need softener advice

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Anand C. Patel, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. Anand C. Patel

    Anand C. Patel New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    MA
    OK. Just moved from city water in St. Louis, MO to private well water in Boxborough, MA.

    Water tested positive for radon, so a bubble-up radon system was installed with a 7 gpm pump, we're thinking about getting it replaced with the 14 gpm pump.

    Water test results:
    Alkalinity, MG/L 42
    Calcium, MG/L 97.7
    Chloride, MG/L 511
    Conductivity, UMHOS/CM 1757
    Copper, MG/L 0.093
    Hardness, Total, MG/L 375
    Iron, MG/L 0.009
    Lead, MG/L 0.002
    Magnesium, MG/L 32
    Manganese, MG/L 0.005
    Nitrate as N, MG/L 4.2
    pH, PH AT 25C 6.7
    Potassium, MG/L 7.3
    Sodium, MG/L 157
    Sulfate, MG/L 15.3
    Turbidity, NTU 0.17
    coliform bacteria, arsenic, fluoride, sediment, odor, nitrite, color, free chlorine, ammonia all not detected / zero

    So we've come to the conclusion that we need:
    a) a water softener
    b) RO systems for drinking water

    There's two of us, baby on the way, but we anticipate having visitors fairly often.

    House has 3 full and 1 half baths. There's a pool as well, but I'd imagine one would bypass the softener when filling the pool.

    We're thinking a twin tank system would be best, but there's so much talk about buying x capacity but using less salt, etc., that I'm not sure on the best approach to take. :confused:

    We'll have to have a dry well dug for the brine, which is already $1000-1500, but Mass Title V septic says it can't go in the septic, and it has to go somewhere . . .

    Thoughts? Other info I need to provide?

    Thanks,
    Anand
  2. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    Radon can be removed in 3 different ways; Aeration, Activated Carbon & Ion Exchange. Are you wanting to increase the pump size in order to get greater flow rate? What size is the incoming water line? To size a system, determine the amount of water is used per day (average is 65 gal per person) and times the hardness. This will be the grains removed per day. If you want to regen every 7 days, then times by 7. So in your case, 65 x 22GPG x 2 people = 2860 x 7= 20,020 grains removed every 7 days. With this in mind, increasing the number of people will increase the amount of hardness that needs to be remove. 65 x 22GPG x 3 people = 4290 x 7= 30,030. In your case, I would suggest a 2 CF system. It will give you 40,000 grains of removal. You can go in reverse: 40k/65/22= 27.9/4 people = 6.9 days between regen. The 4th person is for your guest that will not stay 24/7.
  3. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Twin alternating is never a bad idea, often times it is simply overkill and difficult to justify the additional cost. It is the most efficient design, but the saving can be almost non existent if you can size a softener to regenerate every 7 or more days. As stated, a 2 cu. ft or even a 2.5 cu. ft. system will serve you well. I try not to go much bigger that 2.5 since the tank size starts to get overwhelming. Anything smaller than 2 cu. ft. and you will start to lose efficiency.
  4. Anand C. Patel

    Anand C. Patel New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    MA
    Would it ever make sense to do 2 x 1.25 or 2 x 1 cu ft tanks instead of a single 2 cu ft tank?

    Radon aeration system -- bubble-up from repco. Trying to make sure we have enough gpm flow for when the family visits.

    Thanks,
    Anand
  5. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Systems have a maximum recommended flow rate and a peak flow rate. Exceeding the recommended flow rate on a rare occasion is not a problem. If you do it excessively, resin damage and poor water quality may result. A single 2 cu ft system has a higher maximum flow rate than a twin alt. 1 cu ft system, but also has half the potential capacity. Twin alternating systems can be designed to regenerate 4 times per day without any issues other than the resin will simply be taking a beating. Just like a rechargeable battery, resin has a finite life expectancy. I have seen systems that were poorly designed in commercial applications that required resin change outs every 3-6 months and the units were quad plexed together regenerating every 4 hours. Seriously undersized units will not last as well as a properly designed system regenerating every week. The mechanical wear and tear on the valve is also of some concern. Most systems only regenerate every week, a system regenerating multiple times per day will wear out faster than a system regenerating less frequently. Fortunately, Fleck valves can take this abuse with ease.

    As to efficiency, I would chose 2 1.5 cu. ft. tanks regenerating as needed over a 2 cu. ft regenerating every other day. the efficiency of a single tank system regenerating less than every 4 days is not very good. Variable brining can help, but it is not all it is cracked up to be.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I've never been able to see any sense to two softeners when one works.

    Visitors usually don't increase flow rates enough to worry about and, you don't size for them because the water use is metered and the softener regenerates a day or two sooner until they leave. To get around higher flow rates, ask that no more than say 2 showers running at the same time.
  7. Anand C. Patel

    Anand C. Patel New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    MA
    OK, so in succession, I have 1 vote for 2 x 1.5 cu ft and 1 vote for 1 x 2 cu ft.

    With a 40,000 grain single tank system it would regenerate every week, which seems reasonable, though at 4 people, Gary's calculator puts me at a 2.5 cu ft tank.

    I haven't done the SFR calculations yet -- does it help / can I use the flow meter on the radon aeration system to help me with this?

    Also, looking at the calculator, I'm not clear on efficiency and pounds of salt / cubic foot of resin. From a pure efficiency standpoint, it would appear that the more salt per pound of resin, the better, but there has to be a limit to this, right?

    Thanks,
    Anand
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,401
    Location:
    IL
    You said that backwards.
  9. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    To regen a CF of resin to 30K grains you would use 15 lb of salt. You can regen 2/3 (20K grains) of the resin using only 6 lbs of salt. That means if I regened it twice using 15 lbs I would get 60K using 30 lbs of salt. If I regened it using only 6 lbs per CF I would regen it 3 times to get 60K but would only use 18 lbs of salt. You would have 1 extra regen in this case, but water is cheaper than salt.
  10. Bannerman

    Bannerman Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    In support of mialynette's comment, using the entire softener capacity requires 15lbs of salt to regenerate, per cu/ft of resin. That is 30,000 grains / 15 lbs = 2000 grains per pound of salt.

    Although softeners are typically rated at 32,000 grains per cu/ft, real world capacity is actually closer to 30,000 grains per cu/ft of resin.

    If you install a large enough softener where your weekly water requirements are met within 2/3 of the softener capacity while regenerating after 2/3 of the capacity is used, you could obtain substantially higher salt efficiency. 20,000 grns / 6 lbs = 3333 grains per pound.

    If you require slightly more weekly capacity, ie: 24,000 grains capacity per cu/ft, this would require 8 lbs salt to regenerate. 24,000 / 8 = 3000 grains per pound which continues to be good efficiency.

    As you can see, installing a softener with the capacity that just meets your weekly requirements, will result in the least efficient salt use and higher salt consumption. Installing a larger softener will not only require less salt to provide the same amount of soft water, there is an added benefit of being able to provide a higher flow rate (gals per minute) when needed.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  11. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Remember, lower salt usage equals harder water. How hard and if it can be perceived depends on too many variable to list here. Here is a link to some very generic information and guidelines for the amount of salt used per ft3. http://www.impactwaterproducts.com/#!brine-tanks/c1mdc
    I will also be doing a resin page that shows the charted hardness leakage.

    At my house, I prefer 8 pounds per ft3, my moms house is great at 4 pounds per ft3.

    As to the size of the unit, in residential applications, 1.5 is the minimum most companies would use since the cost id so close to the smaller units, and it is 50% bigger than the next common size down system.
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