Proper resin tank size for 2 cubic foot softener?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by FleckLander, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. FleckLander

    FleckLander New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Long time lurker, first time poster.

    From alot of reading on here and Gary's site, I think I've got the sizing thing down. I'm looking at a 2 cubic foot softener that should let me regen every 7 days with a 5 lb. per cubic foot salt dose.

    I'm getting conflicting resin tank size recomendations for a 2 cubic foot softener. Engineering types and 3/4 of the local dealers say 12 x 52 resin tank for a 2 cubic foot softener. 1/4 of the local dealers and 3/4 of internet sellers say 12 x 48 resin tank for a 2 cubic foot softener. Who's right?

    I've narrowed down the control head to either a Fleck 5600SXT with 1" distributor tube or a Fleck 7000SXT with 1" distributor tube, both with a Vortech tank. The Vortech tank is supposedly available with a 1.25" distributor tube, which I've been told will fit the 32 mm 7000SXT head, but no one seems to stock it. I don't need the full flow rating of the 7000SXT, as house is only a bath and a half with no large showers or jetted tubs, so the 1" distributor tube on the 7000SXT should be OK? Any advice on my plans, or something I'm missing, other than the possibility that the Vortech tank distributor tube might separate and leave me screwed? This is a concern, but from what I've been able to gather doesn't happen very often?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,789
    Location:
    Ontario California
    12 x 52 is the right tank size. A 12 x 48 is undersized but only by the smallest amount and from a real world perspective, it would probably not matter unless your water was cold and you did not have a top screen. I have charts at the shop that show exact capacities including dome information. The actual part of the tank that is supposed to be considered for the resin or media capacity is the seam to seam measurement, not the total tank. The domes are not used in calculating a tanks media capacity. If I remember correctly, the 12x52 has a media capacity excluding domes of 2.1 cu. ft assuming a 50% freeboard. So a 12 x 48 would probably be around 1.75... this is all technical jargon that should be used by the designers.

    So... to make it simple, the 12x52 is the correct tank, but if someone uses a 12x48, I am not going to complain. The 5600SXT or the 7000SXT will both do you just fine for your application. The 7000SXT is a much more modern valve that is much simpler than the 5600SXT, but either valve will last you a very long time with very little trouble.

    While I am not personally a huge fan of the Vortech tank design, it is primarily because when a problem does occur, it comes back to me for repairs or replacement. This is not an issue with a standard design as long as a very good quality bottom screen is used. I only use the 40922 or 40924 bottom screen from Pentair. It cost 10X more than a junk bottom screen, but this is a very critical part of the system and any company that tries to save literally $3 here is a company I would avoid. Clack also make a heavy bottom screen that is almost as good.

    If you go with a standard tank design instead of the vortech, definetly go with the 32mm distributor. I am not aware of any junk screens being made in that size, only the Pentair and Clack versions are readily available. Considering the 7000XT only costs a few dollars more, there is no negative to the larger valve or manifold.
  3. FleckLander

    FleckLander New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Thanks for the reply Dittto. If I could pick your brain a bit more, one dealer has indicated that there would be a compatibility problem between the 7000 and a Vortech tank. Other than the fact that no one seems to stock the Vortech tank with a 1.25 adapter that would mate up with the 7000 32 mm riser tube, would you see any compatibility problem between a Vortech tank and a 7000? Or am I incorrect in thinking that a 32 mm 7000 riser tube would mate to a 1.25" Vortech adapter? It looks like you don't foresee any mating problem with a 1" riser adapter on the 7000 head and a 1" riser tube adapter on the Vortech tank, other than reduced flow?

    I would plan on running the 7000 with a #0 red injector and .125 gpm BLFC, as recomended by Fleck for a 12" tank. The DLFC would be reduced to 2.4 gpm with the 12" Vortech from the normal 3.5 gpm for a regular 12" tank. The 2.4 gpm DLFC shouldn't cause any problems with brine draw or refill should it? I realize I'll have to make sure that the 2.4 gpm DLFC with the Vortech results in enough lift during backwash, but from what dealers who have used them tell me, it will.

    I was thinking about the 12 x 48 or 12 x 52 question in bed last night. On a 12 x 52 with a gravel bed the gravel would be how deep? Six inches maybe? On a Vortech tank, the bottom plate is how far above the bottom? Two inches maybe? If that's the case, a 12 x 52 with gravel bed and a 12 x 48 Vortech would have roughly the same freeboard? Is my math right?

    Thanks again for any help anyone can provide on these pressing questions.....lol
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,789
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The 1.25" is not the same as the 32MM, they should not be mixed. The 7000 can be converted to 1" with a simple adapter that is permanently installed into the valve head. This 1.05" manifold adapter will have virtually no affect on flow rates. 32MM is a higher flowing manifold, but in that small of a system, it is not critical, nor will it be noticed.


    Gravel or vortech, you can use either a 2.4 gpm button or a 3.5. It will not affect brine draw. The larger flow control is recommended for either tank, and the additional water is minimal. If you are on a fairly clean water supply, you can reduce your backwash times significantly. Same for the fast rinse. The valves are usually programmed to work in the worst water, they should be adjusted regionally to meet the actual water quality. Cold water will also allow in lower backwash flow control, warmer water will require larger.

    The gravel would fill the dome portion of the 12" tank, .13 cubic feet of gravel, or 13 pounds. The Vortech would be the same, it goes to the dome as well. Same height. I was wrong on my guess last night, a 12x52 tank with proper gravel (fill the dome) would have a capacity of 1.8 Cu. Feet w/ a 50% freeboard, the 12x48 would have a 1.7 Cu. Ft. w/ 50% freeboard. Note: 50% freeboard is 2/3 resin, 1/3 empty. So technically, both tanks are undersized, but..t They are close enough.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I would suggest a 5600 SXT and a regular 12" x 52" tank with top basket and gravel underbed.

    That is much simpler to work on if needed and you can get parts anywhere, and the whole the thing fits back against the wall closer than a 7000 with its by pass valve hanging way out past the resin tank. Plus the 5600 will probably, or should, cost you less. And you probably aren't going to save the salt and water the guys selling the Vortech claim.
  6. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,789
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The 5600SXT will work extremely well. The flow rate is not of any real concern on this small of a system. The Vortech system makes some exciting claims, but we have not seen that much of a difference in our own testing. A gravel bed works extremely well for distribution, and the additional weight added for shipping, (15 pounds on your unit) hardly justifies the additional cost or the potential problems associated with the vortech. I really like the vortech, I just dont recommend it when a system is going to be shipped, that is when we have problems with it.

    The 7000SXT is a huge valve, and it does stick out further than the 5600SXT. You can make the 5600SXT even easier to install in a tight space with the 90 degree adapter, 19620-01.

    Either way you go, you will have an excellent system.
  7. FleckLander

    FleckLander New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    OK, you guys have talked me into forgetting the Vortech tank Thanks for all the very good information. Compared to the 7000SXT with Vortech, the 5600SXT without Vortech is $76 cheaper at Ohio Pure Water and $94 cheaper at Quality Water For Less. QWFL is only about 90 miles from my house, so I think I'm going to order it from them, as UPS will have a day or too less to bounce it around. Now the last questions are, Noryl or Stainless bypass, and can I add double backwash to the 5600SXT just by installing a Double Backwash D/F Cam #40609? Or is there more to adding double backwash?
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I'd go with the plastic. Mostly because it is easier to plumb,
  9. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,789
    Location:
    Ontario California
    If you want double backwash... high flow bypass, and for only $76, get the 7000SXT. It is a 20 year newer design, and it gets rid of the old mechanical microswitches for optical positioning, offers more than double the flow rate, is simple to rebuild, and should last a good 10-20 years between rebuilds, and it can be programmed for double backwash, or even potassium chloride(brine fill first) if you desire.

    As to the bypass on the 5600, the noryl is a much more modern desin. The old stainless bypass is pretty good, but a little dated in its design. The noryl bypass also allows you to order sweat adapters, male, or female plumbing adapters. the 7000SXT has 3/4" sweat adapters available as well as 90 degree adapters for some extra money. Hope this helps!
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Flecklander, I forgot about he double backwash. You don't need it and it will just waste water, so save your money and go with the 5600SXT.
  11. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,789
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The water softening industry has determined that low salting and double backwash can give you very similar results in treated water quality as high salting or upflow brining due to the double backwash. This was actually realised thanks to the design of the original electromechanical 5600. The second backwash that was inherent in the original design of the electromechanical 5600 mixes the poorly regenerated resin in the bottom protion of the tank with the highly regenerated resin in the top of the tank. We were able to see considerably higher water quality with the 5600 over the competition (at the time it was primarily Autotrol and Erie). You do not actually waste any noticeable amount of water since the 7000 can be programmed with either a single or double backwash and the backwash times can be easily adjusted to meet your needs. Water with high levels of sediment should be backwashed longer than supplies that have little or no sediment. I program my families softeners with a 2 minute 1st backwash, and a 4 minute 2nd backwash. Anybody who does low salting shoud use the second backwash as a great way to increase the water quality. This has allowed us to almost eliminate complaints that were common when low salting became mandatory in California. Regardless, either way, 5600SXT or 7000SXT, you are getting a great system.
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    And a homeowner will never see or feel a difference except for the extra cost for the more expensive valve.
  13. FleckLander

    FleckLander New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    That's why I want to add it to the 5600 with "Double Backwash D/F Cam #40609" Double backwash is shown as an option in the 5600 service manual. This part retails for about $12.50. Can anyone confirm this is all I need for double backwash on the 5600? The service manual doesn't show any other double backwash pistons or anything as far as I can tell.
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    IMO you are going to have a tough time finding a dealer that can order that already on the valve you buy online as part of your softener because most distributors they use will have to special order the valve with their next order from Fleck. That's because IMO it is abnormal but....

    You should be able to order the part from any dealer.

    Why do you want double backwash on a softener your size? What do you see as the advantage to it?
  15. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,789
    Location:
    Ontario California
    That should be the only change necessary other than reprogramming it in master mode to double backwash. For low salting systems that use downflow regeneration, double backwashing is highly desirable. Every Clack and new Fleck valve have it as standard. Many companies are pushing the salt to levels as low as 3 pounds per cubic foot. This produces incredibly high efficiency for the salt, but the water quality drops considerably. The second backwash helps alleviate this problem.

    If you program the 5600SXT as a double backwash without the proper cam, it will not function properly. The cam is fairly easy to swap. Good luck!
  16. FleckLander

    FleckLander New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I'm looking at the double backwash because I've read a lot of the studies that dittto referred to. I might want to experiment with low salt doses and see what happens. Or, the well might develop some iron problems in the future and I'll be all set for it.

    I talked to one online seller today and from what he said, his 5600SXT's are already set up for double backwash. I'll have to check out the manual to see what color the double backwash cam is.

    I'm going to spring for the $40 upgrade to ResinTech CG8-BL premium resin, as somebody don't want no #### Chinese crap in there.......lol CG8-BL is made in the USA right? I found it interesting that some online sites are referring to ResinTech CGS-BL as premium resin, when it's not. I even found a CGS-BL spec sheet on one web site where they had removed "Virtually the same operating capacity as premium grade ResinTech CG8-BL" text from the spec sheet they posted on their site.

    I might be running into a problem with getting the Fleck 40922 High Flow Distributor from an online seller. Alot of them tell me that they use Fleck or Clack, whatever they have on hand. Is it cheap enough that I could pick one up at a local dealer and glue it on myself? I probably only live 20 miles from the Fleck factory, do they have will call order pickup?
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