Moving Into New House Need Advice

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by jfpetesn, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. jfpetesn

    jfpetesn New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Red Bud, IL
    We are moving into a new house on a well and septic system. We had the water tested prior to closing and these are the results:

    Iron: 0.17 mg/l
    Magnesium : 28.2 mg/l
    Potassium: 3.5 mg/l
    Sodium: 116 mg/l
    Fluoride: 2.94 mg/l
    Hardness: 217 mg/l (12.7 gpg)
    pH: 7.6
    Total Dissolved Solids: 604 mg/l
    Neg Bacteria
    Neg Coliforms

    Pump delivers approx 10 gpm with a 3/4" feed into the house.

    There is an approx 12yo unbranded softener in the house. This probably needs to be replaced soon although the well inspector tested it and said there is soft water at the faucets. The whole house is on the softener and I plan on splitting out the cold kitchen sink and icemaker. I am looking for any suggestions on proper sizing and any recommendations. There is just 2 of us unless the kids come home. The home has 3.5 baths.

    From the information I have found on this forum some call for a 3.5 cu ft softener primarily due to the higher magnesium level. According to my calculations I have a compensated hardness level of 70 gpg.

    What do you suggest?

    Thanks
    Jeff
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Your compensated hardness is way off. You use hardness, iron and MANGANESE, not magnesium.
  3. jfpetesn

    jfpetesn New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Red Bud, IL
    Ok thank you. I went back to your website and recalculated my compensated Hardness is 14 gpg. According to your information I can get by with a 1 cu ft system but with my baths I should probably size for approx 10-12 gpm (my well output) max. What tank and valve would give me these flow rates with min pressure drop? I have zero manganese in my water. Are you concerned with my TDS at all? I have zero chlorine in the water.
  4. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Rather than piping unsoftened water to the cold line at the kitchen sink I recommend you install a separate drinking water faucet on the kitchen sink with unsoftened water. That would allow you to have completely softened water for kitchen cleaning use but still have unsoftened water for drinking.

    There is no reason to think that an "unbranded" softener needs to be replaced. With no chlorine in the water resin often lasts more than 12 years and quality control heads like Fleck typically last much longer than 12 years--although internal wear parts may need to be replaced. What control head is installed on the softener? Is it a metered control or timeclock? Metered contols are preferred because they regenerate based on actual water use.
  5. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,268
    Location:
    Maine
    As far as replacing the old unit, why not make sure it's working correctly and is set correctly and keep using it until it dies ?
  6. jfpetesn

    jfpetesn New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Red Bud, IL
    I crawled all over the unit today to try and identify it. I think I am closer, it is an Autotrol 255/460i head on a 40,000 grain tank with a turbinator. I think it is a 55-MR-400 tank. So does anyone know anything about this head? The original cover kind of L shaped will not fit on it as it appears that someone has installed a small transformer in the head itself to power it. There is a square door on the front of the unit missing exposing a circuit board.

    Also a small correction, I have 1" PVC from the pump to the pressure tank then 3/4" copper to the softener then through out the house.

    As to separating out the cold kitchen sink I think that would be easier as we have new quartz counter tops and to add just a untreated faucet would require drilling the quartz top. The previous residents have just been drinking the soft water which I guess is another option but personally I can taste soft water and I really prefer to drink unsoft water.

    If you think this unit can be or needs rehabing I can do that plus it would probably save some money. Does anyone ever just replace the control head?
  7. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
  8. jfpetesn

    jfpetesn New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Red Bud, IL
    Trying to upload some pictures but having trouble. That link is similar but not what I have.
  9. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    California
    Rather than running an unsoftened pipe I recommend an undersink RO filter. Easier and tastes great.
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,911
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The valve is a good one that is fairly easy to service. If they used good resin, it can last for 10-20 years.

    And I agree, put an RO in for your drinking water and ice maker on the fridge.
  11. jfpetesn

    jfpetesn New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Red Bud, IL
    Sounds like a plan. So do they make an RO that delivers enough flow to serve the cold kitchen faucet if I located it in the basement? It would be an easy install as the kitchen sink lines are very accessible from the basement. I still remember the old RO systems that only supplied a trickle of water.

    After much research, I have confirmed that the valve is indeed a Autotrol 255 valve with a 460 timer a prior version to the 460i. The resin is probably in good shape as it has had no chlorine exposure. Now I just need to figure out what the current settings are and if they need to be changed. I appreciate all of you help and advice. Feel free to suggest a proper RO system as I have never owned one.
  12. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    California
    A practical, small RO supplies drinking water only through a separate dedicated spigot and/or the fridge line via polyethylene tubing. It won't produce enough for kitchen sink use.
  13. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    RO water is highly corrosive and should not be run through copper pipes or standard fixtures. Water from an RO unit is typically piped in plastic pipes to a special fixture that is suitable for RO water.
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