Softener + neutralizer questions

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by wilbert, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. wilbert

    wilbert New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Local water treatment company recommends getting an acid neutralizer because our pH level is 5.9. They said if we get the neutralizer it will make our water harder so we will need a softener. Hardness is 4gpg now.

    Hardness: 4 gpg
    Iron: .5 ppm
    pH: 5.9
    TDS: 110 ppm

    House has 5 toilets, 3 showers, little tub use, and 3 occupants.

    They recommended a 13x54 Non Backwashing Acid Neutralizer w/ Vortech and a softener with the Clack WS1EE valve. I think the softener has Vortech also. The combo originally came with the following but he is upgrading me to the Clack for no charge. I don't know if that is good or bad and would just like some opinions on size and if I'm getting the right units for my application.

    Thanks

    13x54 Non Backwashing Acid Neutralizer
    13x54 Polyglass Tank
    Vortech Flow System, High Flow Rates, No Channeling Of The Media Bed.
    Built In Media Platform No Gravel Bedding Needed
    No Drain Line Or Electric Needed
    Large Fillport For Easy Maintenance
    Built In Bypass
    1 Inch Threaded Pvc Connectors
    2.5 Cubic Foot Capacity
    Upper Distributor Basket Keeps Media From Escaping The Tank

    Fleck 5600 Sxt Demand Softener (Clack WS1EE instead)
    Removes Hardness And Iron
    48,000 Grain Capacity
    10x54 Polyglass Tank
    Vortech Flow System, For A More Efficient Backwash And Higher Flow Rates
    Fleck 5600 Sxt Electronic Deman Valve
    System Monitors Water Usage, Andonly Regenerates When Neccessary, Conserving Water And Salt.
    Large 18x36 Salt Tank
    Bypass Included
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,871
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Vortech is ok, I am not the biggest fan of this design primarily due to it its hyped abilities. Water will take the path of least resistance, the vortech distributor does not change that. Extensive testing has shown that a properly sized gravel bed is almost as good. The Vortech designs are difficult to service and we have had several issues that have occured primarly during shipping (not the Vortech fault, trucking company abuse) that has made it necessary for the systems to be sent back for repairs vs feild repairs. A good quality distibutor and manifold is cheap and easy to repair even by the DIY.

    Upflow Calcite media... sometimes necessary, not totally bad, I am not a fan mainly because in situations where the flow rate will be changing constantly, the neutralization may be limited and channelling is common. In a downflow system, channeling is not a problem regardless of flow rate. I prefer a backwashing calcite filter when possible. Good applications for an uplflow neutralizer are post commercial RO where the flow rates do not vary and backwash water is simply not available.

    The recommended flow rate of a 13x54 calcite tank is 2.8-5.6 GPM, this is ideal for a typical house as the flow rate will rarely exceed 6 GPM.


    Softener, Fleck 5600SXT is a great valve, the WS1 is as good if not better and the cost is identical. The clack is also a better match assuming the upflow calcite tank is using the clack 1400 head with fillport. They use the same plumbing connectors and bypass assembly.

    The equipment they are recommending should work perfectly for you, the backwashing calcite is only a minor preference, but in the real world, either would be fine. You will also save a lot of money by using the upflow system since you are not buying another controller.
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I am against upflow AN filters and especially a 2.5' unit. IMO that is way larger than you need.

    I am not a fan of the Vortech tank, you will pay less and be much better off with a regular filter type dist. tube and gravel underbed. If your upflow filter (mineral) starts to clog up with dirt, you must empty the mineral and clean it out or replace it or live with greatly reducing water pressure.
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,871
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The 2.5 cubic foot is not a bad size. It is sized as stated , 2.8 to 5.6 GPM as a neutralizing filter. Most of the time, calcite is undersized. Now Gary may be right in do you really need to get the water up to 7.0 pH? Probably not, a pH adjustment up to 6.5-6.8 will probably be just fine. On paper, the 2.5 is the right size, the real world, a 1.5 to 2.0 cubic foot system will probably be aduquate. Watch your backwash rates for the 2.5 cubic foot system, 9 GPM is the minimum I would recommend assuming your water temperature is "normal". Upflow will work but... it is really a poor mans fix and we try to avoid it when possible except when we are trying to underbid another companies equipment and we are playing with pennies.
  5. wilbert

    wilbert New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Thanks for the responses. What is the alternative to the upflow filter? The neutralizer and softener were delivered yesterday. Is there something I can tell the company to change? I really should have done more research before I bought.

    Thanks
  6. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,871
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Since the softener valve is a Clack, see if they can ship a V1TCBTZ valve with a 9 GPM DLFC. That valve will look nearly identical to the softener controller. Set it to backwash every 3-5 days depending on your usage. The head that is on the Neutralizer tank will unscrew from the tank, and the valve will thread right on in place of it. It should take you no more than 5 minutes to convert it. Everything else will remain the same.

    Remeber to check your calcite level in the tank annually and you should also get a cheap pH test kit and check it every month. If you see a lowering of the pH, check and add calcite as needed. Your calcite level should not exceed 2/3 of the tank height.

    If you stick with the upflow design, you will probably be ok as long as you are on a municipal supply that has not sediment. If you have any sediment, I would recommend a BB 20" 5 micron prefilter as the bare minimum pre treatment, but... I do not like BB's as a whole house filter.



    Oh yeah, technically, dealers are not allowed to sell the Clack valve as a seperate item but in your case they should make an exception.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I've sold a few hundred AN filters and some were on pH as low as 4.9-5.0 with mixed bed minerals. I always got at least a 7.0 pH. I refused to sell upflow and in all but 25 years never did sell one.

    With this pH of 5.9 a 1.5' backwashed filter is the right size with 'calcite' only. And I'd install with 1" ID pipe and set your water pressure to 40/60 psi and adjust the captive air pressure in the pressure tank (with no water in it) to 39 lbs.

    I sold and serviced well pumps for many years and my experience (in PA) with wells with an average pump depth of 250-300', it is a rare pump that would be capable of backwashing a 2.5' AN filter. I rarely sold an AN filter larger than 1.5' and the largest was 2.0'.
  8. wilbert

    wilbert New Member

    Messages:
    14
    I am on a well with sediment. They are installing a sediment filter. Is the V1TCBTZ valve with a 9 GPM DLFC something Clack should be able to swap out for the installer or is that something I will need to buy on my own? I'm going to try and find my well information. I'll talk to the company about a smaller AN filter (Does AN stand for Acid Neutralizer?).

    You guys must be up all night. Thanks again

    Question, the WS1EE only mentions downflow in it's description, while the CS has upflow and downflow. Installer says I'm getting the EE so wouldn't it be a downflow system or can you explain what I am not understanding?

    Can't find any well info.

    Thanks
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  9. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,871
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The WS1 EE is a softener valve that will go on the softener tank. The V1TCBTZ is a backwashing valve used for non regenerating medias that will go on the Calcite tank. Upflow/Downflow on a softener valve refers to the direction of brine flow during regeneration. Theoretically, upflow regenration is more efficient but there are several factors that make upflow brining a PITA that for the most part has made it not used. It is mainly a marketing tool now. Modern valve designs and thorough testing has shown that a second backwash for just a couple minutes gets you most of the benefits that upflow brining can get you without having to regulate the brine cycles, limit pre backwashes, etc.... It is a long and complex discussion that we have been debating since the days of the Schurz valve. I believe those were discontinued in the late 80's, maybe very early 90's.

    You should be able to call the company you bought the equipment from and ask them to sell you the valve seperately. They may or may not be willing to do this. It would replace the black plastic in/out head that you currently have on the tank with a valve. Both systems would look very similar, the contol board has 3 buttons instead of 5, but other than that, they are very similar.

    Here is the head you should be getting on the Calcite filter.
    D1220-01-2.jpg

    Here is a picture of what we would recommend instead. this will allow the calcite to be configured in a downflow instead of upflow configuration. It would require intermittent backwashing but will give you much better and more consistent performance.
    V1TCBTZ-XX-2.jpg
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,871
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Understood, and 99% agree. The only issue is that since I am no longer a field guy, I am now on the OEM distribution end and since our margins are in th 10% range, we have to follow charts and graphs and technical garbage that has little real world basis. When I get a call from a major company and they ask me to size a carbon tank that will flow 8 GPM, I have no choice but to recommend a 3 Cu. Ft 14x65 unit. It is the technical rating set forth by the GAC manufacturers. Same goes for the Calcite, it has a maximum "technical" flow rating of 3-6 GPM per square foot. This would give a 2.5 a maximum flow rate "Technically" of 5.5 PM. Now Gary is 100% right when he says a 1.5 Cu. Ft. system will work. The technical numbers are always extremely conservative and take into account the worst case scenarios.

    Re: uplfow, Gary, it is a new world. It also sucks. You and I both know that upflow, except in well controlled applications where water flow is not varibale, is a bad design. But since everybody is running to **** to find the cheapest price and since everybody thinks they can be a water treatmenst specialist because they found an article inline that must be true...

    I sell hundreds of upflow GAC, Calcite, Anti-scale, every month. I even have some people asking if they can dow Turbidex and Micro-Z upflow !!! LOL, some people just dont understand.

    For the most part, the upflow designs have been very hit and miss, especially compared to nearly a 100% success rate with downflow designs. The "Green" crowd has also pushed upflow so hard that it is getting difficult to explain to customers the drawbacks. A system that produces thousands of gallons of good clean water, then uses 75 gallons to self clean, these 75 gallons are not wasted, they are a functional part of the water treatment process.

    Anyway, enough rambling. You and I and a few others will have to keep pushing the right way to do it.
  11. wilbert

    wilbert New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Yes, the head in the picture looks like the one I am getting. I asked the company about the upflow or downflow. He said upflow is better with the Vortech tanks. He said he has been using it for many years and it's been fine. He said he would install downflow if that's what I want. Not really sure what to do at this point, researching before buying a system makes a lot more sense then after.
  12. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,871
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Upflow softening or upflow calcite?

    Upflow softening (only the brine actually goes upflow) is a pain, it only increases the effeiciency minimially, not worth it.

    Upflow calcite, yes it works, but... not recommended except in applications where the flow will not change and there is insuffucient water for backwashing. it is commonly used on commercial RO systems after the permeate since its flow is set and does not change unlike a house. Most of the companies that do commercial/indusrtrial. and residential will recommend downflow because we know of all the potential problems that occur in more demanding applications. If it were my house, I would definetly do a backwashing calcite.

    The guy you are buying the system from should be able to upgrade you to backwashing calcite for a couple hundred extra bucks. That is the real reason upflow is used, it is a lot cheaper.

    Be sure you have enough water to backwash the calcite, 9-11 GPM is typical for a 13" tank.
Similar Threads: Softener neutralizer
Forum Title Date
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Advice on using pH Neutralizer and/or Softener for Iron filtration Jun 3, 2013
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Time for softener/neutralizer system Nov 10, 2012
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Water Softener with RO and Ph (acid) Neutralizer Install Help Feb 27, 2010
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Please advise what system may be best....water softener Sunday at 5:56 PM
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r can brine tank be placed farther from the softener Oct 22, 2014

Share This Page