Water softener sizing and system selection?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Killer95Stang, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. Killer95Stang

    Killer95Stang Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Southern CA
    Hello, I've been utilizing this site for various plumbing projects around the house and now its time to take care of my water softening, filtering needs. Thanks in advance...

    I recently re-piped my home with 1" copper from my meter to the drop at the rear of the house where it reduces to 3/4" before the tankless water heater to feed the entire system.

    San Dimas, CA on city water (home of Bill & Ted)

    Currently just my wife and myself with hope of kids in near future, one to two showers each per day. I'm basing the system on 75 gallons used per person per day.

    Home Spec's:

    -3 bedroom, 2 full baths
    -2 showers with almost no use of the tubs no body sprays.
    -dishwasher and washing machine

    70 PSI pressure measured at house bib at house shutoff valve.

    Water measurements from water company
    *Hardness 3.5-21 measured with 12g/gal average, I measured 19-20g/gal from 3 home tests using Hach 5-B
    *Magnesium 7.4-34mg/L measured with 20mg/L average
    *pH 7.6-8.8 measured with 7.9pH average
    *TDS 190-550mg/L with 370mg/L average
    *Chlorine 1.6mg/L average
    *Iron 0.0 detected

    online calculators suggest that I use a 32k grain system

    I plan on purchased a Fleck 5600SXT, sticking with just the basics in resin to keep it simple

    I was thinking of using an R/O for drinking water at the kitchen sink, but not sure if it is needed. Also, the way everything is plumbed, I would be sending softened water to the refrigerator which only has a simple filter. Do I need to re-route plumbing to change this?

    Thanks... Please let me know what other info is needed, so I can pick the right piece of equipment.
  2. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    Maine
    I usually use 60 gpd per person but if you plan on having a kid or two 75 should take up the slack. 32K is big enough for the two of you with some extra capacity so yea, go with it. If you plan on having a whole lot of kids you might want to go with a 48K but for now, that's overkill. The 5600SXT is a fine piece of equipment and a good choice also and it's always a good idea to make ice with softened water because softened water won't plug up all the little holes and passages on your ice maker. Party on Dude
  3. Killer95Stang

    Killer95Stang Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Southern CA
    Thanks for the reply...

    Any advantage to going with a 7000SXT over the 5600SXT for such a basic install? I do like the fact that the 7000SXT will give me less pressure drop across the valve head, but not sure if its even something to worry about. Also, does anyone know if their is a 90 degree yoke adapter available for the 7000SXT, like the one they make for the 5600SXT? My installation will be a pretty tight fit and keeping the tank as close to the wall as possible would be helpful.

    adapter for 5600SXT
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thanks again...
  4. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    Maine
    The 7000 will give you higher flow rates but I don't see where you really need that. It is a larger valve and longer valve so it stands the tank further from the wall.
  5. Killer95Stang

    Killer95Stang Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Southern CA
    Thanks again...

    Looks like I'll just order the 5600SXT and call it a day... I'll start working out the calculations for the settings once I get the unit. Funny thing about adding this water softener. I grew up with softeners, so I love them. My wife on the other hand has been fighting tooth and nail for me not to install one. Her reasoning.. she does not like the slimy feel of the softened water. Since I've been working extra overtime, just to buy the nicer fixtures during my bathrooms remodel, I need to keep them looking nice, so the softener is a must. Also, as part of the final remodeling of the house, we are building an in ground swimming pool... of course the wife had a list of "Musts" when building the pool, which of course included that the pool be a salt water pool... go figure!! I'm just glad I piped in a water softener loop when I did the copper re-pipe to make the install easy.
  6. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    Maine
    To be honest, I don't like soft water either. I have an iron filter and UV in my house and the water is hard enough that a softener would probably be a good idea but I just don't like the feel of soft water nor what it does to the taste of the water and I like putting salt in the tank even less.
  7. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,895
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Soft water is an aquired feel. I compare it to having braces. When you get your braces removed from your teeth, the teeth feel slimy. They are not, it is a simple brain re-training that takes a few weeks. People who only use soft water inermittently tend to not like it. When they have it for a couple months, they rarely want to go back. It is also very important to cut your soap usage dramatically. In the shower, in the washing machine, dish washer, etc. This will lessen the "slimy feel" For marketing purposes, we use the word "Silky" when we are promoting softeners, and we use the word "slimy" when we are promoting alternatives to traditional softeners.

    The 7000 is available with 90 degree adapters, Fleck just updated it to a kit form that includes 2 pieces at a slightly lower price. Either way, you will be fine. The 7000 is a very modern valve, but the 5600SXT is a good old reliable valve as well.

    You can add a bleeder line between the inlet and outlet, a simple needle valve will work, but I dont recommend it. Your wife will learn to like the soft water in a few months. You will know this a couple years from now when you forget to put salt in the system and you get hard water and your wife starts complaining that the water is bad. :)
  8. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,731
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Well, no problem finding a place to dump your softener backwash :). But I doubt you've got a septic tank to worry about.

    After using softened water for a while, I miss it every time I travel and take a shower in un-softened water. I'm going to start taking my hardness kit with me to see just how hard "foreign" water is. Most women complain mightily that their shampoo doesn't lather and thus their hair doesn't get clean. When we have houseguests the ladies often comment that they love the shower, 'cause their hair gets so clean. If she continues to b... er, gripe about the soft water, build a double shower and plumb one side to hard water.
  9. Killer95Stang

    Killer95Stang Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Southern CA
    Awesome Idea... I'll run the unsoftened garden hose through the window into the shower with a sprinkler attached. I think she'll get the hint... lol..
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,895
    Location:
    Ontario California
    I will tell you from first hand experience. My wife is a woman of color (Black) and she would go to the salon once a week to get her hair done at about $80 a week. That was before she learned about soft water, now she goes every couple of months but not so much for her hair, but to visit her freinds and have a girls night out. She does her own hair now. Alternative water conditioning methods were not acceptable, Hydro Magnetic, EZ water, Anti scale medias, etc, not one of them would allow her to wash her own hair like soft water does. I try to do water systems testing in a laboratory environment, but sometimes, the test results just dont say as much as a wife does.
  11. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    Maine
    My wife's too busy doing the laundry, cleaning the house, making dinner, changing the oil in the snowblower and waxing the shovels to worry about her hair. :cool:
  12. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,731
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I wonder if salons soften their water, or if they could be talked into it by a smooth softener salesperson?
  13. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,895
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Yes and yes. Many hair salons soften their water, especially the high end ones. It is a relatively easy sale, they only need a small unit, pre-feed the water heater and run a cold line to the wash sinks, or feed all the hot and cold. A hair salons water usage is fairly low. A simple demonstartion of how much more effective soap is and how easily it rinses away with soft water without leaving all the curd in the hair...

    You need to go out and explain the benefits, and how many more customers they will have if they buy your softener. :)
  14. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,895
    Location:
    Ontario California
    LOL, I need one of them. My wife is too busy taking our girls to Hockey practice and tournaments, dealing with homework, and she is a teacher to boot. I spend about 35% of my time travelling, so she does a good job. Fortunately, we dont deal with snow. As for laundry, when we got married, I did the laundry once, and ruined her $100 bikini, she has never let me touch the laundry since. :)
  15. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,731
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Good plan. I'll mention that to a friend who's about to get married.
  16. Killer95Stang

    Killer95Stang Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Southern CA
    Finally finished my install of my 32K Fleck 5600 SXT whole house water softener system. Everything went on without hitch, although I was scared for a little while because the water was pretty cloudy, almost like Alka Seltzer. Once the unit regenerated for the first time (2:00am) the bubbles disappeared.

    I decided to hard pipe the unit in, since I had installed a softener loop when I did the copper re-pipe. But, I used sharkbite type fittings into the yoke/bypass, so I wouldn't run the risk of dripping flux or molten solder into the rubber innards of the bypass. I wouldn't exactly make it habit of using sharkbite fittings, but for a single time exterior use, they seem to work quite well.

    [​IMG]
    All the various drain and condensation lines drain into a proper standpipe just out of view.
    [​IMG]
  17. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Looks good from here.
  18. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    328
    Location:
    California
    I use an RO for both the drinking water at the kitchen sink, as well as plumbed to the refrigerator. I did a taste test with RO vs softened, dechlorinated water (I have a Fleck 7000 carbon tank ahead of the softener). RO water tastes much better! I highly recommend it. The softener is supposed to make it easier on the membrane and prevent Ca and Mg fouling.

    One thing you might also consider is a carbon filter in front of the softener. I do notice the lack of chlorine in the shower, and it is a nice improvement. Not to mention it will help with resin life.

    Edit: don't use copper to plumb the RO, use polyethylene or stainless steel tubing. It will pick up some of the copper in the tubing if you use Cu.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  19. Killer95Stang

    Killer95Stang Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Southern CA
    Thanks... I have my RO unit on order and will most likely plumb lines to the sink and fridge. Funny how the deciding factor was our dog who won't drink the softened water..lol
  20. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,731
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Dogs know best. My wife has had an indoor cat for about 6 years. I have never seen that cat drink water from any source -- dish, toilet, dripping faucet, never. Yet she pees like a racehorse. Maybe I'll try a dish of unsoftened water and see how she reacts.
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