hard water breakthrough on new system

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by lifespeed, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    I have a Fleck 7000SXT 1.5 cu ft system with SST-60 resin preceeded by a Fleck 7000 1.5 cu ft Centaur GAC filter, installed 6 months ago. My water hardness is 7 - 8 GPG, so I had it set to 8 GPG, regenerating with 6 lbs/ft to accomplish 33K capacity.

    Today, for the first time, at an indicated 700 gallons remaining (typical capacity is around 3,800 gal), I took a shower in hard water. I grabbed the Hach 5B test kit, and it indicated 25 GPG from the indoor (softened) plumbing !! Is this typical behavior when a softener has exceeded it's capacity - it starts shedding hard water ions? I started a manual regen before I left for work this morning, but clearly something is not right, even if it is just mis-programming for changed conditions.

    I didn't have time this morning, but when I get home tonight I'll check the incoming hard water hardness and see if it has increased. My municipal water supply gets water from both underground and surface reservoirs, so there could be some hardness variation throughout the year.

    I have heard one esteemed participant on this board suggest two back-to-back regenerations at 15 lbs/ft to recover from exhausting the resin. That's a lot of salt. Is this necessary or the best way to fully regenerate the resin after this problem?

    One last question: I am using 10% reserve safety factor. Is 10% deducted from the available capacity, so 3,800 gallons represents 90% of actual capacity? Or is that showing 100% capacity and I should expect a regen at 10% left, 380 gallons?
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Jan 9, 2012
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Ontario California
    6 pounds of salt per cu. ft. or total? At 6 pounds per cu. ft., 9 pounds total, program the capacity to 30K.

    In general, the hardness is heald if the capacity is exceeded, it is usually not dumped. Check the raw and report back

    As to the back to back regens at high salt, not sure why, if you understand the regeneration frequencies, reserves, capacities, etc... I have been doing heavy commmercial softening where we run the capacity to the maximum efficiency and we have never done the double regen with 15 pounds per. I am sure it wouldnt hurt, but it is a huge waste of salt. Residential systems usually are run at an 80+% efficiency, so every regen is done a little early so the capacity is always maintained a little higher than what a calculator would show. I would recommend adding a couple gallons of water to the salt tank prior to regenerating after you have done your testing and possibly reprogramming the valve for your water conditions and actual capacity. Each gallon of water dissolves approximately 3 pounds of salt, so 2 gallons would add an additional 6 pounds of salt usage to the system.

    10% SF is taken from the available capacity.

    Hope this helps.
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  4. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    So the approx. 3,800 gallons capacity displayed has already had the 10% safety factor deducted? Just so I understand how it works and why it runs close to 0 before a regen. According to SST-60 datasheet capacity is 22K/ft at 6lbs/ft, so that is why I set it at 33K. Never hurts to have a safety factor, although I though the 10% would cover that. But I will abide by the experience of experts. :)

    I have been using 6 lbs/ft, 9 lbs total, 12 minutes at 0.25 GPM BLFC.

    Any idea why the water tested at 25 GPG when my incoming has typically been 8 GPG? You don't think the softener was releasing hard water ions, it is just exhausted and my incoming water is 3 time as hard as it used to be?

    Incoming water test tonight. Stay tuned . . .
  5. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    water hardness tripled!

    Incoming water hardness more than tripled from 7 GPG to 22 GPG. Wow, that is some change. I'll have to keep notes on changes in water hardness throughout the year. If I just set it and forget at 22 GPG I'll end up using way too much salt most of the year. Such is the price we pay to reduce salt entering the wastewater treatment flow, not to mention saving a few bucks on salt.

    I'm going to set the programming to 22 GPG and do a second regen tonight at 15 lbs of salt per cubic foot.

    Edit: second regen meaning after this morning's emergency regen at the pre-programmed 6 lbs/ft
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
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