Troubleshoot/Repair or Replace 10+ year old Hague?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Hugh Hempel, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Hugh Hempel

    Hugh Hempel New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Reno Nevada
    Greetings,

    Newcomer to the forum. Impressed by the knowledge and candor expressed by the regulars!

    I have really bad "hard water" build up on the shower glass and water fixtures throughout my recently purchased home.

    I inherited a Hague 13baq. I am guessing it is 10+ years old.

    The unit was inactive/unplugged (not bypassed) for quite some time.

    I recently restarted it (added salt) and the unit appears to be recharging. It is obvious, however, that I am still not getting "soft" water. I have also seen virtually no drop in salt levels for more than a month (no salt bridge)...

    More specifics:
    • "City Water" (it is well sourced nearby)
    • Home Occupants: 7
    • Water Usage: 11-14,000g/mo (466g/day average) peak is 1000g/day est.
    • 5.5 Baths
    • Very Heavy Laundry
    • Very Heavy Kitchen Usage
    • Water Pressure; Excellent 60psi+
    • Main Line Pipe Size: 1-1/4"
    • Current Hague Inlets: 1"
    • NO LOCAL HAGUE DEALER

    Here is the water analysis from the city:

    2013-03-20_1401.png

    My questions:
    1. Should I spend the time/energy to troubleshoot the Hague device given it's mfg and lack of information/parts?
    2. If yes, can someone recommend a good troubleshooting guide for Hague? Where can I source parts?
    3. If no, I am looking for help sizing/selecting a replacement system...
    4. What size system should I consider? (my math indicates 2.0+cuft)
    5. I am open to TWIN tanks. Should I consider (require)?
    6. Any strong preference of brand?
    7. Does my water analysis suggest any special "features" or prefilters?
    8. What about "turbolators" or special resins?

    My local water authority also suggested that my spotting problems could be created by SILICA or other "solids" that are "not removed" by a softener system. Can anyone comment on the truth in this statement??? Perhaps a combination of Salt Based Water Softening plus some other forms of filtration is required????

    EDIT: Water authority indicated that while SILICA is not analyzed in the above data, there is evidence that high amounts of SILICA are present in the system.

    Thanks a million in advance!
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  2. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    718
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    I would look into renting to see you your problem is with the hardness vs silica before purchasing.
  3. Hugh Hempel

    Hugh Hempel New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Reno Nevada
    Clarification on "renting"...?

    Thanks a million for the thoughtful reply!

    I had arrived at largely the same conclusions.

    Are you suggesting "renting" a water softener system? or something else? I have not heard of the option to rent a system although I agree with the idea...

    My research about qualified folks here in Reno has not turned up any good candidates, so I suspect that I may find it difficult to find someone to rent from...

    Assuming I go with a twin system, would you agree that a pair of 1.0 cuft tanks would suffice? I have the space and budget for a pair of 1.5 if recommended...

    IF my problem has more to do with Silica than with hardness, can you recommend a solution? Is this simply whole whose backwash filtration?

    Thanks again!!!

    EDIT: Apparently my Silica levels are in the neighborhood of 60. Also it appears that Silica removal on a home/usage of my size is cost prohibitive/difficult with today's tech (mostly RO)... So, for now, I am going to focus on water softening alone. I am headed down the path towards a new Fleck system. Only decisions left at this point are twins versus single and what SIZE.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  4. catman

    catman New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    SE PA
    I don't see any point in renting something, I am sure there are some basic tests that will tell you whether silica is the issue or not. Have you talked to your neighbors? At any rate, in my house I ingherited a Hague 23BAQ unit and there is a receipt that it was purchased in 2002. So it is at least 10-11 years old. Mine had a faulty computer and the bypass was not working properly, so I took it out and put in a new system. I get postcards from the local Haugue dealer every month saying it is time for service, so they must know it is broken! EDIT: sorry did not see your edit with the updated silica info... .
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  5. Hugh Hempel

    Hugh Hempel New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Reno Nevada
    Consensus seems to be REPLACEMENT and I tend to concur. I got similar advice from a local dealer I found that has a pretty good reputation.

    My neighbors generally confirm great benefit from a traditional softener system.

    I am headed down the path of a Fleck 9100 system. Leaning towards a twin in the 1.0 cuft range. Main remaining question is resin type. I have read conflicting info about the value of SST-60 or other resin upgrades...

    Any input would be welcome. Hope to purchase in the next day or so.

    Thanks again to all for comments and I will report back on progress and results for sure!
  6. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    320
    Location:
    California
    That is a lot of water and hardness! In your situation it is especially important to carefully consider the design to ensure your (more than the average system) money is well-spent and results in excellent performance.

    Using your numbers of 466 - 1000 gallons and 68 - 90 grains of hardness your daily capacity requirements vary from 31K to 90K grains PER DAY. You are definitely in twin softener territory. Even with a 3.5 cu ft twin salted at 8 lbs for 24K X 3.5 = 84K of capacity per tank. You could regenerate between once every three days to more than once a day.

    The Fleck 9100 series is one obvious solution, but you have 1-1/4" plumbing and that is a 3/4" valve. It is best to get a valve with internal ports as large as your plumbing. Perhaps the Fleck 9500 series has this? I am not sure. You'll need to check into which twin control valve is suitable for your pipe size.

    As to the SST-60, I would definitely give it a try despite the added expense. You will be going through a lot of salt and water. Anything you can do to improve your salt use vs. water quality would be a good idea, and SST-60 should do just that. You could probably salt at 6 lbs/cu ft and get the same or better water quality as salting at 8 lbs/cu ft with regular resin.

    Good luck

    Edit: there is no way 1 cu ft per tank is enough for your applicaiton
  7. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    320
    Location:
    California
    Fleck 9500/1700SXT is the only twin tank valve I am aware of with ports as large as your pipe size at 1-1/2". It is an expensive light commercial valve at about $1800 just for the valve. A complete system based on this valve would probably approach $2500 depending on tank size and resin quantity.

    But you have described a lot of hardness and water use. If the numbers you give are correct a lesser softener will easily be overwhelmed, inefficient, and will drop water pressure due to being undersized and leak hardness when it's Service Flow Rate is exceeded.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  8. Hugh Hempel

    Hugh Hempel New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Reno Nevada
    Maybe a math or misunderstanding about hardness?

    Thanks for this awesome reply! I think that there is a math problem or misunderstanding... and I think it is obviously CRITICAL to my design.

    My water analysis above indicates a hardness of 68-94 mg/L(ppm). I was under the assumption that this hardness translates to a maximum of 5.5 GRAINS (94/17.1). Therefore my peak usage at 1000 gals. would be 5500 grains/day max (2500 grains typical).

    IF my math is accurate, my system requirements from a "grains" point of view ONLY is perhaps only 32,000 grains (1.0 cuft). I would lean towards 40,000 grains capacity.

    All of that said, I am reluctant to introduce a 3/4" port into my home at the source. Therefore, my challenge is how to combine a relatively modest CUFT system with a 1" minimum valve.

    According to the 9100sxt spec sheet from Pentair, there is a 1" internally ported version of this valve. OhioPure APPEARS to offer this valve in it's product line but I have not yet confirmed that they are referring to an INTERNAL 1" port of simply the bypass valve size. Will confirm shortly. The TANK port size is obviously a related issue.

    Other online suppliers claim that the 9100 is solely available in 3/4" but I am not YET convinced...

    Please confirm my MAJOR assumption above about my GRAINS. This must be the starting point.

    Thanks again!
  9. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,782
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The 9100 is available with 1" meterering, the valves internal porting remains the same. The 3/4" meter has a high end limit of accuracy at 15 GPM, the 1" is much higher. Both will flow the same, the meter causes little resitance. You are in a difficult spot and their are some very good solutions coming in the near future. I have an excellent idea but it is not allowed to be sold online. Check your PM, I can get you set up with a system that will work just fine with some local dealers.
  10. Hugh Hempel

    Hugh Hempel New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Reno Nevada
    I will look for a PM. Thanks... I am quite surprised that there is not a "standard" 1" internal port offering in this industry without going to commercial... The bigger metering size is useful, but why on earth would the internal port not "be matched"...
  11. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    320
    Location:
    California
    Oops, wrong units. Your hardness is only 5.5 grains for 2500 to 5500 grains per day. You must still consider a large enough system to maintain an adequate service flow rate. A 2 cu ft unit gets you 13 GPM, which may not serve all your fixtures simultaneously but should handle real-world useage. With the hardness units error corrected I would instead carefully consider the maximum SFR you will need and add some extra capacity to size your system. You could conceivably get by with a single tank system, but with your high useage the twin will still be more efficient.

    The system requirements are determined not only by Grains Per Gallon but also by the maximum flow rate you will need with a reasonable worst-case combination of simultaneous water use.
    I would follow Dittoheads advice as he is definitely the expert on water softeners.
  12. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    320
    Location:
    California
    The Fleck 7000SXT has 1-1/4" internal ports, I believe, and is quite affordable and works very well. But it is a single tank system. Single tank systems are adequate for the vast majority of homeowners with average water useage (My family typically use 100 - 120 GPD), but your high useage may suggest consideration of a twin system.

    You aren't including irrigation in your useage, are you? Hose bibs and sprinklers should be split off before the softener. Check your wintertime water bill . . .
  13. Hugh Hempel

    Hugh Hempel New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Reno Nevada
    The numbers provided are INSIDE use only. My irrigation use is 10x (big property).

    I tend to agree with the idea of looking at the 7000sxt. Since my CUFT requirements are in the 2.0 range, I am not sure that the twins are mandatory and believe that the flow requirements might trump the efficiencies of a twin. Geez, I really wish that the twin valves were larger!

    I will wait for a response from DittoHead on alternatives.
  14. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    320
    Location:
    California
    Add up your Service Flow Rate requirements carefully. Is it occasionally possible you'll have three showers going at once, plus the washing machine, dishwasher, a faucet and a toilet? That could be 16 - 18 GPM. Obviously you don't want to size for everything turned on at once, but a reasonable maximum.
  15. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    320
    Location:
    California
    I also prefer not reducing pipe sizes anywhere. It can be argued the short length of the smaller softener valve and distributor tube is not that detrimental, but I went with the 7000SXT for my 1" plumbing anyway vs. the 3/4" Fleck 5600.
  16. Hugh Hempel

    Hugh Hempel New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Reno Nevada
    My total flow rate MAX is more than 50gpm (2 dishwasher, 2 washing machines, 3 tubs, 8 sinks, 6 toilets, 5 showers...) I am going to "guesstimate" that my "practical SFR" is in the range of 12-15gpm...
  17. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    320
    Location:
    California
    Yeah, you need a good-sized softener.
  18. Hugh Hempel

    Hugh Hempel New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Reno Nevada
    Update: I got some HACH hardness test strips and it turns out my water is pushing 15+ grains at the moment (I suspect our muni water is using wells heavily at this time). This is almost 3 times higher than the assumptions we were using above.

    I have also decided to go with the Fleck 7000 (at least) to maintain SFR. I would prefer a twin for efficiency, but see no product options for less than $2500 (Fleck 9500 twin) that will give me both the FLOW and the TWIN...

    Dittohead suggested some other valves in a PM, but they are a tad too pricey (similar to 9500) and I prefer to stick to product I can buy online (including parts).

    According to some online sellers of 7000sxt products, IF I were to wish to maintain about 20gpm flow minimum, I would need to install a 2.5 cuft system (80,000 grains). This is probably overkill for my hardness, but from other posts on this forum, I suspect that I can tune the system with low salt/ft3 and longer regen periods and be in good shape.

    ASSUMING I want to go with a 2.5 cuft system, can someone confirm the proper tank size and whether or not to use gravel underbed... The tank (13x54 Resin Tank) suggested by one online reseller for 2.5 cuft seems undersized to me (based on comments in this forum). Since the incremental cost of a slightly bigger tank is nominal, I would rather slightly oversize and allow for a gravel underbed (if recommended here) and adequate freeboard...

    I also plan to upgrade to 10% crosslink.

    Thanks a million for sticking with me on this!

    Hugh
  19. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    718
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    Have you checked into a Clack twin tank system? I sent you a PM.
  20. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    320
    Location:
    California
    Consider buying a Hach 5B test kit to more accurately measure your hardness as you may make purchase decisions based on this number. At 15 GPG and your stated useage of 466 gallons per day, that is 7K grains per day. A 2.5 cu ft system at 8 lbs/ cu ft should give you about 60K capacity, so would be reasonably efficient while having both appropriate maximum service flow rate, and reasonable minimum flow rate for a home. What would likely not be the best solution is to up the single-tank solution to 3.5 cu ft to gain enough capacity for 5 - 10 days run time between regenerations.

    If your hardness doesn't increase much past 15 GPG you should get 8 - 9 days between regenerations, which is fine if you don't have iron or manganese in your water. If hardness or water use increases significantly the single-tank 2.5 cu ft will become less efficient. The high flow twin tank system is definitely more expensive than the average system, but your application is also more demanding than average.

    Edit: one alternative to 10% crosslinked resin is a backwashing carbon filter ahead of the softener to remove chlorine or chloramine, whichever your municial supplier uses. Naturally this is more expensive than a resin upgrade, but some people prefer not to drink chlorinated water or breath it in the shower. Personal preference, I suppose.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
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