A few Fleck valve questions and sizing help

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by tmp9a59, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. tmp9a59

    tmp9a59 New Member

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    Since Clack does not want to do business, I am now researching Fleck Valves and have a couple of questions.

    Are all Fleck 5600 valves capable of Upflow regeneration?

    How much better is upflow regeneration and is it worth the cost?

    Is it important to specify USA made Resin? (standard size)

    Is a particulate filter before the softner wise if water pressure is good.

    Regarding Sizing: 2 people, 2 bath home. SFR of 12 gpm (Bucket test). 15 gpg and no iron on city water. I am thinking 32000 grain would be an adequate size without being too big.

    Thanks for the answers.
  2. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

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    There is an upflow 5600.

    Why upflow?

    upflow only really goods good if the resin bed stays packed when in brine flow, if there is any way for the media to move it will, thus making the up flow not as good.

    The only up flow that I have seen work 100% is the Hague Water Max because of the way the tank is done..

    If you can get the USA resin great..

    Pre Filter if there is nothing in the water for it to remove would be a wast of money.

    You should be looking for a unit with 1.5 cubic feet of resin and useing 9 lbs of salt on the cleaning cycle.
  3. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

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    How much chlorine is in your water?
  4. tmp9a59

    tmp9a59 New Member

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    Per the Pinellas County Water Confidence report, 3.3 PPM chlorine.

    I have a high quality charcoal filter for my drinking water needs, so a whole house charcoal filter is not necessary.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  5. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

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    Ocala, Fl
    That's good. But what about your clothes? With that much chlorine surely they will fade from the high chlorine. Your skin also absorbs the chlorine in the shower. Don't get me wrong. I believe in chlorination, but once it enters the home, it can be removed and the water remain safe. Chlorine damages so many different things....rubber o rings, toilet flappers, clothes, resin and much more. Just food for thought.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yes dealers that know what they are doing can order any 5600 softener control valve in upflow/counter-current configuration. Although it is not a good idea and you don't need upflow in residential softening so don't buy it.

    No prefilter with Fleck or Autotrol control valves. A prefilter reduces flow/pressure during regeneration and that prevents the unit from getting rid of all the 'sediment' the resin has filtered out of the water, which leads to failed resin.

    Measuring water flow at a fixture DOES NOT tell you the SFR size of the softener. It does not tell you your peak demand flow rate either. It tells you the flow rate of THAT FIXTURE only.

    The softener's constant SFR gpm is a function of and controlled by only the cubic foot volume of resin in the softener.

    If your peak demand gpm, a total gpm of all the water being used at the same time and running through the softener, is higher than the SFR gpm of the volume of resin, you get hardness through the softener every time your flow is higher than the SFR gpm of the volume of resin. And that means that your softener is undersized.

    A 2 to 2.5 bathroom house with no big tubs or showers usually can not flow more than 12 gpm. A 1.5 cuft softener has a 12 gpm SFR. A 1.5 cuft softener is called a '48K' but, you can't get 48K regenerated capacity, the max with regular mesh resin is 45K. To get 45K you must use 22.5 lbs of salt per regeneration. That is a 2000 grain per lb efficiency, which is the worst you can get (45000/22.5 = 2000).

    Every softener in the world has an adjustable K of capacity. It is controlled/dictated by the cuft volume of resin in the tank and the number of lbs of salt used to regenerate the softener/resin. That volume of resin dictates the size of the tank that has to be used and the size of the tank dictates what control valve can or can not be used to service that size tank and volume of resin. I.E. the 5600 can be used for a softener on tanks from 6" - 12". A 12" tank is a 2.0 cuft softener.

    You have 2 people * 60 gals/person/day = 120 * 15 gpg = 1800 * 8 days = 14400 rounded to 15K. 15000/15 gpg = a meter setting of 1000 - any reserve you use for a Fleck valve divided by 120 = the number of days between regenerations based on gallons used.

    So, a 12 gpm SFR = a 1.5 cuft softener programmed for 15K requires 4.5 lbs/regeneration for a salt efficiency of 3333 grans/lb; which you should use.

    A 1.0 cuft, "32K' has a 9 gpm SFR, usually too small for a 2-2.5 bathroom house unless you want to live with hard water at times. And you can't regenerate more than 30K which requires 15 lbs of salt which gives you a 2000 grain/lb efficiency and for 15K you need the same 4.5 lbs as a 1.5 cuft softener.

    Resin is resin like a 5 lb bag of sugar (they are equally as sweet), use the least expensive regular mesh resin you can find.

    The chlorine listed by your water company is at their treatment plant, not your house, so test at your house.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  7. tmp9a59

    tmp9a59 New Member

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    So, based on what you are telling me I should have 36000 grain softener? I will have to get back with the Chlorine measurement.
  8. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

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    But is that 36k at the eco setting of the salt or at the max setting of the salt?
  9. tmp9a59

    tmp9a59 New Member

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    The Flow I spoke of is for 2 tub faucets running full out (which is very seldom). I probably used SFR incorretly as the terminology for this measurement. The Chlorine measurement I can get. Just for the heck of it, I tried my pool test kit on the tap water. It did not register any chlorine. If a test strip is better, then I can certainly do that.

    The appropriate size of the softener is the big question in my mind.
    As far as salt dosage, any appropriately sized softener can be set to be as efficient as possible for the amount of water passing through. If a heavier salt setting will provide better service, that is no issue. As noted, salt is cheap overall.
    I have not considered a whole house charcoal filter simply because the I have longevity concerns vs the cost. If I am wrong about the expense of charcoal, please advise.

    This is really becoming very academic. What other factors can I supply to home in the softener size? I would then purchase and set the softener with the appropriate settings and be done. Because I live in Florida, a non digital would be best. Too many electrical storms for my comfort (hence the Fleck 5600).

    Thanks again to all.
  10. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

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    Location:
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    I my self would use either the 5600 meter or the 2510 meter and 1.5 cubic foot of resin like the C249 and a 200 lbs brine tank.

    The 2510 has the wheel that can have the times with in the cleaning cycle changed if needed and the brine refill is easier to control by how many spaces are for the brine refill.

    The 1.5 can handle up to 13 gpm.
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    And how did you arrive at that "36K" when I specifically sized the softener and said a 1.5cuft "48K"?

    Where have you ever seen anyone selling a "36K"? What size softener is that?

    Since you live in FL, how many lightening strikes have you had that have caused any damage to TVs, toasters, radios, etc.? And how have you protected those things from damage now? Do you wear a helmet when you drive or ride in a motor vehicle? Safety glasses?
  12. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

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    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    Here is a site link that makes sizing real easy.

    http://www.qualitywatertreatment.com/water_softener_sizing.htm

    Electronic, manual, your choice. I like electronic metered. It takes a lot of the guess work out of programming and they are more efficient but an old style manual valve will work just fine also and is less expensive.
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    LOL, you're right it's easy, but it is wrong. It doesn't even tell you how much capacity to program for.

    That calculator says the OP needs a 24K. The calculator uses 75 gal/person/day and you can't adjust that figure and it bases everything off of the grains/day without using the number of days between regenerations and there is no mention at all of salt efficiency or how much salt to program for. If you think that is a good way of sizing a softener for a prospective customer.... well, it is not good and actually it's wrong.

    I entered the OP's numbers, here's a copy;

    ****************
    Enter Your Information and Click Calculate *Round up where applicable.
    2 people X 75 gallons X { 15 GPG + 0.0 mg/l Iron } If City Water, Enter 0 for Iron Total Grains Per Day That Must Be Removed: 2250

    If Your Daily Grain Requirements Are: You Need a Water Softener With: 0 - 3,500 Grains Per Day ---- 24,000 Grain Capacity 3,501
    *****************
    That is a terrible way to size a softener and... Note that there is no mention of the peak demand gpm of the house or the constant SFR of the softener anywhere on that site. He's one of the guys that caused Clack to stop internet sales of their valves; Ohio pure water is another.
  14. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    Gee, ya think? But, it's pretty damn typical of the way most companies size equipment isn't it?
  15. tmp9a59

    tmp9a59 New Member

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    I guess this is where you sized it at 48K in your previous post:
    "A 2 to 2.5 bathroom house with no big tubs or showers usually can not flow more than 12 gpm. A 1.5 cuft softener has a 12 gpm SFR. A 1.5 cuft softener is called a '48K' but, you can't get 48K regenerated capacity, the max with regular mesh resin is 45K. To get 45K you must use 22.5 lbs of salt per regeneration. That is a 2000 grain per lb efficiency, which is the worst you can get (45000/22.5 = 2000)."

    If that is where you sized, I did not understand it to be the size, but an example. So, I will go with 48k. If I misquoted 36k my mistake. I have seen too many numbers to say where it came from. Thank you for your help with that.

    I have a whole house surge protector that will protect from indirect strikes on the power grid. If I have a direct strike all bets are off for any CPU in the house. Since I work in the electrical industry, I have seen plenty of damage from lightening. If others want to go electronic for an item where a more robust choice exists for the Florida environment, wonderful. Please do not assume I have not considered the possibilities and am being overly cautious. I am not a Luddite. Electronics do not automatically make everything better.

    If I give a bit of efficiency with a more manual system, it is not the end of the world.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  16. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

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    Location:
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    Some here think that they are god while they are not....

    Your view of Electronics is much like mine, they are good but there are times or places that I would not trust them, just to many things can go wrong that one has no control over.
    The timer assembly that the 5600 uses or the timer assembly that the 2510 uses is simple , very simple..

    More times than not when some talk about capacity they are using the upper end of the resin, ie the max that the resin will do with the max salt setting.
    That is great but just because a breaker can do 20Amps should one max out the outlets on that breaker? or keep it down to about 12amp on the 20amp breaker?
  17. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    No, that is not an example, it is factual info for all 1.5 cuft softeners wth regular mesh resin; and a 2 to 2.5 bathroom houses with no big tubs or showers. And the size you need for its SFR based on your peak demand flow rate.

    This is the actual sizing/programming for your family using a 1.5 cuft softener;

    You have 2 people * 60 gals/person/day = 120 * 15 gpg = 1800 * 8 days = 14400 rounded to 15K. 15000/15 gpg = a meter setting of 1000 - any reserve you use for a Fleck valve divided by 120 = the number of days between regenerations based on gallons used.

    So, a 12 gpm SFR = a 1.5 cuft softener programmed for 15K requires 4.5 lbs/regeneration for a salt efficiency of 3333 grans/lb; which you should use.

    Over the last 6.5 yrs I have sold 1200+/- electronic control valves across the southern US from GA to central CA and have only had three lightening strikes. All electrically operated control valves will suffer damage from a lightening strike; like the 5600 or 2510 mechanical metered models. The 5600 nonelectronic version does not allow you to change the length of time for any of the cycle positions except for the brine refill cycle. All electronic versions do. And you can't beat a computer when it comes to a control valve because of the flexibility in programming and additional features a mechanical metered version can not have but the computerized valve has.

    Electronic gets better salt and water efficiency than mechanical metered and over the usually 15-20 life of a softener with these control valves the difference can be substantial, and you are on city water that you pay for. With you living in the Tampa FL area, if your house hasn't been hit by lightening by now, it probably never will be but, I'm sure you have homeowners insurance that covers lightening strike damage which will pay (about $100-$125) for a new circuit board if you have a lightening strike, along with other things that would be damaged too.
  18. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    And some here are always wrong and I don't see any of them proving the god wrong. They just make cmments like yours.

    Up until 6.5 yrs ago when I overcame my fears and started selling electronic controls I thought the same thing. Now after 1532 of them sold from Puerto Rico across the US and Canada into Alaska with many outside I have found I was wrong.

    I don't think that is great, I think it is dead wrong and so are the dealers that do it and it will lead to more states and local governments banning ion exchange softeners or create new restrictive regulations. Plus it is no good for the customer and increases his cost of operation.

    Why do you think it's great?
  19. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

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    Location:
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    The quote is full of misinformation. I hope no one relies on it.

    Salt and water efficiency is not inherently better with an electronic control. The first sentence is simply misinformation.

    The statement about the probability of a lightning strike is also misinformation and simply untrue. Any house can be hit at any time and the fact that a particular house has not been hit in the past doesn't change that fact.

    The statement about homeowners insurance assumes some things about the individuals coverage that may or may not be true. One of the most important considerations in determining whether homeowners insurance will cover a particular situation the the deductible. Many people carry insurance with deductibles that would preclude any insurance coverage for damage to a water softener control.
  20. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    And some here are always wrong and I don't see any of them proving the god wrong. They just make cmments like yours.

    You heard him Bob. Can't argue with the word of God, though God is probably capable of spelling " comments: LOL
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