Salt dose...?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Wally107, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Wally107

    Wally107 New Member

    Dutchess County, NY
    Hey guys...first I'd like to commend all of the experts on this forum. Your willingness to assist us DIY warriors is most appreciated. I poured over this wealth of info, as well as Gary's extremely helpful site, prior to making my recent water softener purchase. I do however have a question about salt dose (and I guess programming in general). Suppose I should start with the details:

    4 bedroom house with attached mother-in-law apartment
    3 1/2 baths total (1 with jetted 8gpm Jacuzzi tub)
    Use 300 gal/day (based on avg of 12 months of water bills) (*NOTE: This does increase during the summer months when college kid is home.)
    City water...14 gpg hard (per the Water Dept - I have a feeling it's a tad higher) iron/Mn issues

    One of my major concerns was flow...I didn't want to hear anyone whining "my shower's not flowing enough..." I went to almost every fixture, and did the timed/gallon jug method. From what I can determine, we can sometimes hit 11gpm, and (although rare), may hit 13gpm.

    Initially, I thought I could get away with a 48K system, however, Gary points out in his tutorial that you need 2 cuft of resin to handle 13gpm. Therefore, I purchased (and just installed) a Fleck 7000SXT 64K - 2 cuft (12X52). Programmed per the instructions that came with the system:

    1st backwash: 10 min
    Brine draw: 60 min (which I now understand includes a 'slow rinse')
    2nd backwash: 5 min
    Rapid rinse: 10 min
    Brine refill: 40 min (as instructed in the manual for a 64K system)

    Safety factor: 20 percent (as recommended in manual for 4 persons)
    Day override: 10 days (I know Gary, you recommend 7-9...and I understand why, but manual says 14, so I thought 10 was reasonable...?)

    My question - other than the usual "How does my programming look?" specifically regarding 'salt dose':

    If I understand everything I've read, salt dose is a function of the Brine Fill (correct?) From what I can determine, the 7000SXT has a .25gpm a 40 min fill is 10 gal of water (correct?) If it's 3lbs salt for 1 gal of water...that's 30lbs of salt per regen...correct?

    If my math is correct, I'm using 42K in a 10 day period. Assuming: 51.2K (64K minus 20 percent reserve) - 42K = 9.2K of "unused" capacity.

    Since I don't want to go longer than 10 days between regen, I suppose my question actually is...should I shorten the Brine Fill time? Or maybe shorten the Brine Draw time?

    Thanx again for all your wisdom and help with this!

    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    NW Ontario, Canada
    The brine draw time does not draw brine the whole time, but then you already knew that, so what would be your reasonong to shorten it? Certainly not to control salt dose?
  3. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Ocala, Florida
    Your set up is using the max amount of salt. You would be better off using the min which is 6 lbs per cf. The formula is 30K w/15 lbs salt or 20k w/ 6 lbs salt. So you would calculate using 40k and 12 lbs salt so you would have 16 min fill time.
  4. Wally107

    Wally107 New Member

    Dutchess County, NY
    Thanx mialynette!

    Now it's time for me to show my never occurred to me to look at the sticker on the valve for the correct BLFC - it's actually .125 gpm (yet another flaw in the instruction manual...oh well).

    So...using the following rules:

    .125gpm = 8 minutes per gallon
    1 gallon water dissolves 3lbs salt
    3lbs salt "cleans" 10K

    And re-doing the math:

    42K / 10K = 4.2
    4.2 X 3lbs = 12.6 lbs salt
    12.6 lbs / 3lbs salt dissolved per gallon = 4.2 gallons
    4.2 gallons X 8 min per gallon = 33.6 minutes Brine fill time (round up to 34).

    Sound correct?
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You should use the highest hardness in the city water system.

    Then 60 gals/person/day. And you don't say how many people in the household...

    The softener's constant SFR is so your peak demand flow rate (a total of all fixtures that are being used at one time) doesn't cause hard water to get through the softener, it's NOT a restriction type thing where the softener reduces flow...

    You can't measure one fixture at a time and then add them up to get your peak demand flow rate. Your tub at 8, plus a shower at 2.5 = 12.5 and a toilet flush gets you over 13 gpm...

    A 3.5 bath house with a large tub would need more like 15-18 gpm SFR.

    I don't use 20%. Use one day's total grains of hardness * 60 gals/person/day. THEN the gallons between regenerations based on your regenerated K of capacity and covert the grains per day to gallons and subtract that number of gallons from the meter setting as your reserve.

    I think you bought an undersized softener and you are using the full 60K, which requires 30 lbs of salt, which gets you the worst salt efficiency; 60,000/30 = 2000 grains/lb.


    You have to program as if you have to regenerate the reserve capacity too, so you need the 30 lbs. You should program as I showed you on my sizing page on my site.

    And I would get rid of the .125 gpm BLFC and use a .5 gpm.
  6. Wally107

    Wally107 New Member

    Dutchess County, NY
    Thanx Gary! I want to say here that, in the 6 months of research I did prior to making my decision, I read and re-read your sizing page, as well as all of the informative info, on your QWA site no less than 10 the point I can probably quote some of it from memory. I also read several of your posts on a few of the other forums you're on. I can't speak for everyone, 'cause we all have our detractors, but I consider you the "go-to" source for any and all things water softener. I have the utmost respect for your years of experience and pearls of wisdom, as evidenced by the fact that I used your guidance to choose my system. Having said that...

    I have to be honest, I did NOT get a detailed water analysis prior to my purchase. 14 gpg is from the annual report issued by our water board. Since the board secretary lives next door, I asked her - she confirmed, 14 is the number to use, so I went with it.

    I averaged my last 12 months of water usage from my bills, and came up with 75 gals/person/day (there's currently 4 of us). I know from reading your other posts that you always use 60 gals - and it's based on your many years of sales in several countries, which I accept and respect. Nonetheless, if I have accurate data readily available, it behooves me to use it, so I went with 300 total per day. Additionally, I've checked the "countdown" meter on my new softener at exactly the same time each day for the 3 days it's been running: 305, 283, and 285.

    Understood. I know you caution people about excluding the big tubs (I chuckled at your scenario of junior suddenly getting in touch with his feminine side and taking bubble baths), but frankly, ours has been used maybe 5 times in the 7 years since we built the house. In my calculations, I tried to be a little more realistic, and used:

    2 showers @ 2.5 gpm
    washing machine @ 6gpm
    Totaling 11 gpm. This doesn't happen often, but it has happened. For good measure, I threw in a flush @ 1.6 and rounded to 13 gpm. Will we ever use the big tub again...sure...and somebody's shower will just have to wait.

    Understood. I will recalculate and determine the appropriate percentage, and re-program accordingly.

    I guess this is where I'm confused (and again, I've studied your sizing pages many times). Using 300 gals/day X 14gpg, I get 4200 "Daily Grains of Capacity"...which is 33600 "Total Grains of Capacity"...then to the lower portion of your sizing page: 36400 "Salt Dose Capacity" (round to 37000).

    With the exception of using 300 gals/day versus your 240 gals/day, I tried to follow your logic as best I could. How is a 60K softener undersized?

    Understood, and I will do so immediately.

    Thanx again for all your help!

    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    My comment of being undersized was due to the 13 gpm.

    I think you are using the calculator page. Use the sizing page and do the math yourself. Then check the settings with the calculator if you want to. Manually is the most accurate.

    The other part of being undersized is the salt dose setting. I don't think you're going to get down to the 3333 grains/lb with 300 gals/day and over 8 days between regenerations, but I haven't done the math.

    And maybe the MIL finds a nice looking young guy, or girl, to move in and then you have more water use at the same time and you go over 13 gpm...
  8. Wally107

    Wally107 New Member

    Dutchess County, NY
    Although it may not seem like it Gary, I am catching on. So if you'll indulge me, I just have a couple more questions...

    Focusing on K capacity:

    I reviewed both pages again. Using the calculator page, and my 14gpg, 75gals/person/day X 4 people - the bottom of the page gives me (from top to bottom):

    Pounds of salt per cuft of resin: 5
    Salt dose (total lbs): 10
    Salt dose capacity: 36400
    Grains of capacity PER lb of salt (salt efficiency): 3640 - that's pretty good...right?
    Days between regeneration: 9
    Gallons between regeneration: 2600

    So, I'll change my Day Override to 9, and change my Brine fill to 27 min (which should give me 10.125lbs salt dose using my current .125gpm BLFC)

    Am I on the right track? (or have you given up on me :()

    Now, focusing on peak SFR:

    You crack me up...but I suppose anything's possible...she is a fiesty ol' gal! But let me ask this:

    Is it possible to add .5 cuft of resin to a 12X52 tank (giving me 2.5cuft)? Or does it need to be a 13X54 tank?

    I apologize if this is a ridiculous question, but I don't recall it specifically being discussed anywhere. I did read (somewhere) you mentioned the depth of the bed is actually more important than the diameter, etc - but not this specific question.

    Thanx as always...Wally
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I didn't do the math to check you yours out but, use the sizing page and do the math by hand, the calculator page is not as accurate because believe it or not, computers are not good at rounding and math formulas etc..

    No to adding another .5 cuft, you wouldn't have the proper freeboard space for complete bed expansion during backwash.

    Wait until the MIL comes home with tats!! and maybe a biker and wanting a new Hog to go to Strugis next year.
  10. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Ocala, Florida
    I don't believe in his sizing guide for residental use. If I used it for my home, I would need a 2 cf unit whereas I have had a 1 cf unit and have never had hard water. I just got out of the shower and the wife is washing clothes. As far as I know, he is the only one I have ever seen use this. Why don't major companies like Culligan, US Filter or EcoWater use it?
  11. Wally107

    Wally107 New Member

    Dutchess County, NY
    Why are you on here on a Saturday?'re supposed to be retired!:D

    Thought so. Oh well, was worth askin'.

    Since I have to be at work (911 dispatcher), I'm sittin' here surfin' looking at BLFC's. Is this the right one?:

    Also - I'm ditchin' the 20 percent reserve nonsense and changing it to the Variable Reserve...seems like a no-brainer. you're scarin' me.

    Have a good weekend...Wally
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    A few days ago you said you were a dealer for IWT.

    Below is a link to a sales brochure for one of their softeners; at the bottom of the page you can read all about its SFR.

    Maybe you should look at sales brochures for the other brands you mention not having seen any info about the SFR of their softeners.

    All of IWT's softeners that I have looked at have a published SFR on the softener's sales brochure.

    Another place to look would be on resin manufacturers' web sites and their spec sheet for each of their resins (but I doubt that you will).

    BTW, your shower is probably 2.5 gpm and most washing machines are 3-4 gpm and that equals a peak demand of 6.5 gpm, while a 1.0 cuft softener usually has a SFR of 9 gpm. IWT says their 1.0 cuft has 10 gpm. Maybe that's why you've never had hard water break through ya think? It will break through as soon as you go over 9-10 gpm.

    I see you've finally came around to getting into salt efficiency LOL. But 6 lbs/cu ft is not the lowest you can use.

    A bit more time and you should be into correctly sizing a softener based on the peak demand of the household's water use that you plan on selling/installing a softener in. Or maybe not...

    Here's the link. 165 Softener.pdf
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You need the .5 gpm for your control valve; whatever one that is.
  14. Wally107

    Wally107 New Member

    Dutchess County, NY
    Gary...not to belabor this, but...

    Is there any downside to going to a 1.0gpm BLFC (in an effort to reduce the overall regen time)?

    Just curious....Wally
  15. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Ocala, Florida
    There you go again, assuming facts not in evidence. I never said they didn't have a listing for the SFR, I merely pointed out that I have not seen any of them use it. Also, can you explain why your sizing chart would call for a 2 cf softener when a 1 cf works fine with no hardness bleed though. BTW, if you were to research some of my early posts, you will find I've always said the salt dose for a 1 cf is normally 6 lbs. So how is it that I'm now coming around?
  16. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Wally, use what is the norm and you can't go wrong... or become a softener engineer.

    mialynett.... My experience with most national brand dealers and their sales force is that they are like shyster lawyers and used car salesmen. It's all about the money and they over charge for undersized equipment.

    If you don't want to size for the peak demand of the household's water use, don't, but don't say it shouldn't be done when all resin manufacturers and their distributors publish data so delaers can size correctly.

    BTW, I've already explained how your 1.0 is not allowing breakthrough yet.

    And yes, I know you know it all but for one thing, you don't know what you don't know.

    If you want to find undersized equipment, ask your prospective customer, service and new equipment types both, if they can say their present softener has always given them 0 grains/gal soft water and see if they don't tell you "no, there are times we get hard water". Then see if you can figure out why that is if not due to exceeding the constant SFR of their softener.

    As to the 6lbs for a 1.0 cuft... man it's adjustable down as far as the control valve you are using will allow you to go; salt efficiency doesn't stop at 6 lbs/cuft.
  17. Wally107

    Wally107 New Member

    Dutchess County, NY
    As you know, I've been emailing back and forth with Wayne at Fleck regarding BLFC, etc. In my last email, I asked for his overall programming recommendations. Thought I'd share his reply - not for any particular reason, I guess for the group's discussion (his replys in italics):

    System: 7000SXT 64K 2 cuft resin.

    64K is at max salt dosage, not efficient. 64K is a 12" tank
    salting at 18lbs per cuft. You have 2 cuft.

    Use: 300 gals per day X 14gpg hardness = 4200 grains per day
    Would like to regen every 8 days (Day Override)...4200 grains X 8 days = 33600 to be regen'd.

    I would normally add 1 day for reserve (33600 + 4200 = 37800)

    Assuming: 3 lbs salt regenerates 10000,

    General thought that 3,333 grains per lb of salt.

    this would require 11.5 lbs of salt (which is good)
    Assuming: 1 gal water dissolves 3 lbs salt, and 8 mins per gal = 31 min BF

    I would use a grain setting of 48,000 which is at 8lbs per cuft salting.
    16lbs total. That needs 5.3 gallons of water in the brine tank.

    My questions (finally):

    1. If I use Reserve Selection of Variable Reserve (cr)...does that change my programming?


    2. (ref my previous email) Is there any advantage to me to change my Control Type from Meter Delayed (fd) to Variable Fill (fdPb)??


    3. Overall, if possible, can you recommend my settings for:
    Control Type (CT) Fd
    Reserve Selection (RS) I would use rc fixed reserve.
    Times for
    B1, 10min
    BD, 60min
    B2, 5min
    RR, 5min
    BF? 42 min 43min x .125gpm = 5.3 gallons

    Program capacity at 48,000 grains.
    Set rc to 300gallons
  18. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Since you have already bought and installed the equipment it's too late to go back but... in your first post you say that you may hit 11gpm or perhaps 13gpm from time to time so the question is, are you sure the piping and incoming water pressure in your house will allow those flow rates? Just because you may have x number of fixtures does not necessarily mean that they are capable of flowing at the fixtures maximum rate, especially if two or more are flowing at the same time. A whole lot of folks buy over sized filtration equipment with 1" or larger inlets and install them on systems that are not capable of matching the SFR. However as to your last post, IMO his numbers are good all things being equal.
  19. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Ocala, Florida
    Wally, When I read your post earlier you memtioned about not changing the BLFC from the .125 you currently have in it to a .5. Now I don't see it. What happened?
  20. Wally107

    Wally107 New Member

    Dutchess County, NY
    Tom - I think you make a valid point...2 showers and a washer flowing simultaneously may not flow 2.5, 2.5, and 6 gpm. I would think it would depend on your service volume/pressure, and the size/condition of your plumbing. However, our house is fairly new (built 2005), so the plumbing is all in pretty good shape, and we've got gobs of volume and pressure. I know for sure we've had 2 showers and the washing machine going at the same time, with no discernible drop in either.

    All I (or anyone) can really do is either manually check each fixture with a gallon jug and a stopwatch (although I will admit, I did them one at a time - which is what I think you're getting at), or use the UPC wsfu ratings (which I also did).

    Once I decided (for right or wrong) I was between 11-13 gpm, I found several references that indicated at least 2 cuft of resin was needed to handle 13 gpm without breakthrough. That, along with the higher flow rates of the 7000, is what led me to my purchase. I know my service can deliver 13 gpm, and now I'm covered if I flow 13 gpm.

    Thanx! Wally
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