Over conservative salt efficiency and regeneration settings from old pros here!

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by ByteMe, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. ByteMe

    ByteMe New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Midland Texas
    I admit, the title was meant to be annoying and to get your attention. Did it work?

    These following links just show performance data (salt efficiency settings, water used for regeneration and regeneration time) from different manufacturers.

    http://www.kinetico.com/assets/pdf/PDS_KineticoSeries_Softeners.pdf

    http://www.homedepot.com/Kitchen-Wa...Id=10053&langId=-1&storeId=10051#.ULe_lddBka8

    http://www.sears.com/kenmore-high-e...No=3&ViewAll=true&blockNo=3&blockType=G3#desc

    http://www.culligan.com/uploadedFil...eners/HE125_Softener_OwnersGuide_01024584.pdf

    The point being, there are many softener systems with over a 4,500 grains/lb of salt efficiency. I have even seen a few above the 5,000 grains/lb. It is understood that in theory the maximum salt efficiency is 6,000 grains/lb.

    As per; http://www.wcponline.com/pdf/WaterMatters0306.pdf

    Figure 3: NSF/ANSI 44 efficiency requirements (DIR softeners only)
    Parameter Efficiency requirement
    Salt efficiency At least 3,350 grains of capacity per pound of regenerant salt
    Water efficiency At least 1,000 grains of capacity per 5 gallons of regeneration water

    The experts here seem to recommend a 6lb-8lb salt does per cuft. Or 3,333 grains/lb to 3,000 grains/lb.

    Why are you experts recommending something that would be breaking the law in California with it's 4,000 grains/lb ? Do you also see those short regeneration times (17 minutes on one of them).

    Where am I mistaken? I also understand the hardness bleed-through issue. Has anyone done a double bind study on this? At what level of harness ppm are people aware of it?

    *Disclaimer* I don't really know crap about water softeners.
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The Dealers in California are supposed to set the systems to specific regeneration efficiencies.

    The real problem with this hyper efficiency claims is that as with everything else, nothing is free. You dont get 5000 grains effcieincy without giving up something else. Without going into a long and boring technical training seminar, I will just tell you we are working with a customer that is one of the biggest manufacturers in Europe for the ultra efficient systems. They are working with us right now to try to solve their resin issue. They are having constant resin failures in under a year. Resin in a system that does not get these hyper efficiencies can last for decades. We are trying a few tricks to try to hide the problem, but the problem is ver obvious and not fixable without a major redesign. For now, they are just accepting that 10% of their equipment will have problems in a year.

    As to the bleed through issue, water has too many variables to accurately do this. Water with sulfates, chlorides, sodium, etc all have different feels, and no two water supplies are alike. At my house by the beach, my softener maintains less than 10-15 ppm hardness, it feels great. My house in the Inland Empire, the water does not feel soft unless the ppm remains below 5 ppm. That is why the silly blanket absolute statements made on this forum show a persons lack of knowledge. The lack of field experience, and the comments of" ive always done it that way" are comments we here from first week trainees. The people who post on here almost always have excellent questions, and are looking to gain a knowledge and deeper understanding of their equipment so that they can maintain and even adjust their equipment because they bought it over the internet without having a proper water analysis done. This forum has many highly qualified people who all have their specialties. From guys who can rebuild Kineticos or Culligans in the dark, to licensed plumbers who also are very knowledgable of modern water softening equipment, to the technicians like me who work first hand with this equipment everyday for a living.

    17 minutes regen time... I dont want to discuss this in a forum. Please send me a pm if you want more detailed information about that design.
  3. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,713
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Interesting. That's the first time I've ever seen numbers relating to people's perception of water hardness. We have a softener purely by accident -- the (well) water stunk and made the toilets red over time, so I called the neighborhood-recommended guy, he installed the chlorinator-carbon-softener system,and Viola! -- "good" water. I didn't know crap about water softeners either, but I did (and do) know that my treated water was (and is) a hell of a lot better than that which I drank and showered in in homes and fancy hotels around the world. From a drinking standpoint, I prefer it to bottled water. OTOH, we had a fancy DI water system at work, and it was pretty awful to drink, so there's a question of what makes water taste "good"?

    But our out-of-the-ground hardness is only about 8-9 gpg. Maybe the only treatment I need is chlorination-carbon? I'll bet that in the general population, if you show someone the result of an expensive water test and it showed 5 gpg, he'd happily purchase a softener system without knowing whether he really needed it or not. I'm going to start carrying my Hach kit around with me now when I travel and see what's what.

    So now I'm wondering if there's an absolute hardness level that really needs to be treated -- at what hardness level are your plumbing and fixtures adversely affected? I'm tempted to put the softener in bypass for a while and see if She Who Must be Obeyed notices the difference. And, can/should a system be designed to bring the hardness down to a specific level? I'm up to page 82 in the 1st WQA book and so far it's all theory without discussing human perception. I guess the ultimate salt efficiency is that in a system which softens only to the point really needed, whatever that might be.
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Ontario California
    http://www.wcponline.com/pdf/1203Michaud.pdf

    This article explains the need for soft water, even at low levels. The other problem that is not understood well is the "slimy / Silky" water issue. Anyone who had braces gets it fairly well with this analogy.

    When you had your braces removed, your teeth felt "slimy". In rality, they felt proper, but your brain is trained to the way it used to feel with the braces. Soft water is the same way, you are used to the soap curd giving you a "squeaky clean" feel, when in reality, it is the soap curd giving you that improper perception of clean.

    BTW, great book huh? Lots of information. The first test is the hardest to pass, after that, the higher levels are easy. (compared to the first)

    Softness can be adjusted, and in many countries it is reguired. If you look at most control valves, you can see where they are molded for more "stuff". The 7000, 5600, etc, can all accomodate hardness bleeders for Europe. In the US, it is not required, and in my opinion, not desired.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Honest softener sales people and dealers don't fudge test results and will suggest a softener if the person has 3 or more gpg of hardness. 3-4 gpg is sufficient to cause scale problems and increase water heating costs and cause premature replacement of water heaters and some fixtures but most all water using appliances. In other words, a softener will cost less to purchase and feed salt and maintain than the damage caused by hard water. Which includes all things washed with or laundered in hard water and cause the use of more detergent, soap and cleansers to be used while clothes and other fabrics are worn out much quicker than they would be in softened water, or naturally soft water.
  6. ByteMe

    ByteMe New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Midland Texas
    OK folks. My attempt to achieve 5000 grain efficiency is not working so well. As in I can feel the hardness bleed through now. Reprogrammed valve and attempting 4000. Will let you know.
  7. chevy427

    chevy427 Banned

    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    The Kinetico MACH 2040s OD is rated NSF at 5222 g/lb of salt.
  8. ByteMe

    ByteMe New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Midland Texas
    I also found the Hague WaterBoss over 5000 g/lb. I wish I had some of these units to play with.
  9. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Acheiving that high of efficiency is not difficult, but there are considerable design issues that arise from doing this. Way too much typing to do in a forum of this type. I go over these topics during some of my longer training seminars. This particualr topic is typically a "filler" so as to extend the training seminars beyond their normal length. In all reality, acheiving 4000 grains is exceptionally efficient, especially considering the ROI for getting past 4K starts to get difficult to justify.
  10. ByteMe

    ByteMe New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Midland Texas
    Ditto,

    If you are planning to give one of these training seminars in the southwest USA anytime in 2013, sign me up. Let's PM, I really am interested in this.
  11. chevy427

    chevy427 Banned

    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    To get those numbers, generally they are using fine-mesh resins with packed beds.
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