Water Softener Advice

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by gojoe3, May 24, 2012.

  1. gojoe3

    gojoe3 New Member

    Messages:
    68
    First of all, a big "thank you" to all the Pros out there sharing their time to provide information from their knowledge and experience.


    I am trying to decide on the best size water softening system for our home. There are 3 people using approximately 200 gpd, 3.5 baths, 7.5 gpg compensated hardness, there is the potential for the peak flow rate to reach the 9 to 12 gpm range.

    I have been researching how to best determine what size unit to purchase and am still in a quandary and need to replace our system fairly soon. From my recent research, I understand that for our consumption pattern and our well water condition, if I get a 1.0 cu ft unit using a Fleck 5600SXT and set it to use 6 lbs of salt, it will regenerate approximately once a week. This would seem to be an efficient use of salt and would be good for the resin's performance and maintenance. I would need to accept that if we occasionally exceeded the stated peak or maximum service flow rate of the resin, that hardness will break through. From what I understand, 1.0 cu ft of 8% crosslink resin can handle a maximum service flow rate of 9 gpm. If I wanted to get a higher max service flow rate of 12 gpm, I would use 1.5 cu ft of resin, and using a 6 lb salt setting would use 9 lbs of salt per regen but this would not regen within the optimal timeframe for a healthy resin bed and could lead to channeling. So, I assume I would need to set the override on the Fleck to regen every 7 to 8 days and I would be using 9 lbs of salt per week instead of 6 lbs (for the 1.0 cu ft unit) in order to get a higher service flow rate thus potentially avoiding hardness breakthrough. I would be using more salt and more water to regen the 1.5 cu ft unit. This seems like it would not be an efficient use of salt or water to get a higher max service flow rate but may be necessary to maintain the resin bed properly and to potentially avoid hardness breakthrough.

    Sorting through all the information and opinions on the internet and from local water conditioning professionals to come up with an answer to the question "what salt setting should be used if I want to regen every 8 days and use salt efficiently and effectively for a 1.0 cu ft unit?
    For a 1.25 cu ft unit?
    For a 1.5 cu ft unit?
    consuming 1400 gallons of water in 7 days with a compensated hardness of 7.5 gpg?" has been a real challenge.

    I'm considreing going with a 1.0 cu ft system using SST-60 resin (for its claimed potential higher flow rate capabilities and salt efficiency), set to regen using "X" amount of salt ((to be determined)(any suggestions)) with the override set for every 8 days. I understand that if I exceed the max SFR of "X" (7 gpm? 9 gpm? still researching) that hardness will breakthrough.

    I had a comprehensive water test from a certified independent lab done for the water from the well and one for after the existing softener, a week ago. The compensated hardness number I used to estimate what size system I would need is 7.5 gpg (6.5 gpg hardness + 1.0 for .01 mg/L iron). Manganese = ND. The pH is 6.7. I understand that the pH is a bit low but will probably not add a neutralizer at this time. I rounded the 7.5 gpg off to 8 and the water consumption is rounded off to 70 gpd per person. I calculated that 210 gpd X 8 gpg X 8 (7+1 for reserve)days between regenerating = 13,440 grains to be removed. I rounded this off to 14,000 to estimate that I would need 1.0 cu ft of resin to remove the hardness from our water. The problem is that 1.0 cu ft of resin may not be able to remove the hardness when our maximum flow rate exceeds the resin's capacity. So, I would like to know if a 1.25 cu ft system or even a 1.5 cu ft system would be more appropriate.

    I was guessing that using SST-60 with a less than optimum sized system would support higher flow rates with less salt and water consumed for regenerating, even though iron is not a concern. Is iron a concern at .01 mg/L? I will be installing the system myself and the SST-60 is available locally for approximately $30 per cu ft more than standard 8% crosslinked resin.

    I may consider adding an acid neutralizer but the space is really tight. It is literally a water closet in a finished basement which contains the well pressure tank and the existing cabinet style softener. I will already be using more of the existing space for the two tank softener. I understand that if I install a neutralizer now, or in the future, that it will add some hardness (how much?) and that I will need to size the softener appropriately.

    How would I go about correctly sizing the pH neutralizer? Would one use a time clock based control valve and a 10x54 tank with a dome hole? Calcite only or a blend with corosex, and quantity of each?
    Any guesses as to the approximate rise in hardness I can expect?

    Will I need to use Iron Out or similar for .01 mg/L?

    Can .01 mg/L of iron potentially foul the resin bed if set up for an 8 day regen?
    Does SST-60 work better in a larger quantity?

    Thank you for your assistance.
  2. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,052
    Location:
    Maine
    Since you have concerns about the possiblility of occasionally exceeding the SFR using a 1.0cu/ft softener I think you may want to go with a 1.5cu/ft unit. SST-60 is good stuff but probably overkill and a needless extra expense. Iron is low enough as to not be of any concern either though you will probably want to Iron-Out the brine tank a couple times a year. For grins take a look at the Fleck 7000SXT. It supports higher flow rates and is programmable to give you the salt and water efficiencies you want. You will size the PH neutralizer based on flow and the wters PH which I don't see in your post above. Again the PH neutralizer will raise your hardness so that's another reason to upsize the softener to a 1.5 cu/ft.

    I posted this on another thread but it has a lot of the information you are looking for and is worth the read.

    http://www.watertreatmentguide.com/a..._softening.htm
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  3. gojoe3

    gojoe3 New Member

    Messages:
    68
    Tom Sawyer,

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I was going to use the SST-60 if I went with the 1.0 cu ft unit for better potential flow rates and because I have some iron.

    I copied this (below) from my previous post because I can't seem to get an answer :

    "Sorting through all the information and opinions on the internet and from local water conditioning professionals to come up with an answer to the question "what salt setting should be used if I want to regen every 8 days and use salt efficiently and effectively for a 1.0 cu ft unit?

    For a 1.25 cu ft unit?

    For a 1.5 cu ft unit?

    based on consuming 1400 gallons of water in 7 days with a compensated hardness of 7.5 gpg?"

    The pH is 6.7

    Thanks for suggesting the 7000SXT, I have previously looked at it, but for now I prefer the 5600SXT for maintenance reasons. I'm pretty certain it is also programmable and will give me the salt and water efficiencies I program it for. I'll look at the opinions on 7000SXT again though, just in case I missed something.

    "Again the PH neutralizer will raise your hardness so that's another reason to upsize the softener to a 1.5 cu/ft."

    That's my line of thought also, so that if/when I add an AN filter, I can compensate for the additional hardness with more capacity. I'm just concerned whether the lower salt dose needed for the higher capacity unit will extend my regens out too long or that I'll be using too little salt and that I will compromise the resin's life or functionality.

    I'm not certain if I really need an AN filter. I understand the effects that a pH lower than 7.0 can have on things like our copper pipes, but we have not seen any signs of blue/green staining on or in our fixtures. Would minimal amounts of copper in our drinking water be a concern? Or, would the AN filter be used to provide better protection of the copper pipes and heating systems like the boiler and a "soon to be installed"
    indirect fired water heater.
  4. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    So why don't you buy the 1.5 to get the "possible" flow rate needed, but set it for a 1 CF for the efficient system you want?
  5. gojoe3

    gojoe3 New Member

    Messages:
    68
    mialynette2003,

    Thanks for the reply.

    Sounds good!

    How would I do that?

    Sorry to copy and paste again :

    "Sorting through all the information and opinions on the internet and from local water conditioning professionals to come up with an answer to the question "what salt setting should be used if I want to regen every 8 days and use salt efficiently and effectively

    For a 1.5 cu ft unit?

    based on consuming 1400 gallons of water in 7 days with a compensated hardness of 7.5 gpg?"
  6. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Alaska
    1.5 CU FT - in 8 days, with hardness of 7.5 and 1400 gals/week, you would need to remove 12,000 grains of hardness. Add 1500 more for a 1-day reserve, and you would regen approximately 13,500 worst case.

    BUT... even using 4 lbs of salt per cu ft, you will be able to have 24,000 grains in the resin bed, so you are never going to use about 10,000 grains per regen. You would regen way more often than needed, and use about 274# of salt per year.

    However, if you went with what the resin can handle (24,000 grains), you would regen every 14-15 days, and use about 146# of salt per year. At current salt prices of about $4 per bag, you'd save $13 per year in salt using the resin more efficiently.
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