Questions about programming new fleck 5600sxt softener

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by esinc52, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. esinc52

    esinc52 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    New york
    Hi I am looking for some advice on programming my new fleck 5600sxt 32000 grain water softener. It is plumbed in right now on bypass and I was looking to program the control this weekend but am getting confused by a few steps
    My situation: 18 gpg hardness, 1.5 mgl iron. Which according to other advice I've gotten would be a converted hardness of 26 gpg plus or minus.

    I live alone right now so I guess I'm figuring about 75 gallons/day usage. I'm also planning on regenerating every 7 or 8 days for the health of the new softener. I'm figuring 75 gall/day X 26 gpg = 1950 grains/day X 8 days = say 16000 grains per regeneration. Which from what I've been reading isn't very much. I bough the 32000 grain unit in case I move or eventually someone else moves in.

    I'm thinking I would like to be efficient with the salt since it will be draining into my septic tank. I was thinking setting the BF @ 5 min which I believe would give me 7.5 lbs of salt per regeneration (based on BLFC of .5 gall/min). Would this be enough to clean the resin?

    Also when setting the capacity on the controller... Should I knock it down to 20,000 grains (even though it's a 32,000 grain unit)?

    Also If I went with these numbers I was wondering when I first add water and salt to the brine tank... Should I just add 3 gall of water and just enough salt to cover?

    Advice would be much appreciated. Thanks
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,811
    Location:
    IL
    I think you have 1 ft[sup]3[/sup] of resin. Your settings look good, but you could drop to BR=4 giving 6 lb/ft[sup]3[/sup] of resin with your C=20.

    Regarding the first fill with water, I would add more, since the unit does not draw to the bottom. The float switch at the bottom of the tank limits brine draw. I don't know how many gallons that is. If 3 gallons brought you high enough that some water was drawn the first draw when you do an initial manual regeneration, that would help. Or you could add 5 gallons (over the top of the bottom float switch) and do a manual regeneration before you even add salt. Then you would have the right amount for the next regen. Your resin starts out fully regenerated.

    Search for Super Iron Out use.
  3. esinc52

    esinc52 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    New york
    Thank you for the reply. I have 8% cross linked resin and a 1 cf tank.
    - Will 6 lbs of salt clean it (BF = 4) even with the iron? Should I go to 5 just to be safe?
    - What about the SF? Should I even use it (since I live alone I'm pretty sure the DO will trigger a regeneration before the volume of water I use will)
    - super iron out? Will iron removing salt do the same?
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,811
    Location:
    IL
    It's close. Gary's numbers say to me that BF=4 would be enough if I did not make a reading mistake.

    You could consider getting a softness testing kit, such as the Hach 5B. I have that as well as the Seachem MultiTest Iron Test Kit. With the numbers you posted, you would have more margin, and less reason to test.

    Do you want to minimize salt use, or do you want settings with enough margin that you won't have reason to test?
  5. esinc52

    esinc52 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    New york
    I guess I'm looking to strike a balance between both. I'd rather not have to monitor the hardness on a regular basis but I don't want the full 15 lbs of salt going into the septic once a week if I can avoid it.

    This stuff is confusing. An expert on the gardenweb forum told me I'm going to need to regenerate every 4 days with a BF of 6 which is why I thought I would try and get a second opinion here.

    As for now I think I will do an 8 day override with a BF of 6. I will put in 5 gall of water and do a manual regen and let the BF put the exact amount of water back into the brine tank before adding salt as you suggested.

    Also will iron removing salt work just as good as the super iron out

    Also what about the SF? Should I enter 15%? Do I really need to enter anything? (Again I'm assuming the day override will take over before the volume triggers a regen.

    Thanks for the help
  6. esinc52

    esinc52 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    New york
    Oops I meant I'm going to do an 8 day override with a BF of 5 (not 6)
  7. esinc52

    esinc52 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    New york
    Hi. I just programmed the controller and slowly took it out of bypass. I ran a manual regeneration cycle and have a couple more questions...
    The 1st BW (10 min) went ok. The second step BD (60 min) started ok. I went down with about 18 min left in the cycle. The BLFC wasn't getting any water. It was sucking air. I had put 5 gall of water into brine tank. Any thoughts on this?
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,811
    Location:
    IL
    1. How do you know it was sucking air? You see air through the clear/translucent brine hose?
    2. If it was sucking air, that would imply that the float brine pickup at the brine tank was not working right, or that you had a hole in a brine hose etc.
    3. Is it the water softener, or something more specific?
  9. esinc52

    esinc52 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    New york
    Thanks for the reply. The water was clearly running through the hose at first. When I went back down there was air bubbles in the hose and the water clearly wasn't running through it

    By "it" I mean the fleck head where the brine tube hooks up

    I checked everything for leaks and none in the brine tube

    Not sure how the float brine pick up works. Is there a way to check and make sure this is working right?
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,811
    Location:
    IL
    Sounds normal.

    There is a pickup at the bottom of the brine tank. During the brine+slow rinse cycle, the controller sucks brine until the brine level falls to a point where the ball in the pickup no longer floats high enough to keep the ball up. The ball gets sucked down into a seat, blocking further brine through the remainder of the cycle.

    There will be a partial vacuum in the brine line, which will expand bubbles. There will be some bubbles, but there should not be a flow of bubbles.

    Note the brine level at that point. The brine should get sucked down to that same level each brine+slow rinse cycle.
  11. esinc52

    esinc52 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    New york
    Thanks for replying. so it sounds like it's working the way it's supposed to. My next question is about adding salt. There is a plate with holes in it at the bottom of the brine tank (can't remember what it's called but it's to prevent salt bridge). When I added 5 gallons of water, for the initial regen it never even came above this plate. If I add a couple bags of salt, it would just sit on this plate. Is this normal?

    Not sure if I explained this right. A picture would be best but not sure how to post one. I will try and find out if you're not sure what I mean
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,811
    Location:
    IL
    I was presuming that when you added the 5 gallons of water, that water would be drawn down to a lower level during the brine draw. I think you are saying that happened. If you are not sure, you might add enough water and do the cycle again to make sure that water gets drawn.

    I don't have a salt grid. You are concerned that the salt will not be sitting in the water. That sounds like a concern to me too. If your post-fill level is below the salt grid top, I would hope that somebody who understands those things would comment about that case. I guess I never considered that 5 gallons of water would not cover that device.
  13. esinc52

    esinc52 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    New york
    Can anyone else way in on this? 5 gallons of water not coming up past the salt grid at the bottom of the resin tank. Anyone else familiar with this?
  14. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,943
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Check your flow control, see if it is what it claims to be. Many inexperienced companies mix up the wrong flow controls or forget to change the sticker when it gets changed. Simply put the system into brine refill and measure the flow rate by time into a gallon jug or whatever you have. The flow control will either be a 1/8, 1/4, or 1/2 GPM. The BLFC button is easily removed and inspected to determine the size. Be sure the numbers face the valve, the buttons are very directional.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  15. esinc52

    esinc52 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    New york
    Thanks for the reply. The BLFC sticker says .5 Gpm. I will check it this weekend with gallon jugs and let you know what I find
  16. esinc52

    esinc52 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    New york
    This pic is the salt grid. The water in the bottom is after the brine draw stage. Even before this stage the initial 5 gallons of water did not come above the salt grid plate. Not sure how enough salt will mix in with the water to form a saturated brine if most of it is sitting on top of the plate (or if I were to use a block of salt). Is this something I should be worried about?

    Attached Files:

  17. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,811
    Location:
    IL
    To clarify, you had an empty salt tank with the grid and pickup at the bottom. You added 5 gallons of water with a bucket and found that this was not enough water to cover the top of the salt grid. The purpose of adding the water was to make sure that the water level was at or above the level of the air check cutoff before the first cycle was run before salt was added. Then after the brine fill cycle, there would be the right amount of water for the first actual regen with salt. So salt could then be added to make the brine.
  18. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,943
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Salt blocks will not work if the water does not reach the grid. Regular salt (solar or pellet) will but it is advised to have the water above the grid. An 18" diameter tank will have 1.1 gallons of water per inch. The aircheck is typically 1-3 inches from the bottom.

    So, assuming your grid is 6" tall (estimated) the water will not reach the grid now, but once you regen the system once, the water should be above the grid assuming your aircheck is 2" off the bottom of the tank. Is your brine tank 18" diameter? If it is 22", than the water will be 1.6 gallons per inch, 24" is 2 gallons per inch.

    The grids usually have many small holes in the legs to allow for the salt to still be dissolved adequately even if the water only contact the salt through the legs.

    The contact time for the salt to become fully saturated will be much longer with a grid than without. A brine soak time of as little as 1 hour is fine on non gridded systems with non cold water temperatures. 95% + saturation is easily achieved. Gridded systems can take several hours.

    Hope this is helpful.
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