Water Softener - Help with Proper System Selection

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by badsha, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. badsha

    badsha New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Southern California
    Hello,

    I decided to put in a whole house carbon filter + water softener system for my home. I am putting it outside, next to my water heater. Plumbing loop has already been installed and outside house hose bibs have been plumbed for raw water only. I also measured GPM from my tub and filled a 5 gallon bucket and calculated 1.22GPM (49 secs to fill 5 gallon bucket).

    I have done some research and have spoken to more than a few water treatment companies. I am looking at either US Water Systems Fusion NLT Hybrid OR Clack WS1 System (details below). Do I really need a 53000 grain (15 GPM unit)? I was told it would be more efficient due to less regenerations and there would be less strain on the system. Not sure how true this is.

    I am having a hard time choosing a carbon + water softener system. Please help.

    20140621_100319.jpg




    STATS

    Water pressure: 75-80psi (tested from spigot front/back of the house)

    2 adults and 1 child in the home

    1.5 baths: 1 Shower, 1 Handheld body sprayer, 1 Tub, 2 Toilets, 2 Faucets.

    Kitchen - Dishwasher, Faucet, Refrigerator water dispenser/ice maker

    Laundry - Washer

    City Water

    Grains of hardness - 16-17 grains per gallon (gpg)
    pH - 6.5
    Iron - no detectable levels
    Chlorine - NA, water company uses Chloramines
    TDS: 308 ppm

    My water company's 2013 water quality report:

    Water Source for my area in Southern California

    Water delivered to customers in the Southwest System is a blend of groundwater pumped from the West and Central Coast Groundwater Basins and imported water from the Colorado River Aqueduct and the State Water Project (imported and distributed by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California).

    GSW report 2013_Page_2.jpg GSW report 2013_Page_3.jpg

    WHOLE HOUSE CARBON + WATER SOFTENER SYSTEMS

    OPWC WS1 VALVE.....Meter On Demand Control Valve Water Softener 48000 Grain Capacity

    10x54 Vortech resin tank (Almond)

    1.5 cubic feet of resin

    Brine Tank Size: 15x17x36 Rect Brine Tank OR 18 X 33 ROUND

    Softening Resin (1.5 cuft): NSF Approved High Capacity Cation 10% Crosslink Softening Resin (USA)

    ****************************************************************************************************

    OPWC WS1 VALVE........AUTO BACKWASH CARBON 1.5 CU/FT

    10x54 Vortech resin tank (Almond)
    1.5 cubic feet of resin

    OR

    http://www.uswatersystems.com/systems/water-softener-system/fusion-nlt-hybrid-metered-water-softener.html

    The Carbon tank is 8GPM and the Water Softener is 15GPM 53000 Grain system. Not sure if the Carbon tank at 8GPM will be a bottle neck.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,860
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Definitely the Clack, the "Fusion" is a Canature (China) valve based system. Not one that I would promote or recommend.

    The flow rates are service rates, not actual flow. Considering your house, you will do fine with the Clack system.
  3. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,415
    Location:
    IL
    You are putting this outside? You must be in the part of Illinois that does not seriously freeze. :) Oh, wait: Water Source for my area in Southern California." Got ya.

    If it's going outdoors, I would avoid an almond color tank. That might be natural color, and could let more sunlight in to help grow algae than a painted tank would.
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,860
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Personally, I prefer a real stainless steel tank jacket if they are going outside, cheap high quality protection. Also, don't forget the environmental cover for the Clack valve.
  5. badsha

    badsha New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Southern California
    US Water Systems did mention Canature and the resin is also supplied by Resintech, made in China. The Fusion Hybrid doesnt have real stainless steel jacket? The system should be cheaper if made in China. Clack and Fleck are made in the US I believe. What about Fleck valves? I checked out your website and saw The Hybrid CS system and 5800XTR2. I was thinking of putting a shed over the entire system.
  6. badsha

    badsha New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Southern California
    Just updated my location. Yeah I wanted a black or blue tank. Are resin tanks usually made of fiberglass and then covered with a jacket?
  7. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,860
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Correct. The equipment should be a lot cheaper. Unfortunately some companies outsource equipment to the lowest bidder and then raise the price. Kind of a double dip in my opinion. I am not sure about their tank jackets. A couple of companies ake real thin s.s. jackets overseas, we have had major corrosion issues with these ultra low grade cheap s.s. jackets. I prefer the USA made 304 brushed s.s. tak jackets. They may cost a few dollars more but they dont rust out like the cheap ones do. I am very pleased with both Fleck and Clack products, both are top of the line products, and will last for decades if taken care of properly. Protecting the equipment from the elements is always preferred though some systems are rated for exposure.
  8. badsha

    badsha New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Southern California
    Just an update. I went with a Clack WS1 valve on my water softener. The system is 1.5 cu. ft., 48000 grain, 10% cross linked resin with gravel bed. The Carbon filter is metered 1.5 cu ft. of GAC in a separate tank. Each tank has a stainless steel jacket. Brine tank is 18x33.

    I also had a small concrete raised foundation built. Any thoughts on an enclosure? What salt bags should I use?

    Morton Salt - White Crystal 40lb. Water Softener Salt

    Diamond Crystal Salt

    Is there better quality Solar Salt I can buy? I checked Lowes, Home Depot & Orchards, they all sell the same brand. Consumers were complaining about brown rocks in the bags.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,415
    Location:
    IL
    You might read http://www.diamondcrystalsalt.com/Water-Softening/FAQs/FAQs.aspx "Should I use pellets or solar salt?" I use http://www.mortonsalt.com/for-your-...ing-salts/68/morton-system-saver-two-pellets/ It is good quality and economical to me.

    I don't totally cover my water with salt. Instead I slope the fill leaving some water visible. I started that after cleaning about 100 pounds (could have been more) of impacted dirty salt out of the old brine tank, and discarding the salt.

    You can set your softener to be more salt-efficient. Read up.

    Clack allows dealers to sell parts locally. They do not permit sales by mail out of their area, if I understand correctly. Fortunately there is a nice site, which I presume is gray market, that sells Clack parts. Gray market is not illegal; it just sources its stock not directly from Clack.
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,860
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Any salt will do you just fine (Except for table salt). Some solar salts are extremely pure, in some areas the solar salt is nasty. Pellets work fine, you will pay a slightly higher price for them in most areas. Also be sure to look at the pounds per bag, not just the price. Most solar salt is sold in 50 pound bags, pellets are usually sold in 40 pound bags.

    Please don't jump all over this thread telling me that they sell 40 pound solar or 50 pound pellet bags in your local store... I know, it is simply a generalization and something to consider when looking at the price.

    If the solar salt in your area is unusually dirty, then get the pellets.
  11. badsha

    badsha New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Southern California
    Ill check out ACE Hardware. Some people push the pellets, others swear by the solar salt. Looks like I have 40lb bags available.

    Is this Diamond Crystal Salt Red-Out for iron removal hype?
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  12. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,860
    Location:
    Ontario California
    If you have iron and are using the softener for iron removal, it helps.
  13. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,227
    Location:
    Maine
    I'm a pellet pusher lol
  14. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,415
    Location:
    IL
    I have seen salt evaporation flats on San Fransisco Bay. I first thought they were sewage settling ponds. I suspect that since California produces solar salt, that could tend to make it cheaper there. Here solar 40 pound bags would cost me 13.42% more than the same size and brand of pellets.

    A 25 pound block would cost me 41.27% more per pound than pellets, and a 50 pound block would be 1.97% less per pound than pellets. Pellets for me. If I did not have the iron and sulfur filter before the softener, I would probably opt for the Morton Rust Remover Water Softening Pellets at a 41.27% premium, but maybe I would use the regular pellets plus Iron Out... The special pellets would be handier.

    Attached Files:

  15. badsha

    badsha New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Southern California
    Ordered 10 bags of Diamond Crystal Bright & Soft Pellets

    10 bags of Iron Fighter Diamond Crystal Pellets would cost $85
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  16. badsha

    badsha New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Southern California
    Any suggestions on an enclosure for my water softener + carbon tank?

    2 Tanks: Each tank is 10" diameter x 54" H

    Brine Tank: 18" diameter x 33" H

    Actual Area to work with: 64"W x 31 Depth

    THOUGHTS:

    I think it would be ideal to have some sort of roof top that angles downward so that you when it rains, it would minimize any moisture or rain to seek into the shed and go through any openings that are not fully covered. Cover would have to be bit taller so you can open it from the front, rather from the top.
    Not sure what material, may be wood, but exposure to sun and would rot it? Stucco it maybe?
  17. badsha

    badsha New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Southern California
    System Installed. Enclosure is next step.

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  18. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,860
    Location:
    Ontario California
    A simple enclosure would be ideal. Even the old tin roof type would be enough. You have the outdoor covers on the valves which will help minimize long term damage to the controls. Thanks for using an "in use wet location" electrical cover, very few people do that.
  19. badsha

    badsha New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Southern California
    Systems up and running. Tested again with Hach 5B, no hard water detected. I guess nothing else to do maintenance wise.

    Settings for Water Softener:

    36000 grains
    12lbs salt
    2am regen time
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