Fleck 7000 Variable Brining - Awesome?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by ByteMe, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. ByteMe

    ByteMe New Member

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    From Service manual;

    Meter Delayed - Variable Brining
    — The control regenerates on the day that the available volume of softened water drops to or below the
    reserve volume. Regeneration starts at the set Regeneration Time. With the variable brining option
    activated, the time setting for Cycle 1 is automatically calculated based on the volume of treated water
    at the time of regeneration. Cycle time 1 will not exceed the original time setting and is never less than
    1 minute.


    I imagine this would mostly be useful with high capacity amounts with large reserves. Anyone have experience with this. I should setup a spreadsheet to play with the numbers. This is figuring the meter just uses a capacity/salt lbs ratio for when it would adjust the salt time down. Or does this work a different way?

    *edit* What is the advantage or disadvantage of a second backwash?
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Variable brining is useful for severaly undersized systems. Commercial applications with single tanks is the most common or residential with very hard water and a small system. There are certain issues that arise with variable brining. Watts has a modified 7000 valve that has worked fairly well (better than most) for variable brining. If a system is sized correctly, it should regenerate weekly or less. At that efficiency, variable brining does not come into play.

    Second backwash... the primary advantage is it eliminates the need for upflow brining and the unique problems upflow brining creates. Second backwash is especially useful when very low salt settings are used, it gives the end user a higher quality of softened water with only a small amount of backwash water. Second backwash is standard on every 5600 electromechanical valve, it was originally considered a design flaw, now it is a "feature".
  3. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have used variable brining.
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Agreed. It is more marketing than real world. I have some customers who have used it to get themselves out of a problem in commercial applications. Recently a customer installed a 2 cu. ft single tank softener to a large restaurant, hot side only. The restaurant was using approximately 1200 gallons per day (range from 600-1800), with a hardness of 24 grains, Even with a high reserve/safety factor, it was not working for obvious reasons. The quick fix was to convert it to variable brining, the right fix would have been to use a 9100 twin alternating valve in the first place.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Sounds to me like your training isn't taking hold very well.

    Maybe more time on site and going out in the field with them might help. I'm sure it would help their customers but...

    Would you care to explain to the uninformed here how switching to variable brining solves the problem of a too small softener? Maybe starting with an explanation of variable bring.

    And why a correctly sized two tank softener wouldn't work as well as the twin tank you mention.
  6. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Wow, not even sure how to interpret that one. The discussion was a technical one, not something I would try to explain to you.

    It comes down to efficiencies, capacities, reserves, and they work in a system that is undersized. It is obvious you have very little experience outside of trollong, so I will let you get back to that.

    I think variable brining can be fixed with duct tape. :)
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I sold variable brining equipment for a number of years. Of course the softeners weren't undersized.

    Your story is like those I've heard guys at plumbing supply houses telling each other to see who can out do the other....

    Variable brining is not going to solve the undersized problem of that 2.0 cuft unit on 24 gpg water while using up to 1800 gals/day. That softener would not work at all if the restaurant was open 24 hrs/day and using up to 1800 gals/day in say 18 hrs/day means the thing would have to regenerate every day to even have a chance of softening all the water run through it.

    And then, with the salt dose set at the max of 15 lbs/cuft (30 total for 60K) and still there would not be a proper reserve. 24*1800= 43,200 grains/day and that leaves 60,000-43,200= 16,800 grains in reserve.

    That's less than 900 gals worth of reserve, which is 21,600 K. And if you used metered immediate regeneration instead of metered delayed, then all water used during regeneration would be 24 grain hard water going into I presume a gas or oil fired commercial water heater.... so if you used a no hard water by pass version there would be no hot water able to be used for the length of time of the immediate metered regeneration; in what I see from here as a large and very busy restaurant.

    I would like to see you prove me wrong, meaning show us the math instead of typing childish BS.
  8. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    This is exactly why none of the professionals respect you on this or almost any other board you troll around on. Your lack of knowledge and your combative attitude make you very undesirable to discuss issues of a technical nature with. It is obvious by your statements that you dont even understand the principals behind variable brining or how it can be used in commercial applications, or even in residential applications that have excessively high hardness.

    Now put your thinking cap on and try to follow along young Padawan.


    A restaurant with 24 grains hardness operating hours exclude 2-4 in the morning (for arguments sake, lets not debate ridiculousness as you tend to try to do). BTW, I have installed thousands of single tank systems in small restaurants, so I may have a slightly better understanding of this then you ever will.

    Hot water usage ranges from 600-1800 GPD.

    Obviously the right equipment is a twin alternating design for multiple reasons. The high variance in water usage, the lack of efficiency on daily regeneration etc.

    At 600 gallons x 24 grains = 14400 grains per day.
    at 1800 gallons x 24 grains =43,200 grains per day.

    In order to size a restaurant correctly with a single tank system, you must install a system that will handle at minimum a single days use of water. Regenerating a 2 cu. ft. softener with a relativiely efficient setting of 8 pounds per cu. ft. will yeild 48,000 grains available capacity.

    The old way was to simply have the system regenerate daily regardless of water usage, no meter needed. This would ensure soft water all the time, but it is highly inefficient.

    Putting a meter on this unit without variable brining can create a whole new set of problems. Reserve capacities would have to be set so high that the system will simply regenerate daily, so the meter becomes a waste. If the system does not regenerate daily, the chance of hard water greatly increases if the system has a low water usage day followed by a high water usage day. (consider Thursday, regularly a slow day at the reataurant, Friday is typically one of their biggest days).

    Now to the variable brining calculations and design.

    Thursday, the system regenerated Wednesday night, night, giving the system a fresh capacity of 48,000 grains for thursday. thursday, the water usage of 600 gallons occurs, remove 14,400 from the capacity leaving 33,600 grains available for Friday. This would not make it through their heavy water day of 1800 gallons (43,200 grains needed), they would be short nearly 9,600 grains, or 400 gallons.

    Variable brining will simply recharge the softener on Thursday night, but instead of using 16 pounds of salt, it will only regenerate with 30% of that, bringing the system back up to its full capacity for the following day.

    Is that math simple enough?

    You have a strange inability to be taught. I train on variable brining, I do not like variable brining in general, I feel too many companies rely on it when a twin alternating system should be used. Their are many minor problems associated with variable brining that most people dont want to discuss because it would take away from the "super efficiency" of the variable brining. Most variable brining systems are no more efficient than a properly sizeed (regenerate weekly) system. This would get far too technical to discuss on this board, but if you have an interest, i will probably be putting on a training seminar in Florida in late Spring / early Summer of 2013, you are welcome to attend.
  9. ByteMe

    ByteMe New Member

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    Location:
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    OIC, so in this type of situation.... the water softener would pretty much regenerate every night, but with only the amount of salt needed for what it used that day.

    This brings up another question. My 5600SXT only has increments of 1 minute with the bring fill or increments of 1.5lbs of salt. Wouldn't it be more effective if the unit had increments of 6 seconds or .1 minutes ?
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    That is correct, I am glad it is fairly easily understood by some.

    The 5600 series BLFC can be changed to either .125, .25, .5, and 1.0 GPM.

    The variables in efficiency that can be gained by tweaking a system to the level you are trying to equated to trying to get 48 MPG vs 47 MPG in a car. Considering the loss due to the necessary reserves, and the way softeners are set to the highest hardness, not always the actual hardness... if you want too be truly the most efficient, a twin alternating sensor design is the best but... the probes have always been problematic. It has been a design challenge for over 30 years to make a sensor that holds up as well as a meter.

    Rayne markets a very good modified 9100 with dual probe technology, but the cost is difficult to justify for the miniscule salt savings.

    rsmart_product_corp.jpg
  11. ByteMe

    ByteMe New Member

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    Location:
    Midland Texas
    If you changed the BLFC to a lower amount than my current 1.0GPM, then you would be losing efficiency with the time. Since there is a micro controller already in the 5600SXT, why not just change the programming to allow for tenths of a minute or 6 second increments ?


    If a softener has the capacity to handle a worst case amount of water used a day AND had variable brining to only regenerate with the amount of salt necessary, why would you consider this way undersized? Along with that, why would you recommend a dual tank setup?

    As far as the "tweaking" to get that little bit extra. I am not doing this to setup a practical system, I am doing this purely out of interest (call it a hobby if you want). I am thinking after I found all the necessary probes from my google searching, it would be possible to completely automate all water filtration and softening control to a near perfect efficiency by a micro-controller. As a matter of fact, I am thinking of taking this on as a hobby.

    THAT is why I am picking your brain for all you are worth :)

    *edit* and thanks again for sharing your knowledge
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You are making a few incorrect assumptions. One is that I have posted to impress "professionals". I suppose in "professionals" you include your customer that sold and installed this undersized softener we are talking about.

    Another assumption is that the restaurant will never use more than 1800 gals/day. I'd like to know how the 600-1800 gals/day was arrived at. And what is the max peak demand flow rate?

    What is guaranteed, unlike your variable brining solution, is that if more than your 1800 gallons are used, at your present salt dose your variable brining will not prevent hard water getting through the softener. In the mean time the softener is very inefficient water use wise.

    The softener is misapplied (by "professionals") and I say whoever sold it should have replaced the tank and added the correct amount of resin for the proper sized two tank softener or duplicated the 2.0 cuft tank to make it into a twin tank softener with a 9100 at their cost. The twin tank possibility assumes that the constant SFR of a 2.0 cuft tank is sufficient for the peak demand flow rate when a tank is being regenerated; and I have my doubts that it would be..

    Had I misapplied equipment like your "professionals" have, the above is how I would handle it but I suspect your "professionals" wouldn't and we know your solution.
  13. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    ByteMe, There would be no change in brine draw, only brine refill. The BLFC only controls flow one way. If you remove it you will notice that it "floats" inside the housing, almost like a check vale. In brine draw, it is unregulated.
    As to the variable brining, you are partially correct. It is actually a lot more complex than I am stating, but you are on the right path.

    As to making the perfect efficiency system... the twin probe system is as good as it gets. We design systems with hardness testers that monitor the hardness leakage and regenerate only after the hardness ppm gets above a certain amount, but this is for applications that are protecting millions of dollars worth of equipment. For a residential or even small commercial application, the savings would never be offset by the additional capitol costs, nor the additional maintenance costs.

    As to the troll, dont look now, but your lack of experience and knowledge is showing. The water usage was based on knowledge of the industry, customer counts, and 25 years of meter readings and data collection, oh yeah, and a site survey where a meter was installed for a month during the busy season, and some water bills. As to the maximum flow rate... huh? Are you kidding me? I know that is your default, you understand SFR and nobody else does... and a softener regenerating... really, taking a load of 2.4 GPM's for 10 minutes, oh my goodness, the horror of that massive loss. Have you ever done commercial work? Your post is purely meant to troll. It has no basis in anything other than you strange need to the only advice giver on a board. I would highly recommend starting your own board and limit it to only yourself replying. Oh wait.. you tried that, and yet you still troll here. Too sad.

    Now go find a spot to slum, smoke your cigarettes, steal some internet connectivity, make some plumbing repairs with some duct tape as you have advised others to do, and enjoy your trailer. Me.. I will be enjoying a weekend of Hockey with my daughters and my wife. Maybe some video editing of a 7000 tear down if I have the time, and some mountain biking.
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I do not believe that meter for a month during the busy season part for a minute when then the 2.0 cuft softener was sold and installed.

    So you don't know what the peak demand is but expect us to believe the peak demand gpm is 2.4 for ten minutes. Are you talking peak demand flow through the softener when it's in service as I am?

    BTW, 1800 gals/an 18 hour day is a constant flow of 1.6x gpm so I'm saying the peak demand is much higher because I don't believe a constant flow is being used for 18 hrs. And for the first time since you've been posting here, yesterday I saw in another thread I think it was that you told Byteme that there would be resin damage with high flow rates.

    Actually I have done commercial. One place that is very relevant here was a 150-200 seat restaurant open 18 hrs a day 7 days a week. I used a correctly sized two tank softener with variable reserve, no variable brining, with very high salt efficiency. Only complaint was they left it run out of salt about 3 months after it was installed and that was about 5 years ago, I heard from them last year about selling them a residential softener and they had no complaints with the the 'commercial softener. Others were 2 large RV Parks with up to 200 sites; one with 4 wells and the other with one well. No softeners but an iron filter and chlorination system. Another was a convenience store with a large made on site sandwich shop and coffee sales - a sediment filter and a UV. Another was a restaurant/coffee shop with drive through service with 35 seats open from 5am to IIRC 5pm 7 days a week. That was one tenant in the 9 tenant strip mall and I treated all the water for the building which was a private well, with RO in the restaurant providing water for 4 dual carafe coffee machines, a cappuccino machine and 4 3 gallon ice tea machines plus sandwich prep and a two tank softener for the building. And there were a number of others but suffice it to say your customer undersized this restaurant softener. My only undersized equipment was a residential greensand filter way back in about 1990 and no complaints on any of the above mentioned (or other) equipment.

    Ya know, if you didn't make so many mistakes in your 'advice' here like in this thread, I'd probably have nothing but your wonderful personality to tug on your chain about....

    Anyway, I got myself an automatic cigarette making machine and saved us some $200+ a month in smoking costs while severely lessening my tax contributions by doing that and then buying everything online. Been thinking we'll use some of that money, maybe all of it plus more from what I'm hearing lately about high speed trains running up through your central valley farm land. That's to get better prepared for you Californians to lead the nation into cultural and financial ruin. I guess you straighten out your poor advice here I could tug on your chain by calling you out for funding all that California dreamin' due to the large volume of tax contributions you gladly pay to live there.
  15. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    heheheheh, variable reserve on a twin alternating unit, seriously??? That speaks volumes, nuff said.
  16. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I did not mention variable reserve on a twin tank softener so what are you talking about?

    I'm thinking you confused my saying "I used a correctly sized two tank softener with variable reserve, no variable brining." with a twin tank.
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