What softener do you recommend?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Michael Loveday, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Michael Loveday

    Michael Loveday New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Vero Beach FL
    Hello Everyone,

    I am new here and had a question I was hoping I could have answered. I have been living with hard water and have recently had it tested the results of the tests were provided by a local water treatment company.

    The water tested for 26.0gpg of hardness, 4.0ppm of iron, 7.0pH, very low level of tannin, and no H2S. I have a 3bed/2bath house with 1650sq ft. and 3 people living there.

    The company has recommended a softener called the ECR3500 and are saying it will cost me $3200

    I was reading online about softeners and was considering the Fleck 5600sxt 48k softener. Would this be good enough or would it be better to have a separate iron filter.

    Another question is why is the local company wanting to charge me so much for a softener alone?

    I sincerely appreciate any help.

    Thanks,
    Michael
  2. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    I would recommend an iron filter prior to a softener. A softener will remove the iron, but will work harder to do so and not last as long.A BIRM filter will work very well for the iron. You should be able to get both units for about half the price you were quoted. As far as the price the other company charges, I think it's a high price myself.
  3. Michael Loveday

    Michael Loveday New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Vero Beach FL
    I keep hearing great things about sst-60 resins, would it be better to go with that or a Birm filter. Also what size valve head would you recommend on the birm and/or softener (I have a 3/4" pipe feeding my whole house)?
  4. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    SST resin is said to be better at removing iron than standard resin. I have never used SST resin so I can not give first hand knowledge of the preformance. I have sold a softener on 4 part of iron with great success even though I recommended an iron filter first. Care must be taken to keep iron from building up in the valve and on the resin. A Fleck or Clack valve will work fine. Make sure it has a 1.05 distributor tube.
  5. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,175
    Location:
    Maine
    The Fleck 5600 would be a very good choice and I agree with Mailynette that you should put a BIRM filter in front of it. SST resin is very good stuff, expensive and in most cases not necessary. I am never a fan of using a softener to remove iron. If you filter iron separately your softener will last a whole lot longer and require a lot less maintenance
  6. Michael Loveday

    Michael Loveday New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Vero Beach FL
    So, then my question is should i go with birm over greensand? I had a greensand filter in the past and it worked wonders on the nightmare well I had back then. The major concern I have with birm is I dont know if I have enough D.O. in the water to accommodate it and although the water people said the H2S was very low or non detectable I still worry about it with fouling the birm media. All the suggestions so far have helped me a great deal.

    Thanks,
    Michael
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Michael, a "48K" may not be large enough, you need to learn more about correctly sizing a softener. You can do that by clicking on the link in my signature.

    According to Fleck, a 5600 should not be used on tanks larger than 12" dia which makes a 2.0 cuft softener, or a 10" tank for a filter.

    SST-60 resin has a much different bead structure than regular and fine mesh resins so it is not prone to iron fouling as they are and, it doesn't reduce water pressure as fine mesh does.

    Most iron filters will have to have maintenance like mineral replacement done and sooner than a softener's resin. And that will need to be done more frequently if you don't have the water flow required to successfully backwash some of the minerals used. Birm is lighter mineral but requires a minimum of dissolved oxygen in the water or it doesn't work very well of long. In many cases resin is less expensive than iron filter minerals.

    My guess is that the $3200+ is from an Ecowater dealer. They and Kinetico are usually the highest priced equipment you can buy and IMO not worth the premium price. Both are proprietary equipment meaning you can't get parts or service from any other dealer than the one and only one local to you, and that isn't a good deal IMO.
  8. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    The D.O. in the water helps to presipitate the iron so the BIRM media can filter it out. BIRM system are now sold with an air induction on them. It uses a colum of air to oxidize the iron. During the cleaning cycle, the unit draws air which is trapped in the tank. As water enters the tank, it passes through the colum air then through the media. The next best thing is chlorine injection followed by carbon. It is more expensive but works great.
  9. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,175
    Location:
    Maine
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,837
    Location:
    Ontario California
    A birm filter with an AIO style valve usually works very well. A softener should not be used in this application for iron removal. You will likely double your salt usage and regual chemical cleaning of the resin would be highly recommended.

    A 5600SXT would be good for the softener, it is difficult to get the 5600 series to work well for proer backwashing of heavier medias. I prefer to have the systems match so the 2510SXT valve would be a great choice.
  11. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,175
    Location:
    Maine
    Ah what the hell, just go with the 7000SXT and be done with it :cool:
  12. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,837
    Location:
    Ontario California
    True, but the 7000 does not make a good candidate for Air injection. External air injectors are needed if the 7000 is used. The 5800 has been testing well with Air injection so far.
  13. Michael Loveday

    Michael Loveday New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Vero Beach FL
    So according to the sizing info I gathered I would need a 64k softener if i wanted to have it regenerate every 7 days with 1 day for regen I could get a 80k and I would have longer between regens. Should I get the 5600 or 7000 and would a 1.5 ft3 iron filter be ok? I keep leaning towards the greensand over the birm bc although the water company says there is no h2s I believe there is... To be honest when I asked about h2s there was a long pause causing me to believe they didn't test for it. I have always noticed the smell of rotten eggs in my well.
  14. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    If you do have h2s, do not go with the BIRM. If you do go with the greensand, get the greensand plus. You can use chlorine pucks to regen the greensand plus but not regular. It will be cheaper then the KMN04.
  15. Michael Loveday

    Michael Loveday New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Vero Beach FL
    So whether I go with the greensand or the plus what volume of media do you recommend. There are so few sizing charts on these vs softeners I was thinking 1.5ft3 but wasnt sure.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  16. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    I would go with a Clack WS1 or Fleck 2510. The greensand media is heavy and requires higher flow rates to properly backwash. With the 2510 the max backwash flow rate is 17GPM and the WS1 is 27GPM. I sent you a PM.
  17. mikesharp1

    mikesharp1 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Houston
    http://www.apluswater.net/

    Try this company I purchased one its a steal. Few other people I know use him.

    http://www.apluswater.net/

    $399 softened our in 3 days. Install took me two hours.
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