Newb - is my brine tank too small

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Diyh2o

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Had a larger softener, fleck 9000 - 64k. It was 20+ years old and had some valve issues, so replaced due to cost of parts.

Replaced with new Fleck 9100 SXT - 48k grain. I was told the 64k unit was overkill.

Issue: on first regen, the float stopped the brine cycle. Went into advanced menu and it was set to 10 for brine fill. I reduced that to 8, still hit the float.

Brine fill - .5 gpm fill rate, verified by dumping into a gallon measuring cup - where I got 70oz in 1 minute.

Confirmed that brine draw completely empties the tank.

Softner works fine otherwise. Awaiting Hach test kit to further refine settings.

I disassembled the safety float and pushed the float up a bit higher, but is at the upper limit.

Brine tank is 13x13x32, maybe a little larger at the top. Is it too small? What else could I be missing.

Long time lurker, first time poster. Probably what kept my old softener running so long.

Thank you
 

Diyh2o

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Had a larger softener, fleck 9000 - 64k. It was 20+ years old and had some valve issues, so replaced due to cost of parts.

Replaced with new Fleck 9100 SXT - 48k grain. I was told the 64k unit was overkill.

Issue: on first regen, the float stopped the brine cycle. Went into advanced menu and it was set to 10 for brine fill. I reduced that to 8, still hit the float.

Brine fill - .5 gpm fill rate, verified by dumping into a gallon measuring cup - where I got 70oz in 1 minute.

Confirmed that brine draw completely empties the tank.

Softner works fine otherwise. Awaiting Hach test kit to further refine settings.

I disassembled the safety float and pushed the float up a bit higher, but is at the upper limit.

Brine tank is 13x13x32, maybe a little larger at the top. Is it too small? What else could I be missing.

Long time lurker, first time poster. Probably what kept my old softener running so long.

Thank you
This did not resolve the issue…

Figured it out. A bit embarrassing. I transferred salt from old brine tank, I mean salt is salt, right?

Well no. I got to clean this new tank out. Apparently when I transferred too much ‘slurry’ into the new, smaller brine tank. Empty, rinse and some fresh pellets. Waiting for the am for a regen and recheck.
 
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kk0710

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So you set your brine fill by the amount of grains you want to regenerate your resin to. I have a 1.5cu/ft(48k) tank. At max efficiency settings I can get ~32k grains capacity with only 9 pounds of salt. 1 gallon of water holds 3 pounds of salt, so my BF is set to 6 minutes to give me 3 gallons which will hold the 9 pounds of salt. And as far as I know the brine draw phase will always suck all the water out of the brine tank. My fleck 5600 doesn't have a separate setting for brine draw and rapid rinse so I assume yours is the same with only BD, and my is set to 60 minutes by default, it takes maybe 12 to 15 to empty the brine tank then when it starts sucking air it switches to slow rinse.

TLDR
What is your hardness and do you have any iron your brine fill should be set based on how much salt you want to use per regen. The amount of salt you want to use per regen is dependent on how much capacity you want. What is your hardness? Do you have any Iron? How many people?

Disclaimer, I am not a professional and you will see me asking some noob questions on here myself, but I've learned about softeners a lot this past year. And I assume if I say anything stupid one of the other guys will chime in.
 

Bannerman

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A softener containing 1.5 cubic feet (ft3) of resin, will have a total hardness removal capacity of 48,000 grains, but will operate much more efficiently when programmed to regenerate when no more than 36,000 grains has been depleted. To regenerate 36K grains capacity will require only 12 lbs salt, resulting in an efficiency of 3,000 grains per lb of salt.

Since your softener is equipped with a 0.5 GPM BLFC, the appropriate Brine Fill setting will be 8-minutes as the 4 gallons of water entering the brine tank will dissolve 12 lbs of salt to regenerate 36K grains of capacity.

Alternately, 9 lbs salt (6-minute BF setting) will regenerate 31,500 grains capacity (3,500 gr/lb efficiency) with an eventual slightly reduced water quality due to higher hardness leakage through the resin bed. The lower capacity setting will increase the regeneration frequency, thereby reducing water usage efficiency when considering the additional water needed for regeneration per year.

The Brine Tank Capacity chart linked below, does not show a 13" X 13" tank, but the chart does specify a 14" X 14" tank that is not equipped with a brine grid, is suitable for a 1.25 ft3 softener programmed to use 12.5 lbs salt (10 lbs per ft3), or a 2 ft3 softener using 12 lbs salt (6 lbs/ft3).

A salt grid is often utilized with a small brine tank as it will increase the potential capacity to 1.5 & 2.5 ft3 respectively for that same 14X14 tank.

Because the grid platform will elevate the solid salt above the bottom of the tank, the liquid in the void below the grid will have less displacement by the solid salt, thereby reducing the height of the liquid within the tank when filled with the appropriate amount of water..

Most grid platforms are supported by open top beer cup shaped legs which are equipped with drain holes that will allow water to enter to dissolve the salt within the legs, and also allow the brine created to exit the legs to mix with the remaining liquid below the platform.

Brine Tank Capacity Chart
 

kk0710

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A softener containing 1.5 cubic feet (ft3) of resin, will have a total hardness removal capacity of 48,000 grains, but will operate much more efficiently when programmed to regenerate when no more than 36,000 grains has been depleted. To regenerate 36K grains capacity will require only 12 lbs salt, resulting in an efficiency of 3,000 grains per lb of salt.

Since your softener is equipped with a 0.5 GPM BLFC, the appropriate Brine Fill setting will be 8-minutes as the 4 gallons of water entering the brine tank will dissolve 12 lbs of salt to regenerate 36K grains of capacity.

Alternately, 9 lbs salt (6-minute BF setting) will regenerate 31,500 grains capacity (3,500 gr/lb efficiency) with an eventual slightly reduced water quality due to higher hardness leakage through the resin bed. The lower capacity setting will increase the regeneration frequency, thereby reducing water usage efficiency when considering the additional water needed for regeneration per year.

The Brine Tank Capacity chart linked below, does not show a 13" X 13" tank, but the chart does specify a 14" X 14" tank that is not equipped with a brine grid, is suitable for a 1.25 ft3 softener programmed to use 12.5 lbs salt (10 lbs per ft3), or a 2 ft3 softener using 12 lbs salt (6 lbs/ft3).

A salt grid is often utilized with a small brine tank as it will increase the potential capacity to 1.5 & 2.5 ft3 respectively for that same 14X14 tank.

Because the grid platform will elevate the solid salt above the bottom of the tank, the liquid in the void below the grid will have less displacement by the solid salt, thereby reducing the height of the liquid within the tank when filled with the appropriate amount of water..

Most grid platforms are supported by open top beer cup shaped legs which are equipped with drain holes that will allow water to enter to dissolve the salt within the legs, and also allow the brine created to exit the legs to mix with the remaining liquid below the platform.

Brine Tank Capacity Chart
I have my unit set for 9 pounds and don't see any evidence of hardness leakage. What exactly determines whether that is going to happen or not? Because we use so little water and my water is not super hard my softener tends to regenerate due to the override rather than running out of capacity so I wanted the max efficiency. My DO will actually go 14 days but I decided to shorten it to 10 as many seem to think 2 weeks is a little too long to not regen. Not that I can even use my water softener now, now that it seems to be broken lol.
 

Bannerman

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The chart below, specifies a 1.5 ft3 softener will provide 31,500 grains usable capacity when regenerated with 9 lbs salt (6 lbs/ft3).

Hardness removal is not immediate, so the resin requires sufficient contact time with the water for hardness removal to fully occur. Contact occurs within the resin column, so as water flow is from top to bottom, the resin located near the top of the tank will become most depleted, and the resin near the bottom will be less depleted.

During each backwash cycle, the resin is reclassified within the tank, so some of the most depleted resin from the top of the column, will be relocated to the bottom, and vice versa. With down flow regeneration, the brine flowing from top to bottom during the BD cycle, will loose strength as it continues downward through the resin column, so with a lower salt dose, the brine will no longer have sufficient strength remaining to regenerate all of the capacity of the resin near the bottom of the tank. As that resin will have less hardness removal capacity, that resin will be less effective in removing hardness, so hardness leakage will eventually increase to the level indicated on the chart for each salt setting.

I said 'eventually' as the resin when new will have full capacity so hardness leakage will be least, but will increase over several regeneration cycles to the amount specified for that salt setting.

The chart specifies 10 ppm hardness leakage with a 6 lb/ft3 salt setting. As 1 grain per gallon equals 17.1 ppm, since the recommended Hach 5B test indicates grains per gallon, a Hach test will likely indicate 10 ppm as 0 gpg, but 10 ppm hardness will often be felt by users, particularly if accustomed to soft water containing less hardness.


my softener tends to regenerate due to the override rather than running out of capacity
Since some of your regenerated capacity is currently not being utilized, the unused capacity is discarded during regeneration, so salt efficiency is reduced as a result.

You did not state your hardness level, water consumption, water source or the amount of capacity consumed in the 10-days.

If for instance, only 24K grains is consumed, then 7-8K grains capacity is discarded. While this will reduce the amount of hardness leakage normally expected for a 6 lb/ft3 salt setting, salt efficiency will be only 2,667 gr/lb (24,000 / 9 lbs) which is approx equal to a 10 lb/ft3 salt setting.

If your water source is municipal, or your own well containing no iron or manganese, then the override setting maybe as long as 28-days with no adverse effects, likely allowing the full programmed capacity to be utilized in that time.

index.php
 
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kk0710

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The chart below, specifies a 1.5 ft3 softener will provide 31,500 grains usable capacity when regenerated with 9 lbs salt (6 lbs/ft3).

Hardness removal is not immediate, so the resin requires sufficient contact time with the water for hardness removal to fully occur. Contact occurs within the resin column, so as water flow is from top to bottom, the resin located near the top of the tank will become most depleted, and the resin near the bottom will be less depleted.

During each backwash cycle, the resin is reclassified within the tank, so some of the most depleted resin from the top of the column, will be relocated to the bottom, and vice versa. With down flow regeneration, the brine flowing from top to bottom during the BD cycle, will loose strength as it continues downward through the resin column, so with a lower salt dose, the brine will no longer have sufficient strength remaining to regenerate all of the capacity of the resin near the bottom of the tank. As that resin will have less hardness removal capacity, that resin will be less effective in removing hardness, so hardness leakage will eventually increase to the level indicated on the chart for each salt setting.

I said 'eventually' as the resin when new will have full capacity so hardness leakage will be least, but will increase over several regeneration cycles to the amount specified for that salt setting.

The chart specifies 10 ppm hardness leakage with a 6 lb/ft3 salt setting. As 1 grain per gallon equals 17.1 ppm, since the recommended Hach 5B test indicates grains per gallon, a Hach test will likely indicate 10 ppm as 0 gpg, but 10 ppm hardness will often be felt by users, particularly if accustomed to soft water containing less hardness.



Since some of your regenerated capacity is currently not being utilized, the unused capacity is discarded during regeneration, so salt efficiency is reduced as a result.

You did not state your hardness level, water consumption, water source or the amount of capacity consumed in the 10-days.

If for instance, only 24K grains is consumed, then 7-8K grains capacity is discarded. While this will reduce the amount of hardness leakage normally expected for a 6 lb/ft3 salt setting, salt efficiency will be only 2,667 gr/lb (24,000 / 9 lbs) which is approx equal to a 10 lb/ft3 salt setting.

If your water source is municipal, or your own well containing no iron or manganese, then the override setting maybe as long as 28-days with no adverse effects, likely allowing the full programmed capacity to be utilized in that time.

index.php
I was looking for that chart, though I hate the fact that the top shows per cubic foot instead of just saying the total salt amount. I'm trying to figure out how culligan is claiming they magically an make their resin work better than any other.
can-someone-explain-how-culligan-seems-to-magically-be-able-v0-xk6y2ki14mmc1.png
 

Bannerman

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hate the fact that the top shows per cubic foot instead of just saying the total salt amount
Specifying the salt quantity as per ft3 of resin, simplifies and reduces the size of a chart showing a large resin range between 1 ft3 and 100 ft3.

Most water treatment media manufacturers specify the media Backwash and Service flow rates as GPM per square foot, thereby requiring the applicable flow rate to be calculated based on the diameter of the media tank.
 

kk0710

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Not sure why that'd make a difference but I'll take your word for it.
 

kk0710

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Specifying the salt quantity as per ft3 of resin, simplifies and reduces the size of a chart showing a large resin range between 1 ft3 and 100 ft3.

Most water treatment media manufacturers specify the media Backwash and Service flow rates as GPM per square foot, thereby requiring the applicable flow rate to be calculated based on the diameter of the media tank.
What is the typical backwash GPM? Mine was only 2.6 but manufacturer said 2.4 is good enough. Was hoping that was my problem but doesn't appear to be the case.
 

Bannerman

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The usual recommended backwash rate for softener resin is 4-5 GPM per ft2. For a 10" diameter tank, this calculates as 2.2-2.7 GPM. A 2.4 GPM DLFC is most often installed in 10" Fleck based softeners, or 2.5 GPM for Clack based units.

Backwash rates are frequently calculated for 60F incoming water temperature, but for southern locations with warmer water temperatures, the drain flow rate will usually need to be increased due to the lower density of warmer water.
 
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Diyh2o

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A softener containing 1.5 cubic feet (ft3) of resin, will have a total hardness removal capacity of 48,000 grains, but will operate much more efficiently when programmed to regenerate when no more than 36,000 grains has been depleted. To regenerate 36K grains capacity will require only 12 lbs salt, resulting in an efficiency of 3,000 grains per lb of salt.

Since your softener is equipped with a 0.5 GPM BLFC, the appropriate Brine Fill setting will be 8-minutes as the 4 gallons of water entering the brine tank will dissolve 12 lbs of salt to regenerate 36K grains of capacity.

Alternately, 9 lbs salt (6-minute BF setting) will regenerate 31,500 grains capacity (3,500 gr/lb efficiency) with an eventual slightly reduced water quality due to higher hardness leakage through the resin bed. The lower capacity setting will increase the regeneration frequency, thereby reducing water usage efficiency when considering the additional water needed for regeneration per year.

The Brine Tank Capacity chart linked below, does not show a 13" X 13" tank, but the chart does specify a 14" X 14" tank that is not equipped with a brine grid, is suitable for a 1.25 ft3 softener programmed to use 12.5 lbs salt (10 lbs per ft3), or a 2 ft3 softener using 12 lbs salt (6 lbs/ft3).

A salt grid is often utilized with a small brine tank as it will increase the potential capacity to 1.5 & 2.5 ft3 respectively for that same 14X14 tank.

Because the grid platform will elevate the solid salt above the bottom of the tank, the liquid in the void below the grid will have less displacement by the solid salt, thereby reducing the height of the liquid within the tank when filled with the appropriate amount of water..

Most grid platforms are supported by open top beer cup shaped legs which are equipped with drain holes that will allow water to enter to dissolve the salt within the legs, and also allow the brine created to exit the legs to mix with the remaining liquid below the platform.

Brine Tank Capacity Chart
Well, it’s not fixed. I purchased the new unit and installed. Dealer claims this is THE tank that has been used for 20 years with a 48k unit. Also indicated that I need a 10 min BF cycle, 5 gallons.

Upon doing a bucket test, I get a full 4.5 gallons out of a 8 minute cycle. I have Softner set for 36k grain capacity.

The unit cycles fine. I have soft water. My Hach test just arrived today, but I used setting from my old softener until it arrived.

The issue is at the 8 minute BF, the water rises and maxes out the safety valve. I was able to push the safety float just a bit up the guide - it’s not a 2310, but a simpler and smaller fleck design. The recommended 10 min brine fill will trigger the safety float. At 8, the tank is quite full and the float is floating on the water in the brine tube.

The suggestion from dealer is that when I transferred the brine salt, I took too much ‘bad brine’ or powder. I removed it all. Flushed tank, repeated bucket test and then ran a full regen. Same result. Appears to do a full BD, right down to the last inch or so looking down the brine well.

Two 44lb bags of Morton Pellets, one regen and the safety float is back to floating on the water. Dealer said, we’ve not seen that in 20 years. What am I missing? Thank you for the response and for helping me keep the last one running for nearly 20 years.
 

Diyh2o

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Not sure why that'd make a difference but I'll take your word for it.

It did not but the dealer claimed it was. Test did not go well. Float is a floating in the brine well.
 
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Diyh2o

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It's possible that your tank might be a bit on the small side, especially if you're hitting the float during the brine cycle. You've already done some good troubleshooting by adjusting the brine fill settings and checking the fill rate.
Thanks. That’s where I’m at. I have the grid guard, too. My old tank was 18x33, but slightly larger softener. Might just put a new safety float and put it back into service. I did some more digging and it appears some places, by default, use the next size up tank (15x17), with the 18x33 as the upgrade. It’s just touching the safety float, but would like a safety margin.
 

Reach4

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It’s just touching the safety float, but would like a safety margin.
My first thought is that that does not seem a real cause for alarm if you are always adding the same amount of water to the brine tank each time. Some softeners use the float height as the brine level control rather than as a safety float. I can see where you might think that at some point the salt becomes more dense, with less space for water. Maybe you have something there.

The level of the float on the rod dangling from the float valve is adjustable. Are you maxed out on that?
 

Diyh2o

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My first thought is that that does not seem a real cause for alarm if you are always adding the same amount of water to the brine tank each time. Some softeners use the float height as the brine level control rather than as a safety float. I can see where you might think that at some point the salt becomes more dense, with less space for water. Maybe you have something there.

The level of the float on the rod dangling from the float valve is adjustable. Are you maxed out on that?
Yes, maxed out as far as it can go without hitting the support - old Softner had a 2310, this is seems to be the economy version from fleck. Guess I’m concerned if the water level went up a bit, like a pressure fluctuation, currently at 60, and it trips the safety - will the brine draw still pull from the tank? Or am I overthinking this. lol
 

Reach4

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If I understand correctly, the brine will still draw from the tank with the float up.
 

Diyh2o

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I’m going to monitor for a bit and worse case, swap to the larger tank. Thanks for the input.
 
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