What components would you recommend?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by RWL, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. RWL

    RWL New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Central PA
    I recently had our water retested because of a problem with our current Master NS-10T acid neutralizer / softener combination unit. The main problem with our well is an acidic pH, which has resulted in pin holes in our copper pipes that precede the softener. The NS-10 originally had calcite and it only got the pH up to 6.8, so I unscientifically added calcite / corrosex mix (I didn't spot the ratio on the bucket) and some remaining calcite from the original cube of mineral each time I filled the neutralizer. No blue stains in the sinks, but I haven't measured the pH after the treatment unit for years. Here are the test results.

    pH 5.5
    Hardness 3 Grains / Gal
    Iron - Slight 0.2
    Solids 72
    Flow rate from well - 8.4 Gal / min
    Nobody tests for Magnesium around here.

    What components would you guys recommend?
  2. RWL

    RWL New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Central PA
    Ps

    PS. I forgot to add that it's now just my wife and I at home, so estimated 120 gal / day total water useage. 2-1/2 baths.
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    If your resin is the original, I suspect it should be replaced but, I would suggest replacing the equipment due to its age and built in inefficiencies.

    I'd suggest a Fleck 2510 day timer valve on an AN filter with mixed bed mineral and the same metered or a 5600 STX metered version on a new softener. Backwash a new filter every 3 days.

    You can learn about sizing and programming at the link in my signature.
  4. RWL

    RWL New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Central PA
    How many grains of hardness will the acid neutralizer with calcite / corrosex mix add to the water?

    What size acid neutralizer / cu ft of neutralizing material should I get?
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Maybe 6-8 gpg will be added to the 3 you have now.

    If you have a submersible pump and can raise the captive air pressure to 39 psi with no water in the tank and then the pressure switch to 40/60 psi, and no jetted tub or body spray shower, I'd go a 1.5 cuft. If a jet pump of any kind, a 1.0 cuft.

    Backwash every 3 days.
  6. RWL

    RWL New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Central PA
    Why back flush every 3 days? One of the things I don't like about our current softener is that it's set to do just that, and I'm winding up using roughly 750+ lbs of salt a year, plus all the water from the well we're wasting and dumping in the septic system. If it has to be, it has to be, but I thought one of the newer systems might need to be backwashed less frequently. I had hoped it might be every 2 to 4 weeks on both the softener and the acid neutralizer.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Backwashing is needed to keep the mineral from clumping and causing channeling. If that happens backwashing alone can't correct the problem and you can end up throwing the tank and mineral away. Or living with pin holes in your copper plumbing and ingesting more copper than you should. IOWs, life isn't fair. :)

    So the more frequent backwashing, the longer the filter continues to work as it should. And that requires water at a proper pressure and gpm, that is not wasting water anymore than you showering everyday when the human body doesn't require it... or washing the SUV, or watering a lawn.

    Your wasted water is in the softener regenerating on the same schedule as the filter when a softener should be regenerated on average once every 7-8 days and be sized and programed to do that.
  8. chevy427

    chevy427 Banned

    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    I don't see any need to replace the equipment or the resins without more information. I have seen no indication of the age of the equipment or that the softener resins are bad and in need of replacement. Do you any pictures of the equipment or a web link? At three grains of hardness, I doubt the softener resins are even fouled or worn out. A simple inspection can be done to help determine that. Just blindly replacing equipment or any expensive service call may be a waste of time and money. Someone commented on the age of the equipment, did I miss that information. Sometimes posts are deleted here and topics are left dangling.

    One must be very careful about raising the pressure at the pressure tank/switch, especially at your location. Simply pumping up the pressure may solve one issue but may also cause dire consequences. How long is the copper plumbing before the AN filter? Brass fittings?
  9. RWL

    RWL New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Central PA
    The Master NS-10T combination acid neutralizer & softener (Pottstown, PA) is 25 years old. You can see photos of the head in my other post regarding the brine tank overflowing. From comments by others, it's an Autotrol valve. Having cleaned some screens in the head that hadn't been cleaned in 25 years, the water is now soft, but the brine level went a little higher in the tank after the back flush, so it looks like not all the brine is being sucked back during the cycle.

    No longer than 12". After the pin holes in the feed lines to the conditioner, I had the plumber put in Pex. There's roughly 3" of Pex to the conditioner and copper after it, except for the Pex line I ran directly to the kitchen sink. Even with the conditioner on the water system, we'd have a bitter (copper?) taste in the water in the morning when it had sat in the pipe for a long time. Running a Pex line to the sink with untreated water has corrected that.

    What Gary said about flushing the acid neutralizer every 3 days is the conventional wisdom of the plumber here in PA who set up the unit 25 years ago. Since it's a combination unit, it eats salt, because that gets regenerated at the same time. We use at least 750 lbs of salt a year for water that unconditioned has only 3 grains / gal of hardness. Does anybody have any experience letting the AN regenerate on a longer cycle? If it channels, can it be easily broken up with a stick / bar through the fill hole on the tank?

    A thought that just came to me. I could keep the current combination for its acid neutralizing capability and add a new metered softener downstream from that, if the softener wouldn't need to be regenerated on such a frequent schedule. Is back flushing on softeners strictly on the basis of using up the ions, or do you need to flush softeners on a more frequent schedule to keep them from caking / channelling too?
  10. RWL

    RWL New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Central PA
    Correction. There's about a foot of bronze valve / galvanized iron pipe before the pex begins. And the pex is about 3 FEET long, not the 3 inches that the original post had.
  11. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    Maine
    I agree that replacing your softener with a metered demand unit is a good idea. As for the AN filter, it's a crap shoot. It does have an Autotrol head on it which was a very good head in its day and........you can still get rebuild kits and parts for it pretty cheap so it's your call whether or not to replace it. I believe Watersolutions is probably referring to high flow rates causing a break down (dezincafication) of bronze or wrot fittings that may be in the supply chain but as you say, it's all pex. Just be sure that the pex fittings are not bronze also if you raise the pressure.
  12. RWL

    RWL New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Central PA
    Hmmm. I need some education. What is WROT? IIRC bronze is tin and copper, and brass is zinc and copper. Did you mean to say brass rather than bronze valves? I believe my current well settings are 40 and 60 psi for the cut-in and cut-out pressures. Below are photos of my valves. They're a little redder than I think of brass as being, which usually looks more yellow to me. Are these bronze valves?

    04 Valves - lower bypass to conditioner (Small).JPG

    In the photo below, there's corrosion of the fitting carrying unconditioned water coming from the well, but not after that. Is that normal to see that corrosion? Is that something that needs to be fixed?

    05 First joint in pex (Small).JPG
  13. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    Maine
    Without taking a fitting apart I can't give you a definitive answer but the corrosion will be caused by a couple of things. Either the fittings are bad ( the metal composition was not correct in manufacturing ) or the installers crimping tool was not adjusted properly. But, if you look at the last photo you will see a white powdery substance that runs from the fitting joint to about half way up the tee and that there is a classic sign of dezincification so you defiantly at the very least want to have someone knowlegable come out and take that apart and see what the issue is. The valves are Souix Chief and they are fine.
  14. chevy427

    chevy427 Banned

    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    RWL:
    If you are is experiencing pin hole leaks, increasing the pressure would/could cause those leaks to increase in severity leading to a possible break in the plumbing.
    I would suggest replacing the lines before the treatment equipment with lines that won't corrode. And thank you for indicating that there was additional information on a post other than this one that was needed to understand; didn't make the conncetion. Equipment like yours has been known to die at a much younger age. It is possible to completely rebuild, but cost might prove better at replacement.


    OH Gary, while you're here and referring to other posts, I was still hoping for an answer to my question concerning changing the Kinetico disc to accommodate a a change in the number of persons. Perhaps you forgot about that.
  15. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    I would cut that fitting out ASAP and replace it.
  16. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    Maine
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2012
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,198
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    With the valve above closed, the flow of cold water goes to the right, so the lower half of that Tee will sweat. It is possible that the Tee is not leaking and that the corrosion is just from sweat. If you stop the flow by closing the valve to the right and blow dry the Tee, it should be easy to see if it is leaking or just sweating.

    That said, if I were a betting man, I'd say it is leaking.
  18. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    Maine
    It very well might be condensation or a leak at the crimp ring but.....there have been many cases where fittings that look exactly like that have catastrophically failed causing thousands of dollars in property damage so better safe than sorry.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2012
  19. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,198
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    or Billy Mays Mighty Putty!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkuReA-AGa8
    [video=youtube;nkuReA-AGa8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkuReA-AGa8[/video]
  20. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,946
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Personally, I have found duct tape to work better than solder, or pex clamps. It works even better if you spray this over it afterwards.

    hahahahahahah

    [video=youtube;759oqwR0RSk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=759oqwR0RSk[/video]
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