45gpg hardness - How much can I remove with a softener?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by Gary01, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. Gary01

    Gary01 New Member

    Nov 15, 2019
    Salt Lake
    I need to replace my softener (because Culligan's lifetime warranty wasn't - but that's a separate tirade).

    I have very hard well water.
    Hardness: 45 gpg
    Iron: 0.1 mg/L
    TDS: 1297 mg/L
    pH: 7.3
    Alkalinity: 190 mg/L

    My old softener reduced the hardness to 10 gpg. But now I think that Culligan undersized it from their comment that based on the old softener their recommended replacement is their standard or base model. (Old model was a Culligan Mark 100 with 0.86 cu/ft of media)

    I have 2 Questions:

    1) With my extreme hardness is reduction to anything less than 10 gpg a realistic goal for a salt based softener?

    2) With the goals of a) not destroying my appliances, b) getting at least a little suds in my shower, and perhaps the 'dream' of c) preventing additional white crusting ... what should my worst case hardness goal be ... perhaps 7.5 gpg?

  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Jan 9, 2012
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Ontario California
    Lifetime warranties... usually written with enough disclaimers to ensure that the warranty does not exist.

    45 GPG is not that high and is easily treated. You should expect <1 GPG with a properly sized and designed system. How many people in your house?
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  4. Gary01

    Gary01 New Member

    Nov 15, 2019
    Salt Lake
    I love that answer!

    We have 3 people in our home. Our recent/current historic metered water usage runs about 150 Gal/day or lower (which is lower than the customary calculation).

    In that case, would an undersized system cause that problem? Or should an undersized system work if it's configured to regen correctly (but then cause related efficiency and wear issues)? It has been set to regen based on gallons used, but is supposed to have a hardness sensor too.

    Also, the 10gpg post-softened number may have been at the end of a cycle (rather than the beginning) and was a few years ago when we had an additional person in the house.
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2013
  6. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    An undersized softener, will provide soft water, but will need more frequent regeneration than a larger capacity unit. Since hardness removal is not immediate, there can be some hardness leakage through the softener if the flow rate to fixtures exceeds the rate at which hardness can be removed by the volume of resin, but that hardness leakage will be much less than 10gpg for a residential application.

    The usual recommendation when the raw water contains minimal or no iron, is to size the softener to deliver at least 7 days worth of soft water while using an efficient salt setting before regeneration will be required. Although your water may contain 45 gpg hardness, the hardness setting will need to be higher due to inefficiencies when removing excessive hardness.

    As a rough example, 150 Gals/day X 60 gpg = 9000 grains/day hardness load.
    A 3 ft3 softener programmed to use an efficient 8 lbs salt per ft3 of resin, will provide 72,000 grains hardness removal capacity before requiring regeneration.
    72,000 / 9000 = 8 days - 1 day reserve before regeneration will be required. With a metered softener, once programmed correctly, regeneration will occur automatically as appropriate even if water consumption is higher or lower than 150 gals/day.

    A twin tank softener will often be a good option when the hardness quantity is excessive. A twin tank will not require a reserve so all of the programmed capacity can be utilized on a consistent basis, although some capacity will be consumed in regenerating the alternate tank.
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