Need soft water

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by cvalko, Jun 19, 2009.

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  1. cvalko

    cvalko New Member

    My husband and I just moved into a new house with a well (our first) and are having issues with the water. There are spots everywhere no matter how much I clean and it has a smell rotten eggs (been told this is sulfer). We have had a softner in the past (Sears) but have heard from neighbors they don't last on this water. We had 3 different companies test the water with 3 different results. Seems the water is between 45-55 grains. We don't have the means to spend $3000.00-$5000.00 to clean up our water. What can we do to clean our water without breaking the bank. Thanks.
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Sears, GE at Home Depot, Whirlpool at Lowe's etc. don't last but 2-4 yrs on most waters and is what my good friend and colleague Andy, our resident Kinetico salesman means when he says "cheap".

    You need to post your water test results and should mention companies and your thoughts about each and what they proposed.

    IF you want to be a DIYer, you should buy online from me or someone else and install it yourself or hire a plumber to install it for you. You'll save up to a couple thousand dollars and have top quality equipment.
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Andy, I'm sure you dont' know this or you wouldn't associate yourself with that web site. Those guys, except for a poor chart, they don't help the person size the softener. They don't give their Clack customer the Master programming instructions until AFTER the person has bought the softener!!

    And then, they only give them the data IF the person calls them when he/she is at the softener, and they answer the phone; probably during business hours only!!

    I think that is terrible service before and AFTER the sale, don't you? I'm sure you Kinetico guys don't do things like that. Here's a current copy of what they tell their Clack WS-1 customer; it's from their instructions and different from what they used to say just a couple weelk ago. They said they had no obligation to tell the customer anything about the master/dealer part of the programming.

    Here it is:
    We recommend that the customer call us on our Toll Free number 888-644-6426, so we can go over the master programming for your unit with you, while you are standing in front of the valve, to make certain the valve is set up correctly for your home water conditions.

    This is what they used to say:
    Our obligation to all our customers who purchase the Clack WS1 system from
    our company, is to assist them with the programming information that is
    available to the home owner on the “General Operation” leaflet supplied with
    your Clack Valve. (See Leaflet Link Shown Above)

    We are not obligated to address any additional programming tutorials with any customer, that may be available on the Clack WS1 valve.

    You do not need to backwash your new unit, as the media is brand new, and will be removing the dissolved minerals, tastes or odors from your water immediately…!

    I size every softener I sell before the person buys it and I give the customer all programing info before the softener arrives.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
  4. cvalko

    cvalko New Member

    Thanks for the reply. As I stated before, the hardness was between 45 and 55. There is a smell in the water but it seems to be on the hot side only.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The Fleck 5600 spec sheet shows any of its versions is not to be used on a softener larger than a 2.0 cuft 12" diameter tank. With up to 55 gpg of hardness, not counting any iron or manganese, a 2.0 cuft softener is way undersized for even a 2 person household UNLESS you want very poor salt efficiency and to have to regenerate it every two to three days.

    Andy, can you be more specific when you say things so others, including me don't have to guess at your meaning? Doesn't cheap usually refer to poor quality? To me and most people, it does. Or do you mean 'lower priced' softeners are price wise cheaper than your way overpriced nonelectric and otherwise featureless Kinetico?

    You know I'm not Certified and you call me unprofessional, yet again, here you go expecting me to be professional... DUH!

    As the wordsmith I know you to be, howsabout you type exactly and clearly, exactly what you mean to say and have others understand you to mean? Nail it down so there is no way anyone, especially me, can misquote you or misunderstand, or think you meant to say something else? And recall what Terry, the owner of the forum, told you about your complaints of me in the past; although you aren't including 'verbal assault', or 'derogative comments and aggressive behavior' now. Here's a copy.

    I am not sure what is happening here but I am being verbally assaulted by Gary Slusser. I am trying to get to the bottom of patrick88's problem and Gary continues to assail my inquiries with a derogative comments and aggressive behavior.

    I am doing my best to ignore such abuse and I am counting on you to moderate and is what I feel is prudent and proper.
    Please respond here if you would.
    Thank you,

    You may be a little too sensitive to be here.

    So far, I haven't seen anything out of the ordinary here.
    Terry Love
  6. Just to throw a plumber's perspective into this mix...

    Those big box store water softeners like waterboss, kenmore, and the other ones have their place in the industry for one reason, cost.

    There's two types of buyers to the mentality of product.

    The educated buyer that knows the chemistry of the water and all the intricate knowledge to "build" a water softener that perfects the water quality issue...

    and then there is the "buy a softener put it in" attitude.

    The second buyer is growing in leaps and bounds because the ranges in costs these days go from $350-$899 on one of these softeners found in the affordable category.

    Customers are neighbors, neighbors follow the thinking of their friends. In the DIY world these days it seems to me that with some instruction it's feasible to understand the basic schematics of the installation, not the operation of a water softener and what it offers.

    Add salt, tweak the settings and keep salt in it. <<< Seems to the be the attitude of most of my customers.

    The "average" I've seen with these low end softeners are in the 7-10 year range, and some manage to get to around 12-14 years. Rare when it reaches the double digits but they've managed that at times.

    The reason the WaterBoss is doing so well these days is their customer service, their "touch and feel it" product at the big box stores and their reputation through the years of supplying product and handling whatever small issues crop up from the DIY/plumber installing their product.

    I personally and truely believe that people don't mind paying the lower amount, installing it and getting that many years out of the product, and then not bothering to repair it when it gets above 7/8 years.

    Why? Because if you divide the number of years against how long they got reliable service out of it, an average of the unit costing less than a $100 can be cross referenced to other products used in the home, like a water heater.

    Start adding what it costs for the two trips it's going to take the plumber or the water softener guy to work/repair the unit...and now you're wondering if something else is going to break minutes/days/weeks/months later, knowing it's getting old.

    That rebuy almost puts to mind better economical sense because you know the first 12-18 months are under warranty and who knows! The "new and improved" might make that water feel even better than your old one.

    I find the above mentality playing out a lot. A doctor I worked for recently had a 12 year GE softener and all I did was add salt, made sure the operation of the unit was doing what it was supposed to be doing. Changed a setting or two because they complained about the water not being soft enough before it stopped working.

    The doctor's attitude is to replace it with a similar product, priced under a grand for sure and go with the attitude that the number of years in service is a predictor of sorts to the reliability of normal buying.

    Now I know that these professional softener systems provide substantially better water quality, but the big box stores are a force to be reckoned with because if the neighbor across the street has the same soft water as your neighbor two cities away, and they all bought their product at the local stores...

    I don't think they'd lie and tell otherwise.

    I try to offer better products and explain them out to people, sometimes they just interrupt me and tell me they don't care; just put the **** in and go with it. It's plumbing.

    Simplicity can be king at times in the mechanics of a home and its workings.
  7. cvalko

    cvalko New Member

    Gary, How do you determine what size I need? We have 2 adults and 1 small child. What system would recommend? The house is 2100 sq ft.
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    To correctly size a softener you have to know how much hardness, iron and manganese if any is in the water, and the pH if you have your own well. If you are on city water, just the hardness, and you can get that from the water company's web site and their Water Quality Report.

    Then we take the number of people and bathrooms and the type of fixtures in them and determine your peak demand flow rate gpm. Then we come up with the volume of resin to provide the constant SFR flow rate required for the peak demand and then figure the K of capacity required and the salt dose required for the cuft of resin's best salt efficiency. Of course we need to talk to do all that. You can read all about all that here.

    I would use the Clack WS-1 control valve on the softener and the delivered price of the average softener I sell is under $700 but it depends on the size of the softener.
  9. cvalko

    cvalko New Member

    After carefull consideration and much research, we decided to to go with a Fleck 5600 from Biermech. He provided us with a lot of helpfull information. I want to thank you all for your input.
  10. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Riverview, Fl.
    Wasn't he complaining about people advertising here.
    I guess he's one of those PM'ers.
    That makes it ok to sell stuff on a Forum. Just don't let anyone else know.
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Cathy, no harm in checking it out right? Sammy and I can do that if you answer some questions.

    I previously told you: The Fleck 5600 spec sheet shows any of its versions is not to be used on a softener larger than a 2.0 cuft 12" diameter tank. With up to 55 gpg of hardness, not counting any iron or manganese, a 2.0 cuft softener is way undersized for even a 2 person household UNLESS you want very poor salt efficiency and to have to regenerate it every two to three days.

    How many permanent residents live in the house?

    What size softener did he suggest and what size did you buy?

    What did he suggest for the bacteria caused hot water only odor? Hopefully not a Media Guard.

    How many lbs of salt are you to use per regeneration?

    How many K of capacity is the softener programmed to provide?

    Did he determine your peak demand flow rate or tell you how many constant SFR gpm your family size and the number of bathrooms and the type of fixtures in them require?

    Here is the link to the 5600 spec sheet from Fleck and below is some info off of it. At the bottom of it is what size tanks the 5600 can be used on. Spec Sheet 40730.pdf

    With a smaller than a 12" dia tank, (2.0 cuft 64K as some call them), that means you will be regenerating much more often than you should be (once every 7-9 days) and, your salt efficiency will probably be much worse than it could be, meaning you will use a lot more salt.

    Valve Specifications
    Valve material Fiber-reinforced polymer
    Inlet/Outlet 3/4", 1", 1-1/4"
    Cycles 7
    Flow Rates (50 psi Inlet) - Valve Alone
    Continuous (15 psi drop) 20 GPM
    Peak (25 psi drop) 26 GPM
    Cv (flow at 1 psi drop) 5
    Max. backwash (25 psi drop) 7 GPM
    Downflow/Upflow Both
    Adjustable cycles Brine fill only
    Time available 180 minutes per cycle
    Meter Information
    Meter accuracy .25 - 15 GPM +/- 5%
    Meter capacity range (gal.)
    Standard: 125 - 2,125
    Extended: 625 - 10,625
    Distributor pilot 13/16" or 1.05" O.D.
    Drain line 1/2" NPTF
    Injector brine system 1600
    Brine line 3/8"
    Mounting base 2-1/2" - 8 NPSM
    Height from top of tank 7"
    Typical Applications
    Water softener 6" - 12" diameter
    Filters 8" - 10" diameter
  12. cvalko

    cvalko New Member

    Gary, part of my research was to read the comments made in this forum. You seem to berate people when they don't agree with you. Biermech, on the other hand, seemed to want to help people solve there problem and did not "push" for a sale.
    He quoted a 2 cu ft softener with a 5600 metered. He said I should regenerate every 727 gallons. With 3 people in the family, that's about 3 days. When I talked to my neighbors, they said that was about average. I even talked to hubands a co-worker's wife. She said they had a Clack valve and have had trouble with the electronics twice in 3 years.
    We are happy with our decision. Biermech answered all our questions without "beating around the bush". Thanks again for your input.
  13. Ed McMahon is dead.
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    Regenerating every 2-3 days is inefficient. Yes, it will work. So, you could have a better, more ecconomical system. The fact your neighbor's regenerates every 2-3 days doesn't make it the most efficient. It also means you'll spend more on salt.

    Don't run a WH without an anode rod. IF that's the problem, then replace the (probably magnesium) rod with an aluminum one, and it should stop that. The anode rod is what keeps your steel WH from rusting away quickly. Remove it, and any minor imperfection will immediately start to rust in the hot water environment.
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    OK, fair enough, although I see myself as debating people to have them support or prove their claims, not berate them as you see it but now, you're sounding like you've been talking to someone other than reading posts here; kinda like lyingAndy pretending to be ChrisJ with a wife and bed'n breakfast a few years ago.

    But be it what it is... yes, I'm not into being a PC feminized American male, I think it is ruining our country, and maybe it has already and it's totally unhelpful to those wanting accurate information. Just look at what being like that did too Jon of Jon'n Kate + 8! The first half of his marriage and their TV show he says he was passive (read PC feminized) and when he finally started to speak up, it was all over. I saw it but he didn't know it. You can't want me to be like that! again, would you? Six yrs was enough for me and now I scratch'n such, again, like men are supposed too!

    But I'll bet there isn't a single thing I told you about softeners and your water quality issues that is untrue. Or any untruth in what I'm going to tell you now.

    I'd tell you to ask PC Andy, or Sammy but they dont know this stuff or refuse to help, they like stirring things up.

    Let's see, first you can not program a 5600MM to 727 gallons. It is physically impossible. And... that three days between regenerations is going to be 4 days if he hasn't taken a number of gallons off the 727 to provide a 24 hour reserve capacity (as he is supposed to). Or he is taking the reserve out of the resin bed instead, which means he has to use more salt which I'll get into later. He has said here or somewhere else that that is what he does, like 20% reserve IIRC. Or, he is using more than 60 gallons per person per day but that can't be because..... here's the math you say he gave you.

    Now 727 * 55gpg = 39985, or 39.985K of capacity, which can not be programmed into a 5600MM. That's a mechanical meter version called the Econominder, that's all Biermech says he sells.

    So he is probably using 12 lbs of salt for 40K of capacity, which sounds great but if he is, he isn't regenerating any reserve capacity. And unless he subtracts a days worth of gallons from the 727, (9900/55=180 gals = 547 gals, which again, can not be programmed on a 5600MM control valve) the outcome of that is hard water shortly after the meter counts down to 0 gallons remaining on the meter. And if he is using more than 12 lbs/regeneration, your salt efficiency decreases. That means you use more salt.

    Here is all the math; you have 3 people in the house and 55 gpg of hardness,

    3people * 60gals/person/day = 180 gals/day, * 55gpg = 9900 grains used/day, * 4 days =39600 rounded up to the next thousand = 40K. And 40,000/55 gpg = 727 gallons on the meter. Meaning no reserve... OR, he missed telling you something of importance because math doesn't lie. He said 3 days but hasn't set the meter to get 3 days, he gets 4 days with 727 gals.

    How am I doing Cathy, it seems I'm right on huh? Well if not, it should because I am using my best hand held calculator. You can call Fleck tomorrow to check me out.

    Now me, using a 5600MM on a 2.0cuft, I would have done it different, you would have a 24 hr reserve built in and regenerate based on the meter setting but really, I would have used more resin meaning a larger tank, meaning a larger softener not using the 5600 in any of it's version due to the spec sheet. A 2510SE, a better valve than the 5600 that I sold for 18+ yrs all but exclusively, or a Clack WS-1, much better than the 5600 or 2510. I've sold over 1220 of them and have had only 22 problems.

    Finally, you didn't answer these questions that I asked;
    What did he suggest for the bacteria caused hot water only odor? Hopefully not a Media Guard. Or removing the anode rod as my good buddy Sheza something1 suggests. That only works IF you don't scrape any of the material off into the tank as you pull and bend the 5' rod to get it out in a 3' space above the tank.

    How many lbs of salt are you to use per regeneration?

    How many K of capacity is the softener programmed to provide?

    Did he determine your peak demand flow rate or tell you how many constant SFR gpm your family size and the number of bathrooms and the type of fixtures in them require?

    His 2.0 cuft softner has a 13 gpm constant SFR meaning every time your peak demand water use gpm exceeds 13 gpm, the softener will not be able to remove all the 55 gpg of hardness, and you get hard water right through it. So I hope you don't have more than 2.5 bathrooms or, 2.5 or fewer with any large tubs or showers.

    I wish you well and please let us know how the softener does like a month or two after it has been in service.

    p.s. removing an anode rod voids water heater warranties.
  16. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    That's not all you don't know. You're giving people some bad advice. Removing a rod voids the heater warranty plus...

    A hot water only odor is caused by bacteria in the water reacting with the anode rod and creating H2S gas. The water must also have some sulfates in it.

    To prove what some here will probably call the theory, increase the temp to 140f for an hour or overnight and see if the odor doesn't go away. Since it does, that is proof of the theory because it kills the bacteria responsible for the creation of the odor. Hence no more odor until more bacteria arrive with the incoming water; that's if you turn the temp down again. The bacteria is harmless and called SRB (sulfate reducing bacteria) and IRB (iron) can cause the odor also.
  17. Cookie

    Cookie .

    The Testosterone here is burning my eyes. :eek:
    I can't see...

  18. I wish I was spayed or neutered, just like bob barker. :D
  19. Cookie

    Cookie .

    HEY! A Girl driller! That is cool, sorry didn't mean to offend you, I thought... I smelled some great perfume here. :)
    I was hoping it wasn't Rugged, LOL.
  20. Cookie

    Cookie .


    I am the new well moderator and will slap you guys silly when you get out of place. You will be crying.:)
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