Need help with Fleck 2510 / 3210 timer settings

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by Otto Mation, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. Otto Mation

    Otto Mation Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Midland, TX
    Hi all, first post. I have very hard well water and have the particulars from the report listed below.

    I have a Fleck 2510 with a 3210 timer. My resin tank is big, 16" in diameter by 66" tall to the threads at the top. Shining a light through the tank, I see resin up to 44" from the bottom of the tank.. My brine tank holds over 800 lbs of salt. I currently have it regenerating at every 800 gallons but the water is still hard and causes scale on the faucets. No lather in the soap. I am not using a lot of salt which is my concern. I finally figured out where the pins I saw others talking about on the timer wheel. I think that I need to adjust those. I doubt seriously that they were ever changed from how they rolled out of the factory. Can someone offer a suggestion of how to change the pins so that I get more salt through that huge tank during regeneration? We have an RO system for the water going into the kitchen for cooking and drinking. Oddly, I get quite a bit of scale on the water faucet for the RO water also but I have tested it (the RO water) with a test strip and it shows 0 hardness. The same test strip on the softened water is hard to tell but probably more than 250. Hach kit that is on the way will tell me more.

    TDS = 4918.
    Total hardness as CaCO3 = 2260.
    Calcium, as Ca =520
    Magnesium, as Mg = 233
    Sodium and or Potassium = 774
    Sulfate, as SO4 = 1970
    Chloride, as Cl = 1235
    Iron, as Fe = 0.15

    All in Mg per liter.
    Thanks for any advice in advance.


    Edit: I guess it might be helpful to include a shot of what my current pin arrangement looks like. What am I looking at here:
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  2. Otto Mation

    Otto Mation Member

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    Further to this, I ran a backwash/regeneration cycle this morning and watched things carefully. The brine tank is filling up and the water is being shut off by the safety valve, not the pins on the timer, so increasing the time for tank fill on the timer will not do anything for me. I have a Hach total hardness kit coming on Monday. I plan to run a total hardness test on water coming out of hose bib and one on water coming out of the softener to compare. That should give me another data point. The guy that installed the unit for me last year is unresponsive. No returned calls or emails.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
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  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Did the brine all get sucked out of the brine tank during brine draw? If brine is not being drawn out, that would explain hardness. If the brine is not being sucked out, cleaning the injector screen, injector, and injector area may help.
     
  5. Otto Mation

    Otto Mation Member

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    Yes the brine gets sucked out. I just cleaned the injector and screen as per the instructions above but nothing was clogged and only a particle or two in the screen.

    Edit: Actually in the end the draw tube was several inches from the bottom of the tank and I was able to lower it so that it finally did touch the bottom of the tank.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Can you raise the brine safety float to allow more water?
     
  7. Otto Mation

    Otto Mation Member

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    I had to take some measurements. For context the brine tank is 26" in diameter and 52" tall. The water level in the tank is currently within 6 inches of the overflow port at the top of the tank. I could probably modify it to get a couple of inches but probably not enough to make any real difference.

    Edit: I did raise the float and lower the pickup tube.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Presuming the salt is higher than the water, which it normally is, 1o gallons of water added during brine fill would raise the the water level about 10.9 inches. That would dissolve 30 pounds of salt. As the salt dissolves, I expect the water level to rise about another 1.5 inches.

    So it used to work well, and now it doesn't. I wonder if the resin needs replacing.
     
  9. Otto Mation

    Otto Mation Member

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    Actually, it has never worked well. This unit is just a year old. I have just gotten around to addressing it. Before that I was just solving life's other problems.
     
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    In that case, some other troubleshooting makes sense.

    When you do a regen, during brine draw, the drain line should not turn salty until some time into the BD cycle --several minutes ideally. You can test for the salt hitting the drain by taste or really big numbers on a TDS meter. Your TDS is already high, but I am thinking you should get a big increase when the salt bolus hits the drain.
     
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  11. Otto Mation

    Otto Mation Member

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    Thank you, I appreciate your help. I'll have to get set up to do this test as the waste water drains into the septic tank and is neatly tied in and in a finished closet off from the garage. I'll need to pull things out and get setup to handle the water. Currently, I am drinking beer and about to crank the grill. Not a good mix for scientific experimentation. I have some other projects in this room and will attempt to do this test some time this week. I have a couple of TDS meters but I am not sure they are accurate. Both of them show TDS around 3000 for the softened water and you can see that my water analysis above shows higher numbers. It might come down to the taste test.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  12. Otto Mation

    Otto Mation Member

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    I think that I may have found the issue. A little research out there shows that 4 cubic feet of resin in the real world should be good for cleaning 80,000 grains of hardness. I remember when my water guy test the water with a Hach kit it showed 95 grains per gallon if I remember correctly. He was calling my unit a 120,000 grain unit and set it to regenerate at every 800 gallons to allow for some reserve. In reality if the unit will only really clean 80,000 grains of hardness and you look at my water analysis it shows that I actually have 132 grains per gallon of hardness after doing the conversion. That equates to 105,600 grains of hardness going through the system between regeneration's.

    Possibly he over estimated the systems capacity to remove hardness and under estimated the actual hardness. It is likely that the Hach kit is not accurate at such high levels of CaCO3. I think that maybe I have been pumping hard water into the system from the beginning and never reached total softness.

    What do you think about setting to regenerate at every 500 gallons?

    Edit: After running several regeneration cycles this weekend and testing with my Hach kit that just arrived, I am seeing 14 grains of hardness on the cold water side, 22 grains on the hot side. I am hoping for better results after the system is fully flushed. With a starting hardness of 132 grains, do you think that I will ever get it to 0? It is clear to me that regeneration at 800 gallons was not soon enough. I have moved it to 500 gallons and will see what happens.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  13. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    To test with your Hach 5-b, use 3 parts distilled and 1 part test water. Then multiply the drop count by 4. Or dilute as you choose, but keep the drop count 30 max.

    Your 5 pins at spots 70...80 I think means 10 minutes of brine fill. We don't know how many gpm your DLFC is. I am going to guess/assume 1 gpm, which would be reasonable for 10 minutes worth of pins.

    For 5 pins, that would give you about 7.5 pounds of salt per cubic ft of resin; that would give about 92,000 grains of softening.
    After high-hardness compensation of 95 grains, that converts to about 135 grains of compensated hardness.
    https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/fleck-9100-sxt-programming-settings.60651/#post-450189 talks of the compensation. My number is probably a bit different than what that post suggests, with me using a 1.419 factor.

    At 120 gallons per day, that would come to 5.70 days. Typically people figure 60 gpd of soft water per person.

    If you went to 6 pins, then that would be 9 lb/cuft, and you would have a capacity of about 102,700 grains (6.3 days). Here is a table which should be close to predicting... given the 1 gpm/minute BLFC assumption.

    lb/cuft ; k-grains ; Pins ; grains/pound of salt
    6.000 ; 80.0 ; 4 ; 8889
    7.500 ; 92.2 ; 5 ; 8194
    9.000 ; 102.7 ; 6 ; 7607
    10.500 ; 110.2 ; 7 ; 6994
    12.000 ; 115.0 ; 8 ; 6389
    13.500 ; 118.1 ; 9 ; 5830
    15.000 ; 120.0 ; 10 ; 5333
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  14. Otto Mation

    Otto Mation Member

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    I am pretty sure the 5 pins are for the rapid rinse and the empty holes that follow are the brine fill which is an hour. It fills the tank to what I have calculated to be 76 gallons of water/salt. The safety float is what shuts the water off, not the time. The Brine tank is 26 inches in diameter and 52 inches tall. The water fills to 36 inches and salt is filled to the top of the tank. I am pretty sure the only thing that I can do is reduce the number of gallons between regeneration cycles which is why I was thinking 500 gallons, I was at 800 and that was not working. I have set that to 400 but plan to move it to 500 after a few weeks and I can get a baseline measurement from the Hach kit. My system is metered so I don't need to worry about calculating water usage.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I sure was off base on that.
    Good. When you count down to zero, I think the softener still waits until 2am to regerate. Thus you should figure a reserve to make it through the rest of the day.

    I don't know if your softener bypasses hard water during brine fill. If it does, you would want to move those last two pins to the time it actually takes to max out the brine tank.

    To raise the level permitted by the float switch, I think you slide the pieces on the float rod down toward the float more.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
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  16. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    In addition to actual hardness is the removal of iron which even as the amount is relatively minor, that iron will further consume some capacity just the same. Since hardness is so high, the resin will not perform as efficiently so there is a further compensation factor which will need to be implemented to program an even higher quantity of hardness to more quickly consume capacity between regeneration cycles.

    The manufactured total capacity of 4 cuft resin is 128,000 grains but some resin will commonly become fractured during manufacturing, packaging, shipping etc. Broken and lightweight pieces will be flushed to drain during the initial backwash cycles, thereby reducing some capacity. As some resin will further yet become worn over time through repeated regeneration cycles, the amount of capacity over the lifespan of the 4 cuft resin is usually considered as 120,000 grains max. To regenerate that amount of capacity would require 80 lbs of salt each cycle, which is neither efficient nor cost-effective. To dissolve 80 lbs would require the brine tank to fill with 26.7 gallons water each cycle but it seems your brine tank is not large enough for that water quantity when containing salt.

    In programming 80,000 grains usable capacity between regen cycles, only 24 lbs salt (6 lbs/cuft) will be required so only 8 gallons water will be needed which your brine tank should easily accommodate. The salt efficiency will also increase substantially, thereby reducing the quantity of salt needed each year for the same amount of soft water.

    Because the resin's total capacity had been exhausted, suggest first performing a restorative regeneration using 80 lbs salt to restore the resin's total capacity. This should be performed after the new settings have been programmed. Since your brine tank will not hold the required amount of water to dissolve 80 lbs, 2 back to back regen cycles could be performed. As we don't know the quantity of water the brine tank will hold, you may wish to ensure the maximum water is added for each of the 2 restorative regenerations.

    https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?attachments/resin-chart-jpg.53316/

    Because a single tank softener will regenerate usually at 2 am when there is little or no water use, a reserve amount is needed, which is usually 1-day capacity. With high hardness, 1-day capacity represents a very substantial amount which may or may not be all consumed, depending on when through the day the programmed capacity runs-out and reserve capacity begins to be used until regeneration at 2 am. With high hardness, a twin tank softener is usually recommended since the second tank will immediately take-over providing soft water when the 1st tank capacity is depleted. As such, no reserve amount is needed so the entire amount of regenerated capacity can be utilized every time. eliminating wasted reserve capacity.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
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  17. Otto Mation

    Otto Mation Member

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    @Bannerman, thanks for the additional information and running two back to back regens is no problem, however my brine tank fills to 76 gallons including water and salt. Shouldn't that easily contain 26.7 gallons of water?
     
  18. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Salt will displace water, thereby resulting in a small amount of water being pushed upward in the tank. While you state 76 gallons total capacity for the brine tank, I anticipate that is the total volume before overflowing the upper rim. Since there is a safety float sitting lower in the tank to set an upper limit, and an overflow drain on the side to eliminate excess fluid in case the safety float and valve malfunction, the liquid capacity will be much less.

    Perhaps a higher quantity of water than anticipated is actually entering your brine tank?
     
  19. Otto Mation

    Otto Mation Member

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    No. I have measured the tank and the level of water after it fills and the space it fills would contain 76 gallons if there was no salt present. The tank is 26 inches in diameter and 52 inches tall. Water fills to 36 inches which is roughly 6 inches below the overflow. Doing the math tells me it contains 76 gallons of water and salt, plus the salt in the tank that is above the waterline.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  20. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    I don't know the displacement factor for each type of softener salt to estimate the remaining space for water within a specific salt filled space.

    The amount of water entering can be easily verified by removing the brine line from the top of the brine tank, and direct the open hose end to a bucket. Advance the controller to BF to collect and measure the volume of water that flows into the bucket in 60 seconds. If you know the BF minutes, or if you time the BF, you can then confirm the salt dose since 3 lbs salt will dissolve for each gallon entering the brine tank.

    When a brine tank is smaller than required for the capacity to be regenerated (perhaps not enough space available for a larger brine tank), then a salt grid will often be utilized within the brine tank. The grid is a perforated platform to raise the salt a few inches above the tank bottom. The area below the platform provides space for additional water with much less salt displacement since the only salt reaching the tank bottom will be within the few hollow open top legs which support the platform above.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  21. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    To be clear, your lab test results indicate: Total hardness as CaCO3 = 2260 mg/L
    2260 / 17.1 = 132.164 (133) grains per gallon. This is not including any iron and before any high hardness compensation factor is added.
     
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