Got a Clack today - 2 questions so far

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

  1. Glowrdr

    Glowrdr New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Minnesota
    So I had a Clack installed after some research, i have 2 quick questions.

    First (probably being a big one actually) - is there a way to tell what "model" it is I've got? Besides the pictures on the internet, I've got nothing that actually says Clack on it. I don't know if I have a WS1, or WS1.25. I removed the cover, but see no obvious numbers that seem to tell me what it is.

    Secondly - it just finished it's very first cycle (was installed about 2 hours ago). In the sink that it drains into - there is probably 1/2 cup of resin in the bottom of the sink. Is this normal, or does this signify that there is a leak somewhere in the mineral tank and my resin is escaping? :eek:


    You know, after typing this all out - I'm feeling a little insecure. I had the installation done, and they gave me all the information I needed to make a comfortable decision at the time. Then when I agreed on price, they took their little book with them. I'm sure I will be happy with it (10 year warranty, including labor) - but if someone asked me what size, I have no idea what I've got. They showed me 4 sizes, and I picked the 2nd to the largest size (which I know means nothing to you). I'll have to look through the manual and see what I can dig up. I did a quick browse through it though, and saw no mention of Clack anywhere (which is why I asked the above question)
  2. Glowrdr

    Glowrdr New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Minnesota
    OK - so it seems like the WS1 and 1.25 signifies the line size. Pretty sure I've got the standard 1" so that solves 1 mystery. Now I'm just kind of double checking the settings to ensure everything is set correctly (i.e. he has mine set to regen every 14 days - not sure if that's good or bad)
  3. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    3,172
    Location:
    Maine
    Can't say if it's set right without knowing your water conditions and use.
  4. Glowrdr

    Glowrdr New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Minnesota
    First hardness test was 23 gpg, today it tested at 17. Not sure who was right, or if it can fluctuate that much in a couple of weeks.

    2 people, 1.75 baths (only 1 in use though). Unsure of any other specs of the water. Mineral tank is 10x54. Brine tank is 15x17x35

    Anything else I am missing? Also wondering about the resin in my sink (if its normal or not for a first flush)
  5. Glowrdr

    Glowrdr New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Minnesota
    OK, think I may be getting this. So if I have ~20gpg hardness x 2 people x 60 gallons/day = 19200 grains a week. So since I've got a 48k grain tank, it would be set correctly to replenish @ 14 days (or metered usage, whichever comes first)

    Sound about right, or am I over simplifying things to a point of failure?
  6. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,172
    Location:
    Maine
    If your hardness has stabilized at 20gpg then 14 days is correct yes.
  7. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The WS1.25 will have a small grey plug on the right side of the valve just below the injector cap. If it is all black, it is a WS1. Both valves look identical externally, only internal changes are made.
    Resin out of the drain... this can happen for a few reasons. If you did not flood the system and let it set for a short amount of time prior to backwashing, the air in the system will definetly lift some of the resin out. If you have a top screen, this should not have occurred, but on start up, the rush of resin to the top screen can crush the cheaper version of the clack top screen. We only use the heavy version top screen to prevent problems due to improper start up. If the systems DLFC was not adjusted for the water temperature, this can also cause the problem. Colder water will use a smaller flow control. Can you post a picture of your system so we can get more details?
  8. Glowrdr

    Glowrdr New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Minnesota
    This thing is almost as tall as I am, so I just kind of held my phone above the unit and took a picture - hope I got what was needed. Also noticed water in the brine tank - wasn't sure if that's normal or not (only 1 bag of salt in there now). I've read where it sounds like the brine tank can be dry between cycles? I think I'm set for post fill though, not pre.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the help guys. I can only research so much before I start getting into areas that I'm unfamiliar with. I wouldn't want to start messing with upflow/downflow, cycle timing, grains, etc without some guidance. At the same time, I do know that factory defaults may not always be the best solution
  9. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Ontario California
    It is hard to tell by the picture, but is it a mtered valve? Their should be a grey electrical cable coming out of the left side of the valve, see your picture #1. If it is not metered... sigh... It is not even legal in many states to sell residential softeners without metering devices or sensors. It does not surprise me some companies still sell or promote timeclock based systems. The funny thing is, if they did sell you a timeclock, with that electonic head, they really didnt save more than $20 You actual system capacity would be closer to 36,000 grains if it is set for 8 pounds of salt per cu. ft. I would recommend going through the programming and see what they set the salt to. It should be set to 12 pounds, or less.
  10. Glowrdr

    Glowrdr New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Minnesota
    It is metered - probably can't tell from the picture, but I have it set to the gallons left til refresh setting, rather than the time. I'll check the settings (once I figure it out) and post back. I'm assuming that's what you mean by metered?

    **standing in front of it now, there is a grey cable - just hard to see it in the pic (follow the red tie holding my manual down, and it's there)
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  11. Glowrdr

    Glowrdr New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Capacity - 32000
    Regen - 12 pounds
    Normal (?) - other choice was Backwash
    Regen - Auto
    Post Refill
    Downflow
    Regen Normal
    C2 (?)
  12. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Ontario California
    I am glad to hear that it is a metered valve. Your settings look fine. The only changes you may want to make are to increase the salt efficiency, but you will lose some water efficiency. For most areas, salt efficiency is much more important than water efficiency.
  13. Glowrdr

    Glowrdr New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Thanks for checking thins over for me - definately a learning curve to this stuff when you're starting out.
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The resin in the sink happens at start up in some cases but should not continue more than a few times. The guy should have filled the tank with water with the control in the BW position so as not to trap air in the top of the tank. And there was no need to do a regeneration unless they didn't fill the tank properly and move the control through its positions and let it add water to the salt tank. If they didn't add water to the salt tank, there was noe to dissolve any salt and there was no regeneration of the resin.

    They owe you at least a service manual.

    If you know Clack valves the picture of the face of the control valve says/shows that it is a metered valve.

    You need to use 23 gpg since the water has tested at that mount of hardness even if it has tested at less later. City water varies that much and at times more than that much. If you don't use the highest hardness some capacity is used but not regenerated and that leads to hardness getting through the softener later.

    You have a 1.5 cuft (45K) softener. And the only way you get 45K is to use 22.5 lbs of salt.

    Why 32K?

    What number of gallons are you programing?

    Normal backwash is good. As to the last Normal, I always had my customers use Normal + 0. And Pre refill which keeps the salt tank 'cleaner' and reduces bridging problems.
  15. Glowrdr

    Glowrdr New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I actually do have the manual for it, but even though I've read through it, I really don't know what I'm looking for to even pick out the good stuff. That's kind of how I know the pre/post fill info and what some of the numbers mean (I know the lingo, but not how that affects my situation basically)

    As far as 32k - no idea why it's setup like that. Sounds like that is something I should be changing then - Assuming that the timer doesn't know what size mineral tank it's on due to that info.
    You also asked about the gallons programmed - I recall it's somewhere around 18k, but I cannot confirm that for sure. I guess I didn't realize that wasn't part of the info I read from the unit in the post above. The reason I'm guessing it's 18k is because the picture above shows 17k, and that was with less than 24 hours on the unit.

    I think I do like the idea of the prefill better for a couple of reasons, and I will try to find what the Normal + 0 setting means just for my understanding, and will more than likely use that setting as well.

    How about the 32k/45k setting with the 22.5 lbs of salt (is that saying to use 22 for regen?) If that is the case - would it be more efficiant for me to keep it's current settings since I would be wasting salt, or is the tank not regening completely because it's not getting enough salt through it to cleanse all the resin?
  16. Glowrdr

    Glowrdr New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Minnesota
    OK, so I set it to Pre.

    But I've got a question now that will need some clarification in lamens terms I'm guessing - because I'm confused.

    Everything I have read says that 1.5 ft of resin is a 45k system. And a 45k system is a 10x54 tank. Well, that is everything EXCEPT my manual. Maybe there is a number that changes the specs or something, and that is where I'd like someone to explain to it me if possible.

    My manual has a little table on page 2 (It is a Hill Millenium system if that matters). It states: (I'll only type out the one that applies to me, not the whole table for other softeners)

    Recommended Flow Rate: 5.4 GPM
    Exchange Capacity - based on 10#/cu ft: 32,500
    Tank Dimensions: 10x54
    Resin Volume: 1.3
    Salt Usage per regen - based on 10#/cu ft: 13#

    So this would seem to me that the original setting of 32.5k is correct, vs the 45k that I've read EVERYWHERE would be incorrect? Is there something to the "based on 10#/cu ft" statement that changes the capacity? I beleive my gravel bed is in the brine tank correct? It's not actually taking up room in the mineral tank? That would make sense, but something inside of me says that's incorrect, so don't confuse myself any more than I already am.

    These are the things that get me confused, and I'm sure I'm not getting a piece of the puzzle. Sorry for asking so many questions, I'm just trying to get a fundemental understanding, rather than just asking the "what do you want me to set my stuff to" question.

    I frequent a lot of forums, so I'm used to people asking the inevitable question that only they can answer. I'm just not in a position at the moment to answer my own questions.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  17. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The systems capacity is an industry standard number that is based on maximum capacity. Not real world usage. In order to get the extremly high capacities systems are rated at, you would have to waste large amounts of salt. Your system is set at 10# per cu. ft., that is rare and not even allowed in many states that have efficiency standards for water softeners. Many states and localities have required that softener meet efficiency standards that require the systems to be regenerated at no more than 4 pounds of salt per cubic foot. The majority of companies selling softeners set their units between 4 and 8 pounds of salt, this is the "sweet spot" for water efficiency, salt efficiency, and water quality. The only time we recommend exceeding 8 pounds per cu. ft. is for applications that require a very high level of water quality, this would not even be able to be measured by standard test kits.

    Hopefully someone will post a little cheat sheet shortly of salt usage vs. system efficiency, it has been posted 100 times on this site this year, but it never hurts to post it again.
  18. Glowrdr

    Glowrdr New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I've actually seen that line chart that you are talking about. So is the efficiancy based on household water usage, or is the efficiancy based on the size of the unit? We are only averaging about 100 gallons a day between 2 people. With a 48k sized unit, is there a definate setting that should be used? I know I can do whatever I want - but I don't need to regen a bag of salt each week either.

    That's where I get a little lost. Maybe this question will help me understand a little: Do I set the regen functions based on having a 1.5 cu ft (48k) mineral tank? Or do I set it as the 19.2k grain needs of my household? I'm looking at this from the tanks size, rather than a usage standpoint. Maybe that's where I am losing myself.
  19. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Every softener has an adjustable K of capacity.

    The capacity is controlled by the volume (in cuft) and the type of resin (regular or fine mesh)or SST [shalow shell technology])., and the lbs of salt used to regenerate the resin.

    The max capacity per cuft of resin (most common is regular mesh) is 30K @ 15 lbs of salt. Salt efficiency is 30,000/15 = 2000 grains per lb. If you set the salt dose at 6 lbs you get 20K. 20000/6 = 3333 grains per lb which is a substantial increase in salt efficiency.

    Lets say you needed 56K, to get the salt dose divide that by 3333 (6 lb/cuft). To get the K of capacity, You figure your daily grains used and multiply them by the number of days between regeneration and for gallons, divide the K of capacity by the compensated hardness.

    If you needed 30K, you could buy a 1.5' and set the salt dose at 9 lbs. That compared to a 1.0' where the same 30K requires 15 lbs, saves you 6 lbs of salt every regeneration for the life of the softener, which is usually 15-20 years.

    Since all new resin is fully regenerated right out of the bag and you aren't going to use the full capacity (30K/cuft) unless you want the worst salt efficiency possible, the difference of say 45k-30k = 15K is still in the bed,
    ,
    Another benefit of the larger softener is the 1.0' has a constant SFR of 9 gpm and the 1.5' 12 gpm. That SFR is based on the volume of resin but specifically the depth of the resin bed. If your peak demand gpm flow rate exceeds the SFR gpm you eventually get hardness through the softener.
  20. Glowrdr

    Glowrdr New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Minnesota
    OK - last question then

    Reading your statement above - it looks like I can scale down to 6# (or even 9# if I wanted to play it safe). With the known info on my system - do I leave my settings @ the current OEM setting of 32.5k, or do I jump it up to the 48k figuring I have a 1.5 cu ft resin tank? Not sure if this really matters a whole lot - but it would affect the gallons till regen rate.

    I am certainly trying to learn on my own, but until I know what the right answer is, it makes it tough for me to comprehend how that decision is made (when I don't know that that decisision is).

    I owe a beer to everyone that has helped me. If you live in the area, or if your motorhome happens to swing on through (or you demand a Paypal equivilent to a bottle of beer) - I appreciate all of your help
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