Water Softener Settings & Salt/Brine Grid Question.

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by John5, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. John5

    John5 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,911
    Location:
    Ontario California
    That is a great old article. It has a few minor items that some people would disagree with, but the article was written with generaliztions, not absolutes. So the arguments people have made to the article are usually based on unusual application methods, not on the 95% of common applications. The only way to avoid these people who are always looking to argue, but refuse to write articles themselves would be to write a book on the subject with every possible scenario... not really an article anymore.

    Try 4 pounds of salt, but remember that you wont get the actual hardness leakage for several regenerations, and the leakage increases when the system nears regeneration. If you are happy with the water at 4 pounds, then keep it there. If you want it a bit softer, bump it up to 6 pounds, you will lose very little efficiency.
  3. John5

    John5 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I take it that I should I also up the capacity, like to 20K if I decide to use 6 pounds? Or 15K with 4 pounds?

  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,911
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Correct, the capacity is based on the salt usage. As you can see, the efficiency goes down, but the quality goes up with higher brining levels. Up to 6-8 pounds is the most popular to balance the efficiency and quality.
  5. ByteMe

    ByteMe New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Midland Texas
    Dittohead,

    I understand the leakage vs amount of salt used for regeneration. But I have the SST60 resin that leakage should be about 4 times less than you state!

    link; http://www.caitechnologies.com/images/PDFs/specs/SST60.pdf : see figure 6 and the chart below.

    It seems to me that you are taking a very conservative stance on this (more about this in a new thread soon).
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I've read all of what has been said here about regenerating resin except for the resin manufactures saying it was OK to go 30 days or even 6 months between regenerations as has been claimed here.

    Fact, all city water and private well water has turbidity in it; some city waters have more than private wells, mostly due to the condition and type of their water distribution lines and their age.

    Turbidity ( and bacteria etc.) buildup in a softener causes a loss of capacity and can cause a resin replacement long before it would have to be replaced if it had been regenerated more frequently. Like every 7-9 days. Kinda like an engine lasting longer the more frequently the oil is changed.

    To help you understand the operation of your softener. Compare it to you going to fill up the fuel tank in your vehicle.

    Then you drive X miles or X number of days and refill the fuel tank again. It is a 20 gallon tank, it takes 12 gallons to refill it the first time. You can calculate fuel mileage by dividing the miles driven by the gallons needed to refill the tank.

    What happened to the other 8 gallons that were still in the tank when you refilled? .... your new softener starts out with 2.0 cuft of fully regenerated new resin = 64K of capacity... You use 13k in say 8 days and have the equivalent of another full day's reserve plus the balance of 64 - 13 = 51K. How many K do you have to regenerate to get full capacity, full capacity will be 60k?

    The max is 60k and that is due to the resin being used and you'll not be able to regenerate it to 64k unless you use more than 15 lbs of salt/cuft, and even then it is questionable.

    Now 60k takes 30 lbs of salt per regeneration. Looking at salt efficiency you calculate it the same as fuel mileage, 60,000/30= 2000 grains per lb of salt used but... if you only used 13,000 and want a salt efficiency of say 3333 grains per lb, you use 3.9 lbs (round to 4 lbs) per regeneration, that is not per cuft. AND the remaining 60,000 - 13,000 = 47,000 (or 47k), is still in the tank. The same as the 8 gallons of fuel in is your vehicle.

    You program the K of capacity for say an 8 day service run plus the reserve and then the salt dose that is required to regenerate that K of capacity and set the calendar override for day 8 or a couple days longer.

    The WQA says that a softener is working just fine as long as there is no more than 1 gpg (17.1 ppm or mg/l) of hardness in the softened water. I have sold softeners programed this way for many years without customer complaints or problems.

    More frequent regeneration prevents resin problems in the future.
  7. MagKarl

    MagKarl New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Washington
    Thank you DH for taking the time to post so much useful information. I'm in the same boat as these guys, I sweat the details. I'm an engineer, it's not my fault, I was just born this way.

    When discussing resin life, is there a rule of thumb such as a general number of cycles the resin is good for?

    I am treating about 1ppm iron, so I'm regenerating on a 7 day schedule. I'm running 6lbs/cf but finding that my family doesn't use as much water as I thought we would. I could go probably 9 or 10 days from a capacity standpoint. I can't decide whether to drop the salt or stay as is with the logic that treating iron means weekly regens and higher salt for good resin life. The salt $$ difference is pretty insignificant but quantifiable, the resin life is not.
  8. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,271
    Location:
    Maine
    With 1ppm Iron you should keep the programming you are using. Salt efficiency (and water) is all very well and good but in actual dollar savings the diffenence isn't enough to worry about except for cronic penny pinchers.
  9. ByteMe

    ByteMe New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Midland Texas

    Like you, I am pretty much the same way... and I find this technology interesting. I wish I could find more data to quantify an expected resin life. As is, I went with the SST60 resin to hopefully get a long resin life. The side effect being the SST60 specified data provided by Purolite suggests it is better all around by 15%-20%.
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,911
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The SST60 resin is approximately double the cost of a high grade 10% crosslink resin. The lower leakage is beneficial for some commercial applications, but there is still a lot more to the story. Too much to go into here. If you can afford it, then it is a good resin. Will it pay for itself in salt savings? Not likely, sot of like a hybrid car. The ROI is so far out that it is difficult to justify. We only have a few customers that use it, we sell thousands of cubic feet of standard resin to the few feet of SST.

    I would have used it in my own system, but... I was too cheap. :)
  11. ByteMe

    ByteMe New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Midland Texas
    AH-HA! The truth comes out!

    I am now thinking that by the time the SST60 resin pays for itself, there will be another resin that is that 10%-20% better that I want. Such is life.
  12. John5

    John5 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Thank you Gary, that is a very good explanation of capacity vs actual usage. Also thank you for keeping your web site up, it is extremely helpful and useful for newbies, it helped me greatly with the size selection of my softener and helped me avoid costly mistakes!


  13. John5

    John5 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Like most people I like to use things in the most efficient manner and in my case it's not that I'm a penny pincher but I'm lazy and I don't want to have to lug an extra forty pound bag of salt down the basement, lol... no I'm not really lazy, but I still want to lug as few bags of salt as possible from the store to the house. Ok, maybe I am a bit lazy...


    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  14. John5

    John5 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Thanks a lot to everyone who posted here, this is a great site with lots of good help. I sure like my new softener, the dishes coming out of the dishwasher are sparkling! And there are almost no water spots in the stainless steel kitchen sink. I will also now be able to wash my new shiny black truck without having it end up in a disaster full of water spots! The only complaint is that I'm not all that fussy using the softened water for the coffee pot, the hard water makes better tasting coffee, I may bypass the kitchen cold water for drinking & coffee. Once again, thanks to all for the great help!
  15. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,271
    Location:
    Maine
    I'm glad it's working for you. Remember that your softener is an appliance just like any appliance in your house. You don't want to be wed to the damn thing, you just want it to do it's job with the least amount of interference or maintenance. I get that, carrying bags of salt thing. I'm in the middle of the heating season carrying 40lb bags of pellets into the house.
  16. John5

    John5 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Wood pellets... that's my next thing, I want to set up a pellet stove for backup heat. I moved about 3 years ago, my old old house was pretty well 100% wood heat, my new house is 100% electric, 3 stories and has no chimney and to place a chimney in a 3 story house that had not provided for one would be a major headache plus I don't really want to start buying and stacking wood again (even though nothing beats wood heat for comfort!). In these parts it gets pretty cold in the winter and if a major electrical outage were to happen I would be in a fine pickle. I think that a backup pellet stove running off a small generator is probably my best option. But now we digress...

  17. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,271
    Location:
    Maine
    Get a Harman
  18. John5

    John5 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Thanks for the tip. I had even thought of putting a coal stove... the big problem with that here in eastern Canada the anthracite comes from the States, dealers in Canada charge outrageous prices and importing it directly means buying a five years supply (to get reasonable price with shipping).

  19. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You're welcome John and thanks for the kind words and I'm glad it helped you.

    I've kept the web site up because there are 3,000-4,000 unique/first time visitors each month. Plus I like to think it pisses Clack off, even if it doesn't.
  20. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,734
    Location:
    Central Florida
    That's reason enough :).
Similar Threads: Water Softener
Forum Title Date
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Kenmore Water Softener white 1" Disk Yesterday at 3:43 AM
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Could I get some help identifying my water softener? Monday at 11:22 AM
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Typical Water Softener Thread Nov 12, 2014
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r water softener brine valve Nov 11, 2014
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Can you set a water softener to deliver a specific water hardness? Nov 6, 2014

Share This Page