Getting started -- what do I test for?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by OwyheeHome, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. OwyheeHome

    OwyheeHome New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Grand View, Idaho
    Over a year ago, I started out to soften my home's water. I got hit hard by the economy and am only now gearing up again for an assault on my water.

    I have a shallow well -- probably pumping only 6-10 feet from the bottom of a 8 foot cistern. Last year, before my business withered, I put a Pside-kick on the system to boost pressure for my sprinkler system and home water. Upstream from the Pside-kick is an aging Jaccuzzi pump over 40 years old that needs to be replaced.

    I hope to order a Gould 1 hp shallow well pump tomorrow. I have said this to point out that my water pressure will probably change radically very soon and until I know what my new pressure is, there is little point in calculating what size water softener to get.

    While I am waiting for the pump to arrive, I hope to get my water tested. Here are my questions.
    What specific information should I be testing my water for? What else should I be doing to get ready to calculate the right softener?

    Thanks for your time!
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You don't size a softener based on the pressure or gpm output of a pump. You size based on the maximum gallon per minute peak demand flow rate of the house/family based on what type and how many fixtures you use at once and... what and how much of it is in the water that the softener will be removing. Click the link in my signature to learn how to do it. All you need is a minimum water pressure of 20-25 psi so the unit can regenerate properly.

    Here is a recent link asking about water testing.

    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?40179-Water-Test-What-to-Test-for
  3. OwyheeHome

    OwyheeHome New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Grand View, Idaho
    Excellent! I am headed to the link right now!
  4. OwyheeHome

    OwyheeHome New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Grand View, Idaho
    Okay, I have finished my basic homework. We have 14 grain hardness with little or no iron or magnesium. We have 3 people -- no big animals. Doing the various calculations it looks like we need a 1.5 cubic foot system to treat 25200 Total Grains Capacity per week.

    I guess now I need to know that systems would be best (low maintenance) for my situation. We have an in-line water heater (why we need the softener) so showers tend to be long. Also use tends to fluctuate a lot -- for example when my college-age daughter comes to visit we do lots of laundry or when my wife goes on the road with her job -- we tend not to do any laundry. We also have a Neptune washing machine that conserves water.

    I'm trying not to be confused. But there are a LOT of different systems out there.

    Dale
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