Autotrol 460i problem

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by rudyjr, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Alaska
    At 50 GPG of hardness, your softener should be regenerating every 2-3 days; how often did it do so?
  2. rudyjr

    rudyjr New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    central ohio
    Resin and other parts showed up today and I will try to go through this thing and make sure it is working and set up correctly for my new well. Sorry if anyone's feelings are hurt because I did not respond to your specific posts but I only get on the computer after I get home form work for 15-20 minutes and on the weekend if not called back in. This was why I came to this forum looking for some basic help, ask 3-4 water softener guys here locally and get 3-4 different answers and people pushing what they were selling. Thought I might get some help with a shower remodel I have coming up but don't really think it's worth the hassle to stay with this crap that goes on here. Thanks to all who offered help, Jim
  3. rudyjr

    rudyjr New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    central ohio
    Hey guys please read the first line in post 47 about making sure my softener is SET UP correctly for my new well. The setting of 50 gpg was for my old well which is in post 31 as well. I am definitely not sure that the setting of 50 was sufficient for that one thats for sure. When I would fill my old hot tub with hard well water it was horrible looking. Thanks, Jim
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  4. rudyjr

    rudyjr New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    central ohio
    Hawk, The settings presently as set up by my well guys (5 years ago) are as follows: Hardness =30 Capacity =64 salt is set to approx. 9lbs. I think there is a salt doubling cam on this head when it gets to 64000 not sure though. What are your thoughts condidering what the Culligan lady gave me as my readings? Thanks,Jim
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You need to click on the link in my signature.

    You can't get 64K with 9lbs or twice that, 18 lbs of salt in your size softener, was it a 2.0 cuft? I am not familiar with an Autotrol 460i timer but the "i" is usually for an electronic timer and IMO it should control the brine refill by time instead of a cam.

    The compensated hardness will be 25 gpg + 4 times the 2.5 of iron; that is more than 30 gpg.
  6. rudyjr

    rudyjr New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    central ohio
    Thanks Gary, I am trying to make sure that I get this set up right this time. I am thinking that it has probably never been right since it was put in. I tried to do the calculations based on the link in your signature but I am unsure wether I have it right. Yes it is a 2.0 cu.ft softener I believe the i is because it uses a meter to detect flow and how much water is used to determine when it regenerates. I rechecked what I read and it does not have a salt doubling cam installed in it, I was confused by the chart in the manual. I have 25 gpg hardness and 2.5 ppm iron, I do not know about manganese, I was given a number for TDS? whatever that is.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,164
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Please explain the "horrible looking" part. I didn't think it is possible to "see" hard water. If there is some visible component, then IMHO, you have other water issues that need more than what a softener does.

    I've been doing Gary's "trick" for many years but I still ended up getting the resin replaced after 10 years. It would have been interesting to wash the resin as water solutions said to see but I just had my dealer rebed both my softener and iron filter. Gary's "trick" always yielded some moderate gain but it never returned the resin to "like new" performance. Maybe I didn't face Mecca or hold my tongue "just so". LOL
  8. rudyjr

    rudyjr New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    central ohio
    My old well is the one that produced rust colored water that was extremely hard and this softener was on it for the first three years of its eight years, the new well is five years old. Gary's "trick" I think at least showed me that my resin is fouled and that is why as stated earlier I ordered new resin.
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I too don't think it has ever been set up right.

    You probably don't have any manganese so don't worry about it, it usually is a very small amount if there is any.

    So what K of capacity and lbs of salt based on how many gallons and days between regenerations did you come up with by doing the math on my sizing page?

    BTW, if I do it for you, you won't learn how to do it yourself or recall how I did it for more than about two hours, if that.
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You need to read all of his posts and you'll see he has explained the "horribly looking part".

    As to your new resin and mineral.... for years I've told you that your air injection/iron filter - softener is not working as it should. And... if it was, your softener wouldn't have any iron to deal with.

    BTW, without my "trick" your resin wouldn't have lasted but about half that 10 years and your water would have been much worse than it has been.

    For others, no I did not sell him any of the water treatment equipment.
  11. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Alaska
    I have no links, but I can share with you my logic. As I thought earlier, and hence my asking you, your system may be on the small size for your conditions.

    For general sizing, calculations have to assume your Gallons Per Person Per Day, and that varies from 50-75 from all my reading. Your ACTUAL GPPPD can only be found by you if you have a meter somewhere in your system. I used 60 when doing my calculations; actual usage is ~44. But for the sake of getting your answer, let's assume 60 GPPPD.

    At 25gpg of hardness, plus 2.5 times 5 to compensate for iron, that's 25 + 12.5 = 37.5gpg For simplicity, let's round that up to 38. So we need to soften 38gpg X 60GPPPD X 4ppl = 9,120 grains per day on average. Plus, you want to have an extra day's worth of capacity to allow you to reach 2 a.m. the next morning (typical setting is to regen at 2 a.m.), so we need to "save" 9,120 for that. So for your 64K system, if you use 8 lbs of salt per cu ft per regen, you will have an actual practical capacity (with new resin) of about 48,000 grains. If you multiply the 9,120 above times 4 days, you will need to overcome 36,480 grains of hardness; but don't forget to add the reserve, so now it's 45,600. Since your softener can accommodate 48,000 grains, and you only need 45,600, you should be ok, but it's close. So you will be regenerating every 4 days, using 16 lbs of salt per regen, or about 1,460 lbs of salt per year. At $4.25 per bag, that's about $155 in salt.

    I hope this helps, and best of luck getting your system working again!
  12. rudyjr

    rudyjr New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    central ohio
    Hawk, Thanks for the help and talking me through the calculations that makes sense for me. At one time I had My wife two daughters and grand daughter here so I bet I was at least twice the gallons per day of most households! LOL I was really unclear on the capacity part of it but that makes sense as well. I understand how to set my capacity and hardness on this head using the jumper so that is no problem. The only thing I am unclear on is why the softener can only give you 48k grains if it is a 64k softener,can you explain that to an electrician in terms I can relate to, I am just curious??
    I changed out the resin earlier today and it looked like coffee grounds, I don't remember that when we put the thing together years ago. I do remember the old resin was Nelson and the new resin is Nelson and the new is a light amber color. The water feels fantastic. Thanks for the help, Jim
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  13. rudyjr

    rudyjr New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    central ohio
    Tom, sorry you doubt the validity of this thread I am just trying to work my way through this problem. I really wish for everyone's sake you guys would take this somewhere other than here and resolve your issues. I do thank you and Gary for the help you have offered but please take it somewhere else. Thanks, Jim
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    A metered control valve counts down the gallons from what they are at the end of a regeneration to 0 gals remaining and then waits until the scheduled time of regeneration and then regenerates and at then end puts the meter back to the number of gallons it will treat between regenerations. It does that regardless of how many residents or visitors are using the water or how much they use except IF the meter zeros and then enough water is used to use up the 24 hr reserve. If that happens then you get hard water.

    Maybe Tom can help with that, he should be able to look it up and pretend he pulled it out of his first hand experience based memory. Well unless he's into the adult beverages as he usually is on the weekend. I see he's gotten all emotional again in a reply to me, so I'd wager he's been into the adult beverages.

    Although he did confuse programming data with what buttons to push on your control valve. lol Sorry, I think that's funny.
  15. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Alaska
    Jim, the way I understand it (and it's probably only the 90% solution), is that a softener has a MAX capacity of (we'll use yours) 64,000 grains. That's with brand new resin that can accept all the sodium in the salt. But that's using 15 lbs of salt per cu ft, very inefficient as to salt, and puts a lot of brine into the environment. I have also read that in order to keep the capacity up at 64K, one has to regen twice in a row in order to maximize the sodium uptake in the resin. I'll leave that explanation to the experts here, because I am not familiar with the science behind it.

    But in practical use, with reasonable salt usage (say 4-10 lbs per cu ft, and preferably lower if possible), your capacity is really less, as follows: 4 lbs of salt will give you 32K worth of softening capacity, 6 lbs is 40K, 8 is 48K, 10 is 54K.

    This doesn't get into the nitty gritty details, but might help you understand where I am coming from better than what I typed...
    http://www.aquatell.com/knowledge-center/understanding-true-water-softener-capacity
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012
  16. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,911
    Location:
    Ontario California
    In electricians terms, consider a incandescant, vs, Flourescent, vs LED (not a good analogy, but it is the best I can do on short notice and no sleep for 2 days.

    Incandescent gives instant light, great color, no flicker and almost no complaints or problems (except for the short bulb life) To do this, it is very inefficient and uses a massive amount of electricity since so much energy is pure waste. (softener set to 15 punds per cubic foot)

    Flourescent, some flicker, so so color rendering, a little slow on the start, but much more efficient (softener set at 8 pounds per cubic foot). Considered efficient enough for almost any application, and it strikes a good balance of energy savings, light quality, total operational cost, etc.

    LED, harsh white light, bad color rendering, hates electronic controls and systems, but insanely efficient. (softener set at 4 pounds per cubic foot) Most people like LED, some do not and want the Flourescents back.

    In the simplest terms, running a softener with a lot of salt will make it very inneficient, 16 pounds will give you 30,000+ grain removal capacity. If you have 25 grains hard water, your system will be able to soften 1200 gallons

    Cut the salt in half, you will now get 24,000 grains removal, you will now get 960 gallons of softened water, as you can see, this is a massive efficiency gain, half the salt, 80% of the capacity.

    Cut the salt in half again, 4 pounds per cubic foot, you will now get 640 gallons of soft water, you now get over 50% of the original capacity for 1/4 the salt, simple math, huge gains in salt efficiency.

    Nothing is free though, to gain this massive amount of salt efficiency, you lose some water efficiency. Water is usually cheap and plentiful, and the amount a modern softener uses is minimal and its water efficiency is rarely an issue. Many softeners can be adjusted for better water efficiency, and when done carefully, their is little if any detrmiental affect to the system.

    You will also lose water quality at very low salt settings. Most people are happy with the water quality of a softener set at 4 pounds of salt, but some are not and a setting of 6-8 pounds will usually produce near perfect soft water that 99.9 of people are happy with.

    .
  17. rudyjr

    rudyjr New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    central ohio
    Thanks Hawk and Ditto. The reason I wanted the explanation is to verify what some have discussed, and I have kind of figured as well, my softener has been set up wrong since day one. The capacity on my softener and my next door neighbors, identical setup from same supplier were set at 64 for capacity. My neighbor came over and helped me get mine back together and back downstairs so we took at look at his settings as well. The settings that I am using right now based on all of your suggestions are Hardness 38 Capacity 48 and a salt setting around 8. These settings with new resin, new injector, new screen, (valve discs not installed but on hand if needed later) produced water that seemed perfect. Any other suggestions or does this seem like it is correct for my application? Thanks guys, Jim
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012
  18. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Alaska
    I suggest you have one of your favorite beverages, pat yourself on the back for a job well done and enjoy some soft water. Me, being anal and all, I would watch it for a few days. It should regenerate every 4-6 days (depends on whether you use 60 or 45 GPPPD).
  19. rudyjr

    rudyjr New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    central ohio

    Thanks hawk I appreciate the quick response I think your suggestion for a beverage is spot on, got called in to work last night before I could enjoy one! Thanks again, Jim
  20. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Alaska
    No worries, M8! And check your PMs...
Similar Threads: Autotrol 460i
Forum Title Date
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Autotrol 460i Nov 12, 2014
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Autotrol 255/460i Not Regenerating Jan 14, 2014
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Autotrol Performa Valve with a 460i control Nov 11, 2012
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Autotrol 255valve/460I valve Jul 1, 2010
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r New home to me - Problems with Autotrol softener - salty water Oct 14, 2014

Share This Page