How many grains is too much?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by Robert Wolfe, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. Robert Wolfe

    Robert Wolfe New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Location:
    Arizona
    We use average 73 gallons per day with only two people. Using a test strip our water is testing just shy of 25 gpg. The test strip maxes out at 425 ppm. With a 48k system it would regen every 26 days, Is this grossly over sized to the point it would cause problems?
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    No.

    Also note that a 48k system does not do 48k in practice. It is a naming convention that should not be used for math. Calculate with 30 to 36k. Also, there should be a little extra compensation for the high hardness.

    If you have a swamp cooler, you may want to feed that with softened water. If you don't leave town, you may take more showers in the summer.

    Do get a Hach 5b to read your hardness better. Also get a lab test of your water.
    The NLT/watercheck lab tests are very well respected. https://watercheck.com/collections/well-water-tests I don't know what the return shipping would come to. I would guess over $40. If you go with that, could you post what shipping came to?

    Here are a couple other lab tests I would consider to be worthwhile:
    http://envirotestkits.com/product/safe-home-select-drinking-water-test-kit/ $99 (on sale at the moment for less) has the main things you need for softener etc. Note that this offering has home bacteria test. For any bacteria test to be meaningful, you have to follow proper sampling techniques including sterilizing the faucet. If you care about the coliform test results, care needs to be taken in sampling. http://www.ugra.org/images/pdf/sampling_handout.pdf is one description of a method to avoid contaminating the sample.
    New one: https://mytapscore.com/. http://e-watertest.com, which is where I got my first test, now links there. I suspect it is a referral rather than a rebranding.
    https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/recommended-water-testing-lab.75253/
    I suggest well sanitizing too, at least after well work. If needed maybe every few years or even more frequently in some cases.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
    Keith Frank likes this.
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

     
    Keith Frank likes this.
  4. Robert Wolfe

    Robert Wolfe New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Location:
    Arizona
    We don't have a swamp cooler and are on city water, the city pumps from large wells if that matters. Do I need to do a lab test in order to size the unit or is it just best practice?
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Not for city water. Get the city water report. If they report hardness in a range, compute with the higher number. If you cannot find a published hardness number, call the water department and ask.

    Still get the Hach 5b.
     
  6. Robert Wolfe

    Robert Wolfe New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Location:
    Arizona
    Will do thank you for your advice. So unless my hardness changes dramatically a 48k unit won't be too big.
     
  7. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Just as your vehicle does not need to run out of fuel before you refill the tank, a softener's capacity should not be exhausted before regeneration occurs. Unlike a vehicle, a softener's 'gas mileage' (salt efficiency) will be higher if a specific amount of capacity remains unutilized when regeneration occurs.

    A 48K capacity softener usually contains 1.5 cuft of resin. To regenerate all 48K would require 27 lbs salt every regen cycle, resulting in a maximum salt efficiency of only 1,777 grains per lb.

    The same 48K softener will deliver 36K usable grains when regenerated with 12 lbs salt (3,000 grains/lb) or 30K grains with 9 lbs salt (3,333 gr/lb). Either of these configurations is recommended. The 36K/12lb setting will provide higher quality soft water (less hardness leakage) compared to the slightly higher efficiency 30K/9 lb configuration.

    For comparison, a 1 cuft (32K total capacity) softener would require 15 lbs salt to deliver 30K grains.

    A municipal water system will often obtain water from multiple sources, each with a different hardness amount. The hardness within the distribution system can vary depending on your home's proximity to each water source, time-of-day usage throughout the city and also season, maintenance, etc. As such, it is advisable to anticipate some variance by programming your softener for 2-3 grains higher than the actual hardness test result obtained at your location with an accurate titration test kit such as a Hach 5B.
     
  8. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Since 425 ppm = 24.85 gpg (17.1 ppm = 1 gpg), it appears your water hardness is equal to or exceeds the indicator range of the test strips you have been using.

    Your water hardness may actually be considerably higher than you are anticipating.
     
  9. Robert Wolfe

    Robert Wolfe New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Location:
    Arizona
    I spoke to a friend who works at town hall, she advised they do not do hardness testing but recommend a lab in Phoenix. According to her typical hardness is between 30-35 gpg in my area. Are there any recommended rapid test that test this high or should I just send a sample to a lab?
     
  10. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
  11. Robert Wolfe

    Robert Wolfe New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Location:
    Arizona
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    For testing higher than 30, test with half distilled water and half test water. Then double the drop-count to get the hardness.
     
  13. Robert Wolfe

    Robert Wolfe New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Location:
    Arizona
    Gotcha thank you
     
  14. Robert Wolfe

    Robert Wolfe New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Location:
    Arizona
    So since my 48k grain system doesn't actually have the full 48k capacity what settings to I need to change in the fleck 5600sxt to reflect the difference? FYI Hach 5b indicates I have 39-40 gpg water since I received test. The softener has been plumed in and has been working great with the settings seller sent with it but I want to fine tune it before my first regen.
     
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    System info (not programmed)
    salt lb/cuft = 7 ; A choice ( efficiency vs capacity)
    BLFC = 0.5 ; Brine Refill rate GPM
    cubic ft resin = 1.5 ; ft3 resin = (nominal grains)/32,000
    Raw hardness = 22 ; including any compensation ***revised!)
    People = 1.5 ; gallons affects reserve calc
    Estimated gal/day = 90 ; 60 gal per person typical calc
    Estimated days/regen = 16.7 ; Computed days ignoring reserve

    Fleck 5600SXT Settings:
    DF = Gal ; Units
    VT = dF1b ; Downflw/Upflw, Single Backwash
    CT = Fd ; Meter Delayed regen trigger
    NT = 1 ; Number of tanks
    C = 33.1 ; capacity in 1000 grains
    H = 22 ; Hardness-- compensate if needed
    RS = rc ; rc says use gallons vs percent
    RC = 90 ; Reserve capacity gallons
    DO = 28 ; Day Override (28 if no iron)
    RT = 2:00 ; Regen time (default 2 AM)
    BW = 5 ; Backwash (minutes)
    Bd = 60 ; Brine draw minutes
    RR = 5 ; Rapid Rinse minutes
    BF = 7 ; Brine fill minutes
    FM = P0.7 ; flow meter, based on original setting from seller.


    Alternative C and BF pairs:
    lb/cuft ; C= ; BF=
    5.000 ; 27.3 ; 5
    6.000 ; 30.0 ; 6
    7.000 ; 33.1 ; 7 (used in numbers chosen above)
    8.000 ; 36.0 ; 8
    9.000 ; 38.5 ; 9
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  16. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    48K grains is the total capacity for 1.5 cuft of softening resin when the resin is first manufactured. Some capacity loss should be anticipated due to resin bead fracturing and wear over time. In practice, a 1.5 cuft system will usually be considered to have 45K grains maximum capacity over the lifespan of the resin.

    The commonly recommended settings for a softener will not utilize the full softening capacity of the resin so as to increase salt efficiency. While your softener could be programmed to utilize 45K capacity between regen cycles, to regenerate that amount of capacity would require 22.5 lbs salt (2,000 grains per pound) each cycle. Much lower salt use and higher salt efficiency may be achieved with a slightly lower Capacity and a much lower salt setting.

    Indicate the settings that are programmed currently.

    To confirm, when testing the water hardness, 20 drops reagent was required to turn your sample diluted 50% with distilled water to Blue?
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  17. Robert Wolfe

    Robert Wolfe New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Location:
    Arizona
    Correct took one full sample hard water with the glass cylinder included with the test and a another full tube of distilled mixed and tested.
     
  18. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Are you saying you had 2 cylinders of liquid in the bottle when you started adding drops? That would not have been right.

    Instead you should have filled the cylinder with 50/50 mix, dumped that into the empty test bottle, and then added drops.

    For example, add a cylinder of distilled into the empty bottle. Add a cylinder of water to test to the bottle. Swirl. Fill the cylinder from the bottle. Dump the bottle. Put the cylinder contents into the bottle, and add drops. Maybe that is what you meant.
     
  19. Robert Wolfe

    Robert Wolfe New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Location:
    Arizona
    I'll retest using this method and report back.
     
  20. Robert Wolfe

    Robert Wolfe New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Location:
    Arizona
    10 drops to turn blue using this method

    Current config
    DF - GAL
    VT - DF1B
    CT -FD
    NT - 1
    C - 48
    H - 39 (INCORRECT with test method suggested)
    RS - SF
    SF - 15
    DO -14
    RT - 2:00
    BW - 10
    BD - 60
    RR - 10
    BF - 10
    FM - P0.7
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  21. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
Similar Threads: many grains
Forum Title Date
Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers How many microns? Mar 20, 2019
Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers Fleck 5600 12 day – how many gal used for brine rinse? Dec 7, 2014
Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers Help - New to Wells and I have bad report and many opinions Jun 13, 2013
Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers Culligan Medalist (8in) Settings - Too Many Regens Nov 12, 2012
Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers 3 Grains Hardness after Softener in New House Feb 9, 2020

Share This Page