New water softener programming/setting.

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by 311hemi, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. 311hemi

    311hemi New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Hi there, first time poster here but long time viewer.

    I just built a new home and just got the water softener installed along with a inline filter. Everything is plumbed 3/4" Pex, and then has 1/2" Pex going to fixtures. I installed the following units:

    Aqua-pure CWS150ME, which has fine mesh resin.
    Aqua-pure AP-801 filtration system

    I have 4 people in the house, two adults and a baby and toddler.

    New well at 75':
    Hardness = 10
    Iron = 3.6
    pH = 7.5
    TDS 190 (145 on a different test)
    Tannin = .6 (no tannin removal as of yet, I know the tannin could foul the resin)

    I turned on the Clack WS-1 valve and programmed as the instructions said. I programmed the hardness at 24 and set the day override at 5 days due to the iron levels but not sure I need to do this. Factory setting are at 9 lb salt dose which is listed at 32000 grains.

    I am curious if I should be setting the day override due to the iron levels, and if I should go into the deeper levels of programming of the valve to change salt dosing or anything. Anything else I should consider? I know at the 5 days override I had 900 something gallons remaining, so I am wondering if I should drop to a 6 lb salt dosage?

    I have never had a softener before, so not exactly sure what I am doing but did a little research before buying and installing. I did add super iron out to the salt tank per the label, and using Morton system saver II salt.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  2. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,135
    Location:
    Maine
    What is the capacity of the softener?

    I show you at around 6600 grains per day of hardness/iron that must be removed with a family of 4. Now you aren't quite a family of 4 yet cause the kids are still small and don't use a whole lot of water but they will grow. If it were me I'd be treating the iron with separate filtration.
  3. 311hemi

    311hemi New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    It's a model with 1.5 cu/ft fine mesh resin (manf: 3m Aqua-pure, formerly Cuno), vs the standard model which had the hi-cap resin. I think I only used 600-700 gallons of the 1550 or so it said I had useable after it regenerated the first time. but again I set the day override at 5 days.....so it regenerated much earlier than it normally would have. One of the water quality guys said I may want to regen earlier due to my iron levels.

    The test results listed above were from Kinetico (on site). I also had a second water quality company test my water with the following results:

    Hardness = 7
    Iron = 3
    pH = 7.5
    TDS = 142
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,826
    Location:
    Ontario California
    I agree with Tom, a proper Iron removal system would be a good idea. The system you have will work, but will also use 3x the amount of salt it should.
  5. 311hemi

    311hemi New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Will it be using 3x the salt because I should be regenerating every 4-5 days like I have it set up, so I currently have it running properly? Or, should I let it run at factory settings and remove the day override?

    Could I drop my salt dosage down to 6 instead of 9, since we are not using the full amount of water (less that half) between regens?

    What would be a proper iron removal system, like a full tank setup?
  6. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,826
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Iron removal is calculated at 5 grains per ppm of iron, you only have 5 grains of actual hardness, your compensated hardness setting will be closer to 20 grains. That is why it will use approximately 3x the salt.

    Hope this helps.

    Softening is not typically an efficient iron removal treatment.
  7. 311hemi

    311hemi New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    My hardness listed above is either 7 or 10, depending one which test you guy by. I calculated using 4 grains per ppm of iron, I seem to see it anywhere from 3-5 depending on who you talk to. I know I should be somewhere around 20-25...and understand that it is not the most efficient.

    I have tannins in my water as well, and was told that they would probably foul any iron filter I put before the softener.

    Plus (if I understand correctly), even if I use 3x the salt and have to buy 650 lb in a year vs 230, it's only a $50 difference. It would take 13 years to make up the difference in the price of the iron filter system (assuming it's around $700).

    I assumed I will regen every 5 days, at 9 lb per regen. 365/5 days = 73 regens per year (not including manuals) 73 x 9 = 657 lbs. Is that correct?

    Will it hurt anything for me to drop to 6 lb per regen istead of 9lb since I am not using the full amount of water?
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The factory settings in a Clack are usually nowhere close to what they should be in actual use. You need to set the salt lbs to regenerate the K of capacity you need for your daily water use total and then your regeneration schedule.
  9. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    321
    Location:
    California
    I don't see a cost for replacing fouled resin, "iron out" to clean it, etc. I guess time spent lugging salt and on increased maintenance is free too . . .

    Your water is not the easiest to treat. It is worthwhile to consider if higher up-front costs pay off in better water quality, reduced maintenance, and lower recurring costs.
  10. 311hemi

    311hemi New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Are they correct in that the tannins could foul a iron filter? If so, what would be the recommendation on how to proceed to remove the iron that would not be fouled by tannins. In the long run, I don't have the knowledge to know how soon an iron filter would be fouled as compared to the water softener. If the above detail is correct and iron filter could foul, then that's another maintenance item on top of the up front cost.

    Good point on the other cost details, I did forget to include those. But, there is still the balancing act of trying to determine what machine is first in line (iron filter I assume) and what possible maintenance issues I could run into with that if I did go with the higher up-front cost.

    Is there maintenance I might have to do on an iron filter system, and or reoccurring costs associated with that?

    Could you point me in a good direction on how to treat this water (with keeping my current softener) where my maintenance and reoccurring costs would be lower?

    I am an IT guy by day....so I know nothing about water quality treatment which is why I am here. I just did not want to pay $4000-6000 to Commers/Kinetico to treat my water (their systems included tannin filters, but no iron filters). I can get contractor pricing on plumbing supplies from Ferguson, which is where I bought the 3M Aqua-pure softener.
  11. 311hemi

    311hemi New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    The softener came setup from 3M, I assume with their settings in the clack valve. They had set the salt dose at 9. Do I still need to make adjustment to it. Your site says"If you have 2.0 ppm or more of iron, you may want to regenerate every 3-4 days." My system has fine mesh resin, and I have it set to regen every 5 days due to iron levels.

    Would you have recommendations on how to set it and how often to regenerate?
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Like I said, the factory default salt dose is 9 lbs. Since you assume, and I don't agree that they programmed the valve for your use and water quality, what are the rest of the program settings? Compensated hardness in gpg, K of capacity, gallons between regenerations etc.?

    And how do those figures correspond to what you get if you run your figures through the formula on my sizing page doing the math yourself? Then we can talk about how frequently to regenerate and use Iron Out. etc..
  13. 311hemi

    311hemi New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Compensated hardness = 24 (I set this)
    K of capacity = 37 x 1000
    Salt dose = 9
    Gallons between regens = 1541
    Day override = 5 (I set this)

    Over the past 9 days (since the softener was installed), we have not used over 95 gallons in a day with my family of 4. And only 2-3 of those were over 90. Other days were 55-70 gallons total.


    From your site:
    Based on this, and entering a hardness of 10 and iron level of 3.6 on your formula, family of 4 using 30 gallons each....I get a daily grains requirement of 2928.

    27328 is the Total Grains of Capacity you need for approximately once per week regeneration with a 24 hr reserve. 1.5 is the minimum cubic foot size of softener required for your capacity needs.

    Salt dose = 8
    Capacity = 27300
    Days between regen = 8

    If you have 2.0 ppm or more of iron, you may want to regenerate every 3-4 days. If so divide the numbers you just produced by 2. Round each up/down, they are your salt dose and capacity figures. Then you will Calender Override the control at day 4.
    8/2 = 4
    27300/2 = 13650

    So I want to set my capacity at 13650 and the salt dose at 4, and day override at 4?
  14. 311hemi

    311hemi New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Here are the specs from the spec sheet, if that matters. I have the 150 model.

    Softener specs.jpg
  15. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    321
    Location:
    California
    You are setting day override at 5, with the aim of preventing the softener from iron fouling. Yet you have a lot of capacity remaining as you don't use a great deal of water. However, setting the salt dose to 4 lbs to more closely match your desired regeneration frequency (again, trying to "clean" the iron from the resin) will result in lower water quality in terms of softness. It is preferable to salt your softener at 6 - 8 lbs per cubic ft for water quality reasons, and let it go longer between regenerations. Neither does reducing the volume of resin to match capacity to your regeneration interval work because it limits your service flow rate. So ideally you don't put iron into the softener so you can operate it efficiently with a sufficient service flow rate, a high enough salt dose to produce soft water, and no fouling from regenerating at appropriate (longer) intervals.

    One possibility is to chlorinate, followed by a backwashable carbon filter to remove both iron and tannins. But you would have to confirm your particular tannins can be treated with chlorine. If this is the case you kill two birds with one stone using a simple chlorine-retention tank-GAC-softener setup with very low recurring costs and maintenance.
  16. 311hemi

    311hemi New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    How does one go about this?

    And thanks, the rest makes sense. Would it hurt anything for me to drop down to 6 lb per ft, from the 9?

    It looks like it would cost around the following for the chlorine/tank/GAC system
    Carbon backwash filtration system: 575
    Pump: 460
    15 g Tank: $120

    Are there any other components I would need if I decided to go that route?
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  17. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Contact tank, maybe?
  18. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    3.6 rounded is 4, times 4 = 16 + 10 = 26 gpg compensated hardness. 3.6 * 4= 14.4 + 10= 24.4 rnd to 25. I'd use the 26. If I weren't concerned about fat in my diet, I'd leave a little on the steak but if I was, I'd take some of the steak with the fat trimming. Or, I wouldn't be eating steak. 2928 * 5 = 14,640 which = 15K. 15,000 / 26 = 576 gallons. 575 / 95 = 6 days (but that is not the 30 gals/per/day you mentioned) and I'd calendar override at day 5. IF you use 30 gals * 4= 120 * 26 = 3120 per day. 3120* 5 = 15600 = 16K, 16000 / 25 = 615 gals ad 615 / - 5 days and I'd override day 6. Now you should know how to do this manually instead of using my calculator. 16,000 / by 2500 grains lb salt efficiency = 6.4 lbs rnd to 7 lbs.

    My customers have done this for their iron content as far back as 1988 and in areas with iron as high as 5 ppm being very common and 2 or 3 online customers with SST-60 resin did it on up to 13 ppm of iron. Online customers were all across the US and Canada, from Puerto Rico to Alaska. Local customers were in central PA from the NY line to Harrisburg and east/west 80-100 miles of the west branch of the Susquehanna river. Many had high iron, H2S, some had methane, many had Coliform and/or different types of reducing bacteria and hardness (record was 136 gpg), high TDS, sulfates, nitrates and/or low pH acidic water.

    Many giving "advice" here are anti DIY and/or only have experience with their own water, or have never sold to people with high iron or, have insisted on selling a filter ahead of their softeners IF they even sell to the end user.

    Micro managing a softener to save a couple lbs of salt per regeneration can be seen as paranoid, read dumb, IF you are trying to use a softener to remove iron instead of buying an iron filter (etc.) to get rid of the iron before the softener.

    If this were me or you were my prospective customer, I would be going with, or telling you, no pretreatment and to faithfully use a 1/2 cup dry measure of Iron Out (or Super IO) dissolved into say 2-3 gallons of water and pour that down into the water in the brine well in the salt tank and do a manual regeneration once every 6 weeks. You can afford to do that for like 15-20 years with the savings of what a correctly sized iron filter would cost you.

    If you do this and have problems, remember the meter on your valve is not all that accurate and you should be using a more realistic volume of water like 60 gals/ person/day. And then do 2 manual regens (with the IO) with no water use between or during the 2 and do both of them at 23 lbs of salt (15lbs/cuft) so you regenerate all the resin bed. Then redo your programming based on the higher water usage.
  19. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,826
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Water softeners use salt to regenerate. Many areas in California, Texas, Michigan, Connecticut, Massachusetts and many more to come are in place because of poorly designed and wasteful installations of traditional water softeners. Using a softener to remove iron is a prime example of this. Yes it works, and sure it only costs a few dollars per year. It is also going to cause the softener bans to grow. Alternative iron removal methods have very little environmental impact.

    When a softener regenerates, that salt is disposed of into the sewer or into a septic system which will eventually enter a stream, river lake, or underground aquafier. Unless you are on an ocean water discharge system, properly applied and designed equipment should be installed. Even if you have an ocean water discharge municipality, a good case can still be made for efficiently designed equipment. Using a softener for iron removal is the way we used to do it. Companies that have a genuine interest in not getting ourselves regulated out of business will promote modern technologies that are far more efficient.

    Some people who give advice here have no certifications, licenses, insurance, or any long term interest in the affects our actions now will have on our industry in the future. Ultimately it is the homeowners choice, for now. In a growing number of areas, that choice has been taken away because of companies promoting antiquated designs, and inefficient methods in order to save a few dollars in the short term.
  20. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Based on the experience I listed above, very few people with the amount of iron we are discussing here were on municipal sewers, the vast majority had their own on site septic system and NONE of that water went into a stream, river lake, aquafier etc. etc..

    Also, the fact is that the vast majority of water treatment equipment dealers are not required to have certifications, licenses, insurance and to be in business and not have insurance is dumb.

    Ditto.... is it true that about the only place to get any type of certification is the Water Quality Association? Also, is it true that you only sell to places like plumbing/pump/well driller type supply houses, factory reps and some distributors etc. and not to the end user?

    Is it true you are anti DIYer and anti dealer that sells to them and especially online dealers? How about you being anti Clack?
Similar Threads: water softener
Forum Title Date
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r correct order set-up for water softener and Carbon filter with backwash Saturday at 5:42 PM
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Softener appears to be working, but no soft water Aug 20, 2014
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Installed Water Softener - Still Getting Water Spots Aug 20, 2014
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Water Softener Pre-Plumbed Prep Aug 19, 2014
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Kinetico water softener and salty tasting water Aug 10, 2014

Share This Page