Inconsistent soft water w/ Fleck 5600SXT, please help

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by jerome7, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    Hello all

    Back in November 2010, I purchased a Fleck 5600SXT 64K grains online and installed and programmed it myself. It was working as expected at first but in the past 10 weeks the soft water is intermittent. It seems like the regeneration process does not always take place (intermittent problem). The water is soft and hard from week to week

    PLease bear w/ me, because I don't fully understand how this machine works, but I felt I followed the instructions properly because it seemed behaving as expected for the first 3 months.

    This is a metered system thus we don't specify when to regenerate. I had to enter basic settings such as my water hardness etc. by following this document http://www.qualitywaterforless.com/v/vspfiles/downloadables/fleck/5600sxtman.pdf

    I would appreciate if you could suggest common problems for this so I can try troubleshoot.

    Cheers
    Jerome
  2. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    What settings did you program into the sxt?

    What is the water hardness that is getting treated?
  3. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    Thanks for you help on this. Here is the settings

    DF GAL
    VT dF1b
    CT Fd
    NT 1
    C 64
    H 15
    RS SF
    SF 15
    DO 14
    RT 1AM
    BW 10
    BD 60
    RR 12
    BF 19
    FM t0.7

    based on your battery analogy, i thought may be there isn't enough water in the brine tank, thus the battery runs out of juice before recharging time comes. And that how i get soft and hard water intermittently.

    Then it means the brine fill time is too short or the floater in the brine well is stopping the filling midway. Am I on the right path?

    Thanks much
  4. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    The 64 is the max capacity or 2cubic foot?
    19 minutes on the brine refill at .5 gallons per minute would be putting into the brine tank 9.5 gallons and at 3lbs of salt per gallon that would be 28.5 lbs of salt.
    Now depending on the size of the brine tank, 14"x14" or if it is 18" diameter as to how high that water will be for the 9.5 gallons.. so it is possible that the float is way to low for that kind of water to go into the brine tank.
    Some thing to try would be to cycle the unit into a cleaning or regen cycle and when it goes to fill the brine tank time it, the control should show time left for the brine fill,, if the water stops at 10 minutes left that means that you are only getting about 12 lbs of salt, or a capacity of 45k on the unit.
    45000capacity/15hardness= 3000gallons/gallons per day (65gallons*number of people)=number of days on average between cycles.

    Safety factory of 15%?
  5. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    That's correct, 64K max capacity w/ 2cf of resin. This is the model I purchased http://www.qualitywatertreatment.com/water_softeners_fleck_5600SXT.htm#64

    The brine tank is 18 x 33" round shape and the tube connecting the 2 tanks is 1/2" inner diameter.
    I looked inside the brine well and the water is about 16" high from the bottom with 150 lbs of salt in the tank.
    I cut the floater stick to the specification and that resulted the floater is about 5-7" below the "overflow orifice" on the side of the brine tank.
    Thus there is still some room for more water.

    Could you please help understand your calculation so that I can repeat once I change the settings?
    1) Is 0.5 gallons per minute a constant or that is derived to some settings and/or the tube diameter?
    2) Once I get the # lbs of salt, should I use Gary's calculator to obtain the capacity?

    Since this is a metered Fleck, it can regen any day. If the floater stopped the brine fill from doing 19min, does the Fleck knows how to compensate for this lower capacity received and trigger a regen earlier?

    The safety factor is 15%, which i believe means the regen is queued for next 1AM if we have less than 15% capacity left. Is that too low/high?

    And you are quite close, after each regen, the counter shows that I have rough 3200 gallon to go thru.

    Many thanks
  6. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    The .5gpm is constant flow while the brine piston is held OPEN by the cam.. when that piston closes the water flow stops, the float assembly in the brine tank is the safety back up to keep the water from over flowing the brine tank.
    It would be better to use the best spot on the salt resin curve... and that is 6lbs per cubic foot and a capacity of 20,000 grains of removal...
    So with that part in mind, use the time part of the refill to come up with the salt needed.. .5gpm X 8minutes=4gallons, 4 gallonsX 3lbs salt per gallon=12lbs of salt for the next regen and a capacity of 44000.
    I use the RC and not the SF... the RC would be number of people X 65 gallons per person per day.. or 4 people =260 gallons.

    Just because it is a Fleck does not mean that it is thinking for its self... one has to program the control with settings that it runs on.
    It will not know if the flow to the brine tank stopped early or late..
  7. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    Thanks a lot for the explanation , I really appreciate it. I think I now understand the formula.

    I stood in front of the unit during the regen yesterday and observed the following

    1) 40min after the start of the brine draw, the water is flowing much slower (sparse) into the resin tank. Is that a normal thing? Should the brine draw time be reduced to 40-45min from 60min?

    2) The brine fill stopped after 16min (settings is at 19min) because of the floater.

    That being said, I am still unclear on how this machine knows when to regen. Reminder this is a metered model so it's not time based.
    Does it "think" it has a capacity of K grains corresponding to 9.5 gallons (19min) or 8 gallon? I mean, does it measure the quality of water that filled the resin tank or it merely use the brine fill time to do the calculation as you described?
  8. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    I got this reply from my seller. He explained the same formula, but the numbers are a bit different

    Okay here we go a water softener lesson 101. You need 15 pds of salt to 100% charge 1 cuft of cation resin. 1 cuft fully charged will remove 32,000 grains of hardness. 1 gallon of water will only dissolve 3 pds of salt 8 inches of water in a 18 x 33 brine tank equals 8 gallons of water but only 7 of that is used up do to the aircheck valve in the brine tank. 7 gallons x 3 pds equals 21 pounds of salt which with 1.5 cuft resin will remove 48,000 grains of hardness, a brine refill time of .5 gpm x 16 minutes equals 8 gallons of water.

    You had 6lbs/cubic foot for 20,000 grains while he has 15lbs/cubic foot for 32,000 grain and suggesting 16min brine fill. Thus it looks like he needs more salt per grain. Is that depending on the resin type? I noticed most stores sell 2 types of resin. Foe example high capacity (I have this) and SST-60 (which is far more expensive).

    I feel I understand the calculation and how the valve would operated if this was a non-metered model.

    But w/ a metered model, the valve initiates the regen when (it thinks) the grains are gone. How would it know all these parameters we discussed here?

    I thought it was as simple as I would generate 64K grains and let it run until we run out of capacity then it regens. Since there is a day override at 14 days, we are potentially wasting salt if the regen is kicked off by DO. But I am not worry about wasting salt at this point and rather get constant soft water first.

    I thought it was simpler to operate and that is why I bought this model, but it's still quite hair pulling :D

    Thank much again
  9. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    The unit can not think for its self.......... simple as that.
    The unit works off the numbers that you program in, very simple.
    X amount of salt and X amount of resin will give X for capacity.
    When you tell the computer the capacity and the comp hardness that you are working with it figures the gallons.
    If you use the default day setting along with the gallon setting, which ever comes first will start the regen cycle.

    The time fill is the best way of filling the brine tank, if the sticker shows .5gpm then it is minutes times .5gpm equals the gallons going into the brine tank, then that number of gallons times the 3lbs of salt per gallon equal the amount of salt to recharge the resin.

    The resin has lets say three levels of charge, lite, middle, and max.... best is the middle.. and that is 6-7lbs per cubic foot... for the SST60 it is http://www.caitechnologies.com/images/PDFs/specs/SST60.pdf
    22500grains, now if you are using 2 cubic and 12lbs of salt that would be 45k then divide that by the hardness and that is the number of gallons that the unit will treat.......
  10. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    Many Thanks Akpsdvan. I think i now understand how it works.

    Based on what my seller said, it seems like the resin I got is 15 lbs salt per cuft for 32,000 grains.
    Thus I need at max 30 lbs to fill up the 64K of the unit.
    That's 10 gallons (3lb / gal)
    That's 20min brine fill time (at 0.5gpm)

    That is quite close to my current settings thus it doesn't seem like the root cause of my problem. Any other suggestions?
  11. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    With a unit that size channeling would be at the top of the list.
    Channeling is when the water takes the path of least resistance through the media bed, either down the side between the tank and resin or down the tube and resin....thus dis charging that part of the media bed and letting untreated water into the house.
    Another is if the low flow is not getting measured by the meter on the unit.. under 1gpm per minute is the challenge, now most meters will see down to .5gpm but it is not always counted correctly.
    Another is if you have the meter setting on the control wrong...
    If you have the 3/4 turbin then the setting should be t0.7 for the correct reading.. if you are using the P0.7 with the turbin then it will count the gallons differently.
  12. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    Thanks for your patience. One more question if I may. What settings of the valve allow it to know it's 6lbs salt for 22.5K grains or 15lbs salt per 32K grains (an my seller suggested)? This affects the calculation of capacity right?
  13. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    Brine refill time is what will either give you 6lbs per or 15lbs.
    8 minutes of brine refill time at .5gpm will give 4gallons of water and 12lbs of salt or 6 per cubic.
    20 minutes of brine refill time at .5gpm will give 10gallons of water and 30lbs of salt or 15 per cubic... note for this,, brine float is going to have to be very high to let that 10gallons into the brine tank.
    What size is the brine tank?

    Where the program asks for capacity program in the capacity that you will be working with, if that is 2 cubic and 12lbs then call it 44k.....
  14. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    I followed your formula up to the point of getting the # of lbs of salt.

    Your last sentence is the one that is still mysterious.
    Based on what settings does the valve knows 12lbs give 44K grains? Is there a standard table of conversion? Earlier I understood this is dependent on the resin type thus I am trying to figure out how to let the valve know this conversion rate.

    Many thanks
  15. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    There is no setting,..........

    The program asks for the capacity, you program that number in...
    The capacity number that you put in is based on amount of resin you are using and the amount of salt that you are using.
  16. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    after playing w/ the different brine refill times for the past 2 months, I am unable to improve water quality. By putting an excessive refill time, I am supposed to be fully charger (possibly wasting more salt than needed be) and get soft water but it doesn't feel so. Is it possible the valve is not functioning and just bypass the water internally? Note my external bypass is set properly.

    Is there a way to test water hardness. I am saying the water ins't soft based on how my skins feels it. I can feel a huge difference when we first put in the softener, but its performance is degrading overtime.

    Many Thanks
  17. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,141
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    You should be able to buy a water hardness test kit at your local hardware store, or online.


    Have a good day.


    DonL
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
  18. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You get a max of 30k per 15lbs of salt.

    You probably need to do 2 manual regenerations, one after the other at the max 30lbs for 2 cuft, with no water use during or between the regenerations to fully regenerate all the resin back to 30k per cuft. That would prevent hard water leakage through the resin/softener.

    Using 64k instead of 60k to set the number of gallons between regenerations probably has caused some of the resin to not be regenerated and you'[re getting hard water leakage/breakthrough. You should program for a regeneration every 7-9 days.

    Click the link in my signature to learn more about all that.
  19. rjh2o

    rjh2o Member

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    Michigan
    The Fleck SXT programmer has a flaw. When programming in the settings it should figure out the reserve capacity (it does NOT do it). You have to compensate by raising the hardness level to allow for the proper reserve capacity.
    RJ
  20. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    @rjh2o, my water hardness in around 12 but i have tried the settings as hardness was 20. I guess it should be enough to compensate for the 15% reserve correct?

    @gary, I will set it to 60k and see how it goes. Does over compensating for hardness (as above) avoid breakthru?

    Thanks all for your help. It's surprising how a machine that looks very simple is so hard to tune it right.
Similar Threads: Inconsistent soft
Forum Title Date
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Water inconsistently soft Apr 2, 2011
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Bought a house with new water softener, not clear on whether it's programmed Friday at 12:40 PM
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Another water softener sizing question Monday at 6:53 AM
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Culligan Softener always running Sep 10, 2014
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Water not reaching salt in brine tank; no soft water. Sep 8, 2014

Share This Page