Question regarding testing treated water

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by TSPORT, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. TSPORT

    TSPORT New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Philly,PA suburbs
    Hi all. I wanted to verify that my water softener is effectively softening my water. I am not getting that slippery feel when washing hands/showering like I used to. Not sure if I am just getting used to it or if there is a problem. I purchased a kit to test the general hardness (GH) and carbonate hardness (KH) seperately. I am having a brain fart and can't make sense of the results. Treated tap water tests at 17.9 or less ppm for GH and over 214.8 ppm for KH. I am using a kit designed for aquariums. It has the little test tubes and bottles where you count the number of drops until the color changes. Am I correct in that the low GH indicates the water is now soft and that the treatment process causes the high KH? Please set me straight. Thanks, I appreciate it! - TSPORT:confused:
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    IMO you should have bought a normal hardness test kit.

    One grain per gallon of total hardness = 17.1 ppm.

    IMO your 1+ gpg (17.9 ppm) is probably why you don't think the water feels soft.

    The WQA (Water Quality Association) says a softener is working just fine as long as you don't have more than 1 gpg of hardness in the softened water.

    I say if you can get it down to 1 gpg, you should get it down to 0 gpg and if not then the softener has some kind of problem.

    The problems could be caused by incorrect sizing like not a high enough constant SFR (service flow rating) gpm for your peak demand flow rate or, the salt dose is set too low and not regenerating sufficient capacity or, you left it run out of salt or low and should do 2 manual regenerations after setting the salt dose at the max of 15 lbs/cuft of resin; with no water use during or between both manual regenerations. Then set the salt dose back to what it should be for the K of capacity you need for a once per every 7-8 days regeneration.

    There are a number of other causes but you didn't mention anything that would make me think there is a mechanical type problem with the softener. Like too much water in the salt tank, not using salt, etc..

    You can learn about correct K of capacity and salt dosing at the link in my signature.
  3. TSPORT

    TSPORT New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Philly,PA suburbs
  4. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,487
    Location:
    Alaska
    Ok, I think that I might know part of the problem.
    When you opened this thread you did not say what kind of unit you had.
    With the Culligan... and if you cleaned out the salt tank and then filled it with salt but did not add any water to prime the pump ... the first time that the unit tried to clean with the brine.. there was no brine for it to use and recharge the resin.
    If your system is set for 2000 gallons and there are 4 people in the house and there is 65gallons per day per person..
    4x65=260 gallons per day
    2000 gallons/260=7 days (give or take a day or 2)
    I would say send it into a cleaning cycle now and then again in 6 hours ..
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,331
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    What type of kit did you get that has that type of Resolution and is that Accurate ?


    I want One...
  6. TSPORT

    TSPORT New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Philly,PA suburbs
    scan0002.jpg scan0001.jpg DonL, here's the instructions from the test kit. I just counted the drops until color change and read the charts. It's just a range. I read that this type of test was more accurate than the test strips.
    - TSPORT
    :cool:
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You had to add 5 gals of water (15 lbs @3 lbs per gal) to the salt tank to dissolve 15 lbs of salt. Not doing that has overrun the K of capacity and you got hard water through the resin bed. So now you do the 2 manual regenerations.

    Check the link in my signature.

    It means just over 1 gpg of hardness in the softened water. Testing for ppm is going to drive you nuts unless you convert to gpg and are satisfied with anything less than 17.1 ppm.

    Yes the first test (GH) is fine, I don't know anything about the other test you are using, it is not a test that most softener guys would use because it's like using an Olympic target rifle when the target is only 20 yards away and you don't have a lot of time; a shotgun approach is much better. But... if it comes up with like 22 gpg, then it's good for raw water testing.
  8. TSPORT

    TSPORT New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Philly,PA suburbs
    Deleted by author
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  9. TSPORT

    TSPORT New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Philly,PA suburbs
    I did add approx. 10" of water to the salt tank prior to refilling per the Culligan manual. Is the 2x regen still necessary?


    I retested the water by increasing the sample size 4x. It took 2 drops to change to green (not blue as stated before). That would put me roughly at 8 gpg.

    Gary, thank you for all of the helpful info. I checked your link and will read it in greater depth in the near future. It sounds like my conditioner is working but the water could be a bit softer.
    - TSPORT
  10. TSPORT

    TSPORT New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Philly,PA suburbs
    I just found this info at a water testing site:

    "To make a conversion from parts per million to grains per gallon, you simply divide the parts per million by 17.1 to convert to grains per gallon.

    Thus...
    milligrams per liter or parts per million = grains per gallon
    17.1"



    If that is the case, then I'm figuring current hardness around 0.5 gpg, not 8.0 gpg as stated previously.
    I can't seem to finad any relevency for the KH test other than for aquariums so I will stick with the GH test which seems pretty accurate after conversion of results from ppm to gpg.
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You're welcome.

    Ten inches in a round 18" tank is 10 lbs; a lb per inch. That is short of the 15 lbs you needed.

    Spend the additional time, salt and water (whatever it is you don't want to do just yet) and do the 2 manual regenerations. Keep testing and such and you waste more time. Had you gone to the link in my signature and spent 10-15 minutes, you would know a lot about how softeners do things and what we are trying to tell you here.
  12. TSPORT

    TSPORT New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Philly,PA suburbs
    Regen 2X

    Gary, I did the back to back regenerations as you suggested. A day or two later I noticed the water once again has that "slick", soft feel. All seems good now. Not sure why it took a day or so to feel the difference. I thought for sure we used enough water the first day to clear out the pipes of the pre-regen. water.

    Thanks again all for the input. - TSPORT
  13. TSPORT

    TSPORT New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Philly,PA suburbs
    I forgot to mention, the Culligan manual stated to refill the salt tank with 4" to 6" of water after a full clean-out (before refilling with salt). I added about 10" and Gary indicated that was insufficient. I wonder why Culligan shorts it. Are they trying to generate sevice calls? ......just thinking out loud:rolleyes:
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    "Ten inches in a round 18" tank is 10 lbs; a lb per inch. That is short of the 15 lbs you needed."

    That is in error, it is a gallon per inch, not a pound. A gallon dissolves 3 lbs of salt. So you had added more than enough water to the salt tank. Culligan may be wanting just enough water to cover their air check.

    I'm glad to hear it's working.
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