Need new whole-house water softener

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Balthazar B, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. Balthazar B

    Balthazar B New Member

    Messages:
    3
    We need a new water softening system to replace an old one that is beyond repair.

    Salient facts:
    • We're on a well in a water challenged area. The output pressure from our well is OK, but we're very careful about water use and as efficient a system as possible/reasonable is preferred.
    • There are two of us in the household, and we don't have any particularly water-hungry appliances or habits.
    • We recently had our water tested by a reputable independent lab:
      • pH = 6.54
      • Total hardness = 6 gpg
      • Iron = 0.09 mg/l
      • Manganese = 0.02 mg/l
      • TDS = 170 mg/l
      • Nitrates = ND
      • Silica = 51 mg/l
    • Water taste is fine, and earlier testing disclosed no nasties present.
    We'd like adequate softening and a slight bump to pH with as little water waste as possible. It sounds like a Fleck-based system is the most promising route, but we'd appreciate specific suggestions from the experts on this forum. It would make more sense for us to engage a professional to do the installation than DYI, via either a softener installer or an excellent and versatile plumber who I'm confident could do the work.

    Thanks!
  2. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    746
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    You didn't mention the number of family members. It's a must for sizing a system. Clack, Fleck and Autotrol make good valves.
  3. Balthazar B

    Balthazar B New Member

    Messages:
    3
    2 adults in the household. I wish I could give you some actual numbers, but our water consumption isn't metered. However, it's fair to say it's very likely on the low side of what a normal American couple uses.

    Among other things, I'm wondering what valves are best for high-efficiency systems, how large our tank(s) should be sized, etc. While I've read a fair amount on this topic, I've never sized a system, and there's no substitute for experience, therefore reaching out to the brain trust here. :D
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,938
    Location:
    Ontario California
    A Fleck SXT system can be programmed for minimal water usage.
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,790
    Location:
    IL
    I would add that a softener will not raise your pH. That would take different media. I don't know if pH = 6.54 is considered to be a level that should be addressed or not. It doesn't sound bad to me, but I have pH of 7.25, so I have not looked into that.

    Regarding softener size, you should do calculations. I predict that result of those calculations would make you end up with 1 cubic foot. However 6 grains/ gal is not very hard. A softener would improve things, but most people with that would not get a softener.
  6. Balthazar B

    Balthazar B New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Thanks for replying.

    pH 6.8 - 8.5 is considered optimal, so you're in the sweet spot. Under 6.8 can be corrosive, so we would appear to need some mild remediation. And overall our water is moderately hard, but not outrageous. However, it's still enough to leave mineral deposits on fixtures, shower glass, etc., and of course it's not good for the water heater, so I'd like to address that situation.

    From reading a lot of the Q&A here and elsewhere, it seems like the trick is finding the right balance of components and capacity to do the job and operate as efficiently as possible without overdoing it in terms of technology, complexity, maintenance, and cost.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    There are other things in water that will cause water spots other than hardness. A neutral pH is 7.0, lower is acidic and thereby corrosive. A softener's efficiency is dictated by the salt dose lbs and the grains of capacity it creates. Water use efficiency is based on the time (in minutes) of the various cycle positions of a regeneration but, there is a minimum length of time that if reduced causes the softener to not function properly. Those cycle times are adjustable.

    Correct sizing takes those things into consideration along with the max gpm flow rate the softener has to be able to remove all the gpg of hardness from. A 1.0 cuft gets you roughly 9 gpm, over that the ion exchange will not have sufficient time to accomplish the job and you get some hardness through the unit. See the link in my signature for more on all that.
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