiving chemical treatment? Have they done an LSI for your water and pH? Does your boiler manual recommend that you bypass the softener annually for a week to add a thin protective layer of calcium to the tubes? etc... Many boiler technicians read a manual once, and assume it refers to all boilers, most boilers have completely different needs and water requirements. For the most part, we try to maintain below 3 ppm of hardness for most boilers, but... get the manual and start reading, and follow the manufacturers recommendations.
  13. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    My manual states that the water needs to be "Hardness less than 7 grains." The boiler is a Lochinvar Knight. I have not done an LSI test and I am not sure of the chemical treatment that you are referring to. There is no statement of bypassing the softener ever.

    The tech. that came out said he has seen the biggest issues in the indirect hw tanks, which I have (Lochinvar also). He said that the welds on the stainless heat exchanges are prone to damage from the extremely soft water (because without any hardness in the water the water has to eat at something) and he will get a call from people saying that the hw tank is not working. What happens is the water leaks from the exchange to the drinking water or vise versa. Although he may be incorrect, I would consider him to be one of the more knowledgeable people that I have had to deal with in the home improvement realm.

    Can someone please answer the following, for the sake of my curiosity if nothing else:

    -My manual mentions a "Safety Factor" setting. Is this not the same thing as adding the extra days worth of reserve to the total grains? Is adding a reserve amount into the equation redundant when using the "Safety Factor"?
    -Is my "Unit Capacity" setting supposed to be at 80x1000 since I have an 80,000 grain system, or is this setting referring to something else?
    -What should I set my "feedwater hardness" setting to. I would assume that it should now be set to 33, since this is my compensated gpg hardness?
    -From re-reading the above posts, it appears that I set the desired salt dose by changing the times of the "regeneration cycle step times". If this is the case, what does the "feedwater hardness" setting do?

    thanks for the assistance.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  14. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Safety factor is simply removing a % of the total capacity for a reserve. This can be carefully calculated for maximum efficiency and softness etc, but in general, if you exceed 7 days between regenerations, a setting of 10-15 is fine. it really becomes more important for commercial applications where forced regenerations become necessary due to the bad design oand application of single tank systems in high volume applications.

    Your "80,000 grain" system should be set to 50,000 grains and the system should be regenerated with 15 pounds of salt per regeneration. This will give you a far more efficient system than using the 80K settings. inorder to get 80K, you would have to regenerate with 45 pounds of salt per regeneration, this is not a good idea.

    33 grains is your compensated hardness, correct.

    I am off to a meeting, I will add more later.
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The LSI was invented to determine IF naturally soft water, that's water with a low pH, TDS and hardness content, would dissolve the inside of cement water distribution lines and thereby release asbestos fibers into the water.

    It is a huge mistake to use it to determine if water corrodes metals. There are much better tests to use to determine if a water is corrosive to metals.

    Here is a discussion between engineers debating the mistake in using the LSI to determine if a water will cause corrosion of metals.
    http://corrosion-doctors.org/Cooling-Water-Towers/corrosivity.htm

    The reserve capacity of a two tank type softener that does not have a variable reserve type control valve, is one day's K of capacity so that if the meter zeros early in the morning there is sufficient capacity to produce soft water until the next 2:00 AM when a regeneration can be done.
  16. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    I can't perceive the tech. making up the fact that he has replaced several indirect hw tanks because of the welds going bad and connecting that to the presence of very soft water. Perhaps it is a false syllogism, but if anything it is advantageous for him to have said nothing. Either way, I still feel stuck concerning what to do here.

    When the unit sees that I enter 33 grains of compensated hardness into the setting, what does it do with this number? It can't use this number to decide the salt dose, since I am setting this through the step times.

    So to confirm, when I calculate the total grains needed to be removed, I should add an additional days worth, AND tell the unit to remove a given % of total capacity? Is the percentage I add the percentage I should enter into the unit?

    thanks guys
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
  17. amateurplumber1

    amateurplumber1 Member

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Here
    Isn't it only naturally soft water that is corrosive? I'm pretty sure this doesnt apply to softened water. I'd honestly just leave it as is.
  18. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Ontario California
    "Naturally" soft water vs softened water, what is the difference? Naturally soft water can have low calcium/magnesium and some sodium in it, This is not different than "softened" water. Softened indicates the water has had hardness ions removed through some process. Even that is poorly stated but you get the point.

    All this being said, a local guy who works on this specific unit in your specific region will likely have much more insight than we will have. While we may disagree with his opinion, he is probably basing his recommendation on his knowledge of the exact application, something none of us can do.

    So... not sure what to tell you other than there are some other ways. Maybe something as simple as turing off the softener intermittently to allow a very thin layer of calcium/magnesium to build up on the tubes as a protective layer. This will have almost no affect on the efficiency, and is a common practice on many boilers.

    Let us know how it works out for you,

    As to the hardness setting, this will affect your systems gallon capacity. Try it a few times. Set the hardness to 50 and see how many gallons the system is good for. Then set it to 5 grains, and see what happens. Then set it correctly. You will understand how it calculates after you see this example.
  19. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    I will mess with the settings. After asking him if I should be worried because I have run the system with this water for 1 year he responded that it was no issue, but it may be in 10 years. This is significant as the stated life expectancy of the hw tank is 30 years, and realistically should be forever, since it is nothing more than an insulated stainless tank with two stainless heat exchanges in it. My point is that I don't think I will be able to let you know how it works out. If I use my father's pool testing kit to analyze the pH, will this tell me the acidity of the water?
  20. dwassner

    dwassner New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    Dittohead, when you said above that my system should regen with 15 lbs of salt, how did you arrive at this number?

    If in the future I find that I use more water from a growing family, my total grains required would increase. Would I then increase my fill time to correspond to the new requirements? And after changing this setting would I then change 50,000 grains setting in the unit to the new grain requirement?

    Why should I not be setting my systems total grain setting to 55,000, since this is closer to what I am aiming for, minus the reserve?

    I am sorry I am having a hard time seeing how the settings in the unit correspond to the numbers calculated...but I think I am slowly getting it.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
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