Brine refill cycle -- before or after regen?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by Reader90, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Reader90

    Reader90 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2018
    Location:
    Dallas TX
    Question to experienced and pro water folks here:

    Any opinion on programing where brine tank is:

    1. Filled 1st to programmed level, sit for ~60 or more mins, then run through all regen cycles? OR
    2. Filled at end of a regen cycle so 1st step of a regen starts with brine tank already filled (from end of last regen cycle).

    I ran into someone that is in the business who sells systems in western TX where it is drier and he swears by using method #1 due to water evaporating from the brine tank if using method #2. I understand physics that salt water will not evaporate as fast as freshwater, but it will evaporate.

    So, if system is in an area that has low humidity (<10 or 20%), should method #1 be programmed for softeners?

    Thanks
     
  2. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    As the concentration of Potassium Chloride (KCl) in solution will vary depending on water temperature, option #1 is typically used when using KCl as a regenerant. The 'salt' dose is then based on the concentration at the usual water temperature when first entering the brine tank.

    https://view.publitas.com/impact-water-products/2018-catalog-final/page/53

    When using regular salt (Sodium Chloride), the most common setting is option #2 as the brine concentration will be fairly consistent regardless of water temperature. As the water enters at the end of the regen cycle, salt is dissolved well in advance of the next cycle so no delay will need to be programmed.

    If you are using regular salt, either option should work for you but Brine Fill at the beginning will extend the regen time. With regard to evaporation, the brine tank is normally equipped with a plastic cover to reduce evaporation and to return any condensed water back to the brine solution.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018 at 6:33 AM
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  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Let's suppose that if you use brine first (1). Then the brine level, after regeneration will be where the air check valve stopped the flow. If you evaporate from there making the brine level 2 inches below the check-valve-determined level, then you will be short of brine the same as if you evaporated 2 inches using the brine last (2) method.

    Instead keep the lid on the brine tank. Keep the brine tank out of the direct sun. If you have your brine tank outdoors, consider burying it some. That will reduce the temperature cycling amplitude.

    Another thing that comes to mind would be to lay a piece of plastic sheet atop the salt. Then as air gets pumped in and out by temperature and barametric changes, the moister area would be somewhat separated.

    If experiments show that you actually lose brine to evaporation, increase the settings to put more water into the brine tank whether using (1) or (2).

    You won't be hurt by choosing brine first, except that the scheduled timing might need to be adjusted.

    I am not a pro.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018 at 9:08 AM
  5. Reader90

    Reader90 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2018
    Location:
    Dallas TX
    Thank you for the input.
     
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