Old softerner is out. Sizing up Replacement.

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Chucky5150

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Long time reader, first time poster...

Currently have an old old 10+ year old Culligan twin tank that came with the house. I don't have any numbers off of it, but it seems like the sales guy put a hell of a deal on the one old guy (at most there was 2 old guys) that lived here. It would seem to have stopped working while I am out of town and the wife isn't very pleased with the quality of the water right now.

Would like some help double checking my math.

Family of 4 + some cats and dogs.
Hardness = 120ish ppm - hard to get a good number from those test strips
Hardness = 7 grains per gallon

4 people in the House X 75 Gallons Water Consumption Per Person X 7 Grains Per Gallon = Equals 2,100 Grains to be removed

That looks to put me in the market for a 24,000 Grain Capacity unit.

Test strip results: We are on private well water in south part of Louisiana.
Hardeness = 120ish ppm
Total Chlorine = 0 ppm
Free Chlorine = 0 ppm
Bromine = 0 ppm
Total Alkalinity = 240+ ppm (hard to tell what color matches best)
Cyanuric Acid = 100 ppm
pH = 8.2 0r 9

I just ordered test strips for iron and other metals. After talking with the wife it sounds like there a noticeable amount of iron in the water. Also getting a TDS meter.

Now to the fun part, what unit do I get?

We don't just want the cheapest harbor freight unit online. At the same time we do not want to just be throwing money away on marketing PR. I was thinking of going with an upflow unit, until I started doing more reading here. This will be a DIY install and I want something that I can get parts for down the line and not cost an arm & leg (Looking at you Culligan). I do want to get something that is demand based as our water usage varies a lot with teenagers gone for weekends and I am working out of town for weeks at a time.


I started looking at the Genesis 2 Premier Upflow, however, I believe that is going to be off the list for reasons listed above. I've also been looking at the Fleck 5600 SXT On Demand, I know the 5600 has been around for awhile. My concern is if the 5600 is still around in 10+ years.


Still about 2 weeks out from being able to order anything. Just trying to get all my ducks in a row first.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Thank you.
 

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Long time reader, first time poster...

Currently have an old old 10+ year old Culligan twin tank that came with the house. I don't have any numbers off of it, but it seems like the sales guy put a hell of a deal on the one old guy (at most there was 2 old guys) that lived here. It would seem to have stopped working while I am out of town and the wife isn't very pleased with the quality of the water right now.

Would like some help double checking my math.

Family of 4 + some cats and dogs.
Hardness = 120ish ppm - hard to get a good number from those test strips
Hardness = 7 grains per gallon

4 people in the House X 75 Gallons Water Consumption Per Person X 7 Grains Per Gallon = Equals 2,100 Grains to be removed

That looks to put me in the market for a 24,000 Grain Capacity unit.

Test strip results: We are on private well water in south part of Louisiana.
Hardeness = 120ish ppm
Total Chlorine = 0 ppm
Free Chlorine = 0 ppm
Bromine = 0 ppm
Total Alkalinity = 240+ ppm (hard to tell what color matches best)
Cyanuric Acid = 100 ppm
pH = 8.2 0r 9

I just ordered test strips for iron and other metals. After talking with the wife it sounds like there a noticeable amount of iron in the water. Also getting a TDS meter.

Now to the fun part, what unit do I get?

We don't just want the cheapest harbor freight unit online. At the same time we do not want to just be throwing money away on marketing PR. I was thinking of going with an upflow unit, until I started doing more reading here. This will be a DIY install and I want something that I can get parts for down the line and not cost an arm & leg (Looking at you Culligan). I do want to get something that is demand based as our water usage varies a lot with teenagers gone for weekends and I am working out of town for weeks at a time.


I started looking at the Genesis 2 Premier Upflow, however, I believe that is going to be off the list for reasons listed above. I've also been looking at the Fleck 5600 SXT On Demand, I know the 5600 has been around for awhile. My concern is if the 5600 is still around in 10+ years.


Still about 2 weeks out from being able to order anything. Just trying to get all my ducks in a row first.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Thank you.
My advise is to first get a professional water test. most local professionals will do this free of charge if they think there is a chance you may act on their recommendation. You really need an accurate assessment of iron and manganese content. 36000 grains is the smallest I'd recommend. 48000 if iron exists @<2 ppm. Fleck are good units and so are clack. The latter is only available by dealer. Fleck is made by pentair and aren't going anywhere any time soon so parts will be available for a long time. your looking for a "metered" unit to fit your usage requirements. Don't discount the mechanical valves. They have no time backup, but also no circuit board..less to go wrong imo. Others will follow up with recommendations.
 
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Chucky5150

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Safe Home Select test kit has been ordered. This was easier than having someone give my wife a sales pitch that she wouldn't put up with.
 

Bannerman

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When you operate a private well, you are your own utility. Always advisable to periodically have a comprehensive lab test performed on the raw water, particularly before considering new treatment equipment.

The Well Standard package from National Labs WaterCheck is frequently recommended on this forum. http://watercheck.myshopify.com/?aff=5
 

Chucky5150

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So here is the current set up. I forgot about the 3rd (small) tank. No idea what is in them, but it does have a bypass valve on the back. But something for sure isn't working right as we are getting brown stains in the toilet that were not there before. Still waiting on the water test to get here.

Inside the control box in the small tank is a small circuit board with timer. I believe to control the salt dosage, backwash, etc. I just don't have time right now (Christmas and all) to check what all the setting are at.

I have 1" PVC coming out of the pump & pressure tank that is reduced down to 3/4" for the softereners and house supply.
 

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So here is the current set up. I forgot about the 3rd (small) tank. No idea what is in them, but it does have a bypass valve on the back. But something for sure isn't working right as we are getting brown stains in the toilet that were not there before. Still waiting on the water test to get here.

Inside the control box in the small tank is a small circuit board with timer. I believe to control the salt dosage, backwash, etc. I just don't have time right now (Christmas and all) to check what all the setting are at.

I have 1" PVC coming out of the pump & pressure tank that is reduced down to 3/4" for the softereners and house supply.
not sure what the small tank is or the control head on the right. The left control head is a mark 89 or mark 812. That model is 25 to 30 yrs old They can still be rebuilt it though, and the tanks can be rebed with new mineral. Although it would likely be around $800. might be best to just buy new.
 

Chucky5150

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not sure what the small tank is or the control head on the right. The left control head is a mark 89 or mark 812. That model is 25 to 30 yrs old They can still be rebuilt it though, and the tanks can be rebed with new mineral. Although it would likely be around $800. might be best to just buy new.

Dang. The house was originally built in '78. So this softener might be on its third owner. I agree, I think it's time for something new.
 

Chucky5150

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Not sure if this helps ID anything, but here is the inside of the control box on the right.
 

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Not sure if this helps ID anything, but here is the inside of the control box on the right.
mark 100 maybe, or early medallist. The cabinet doesn't appear normal. one drop of water on that circuit board and it's toast. they both have the same internals (ie. piston/seal pack). they were probably installed somewhere between 1980 and the year back to the future was released. lol
 
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Chucky5150

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Got the water test results back. This was taken as close to the source as I could get.

Thoughts? Concerns?

Edit: Found out that this last owner got this unit back in 2003.
 

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Reach4

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Got the water test results back. This was taken as close to the source as I could get.

Thoughts? Concerns?
Serious manganese, iron. Arsenic is likely to be taken care of by the iron filter.

You want a backwashing filter before your softener, as you have. So you need it to work.

Nice pH.
 

ditttohead

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There are a lot of variable here. How well do you want to treat the water? Are you willing to spend a little extra to get the best results or are you just wanting to keep it as cheap as possible?

A proper iron/manganese reduction system could be a multitude of designs. I would recommend a system that uses at minimum air injection if not H2o2 injection. A properly sized arsenic reduction system that you test regularly, and a softener.
 

Skyjumper

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I'm a huge Clack fan. Whatever you do, get units with Clack valves. You will thank me later. The parts are easy to get, and the valve is a dream to service --- and you will service it. don't fret over a couple hundred $$ on the initial cost, it is easily worth it over time.

+1 on the suggestion to avoid air injection Fe filters. that's what I have and it will not work for you. but you do need an Fe filter. the other knowledgeable folks here can give you solid advice on that.
 

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Got the water test results back. This was taken as close to the source as I could get.

Thoughts? Concerns?

Edit: Found out that this last owner got this unit back in 2003.
you have significant iron levels. The most concerning result however, is your As levels being 5 times the MCL (maximum contaminant level) imposed by the EPA. Arsenic 5 (pentavalent As) is not absorbed through the skin and can be removed by a POA reverse osmosis system to provide water for drinking and cooking. Arsenic 3 (trivalent As), on the other hand, IS absorbed through the skin. Unfortunately most water tests don't distinguish between the two.
 

Reach4

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I'm a huge Clack fan. Whatever you do, get units with Clack valves. You will thank me later. The parts are easy to get, and the valve is a dream to service
Parts are easy to get for you. Clack doesn't want parts to be easy to get for the user.
 

Skyjumper

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Clack parts are easy to get for everyone online. I don't work in this industry. I'd gladly buy from my local Clack dealer but I don't like him (he pushes offshore junk, and doesn't know how to program a softener, but that's a different story). I have considered asking Clack if I could take over this market for them I'd probably quadruple their sales and could quit my day job.

on a related note - 2 years ago my neighbor bought a $5k system from the local "high end" water company consisting of a 32k grain softener and a massive backwashing iron filter - I think its a 13x60 tank. no chemical or air injection. probably birm media but he doesn't know. his finished water is terrible. yellowish color, iron staining in the fixtures, sulfur smell, etc. the raw water is 30gpg, 3ppm Fe and certainly IRB. the softener was programmed for 1,050 gals and 10lb salt. he said "I don't understand it, I keep the salt tank full". I told him to get the water company back to fix it, and keep them coming back until the system works properly. I didn't want to get involved. This particular water company does probably 50% of the homes around here, maybe more. everyone uses them. I honestly don't know how they get away with it.
 

Chucky5150

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There are a lot of variable here. How well do you want to treat the water? Are you willing to spend a little extra to get the best results or are you just wanting to keep it as cheap as possible?

A proper iron/manganese reduction system could be a multitude of designs. I would recommend a system that uses at minimum air injection if not H2o2 injection. A properly sized arsenic reduction system that you test regularly, and a softener.

How well? Never thought I'd have to think about that. Lets go with somewhere around best bang for the buck. That being said, we're not moving from here ever. So I would rather do it right once and cry just once. I'm not a big fan of testing regularly. I work out of town for weeks / months at a time and the wife isn't going to want to fool with it. I'm a big fan of Ron Popeil, "set it and forget it."

Well, that's the thinking anyway.
 
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