Water Softener Maintenance

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by mrmichaeljmoore, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore Member

    Messages:
    132
    Location:
    Connecticut
    What type of routine maintenance should I be doing on my water softener?
    Is there anything I should be doing to ensure the system lasts as long as it should?

    I make sure the brine tank is full (no more than 1-2 bags of potassium chloride at a time to prevent any bridging)....
    it regens when necessary (no more than 13 days between regenerations)...the system seems to be dialed in pretty good.

    My system (installed in 2006) is 48,000 grain system with an Autotrol 255 valve head and the 762 processor. It has 1.5 cubic feet of C-249 ion exchange resin.

    Thanks....just want to make sure I am not missing anything.

    mike
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Since you are using potassium chloride you'll have to clean the salt tank every year or two to get rid of the build up in the bottom. Same for any type pelletized salt.

    Keep the time set correctly.

    If you have any iron in the water you should not be going 13 days between regenerations. Also, if you used the 48K setting to get to 13 days, you are getting very poor salt efficiency.

    Depending on your salt efficiency, the 6 lbs./cuft or less will require a higher salt setting than sodium chloride will.
  3. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore Member

    Messages:
    132
    Location:
    Connecticut

    To follow up on your post, the settings on my softener are as follows:

    Hardness: 21
    Salt Amount during regen: 9 lbs/cubic ft
    Capacity: 43KG

    The 13 days is the setting for the maximum amount of time between regenerations.

    I use Nature's Own Potassium Chloride (purchased at Tractor Supply stores).

    Well water has no iron.

    What do you mean by: "Also, if you used the 48K setting to get to 13 days, you are getting very poor salt efficiency."

    thanks.
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I think you need to test the softened water for hardness each day at roughly the same time of day starting the day after a regeneration to the next one to see if you have 0 gpg every day.

    You can't get 43K with 13.5 lbs in 1.5 cuft of C-249.
  5. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore Member

    Messages:
    132
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The potassium seems to give the water a better taste than with the sodium chloride.

    I don't have an RO....
  6. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore Member

    Messages:
    132
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Haven't done it in a while, but, if I remember correctly, I've tested the water on the 13th day between regenerations and have had 0 gpg hardness......
    I use the Hach test kit.

    "You can't get 43K with 13.5 lbs in 1.5 cuft of C-249" I have no idea what you mean by that.....
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    To get 43K in 1.5 cuft of regular mesh resin you need to set the salt dose at 22 lbs.. Max K in 1.5 cuft is 45 and that requires 23 lbs of salt. Or we could say that 13.5 lbs will only regenerate about 37K. Your meter setting would be based on gallons and those gallons must be calculated for a 24 hr reserve (it is subtracted and the balance is used to set the meter gals; most Fleck valves.) on most metered/demand regenerated control valves (not the Clack WS-1) and you want a regeneration on average every 7-9 days. It's like your engine manufacturer telling you to change the oil and filter every ***x miles or every 6 months whichever comes first. And that's for normal driving and is reduced if you are off road, dusty, hot etc. etc..

    Checking your hardness at 13 days... you may have had a regeneration say 3 days before that so you are testing after only 3 days.

    IF you needed 48K between regenerations, you need a larger softener. You should size and set up a softener based on a regeneration every 7-9 days at 6 lbs/cuft or less salt use which gives you great salt efficiency.

    Another part of correctly sizing a softener is the peak demand gpm of your house based on the number of family members and bathrooms and the type of fixtures in them and how your family actually uses water. A homeowner can not come up with their peak demand on their own. The constant SFR gpm of the volume of resin you have must be higher than that peak demand gpm or you get hardness through the softener every time your flow rate exceeds the resin/softener's constant SFR.

    Most dealers use the wrong SFR, like 16 gpm@15 psi, meaning if you will suffer a 15 psi pressure loss you can run 16 gpm through the softener. Most will drop the @15 psi part. Note that does not say anything about removing all or any of the hardness in your water; just X gpm flow @ 15 psi pressure loss. I don't know of anyone that wants to lose 15 psi.
  8. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore Member

    Messages:
    132
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I cleaned out the brine tank tonight. The potassium had recrystallized under the plastic grid.

    So I cleaned it out real good and then put it back together.

    I added about 5 gallons of water to the brine tank and one bag of Potassium.
    It seems the water is a bit low. The potassium pellets are above the water level.....I thought they should be under water?
    Is 5 gallons enough? Or should I add more before I do a regeneration?
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Five gallons equates to 15 lbs but, some of the water can not be sucked out, which is usually about 3 gallons, or 9 lbs worth. Your softener probably adds the water as the last position of a regeneration, so put back in what you think you took out.
  10. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    When using potassium chloride as a regenerant, with a salt dosage of 7 lbs. or more,the brine draw volume should be increased by 5 percent if the water temperature is 68 degrees Fahrenheit, 10 percent if the water temperature is at 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Potassium chloride is much less soluble than sodium chloride. Another 27 percent should also be added because of the difference in affinity for the resin.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    His softener is already set up, so all he needs is the volume of water to add to his brine tank.

    He'd be better off with solar crystal salt. He could set his salt dose lower, he wouldn't have the build up in the tank, it would cost considerably less and he wouldn't have to clean the tank so frequently.
  12. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    If his softener brine intake is set for sodium chloride then it needs to be adjusted if he is using potassium chloride. The increase should be 27 percent more plus 5 to 10 percent depending on the water temp. Something i learned while studying my WQA material...

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    He said he is using potassium and cleaned the recrystallized build up out of the tank and wants to know how much water to put back in the salt tank.

    If he wants to prevent the build up, he can put the salt tank on a piece of wood to get it off the cold floor. And the 27% is IF the salt dose is less than 6 lbs/cuft. It didn't cost me anything to learn that.
  14. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Gary, you might want to spend some money. In the Water Treatment Answers service guide, written by David M. Bauman who is the technical editor for Water Technology Magazine, it says softeners using 7 lbs. or more requires an increase of dosage by 27 percent when using potassium chloride. Another 5 to 10 percent depending on brine water temperature.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yeah I've been reading him for many years but have you ever heard the saying, don't believe everything you read; first hand experience is always best.
  16. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I think i will go with his advice on the dosage adjustments when using potassium chloride. Rather have it work right than to experience hardness leakage. It makes total sense.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
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