seeking advice for water softener settings...and more- oh there's always more

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by stella dubois, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. stella dubois

    stella dubois New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    sw florida
    first off ... i am in no way a real handy man... my interests lean toward the humanities.
    i've spent some time reading this board and many thanks for the little i know.

    10 x 54 resin tank
    1 person

    you folks may want more particulars on pipes, etc - please ask & i'll do my best.

    hardness : 550 mg/l
    magnesium: 76.2 mg/l
    calcium: 96.7 mg/l
    (no iron, my test results are pages long & i think i've included the pertinents. if you need more, pls...)

    i'm thinking my test results include the magnesium in the hardness- am i wrong?
    is my hardness 32.5 grains per gallon? thats the calc i've been using.

    1 backwash: 8 min
    regenerate: 50 min
    2 backwash: 8 min
    rinse: 4 min
    fill: 8 min
    days between: 14

    i choose a 2nd backwash due to low water use and would like some input on this choice.
    this is program 1 on the clack ws 1 -tc.
    why the clack tc version, you rightly ask? good question - that's the more portion.

    i bought a house with a well/septic system that was in need of some repair, which i slowly
    addressed. the set up is outside and was uncovered but my brother built me a lovely wee wind
    resistant shed. after a couple years i needed 2 pumps replaced and a mechanical fleck head repaired.
    a neighbor recommended a fellow who talked me into a new electronic metered clack head. after
    some back & forth i acquiesced on the electronic metered clack head because (while i like mechanical)
    i'm all about efficiency.

    when i mentioned my water tests the fellow told me he doesn't use tests because he can:
    read water by looking at it. i inquired about his settings but he told me if i had any
    problems to call him. when pressed, he did tell me that he set the softener to regenerate every 5 days,
    which i believe to be a bit much but figured i'd sort it out later.

    giving the system a few weeks to rid the pipes of any residual crap, i called about the water not being
    soft. the dealer came out and changed the regeneration frequency to 3 days.

    i eventually reset the softener to the above with a 6 minute brine fill (more on that to follow) but
    would like some advice. additionally, this guy talked me into an electronic metered head. i'd already
    ordered the parts to repair the mechanical head but due to the efficiency of the metered head i went
    with it. now i've got an electronic non-metered head. and ... there's still more.

    i have a 10 x 54 resin tank - that's what the tag says. from the beginning the fellow has called the tank:
    a 1 cu ft tank. & he wrote the order as such. all this caused me to check which injector he installed:
    the red, d injector for a 9" tank which only confuses things further & i do apologize for this - certainly
    makes calculations more complicated for me. assuming good faith, what is the advantage for going down
    a size on the injector? i've only just removed the injector cap to check the color - and this prompted me to
    up the brine fill from: 6 to 8 minutes, thinking that lengthening (?) the brine fill would compensate...
    but honestly: its all disheartening.

    after 2 regens & using the hach 5b the water tests about 0 - 1 gpg. i'll need to go thru more regens and
    see how it goes thru 14 days, but i have no idea how to adjust for the red - rather than white - injector...
    its over my wee head. originally, i was seeking advice to set what i assumed was a metered clack - oh, them
    were the days ...

    but what about that injector size? and the non-metered head? from a fellow who can read water by
    looking at it ... ? some advice - please ... & thanks so much.
  2. Constru Expert

    Constru Expert New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Florida
  3. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Any technician who says he can tell how hard the water is without a test kit is an idiot and should be escorted off the porperty.

    Time clock softeners are not even legal in many states and municipalities.

    Did you install the metered head yet?

    Can you send a picture of the valve?

    We need to know what is actually in the tank. many companies sell 10x54 tanks with mixed medias so you may only have 1 cu. ft. of softening resin in side of it. We need to know how much you actually have to properly program it.

    The red injector does not affect the refill time. It will draw slightly slower than the white injector, but in general, it will be ok. You run the slight risk of salty water with the red injector, but it i unlikely.

    With the Hach 5B, what does your untreated water test at?

    We need a lot more information to properly assist you.

    Hope this helps.
  4. stella dubois

    stella dubois New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    sw florida
    Thnx for your response ditttohead. I'm replying from cell fone & will use recipe language, etc.

    Still have clack ws 3 button valve (tc model). Looking for local water peeps. Should I ask other fellow to replace head ?

    I drink ro water- sodium is quite high in well h20, which is flowing well.

    Prior owners (bldng contractor) installed system but septic plans say 6 peeps. I think they'd buy 1.5 cu ft tank but I know thinking can be dangerous.

    I listed my well water hardness, calcium, mag @ beginning of my original post. Hard drive croaked & now have no access to test results. I paid (way too much) money to have well h20 tested, & think tests are valid, winl for area. Too dark right now to go out to well head.

    Also, can't see your reply on this fone. Good grief, what did I miss?

    I will try to send foto, none of this is not my forte.

    Very grateful for your advice.

    Edit: so injector effects brine draw but not fill? Is this correct?

    And I have a photo of the head but can find no option to attach when using fone. (Not on profile either) But I did program using tc manual.

    I know I'm adressing all in round about terms. W/ the flintstones w/out computer...
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  5. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    Ontario California
    It sounds like you need to have someone do your work. You need to find a local professional, not some jokester who claims he can do it without a test kit. Do not let him back on your premises. He is an embarrasement to this industry. Mialynette is from Florida and he is very knowledgable. Maybe he knows someone local to you that is a good company. If not, I probably have several customers that way that I can refer you to but I dont like referring if I can avoid it.
  6. stella dubois

    stella dubois New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    sw florida
    Thnx for responding.

    System programmed to regen tomorrow. Just tested w/ hach b & still good. So settings w/ 14 day regen seem ok, altho I'm not sure if 2nd backwash is needed-while I still have the tc model.

    I paid $1800 for well + areator pump + softener head, which includes service & warranty. I was thinking it worthwhile to ask that metered head be installed? You advise its better to eat that loss & buy softener head from someone else? That will be some time.... for now I'll need to work w/ what I bought.

    But yes you are very right: I'll want to find a local pro. I've made a couple calls but no leads. & fyi, the fellow did the pump work 1st & didn't reveal his ways until all was complete. Very disappointing- & so highly recommended. Good heavens.
    Does maly... also do well work? Does one call him to a thread? or send a pm? For years I ran a survey crew w/ much time on construction sites- a man once told me that when a female is added, the simplest situations can get very complicated. Again, thnx
  7. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    Ontario California
    If you have the metered head, you can easily replace it yourself with a little finess or any water softener company that is decent will do it for a service fee only. No parts should be needed if it is the same manufacturer. The metered valve should have 5 buttons instead of three. But if your tc system is lasting 14 days between regenerations with soft water, then a metered unit becomes less important than I thought earlier. You mentioned earlier that the guy set it to regenerate evey 3 days, this is why testing is so important. if it were left to every third day, the system would be using 5X more salt than it needed too. I am going to guess he cant tell the hardness of the water without a test kit :)
  8. stella dubois

    stella dubois New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    sw florida
    Thnx again.

    Just to be clear, I don't have a metered head on hand to install. Additionally I was already rather put off by clack's anti-dyi-internet sales bit & now lean even further away from clack. So if I need to buy another head I'll be thinking fleck. & I spent time trying to learn about the ws model & when I realized he'd installed the tc- *#%$**!! I'll leave that to your imagination.

    Oh yea, able to read water? Good grief. When he said that my heart sank. & 3 day regens? There's enough salt in this area- & as I said I've got a flowing well. I don't need my well contaminated by the sodium from my softener.

    & thnx for letting me know the system is ... working. Do you think I need the 2nd backwash? Sorry the post is so long - & that you're the only 1 helping- but you might need to skim the 1st part of my original post.

    Again, grateful for your help.
  9. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    Ontario California
    2nd backwash is a great item but in no way critical. It uses a small amount of extra water, and it really helps when you use very low salting levels. It is a trade off, a little bit of wasted water gives you a tiny bit higher quality water. It is noticable when you get below 5 pounds per cu. ft.

    You should have this "service technician" adjust the pressure in your car tires by "feel" since he is so good at it... lol

    Test the raw untreated water with the Hach 5B test kit and let us know what the raw water is. how many people in your house? With that, I can estimate how many days between regeneration. 25 years ago, it was a common way of doing softeners, and we wonder why they are getting banned in so many states? Meters are required by many municipalities for obvious reasons.

    Thanks!
  10. stella dubois

    stella dubois New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    sw florida
    I found the hard copy of my water tests (samples taken from well head) and mailed to national testing laboratories- would these be valid results? These are the results at top of my original post. & just 1 person.

    & ditttohead many thnx for evidence you've provided to support my belief that frequent needless regens are both unnecessary & wasteful.
  11. stella dubois

    stella dubois New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    sw florida
    Ok, did the hach test w/ well water. As I understand it , but I could be wrong on this, the test range for the hach is from 0-30 gpg & my lab results state my hardness is 550/ 17.1 = 32.16 (which i'd decided to round up to 32.5) So I'm thinking the hach won't be too reliable for my well water. Couldn't notice much change after 30 drops of solution. After adding 36 drops the test sample just loooked paler, but not much discernible color change: a pinky purple, certainly not approaching blue.

    What next?

    Edited: a number I entered wrong
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  12. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,716
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I wonder if you could dilute the sample 2:1 with distilled water (or DI water if you can get it), run the Hach test, and multiply the result by 2?
  13. stella dubois

    stella dubois New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    sw florida
    Hay mikey. I considered that but... would that result be any more valid or reliable than the results that I already got from the folks at : national testing labs? Can anyone here verify or tell me if they do or do not trust the results from this outfit? Otherwise I feel like I'm playing scientist against this labs results.

    As already stated I'm working w/out computer & don't have experience using this wee phone for stuff... but a quick re-check at ntl web site says their tests are good enough for home water use, etc, etc.

    So, I already had my well water tested & listed the results in original post. Perhaps my silly question about those results confused the issue- ? Make any sense?

    And thanks mikey.
  14. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,716
    Location:
    Central Florida
    One resource worth considering is the University of Florida Extension Soil Testing Laboratory (ESTL) (http://soilslab.ifas.ufl.edu/ESTL Tests.asp). They'll test your well water for 10 items for $9. You can call your local Extension Office for more details. "SW Florida" covers a lot of ground, but if you Google "'County Name' 'County Extension Office FL'" you can find their contact information. I'm guessing you're in either Charlotte, Lee, or Collier county, and they are at:

    25550 Harbor View Rd #3
    Port Charlotte, FL 33980
    Phone: 941.764.4340

    3406 Palm Beach Blvd
    Ft. Myers, FL 33916-3736
    Phone: (239) 533-4327


    14700 Immokalee Road
    Naples, FL 34120-1468
    Phone: (239) 353-4244

    respectively.

    Good luck...
  15. stella dubois

    stella dubois New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    sw florida
    Yes, a good resource mikey- for many things.

    Its that I already have lab results - which my RO guy arranged.

    Hardness: 550 mg/L. / 17.1 = 32.16

    Isn't that the calc?

    these results were valid enough for me.

    But- we seem to be hung up on this point & I don't understand why? Am I missing something?
  16. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,716
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Yes, that's the calculation. I'm not sure either why we're all focused on testing -- looks to me like you've got that box checked. Maybe the guy who tested by smelling it or looking at it got us distracted.

    One resource I found calculates the total hardness as:

    Hardness, mg equivalent/L CaCO[SUB]3[/SUB] = ([Ca, mg/l]*2.497) + ([Mg, mg/l]*4.116)

    Using your numbers, that would give 96.7*2.497 + 76.2*4.116 = 555.1 mg/L = 32.46 gpg, which is consistent with your report,
    so they have taken the Mg into account, as you thought. So from here on, assuming there are no nasty exceptions in the complete report, the
    calculations are pretty straightforward, explained at www.qualitywaterassociates.com/softeners/sizingchart.htm.
  17. stella dubois

    stella dubois New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    sw florida
    Hay again. I'm asking about settings for the clack tc model.

    1 person household

    The system is existing & was installed for a family of 5. I don't know what's in the resin tank but the (clack) tag says :

    10 x 54

    Test results for well h20 (in mg/L):
    Coliform: absent
    Aluminum: ND
    Arsenic: 0.006
    Barium: ND
    Cadmium: ND
    Calcium: 96.7
    Chromium: ND
    Copper: 0.007
    Iron: ND
    Lead: ND
    Magnesium: 76.20
    Manganese: ND
    Mercury: ND
    Nickel: ND
    Potassium: 15.8
    Selenium: ND
    Silica: 25.10
    Silver: ND
    Sodium: 266
    Zinc: 0.015
    Total alkalinity: 160
    Hardness: 550
    Ph: 6.7
    TDS: 1400
    Turbidity: ND
    Chloride: 790
    Flouride: 1.4
    Nitrate: ND
    Nitrite: ND
    Ortho phosphate: ND
    Sulfate: 36.0

    About 75 more tests for organics : all ND


    Currently using program #1 w/ following :

    1 backwash: 8 min
    regenerate: 50 min
    2 backwash: 8 min
    rinse: 4 min
    fill: 8 min
    days between: 14

    Because of low water use I opted for 2nd backwash. Is this reasonable or simply unneccessary? My water stays soft thru 14 days - could I go longer? Should the fill time be adjusted? Basically i'd like some advice w/ these settings.

    Many thnx
  18. stella dubois

    stella dubois New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    sw florida
    Oh dear mikey- while you were responding I typed out all those results from my h20 test. Haha- & typed on cell fone... pita to say the least.

    So happy that you also saw that hang up on the tests... you got me out of a kafka moment.

    Yea, reading water? I could understand if he was smelling sulfur but not hardness.

    Thanks so much- I now can't see your response on this fone- thread won't update.

    I've been working on a diamondback rattler that I skinned & I don't want any advice on that but ... I ground up a bunch of rock salt - into a fine dust. I used that salt to dry the rattler skin. I was wondering about dissolving the salt in h20 & straining the solution : could that solution be poured into my brine tank? Or would that just be plain stupid? Anyone know?

    That's just a side note: my main concern is the settings on the softener.

    Edit: mikey replied yesterday-- seems I can't see page 2 w/ fone. Crumbs.

    & yes, that link is great & I've had it bookmarked. I'm just confused w/ the TC model- so little options. (Plus the red injector when I should have a white, but I think ditttohead implies that does not effect draw time- w/out computer I'm roughing it for resources: can't see that flow diagram)

    Anyone have advice for seeing page 2 on a fone?
    Again, many thnx
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  19. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    Ontario California
    I agree, the comment on "I can tell how hard the water is by feel" threw us a bit.

    The only reason for retesting the hardess is to see if it is consistent, not a big deal but since you have the kit it is nice to check the raw water on occassion. Water hardness can fluctuate in some areas a lot. I will try to look at your programming in detail tomorrow but for now, every 14 days and still soft, sounds much better than every 3rd day... and do not use snake water in your brine tank. We do not want add any unecessary contaminants to the system.

    The injector does not afect refill, only how long it takes to draw the solution out of the brine tank. You can micro manage it and adjust the brine draw time to a shorter amount based on the injector size. But the gains in water and salt efficiency will be minimal. We use larger injectors on systems on a rare occassion when the customer wants the total regeneration time to be less than an hour, and smaller injectors when maximum efficiency is desired, but in general, an injector size up or down wont make much of a difference.

    hope this helps!
  20. stella dubois

    stella dubois New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    sw florida
    Hahaha- on the snake water (!)

    & thnx dittto for recommending mialynette. Spoke to him & he also told me that the snake salt could add bacteria. He's a nice guy.

    Sorry about the confusion earlier: I thought that comment about being able to read water might be funny.

    & now the injector bit makes more sense- merci

    After speaking to mialy... I went back to the 6 min fill. But I forgot to ask about the 2nd backwash. As I said, I choose that since its just me in the house - & my water use is very inconsistent. No other reason. did I choose the appropriate program? The TC is limited.
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