Double-Check my Softener Sizing?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by JohnnyO, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. JohnnyO

    JohnnyO New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Greetings,

    First off, thanks to all who donate their time and experience in this forum. I've been reading voraciously for the last week, and have gained a fair bit of insight.

    I'm looking to replace a tired, old Sears Kenmore Deluxe Demand water softener (625.348591).

    From what I'm reading, for a DIY installation, a Fleck valve-based unit seems to be a good choice.

    From the various calculators out there, I seem to be coming in with recommendations that vary between a 32K and a 64K system, but with grains per week in the 20K range.

    Here are the usage particulars:

    - 1700 sq.ft. home with 2.5 bathrooms, 1 with bathtub, 1 with un-restricted single head shower
    - 1 bath, and 2 showers a day, typically.
    - 2 people, sometimes an overnight guest
    - 3-4 loads of laundry per week (top loader, large loads)
    - 2 dishwasher loads a week
    - 3/4" copper softener loop

    Here are the water particulars (municipal water - Eagan, MN)

    - hardness (grains) 18-20
    - iron (ppm): 0.00
    - manganese (ppm) 0.02
    - chlorine (ppm) 0.5-1.0
    - flouride (ppm) 0.9-1.2


    So - the compromiser in me would suggest a 48K system. :)

    I'd appreciate any and all recommendations on sizing and system selection. Please let me know if there is additional info I'm missing.

    Thanks,

    John
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013
  2. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    A 32K system will be fine. If you are planning a family in the future, you might consider a 48K, but I would not go any bigger than that. Fleck makes a very good valve. I have read a few complaints about the 7000 valve recently though. Have you looked into a Clack valve? It is a good choice for DIY'ers as well.
  3. JohnnyO

    JohnnyO New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Thanks for your advice. We are beyond the family planning stages. If we sold the house in 10 years, it would be an appropriate size for a new family, with perhaps 2 adults and up to 2 kids.


    My understanding was that Clack no longer sold through Internet resellers. Since my DIY desire is strongly tied to saving some money, I made the (perhaps incorrect) assumption that purchasing a system with a Clack valve would be considerably more expensive than getting a Fleck-based system from an Internet reseller.

    Thanks again,

    John
  4. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    With 4 people (future), a 32K or 1 CF will work as well. I send you a PM.
  5. JohnnyO

    JohnnyO New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    How timely. I received my water bill today.

    It shows that between 12/1/2012 and 3/1/2013 our home consumed 17000 gallons of water.

    17000 divided by 90 days gives me ~188 gallons a day of usage, which is closer to 94 gallons a day per person. I guess we are real water hogs here. :(

    This usage is from the dead of winter here in Minnesota, so no outside watering (pre-softener) is considered. In a summer quarter, my use skyrockets from 17,000 to 55,000 gallons per quarter. Thank goodness that water is not flowing through the softener.

    My bill shows usage for the last 5 quarters. Water usage by quarter (other than outside watering) seems be be safely in the 14,000 to 17,000 range per quarter.

    John
  6. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    so 17000/90=188 GPD*20GPG hardness=3777 grains removed each day. With a 1 CF unit you will go 4 days between regens using 45 lbs of salt and with a 1.5 you will go 7 days using 39 lbs salt. It looks like the 1.5 CF will be better.
  7. JohnnyO

    JohnnyO New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Thanks again. I'd agree the new numbers point more strongly to the 1.5 CF tank.

    John
  8. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,713
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Isn't that pretty lousy brine efficiency? Per the NSF standard, efficiency rated softeners must have a rated salt efficiency of at least 3350 grains per pound of salt used for regeneration -- 4000 grains/lb in California. Or maybe I'm missing something?
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    No you aren't missing anything. IMO he has his own incorrect way of doing things and doesn't pay any attention to salt efficiency.

    And who buys a car or softener based on what size family will own it years later; maybe?

    All water treatment equipment is correctly sized based on the number of gallons per minute it has to treat.
  10. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    LOL. I did not add "per month". The Clack units I sell are set with the hardness and I let the unit determine when to regen.
  11. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    And everyone is intitled to their opinion. Even you.
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Assuming a Clack WS-1 CS. I suggest 3777 * 8 days (1520 gallons) = 30216 so call it 30.5K.

    A 2.0 cuft would give the best salt efficiency (3800 grains per lb of salt [sodium chloride]) and a 13 gpm constant SFR while using 8 lbs of salt per regeneration. Roughly 32 lbs a month.

    Now that is not an opinion; it is factual.
  13. amateurplumber1

    amateurplumber1 Member

    Messages:
    138
    Location:
    Here
    How do you know what size softener is the most efficient for your operation?
  14. JohnnyO

    JohnnyO New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Thank you Gary.

    John
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I would have thought you know by now but...

    I suggest you click on the red Click Here link in my signature and do your math and then if you want to, use the Calculator link at the bottom of the page to check your math.

    Then you might want to check out the Customer Comments in my forum for all you need to know about installing a softener. There are hundreds of pictures.
    http://www.qualitywaterassociates.com/phpBB2/index.php
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