Water Softener settings check-up....

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by mrmichaeljmoore, May 14, 2013.

  1. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore Member

    I just wanted to run my softerner settings by everyone on the forum...I haven't looked at them in a while and wanted to make sure everything is in line....
    Plus, I was recently trying to calculate how much salt I was using, and therefore calculate how much it was costing me for salt on an annual basis.

    So, here are my softener settings.

    Softener unit:
    Autotrol 255 valve with a 762 processor
    1.5 cubic feet of C-249 ion exchange resin

    Hardness set at: 20
    Salt: 18 lbs/ft3
    Capacity: 48 KG
    Regeneration calendar override: Every 8 days

    To try to gauge how much salt I was using, I recently made sure the brine tank had no salt showing on top of the grid.
    So, I added one 50# bag of salt to the brine tank. After two (2) regenerations spanning about 2 weeks, there was no salt remaining on top of the grid.
    So, based on the calculation that the calendar override regeneration occurs every 8 days (I never reach the capacity before the calendar override kicks in): 365 days in year/8 = approximately 45 regernerations per year.
    If I get 2 regenerations per 50# bag, that means I would use approximately 23 50# bags of salt.
    23 bags @ $6.00 per 50# bag = $138.00.

    Does my math make sense? And do the numbers for the softener settings seem appropriate for my water hardness and softener?

    And I have checked hardness using my Hach 5b kit lately....I consistenly measure at 0 gpg hard. So the softener is softening. Just wanted to make sure it is being as efficient as possible.

    thanks for the help.
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Ontario California
    Your settings are not efficient in the slightest. You need to do some adjusting. There is no reason to run the softener at that high of a salt setting. Maximum salt usage setting for a residential application is 8 or maybe 9 pounds per cu. ft. According to you numbers, you are using twice as much salt as you should be.

    Salt should be at 6# per Cu. ft, total of 9 pounds per regeneration, and the capacity should be set at 30K. Day override does not matter, but it is typically set at 14-30 days.

    How many people in your house? What is the raw water hardness (use the Hach 5b).

    Does the system feed anything it shouldnt? Pool, irrigation, etc, that would cause excessive salt usage. Is this for a strictly residential application or is there another use (home business etc.)?
  3. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore Member

    To answer your questions:
    Household: 2 adults, 2 children
    Raw water hardness: 20-22 (WELL WATER)
    Residential usage with no additonal irrigation or swimming pool. Just faucets, laundry, etc.

    I also have a sediment filter prior to the water softener and a carbon filter after the water softener.

    As far as the capacity setting....Since this unit is a 48,000 grain unit and you want me to adjust it to a 30,000 grain unit, are you saying I "over-bought" when I purchased a 48,000 grain unit?

    And, as far as the calendar override, my understanding was the unit should not go beyond 10 days before regenerating, beacuse anythin glonger than 10 could negatively impact the resin? You are saying I can go up to 30 days without regenerating? Interesting....


  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Ontario California
    The "48,000" grain capacity is based on regenerating the unit with 18# per cu. ft.

    18# per cf is extremely wasteful and inefficient. You will only get about 1777 grains removal per pound of salt used for regeneration at that setting.
    6# is common, and will increase your efficiency to 3333 grains removal per pound of salt used for regeneration.

    Personally, I use 8# per Cu. Ft. which gives me 3000 grains per pound of salt.

    A 48,000 grain system is usually operated at 30,000 grains actual capacity in order to maintain some efficiency.

    Day over-ride is a highly mis-understood concept. The old school of thought was regular and frequent regenerations are necessary, and this still exists in some countried codes from decades ago. In all reality, it does not matter so long as water is flowing through the resin on a regular basis. The most obvious example is portable exchange tanks. these are regularly used in applications that only require annual, or semi annual changeouts, with no damage to the resin and no negative affect on the water quality. We do not treat these tanks any differently than we do tanks that are exchanged weekly. My own system only regenerates every 3-4 weeks and has done so for over a decade. This is very common in residential applications where a large house, a few people, but very low hardness exists. Systems may only regenerate every month or less. This is not a problem, never has been a problem, and will continue to be a non-issue.

    The day over-ride is important for applications where no water flow is a problem. A vacation home etc. Consider that the twin alternating 9000, 9100, Kineticos, etc. and electromechanical valves (the Fleck 5600 is the best selling control valve in the history of automated softenening) do not incorporate any type of over-ride, why was this not a major issue for some of the most popular, reliable, and highest quality softeners developed in the past 40 years?

    Every 30 days is fine.
  5. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore Member


    I changed the settings to the following:

    Salt 7# per cubic foot. (I chose 7 because in one post you said I should do 6# and then you said you personally do 8#, so I figured I'd go in the middle.....that ok?).
    This automatically changed the capacity of the softener to 38KG.

    Look good?

    It is scheduled to do a regeneration tonight...

    Thank you for your help.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Most residential well water needs to be regenerated more frequently than most city water.

    Older softeners usually were smaller than today's softeners because old houses had 1/2" plumbing and normally 1-1.5 bathrooms where today the plumbing is 3/4 or 1" and there are 2.5-3.5 bathrooms and a larger tub than in older houses. Today it is common to have 2-3 showers running at the same time and maybe a load of laundry running and toilets flushing. So larger units are needed. Old softeners usually were 6 or 7 day/clock timer versions and regenerated every 1, 2, 3, 6 or 7 days. Or with a 12 day timer, every 2, 3, 4, 6, or 12 days but usually the volume of resin was too small for more than 6 days. When meters came out the size of the softener was usually the same and they regenerated on gallons when required rather than a specific number of days so they saved salt and water with the same size softener. Old = 1950s into the 1970s or 80s.
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