Is there any way to tell a water softeners capacity by tank size?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by jonjonbear, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. jonjonbear

    jonjonbear New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Bastrop, TX (near Austin)
    Hello group,
    I have a twin tank softener which was made by "pure-tel" and I have no original paperwork on it. It has two tall chrome tanks with a Fleck 9000 valve on the top. This was in a rental house I had in Las Vegas and removed it when I sold the house and brought it to Texas where it's now installed in my home. It has been running here for five years but it occurred to me that it's probably set way higher than what I need as the water in Vegas is much harder than out here. I have the manual for the valve which I downloaded but the procedure is pretty complicated (at least the part with the pins in the back but maybe that doesn't need setting?), but it appears the first thing I need to know is the unit's capacity. I seem to think I read somewhere this has to do with how much media is installed? The only label on the thing is the manufacture label, with no part number, specs or anything. Is there any way to find out, or figure out what the capacity of this thing is? I have no idea even how old it is. I am using potassium instead of salt and two adults. Also is it possible to upgrade my existing Fleck 9000 mechanical timer to one of the electronic timers? If so what would I need, do they make a kit?

    Thanks for any pointers,

    John
    PS this is my water quality according to my water coop:
    (this is ground water supplied from several wells, not reclaimed or surface water if that even matters)
    Total Hardness = 39.5 milligrams/liter (mg/L) or 2.3 grains per gallon
    Calcium = 8.15 mg/L
    Iron = 0.025 mg/L
    Magnesium = 4.65 mg/L
    Sodium = 222 mg/L
    pH = 7.9 Standard Units
    Total Alkalinity = 357 mg/L
    Chloride = 66mg/L
    Sulfate = 83 mg/L
    Total Dissolved Solids = 620 mg/L
    Aqua maintains an approximately 1.5 to 3.0 mg/L free chlorine residual in the distribution system for disinfection purposes.

    On a side note, my parents have an older Kinetico water softener they might give me, it's been out of service for about ten years so don't know what it would take to put it back. I know they paid a huge amount of money for it when they bought it new in Florida. Not sure what model it is but the tanks are tan, not black. Would it being stored for that long destroy it?
  2. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Capacity of a softener is determined by the amount of resin and the salt dose used for regeneration. You can usually determine the amount of resin by the size of the resin tank--a 9 x 48 tank is typically used for 1 cubic foot of resin.

    So what size tanks are used--there should be a model number on the tank that includes the size.
  3. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    A twin,,,,
    Bob999 is right, size of the tanks are needed.. if there are no covers on the media tanks some place on the tanks there is a label of the size of the tank or take out a tape and messure the tank across and height of tank.

    It is possible to change from the timer that you have to the SXT that Fleck has changed to.

    I have changed 2510 from the type of control that you have to the sxt control, so YES it can be done, not that hard.
  4. jonjonbear

    jonjonbear New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Bastrop, TX (near Austin)
    I am pretty sure mine have covers as the media tanks look chrome, or more likely stainless steel. I will look it over more closely when I get home for any markings, and if not post the measures.
    On the timer, where might one find these parts? Looking at the parts list it appears the valves and power head are the same, just the timer and harness, mounts, and of course the water meter are different. Was hoping they might sell a "timer upgrade kit" or something like that.

    I will post my finding a bit later,
    Thanks for the help guys,
    John
  5. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    That cover that is around your tanks is right up on the tank, there is little to NO room between it an the tank.. maybe a 1/4" between the two.

    There are a number of items that are the same on the 9000,9100 and 9500 ..
    9000 and 9100 are the same save for the valve bodies one is metal and the other is plastic..
    Then there is the Elect.. 120v or 24v...
    The SE or SXT comes in handy when the gallons that the unit could treat is more than the meter that is on your unit right now... the SE or SXT does not have really an upper limit like your current timer...of 2100 gallons.
  6. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    While it may be possible to upgrade the timer it may not be cost effective. I suspect that buying an electronic timer as a separate item plus what ever parts are needed for the change over will cost about as much as a complete new head. If the old timer is working then it is relatively easy to change the programming on it--it is a matter of moving pins on the timer wheel that is exposed when the cable is unplugged fromthe meter and the timer is swung out.

    There are some who prefer the electromechanical timers as being more reliable than electronic timers.
  7. jonjonbear

    jonjonbear New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Bastrop, TX (near Austin)
    I suspect you are correct, not worth the expense or the trouble once I get it set up right. Okay, the tanks. No labels on them other than the manufactures label, the tanks are both 10"X48". Given this and my water info above, any pointers of what I should set this thing at? I really appreciate the help, I am pretty handy but for some reason these calculations and pins, and such just mystify me! :)
    PS, would my water be pretty good, medium or what would you give it as a rating? Those numbers don't mean much to me. Also is the chlorine number a lot, or a little? I did just buy a Kenmore self cleaning whole house filter which I am going to install in front of the softener.

    Thanks a bunch for all your help guys,

    John
  8. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    Most likely 1 cubic foot in each of the tanks under that Fleck 9000 for starts..

    You are going to need to look at the base of the drain line and see if you can find a white lable ,, on it will be drain and brine injector.
    Thouse numbers and going to be needed helping to set the meter and the pins that are in place right now.

    What the Kenmore self cleaning filter?
  9. jonjonbear

    jonjonbear New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Bastrop, TX (near Austin)
    Okay, will look on the valve. Are you trying to obtain the GPM of the brine fill? Will check when I get home. If there is no label is the a manual test I can do?

    Yes, the Kenmore Elite central whole home filtration system. It looks really nice, has ten pounds of carbon and supposed to last for ten years. Was on sale for 349.99. Regens like a water softener. If it can pull the chlorine smell out of my water I will be happy. Don't have too much sediment.

    John
  10. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Ocala, Fl
    Bastrop is known for having natural soft water I spend 13 yrs in water treatment in Austin. You don't really need a softener. But, if you want to use the softener, set it up for 2100 gallons at 6 lbs salt. The wheel with the pins is like a timer. Each hole or pin is 2 min and should say that on the wheel if it's 1 min per pin or 2. It turns counter clockwise. From the notch, count the first set of pins. Should be about 5 which is 10 min. The next set is empty (about 30 holes) or 60 mins. Then a set of (about) 5 pins or 10 mins. Another gap of holes and the last set of 2 pins. The amount of holes between the last 2 sets of pins is the salt dosage. Each hole is about (depending on the brine flow control) 1 gallon of water. So for 6 lbs salt usage, you need 2 holes. If you need someone to set it up and check out the entire system, lets me know. I have some good friends in Austin that are in the water treatment business.
  11. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    On the fitting that has the brine line and drain line there should be a lable, one number for the backwash number like 3 or 4 gpm and then there should be a white, or 0 , 00 injector then there should be a black one that says .5gpm on it for the brine...

    In the front of the manual for the 9000 is a formula on figuring the numbers..

    Say the unit with 9 lbs gives 22000 grains.. with your hardness of say 3grains...that would give 7000 gallons.. but then the number of gallons from cleaning would be subtracked from the 7000 gallons...

    Large carbon filter.... ok.. How big is the tank on that carbon unit? How many bathrooms in the home?

    It could last out to 10 years, but water usage , amount of chlorine in the water... any thing else that the carbon might take out will change the 10 year time frame... you could get 3 years, or 7 years... but yes carbon Will Take Out the Chlorine .
  12. jonjonbear

    jonjonbear New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Bastrop, TX (near Austin)
    Thanks Skip,
    I will check that out. I think there are several vacant holes in the brine fill section. I suspect with our water not being very hard, even the max 2100 setting might be too much. I have had a couple of neighbors tell me numbers between 3-4, I think because Aqua water pulls from so many different wells it might change depending on which ones I am getting water from so best to set for the highest but at 2100 sounds like that will be no problem. I think it's currently set around 14-1500, for the hard Vegas water. Probably why I am using so much potassium and seems like it regens a lot for two people.
    Will check and repost what I find.
    Thanks!
    John
  13. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    60 gallons per person per day would be 120 for you, if the meter is for 1400 gallons that would be about 11 days between cleanings, or three times a month..
    Make sure that the out side hoses are not getting treated, that will run the gallons up real fast..

    On the brine refill , for 9 lbs 3 holes, 6 lbs 2 holes..
  14. jonjonbear

    jonjonbear New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Bastrop, TX (near Austin)
    Okay will look at that fitting, hopefully it has the labels, seems like everything else is missing on this darn thing! Looks like given the numbers you mentioned, even at the lowest setting, it will be more than I need for my hardness.
    On the filter, the tank looks to be about 26" tall, but I can't tell the circumference. The entire filter is about 36" tall. The tank is encased in a plastic outer tank sort of like a kenmore water softener. The parts list says:
    Activated Carbon, 10lbs
    Gravel, 6lbs
    Filter sand, 5lbs.
    Aqua lists our chlorine at 1.5 to 3.0 mg/l, is that a lot?
  15. jonjonbear

    jonjonbear New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Bastrop, TX (near Austin)
    hmmm. 11 days. is it okay for it not to regen for that long? I keep reading they should regen at least once a week else the resin gets damaged, and this valve doesn't seem to have a clock on it so it must be completely water use..Yes outside bibs are separate, had the house built with a loop..
  16. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    You have no iron... so there is going to be a mixed school on the 11 days between cleanings...
    The main challenge with the 11 days is a thing call channeling of the resin... low flow making channels in the resin..
    You are right that the unit does not have a clock, it is meter driven... use the gallons and then is when it changes to the next tank.. like having 2 fuel tanks on the truck... do you change x days? or run til 1/4 tank then change?

    The change to Digital that you where talking about would have a day default.. so it would clean say every 1500 gallons or every 9 days which ever came up first. that way if you have lots of people there the gallons kick in, if just the 2 of you the day kicks in...

    You might try a month with the system off line and see how you like the water.... and how much extra cleaning one has to do with out the softener.. if skip is right about the water in that area you might only need the carbon to take out the chlorine and nothing else..
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  17. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    chlorine is either Free or Total... if total is getting up to 3.0ppm that is up there and you will smell it like the public swimming pool....

    10 lbs of carbon....is just under a .5 cubic foot of carbon...
    My sizing of carbon is 1 cubic foot for every 6gpm , so if your house could hit 10gpm then you would have 2 cubic of carbon.. for the removal of the chlorine..

    If the unit does not have the lables that I talk about, there is another way of finding out.. bit more of a challenge but it can be done. The book will be your next best friend...
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  18. jonjonbear

    jonjonbear New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Bastrop, TX (near Austin)
    I just went back and checked and he told me it was 1.5 to 3.0 mg/l free chlorine residual, is that better than total?

    Thanks,
    John
  19. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    A little, I know that when sizing a system to inject Chlorine to treat some thing the Free Chlorine level to go for is 1.0 to 1.5ppm, so if yours is running between 1.5 and 3.0.. that to some would be high, but then think if the system that water is going through.. how many miles of pipe?

    It would be good to test there at your place, your house might be on the high side because you are at the start, or it might be low if you are at the near or at the end of the water line.
  20. jonjonbear

    jonjonbear New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Bastrop, TX (near Austin)
    Probably lots of miles. We are in a rural area and the coop services a large area from something like 21 wells..
    I have some pool/spa test strips, and even an aquarium test kit. Maybe I will see what I am getting at the tap.
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