Question re new water softener install

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Krakhauer

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Just an update... I spoke to the owner of the 2nd company (not the original installer). He was able to find out where the first guy bought the system and they are replacing the entire valve head/assembly under warranty on Tuesday. He thinks the valve is defective and that's why it isn't drawing any water from the brine tank.

So, at least I effectively cut out the first guy. Mission accomplished there.

And if for whatever reason it still isn't drawing water after the new valve goes on, then a whole bunch of possibilities are eliminated since it's a brand new valve.

Will let you guys know what happens. In two days. Wish me luck.

I would put enough water in to put the water level over the air check valve, and see if the system draws water then.

UPDATE

Water softener is fixed! Second company sent their lead technician back and he replaced the valve head with a new one under warranty. It's another 5 button display, but it seems like an upgraded model compared to what I had before. The new display is backlit and has way more options. It even has a mode where it tells you how many gallons per minute are being used when water is running. The technician set hardness at 10 GPG, fill at 10.5 lbs, capacity at 32 x 1,000 (which equals 3,200 gallons), and automatic 14 day regen if capacity isn't used by then. He also set the cycles as follows: 1 - Backwash @ 10 mins, 2 - Brine DN @ 60 mins, 3 - Rinse @ 7 mins, and 4 - Fill @ 6:57. He was also super thorough and pulled out the entire check valve rod out of the brine well. He said one of the nuts didn't seem like it was threaded correctly and he re-threaded it to make sure there was no air leak.

Once he installed the new valve he immediately said the suction was way stronger on the Brine Draw cycle And sure enough, it sucked water out of the brine tank very quickly. I added three new 40lb bags of salt crystals to the brine tank, let it soak for 3 hours, and then ran a Regeneration.

Once the 60 minute cycle started, it took less than 9 minutes to draw the brine out of the tank. The water level was lowered well below the salt grid, and looking into the brine well the water level was essentially at the bottom part of the check valve. The Fill cycle ran and put about the same amount of water back into the brine tank - I'm guessing it's approximately 3.5 gallons.

All and all, I am super pumped that the system is finally working the way it's supposed to work. Thank you Reach 4 for all of your responses! :)
 
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Bannerman

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The technician set hardness at 10 GPG, fill at 10.5 lbs, capacity at 32 x 1,000 (which equals 3,200 gallons),
10.5 lbs salt is insufficient to regenerate 32,000 grains capacity in 1 cubic foot of resin as 10 lbs will only regenerate 26K grains capacity. To regenerate all 32K grains will require ~20 lbs salt each cycle which would be highly inefficient and not effective in actual practice.

The usual recommended settings to achieve the best balance of usable Capacity, efficiency and water quality for a 1 ft3 softener is a 24,000 grains Capacity setting as that will require only 8 lbs salt each cycle. (hardness reduction efficiency: 24,000 gr / 8 lbs = 3,000 grains per lb).

See chart below to compare Capacity, HRE and water quality when regenerating with various salt quantities.

index.php
 

Krakhauer

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10.5 lbs salt is insufficient to regenerate 32,000 grains capacity in 1 cubic foot of resin as 10 lbs will only regenerate 26K grains capacity. To regenerate all 32K grains will require ~20 lbs salt each cycle which would be highly inefficient and not effective in actual practice.

The usual recommended settings to achieve the best balance of usable Capacity, efficiency and water quality for a 1 ft3 softener is a 24,000 grains Capacity setting as that will require only 8 lbs salt each cycle. (hardness reduction efficiency: 24,000 gr / 8 lbs = 3,000 grains per lb).

See chart below to compare Capacity, HRE and water quality when regenerating with various salt quantities.

index.php
Ok, couple follow-up questions for you. Let's assume that since my system was installed, it hit it's peak capacity of 32,000 grains because it wasn't softening correctly. That's the worst case scenario.

1. I just ran a regeneration which used approximately 10lbs of salt (not sure exactly how much water was in the barrel). That should have regenerated 26,000 grains, correct? Let's be conservative and say only 24,000 grains was regenerated, leaving me with 8,000 grain capacity that was not regenerated. I would like to make sure the remaining 8,000 grains capacity gets regenerated so I am starting from a clean slate. The system was set to 10.5lbs for the Fill cycle, so there is close to 3.5 gallons of brine solution in the tank right now.

2. To ensure all the media is regenerated (the full 32,000 grain capacity), can I simply run another regeneration using the brine currently in the tank (10.5lbs was used)? That would be overkill but it would definitely regenerate the remaining 8,000 grains of capacity leaving me at full capacity, correct?

OR

3. There are two of us in the house. Let's assume 100 gallon per person per day, at 10 GPG, would be 2,000 grains per day. Could I wait 8 days (approximately 16,000 grains used), and run a regeneration using 10lbs of salt to regenerate the 16,000 grains from those 8 days + the 8,000 grains that did not get regenerated today - total of 24,000 grains?

OR

3. Do I need to run a regeneration cycle that uses 20lbs or more of salt to ensure all 32,000 grains of capacity gets regenerated?

I honestly don't mind wasting salt this one time to make sure my system is set up right moving forward. The 40lb bags are $6.50, so very inexpensive.

Regardless of which option you say I should go with, I'll make sure to set the system up up for 24,000 capacity, which would mean regeneration after 2,400 gallons. I'm going to keep the salt at 10lb per Fill cycle. There's only two of us in the house, so it's extremely likely the system will always regenerate after 14 days, which should probably occur well before 2,400 gallons are used anyways. That would equate to 6 x 40lb bags a year.
 
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Bannerman

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To reduce hardness leakage through the resin bed, 100% of the resin's capacity should be restored. This maybe accomplished by adding additional water to the brine tank to create additional brine for a 1X regeneration cycle, or 2 regular regeneration cycles maybe performed manually back-to-back. I prefer 2 back-to-back cycles as no settings adjustments or additional brine will be needed, thereby allowing the 2nd cycle to be initiated directly before departing for bed, with no worry of needing to remember to add additional water or reset any settings.

Whenever more capacity has been depleted than will be restored such as when the softener has regenerated while there was insufficient salt in the brine tank, then 2 regeneration cycles back-to-back should restore most if not all depleted capacity that would otherwise continue to remain not regenerated. Resin capacity that is not regenerated, will not be assisting to remove hardness so hardness leakage will be higher and soft water quality will suffer as a result.
 
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Krakhauer

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To reduce hardness leakage through the resin bed, 100% of the resin's capacity should be restored. This maybe accomplished by adding additional water to the brine tank to create additional brine for a 1X regeneration cycle, or 2 regular regeneration cycles maybe performed manually back-to-back. I prefer 2 back-to-back cycles as no settings adjustments or additional brine will be needed, thereby allowing the 2nd cycle to be initiated directly before departing for bed, with no worry of needing to remember to add additional water or reset any settings.

Whenever more capacity has been depleted than will be restored such as when the softener has regenerated while there was insufficient salt in the brine tank, then 2 regeneration cycles back-to-back should restore most if not all depleted capacity that would otherwise be unlikely to be regenerated. Resin capacity that is not regenerated, will not be assisting to remove hardness so hardness leakage will be higher and soft water quality will suffer.

Ok, so you are saying go with paragraph #2 from my post - run another regeneration right now which will use 10.5lbs of salt?

Moving forward, the system will either regenerate after 2,400 gallons (2,400 gallons x 10gpg = 24,000 grain capacity) OR 14 days, whichever comes first. With only 2 of us (75 gallons per person per day), we will probably average 150 gallons per day, which is 2,100 gallons after 14 days = 21,000 grains @ 14 days. Although it's probably overkill, I'm going to leave the salt setting at 10lbs. Although the salt efficiency is probably only fair doing it the way, our water quality should probably be between better and best, right?
 

Krakhauer

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To reduce hardness leakage through the resin bed, 100% of the resin's capacity should be restored. This maybe accomplished by adding additional water to the brine tank to create additional brine for a 1X regeneration cycle, or 2 regular regeneration cycles maybe performed manually back-to-back. I prefer 2 back-to-back cycles as no settings adjustments or additional brine will be needed, thereby allowing the 2nd cycle to be initiated directly before departing for bed, with no worry of needing to remember to add additional water or reset any settings.

Whenever more capacity has been depleted than will be restored such as when the softener has regenerated while there was insufficient salt in the brine tank, then 2 regeneration cycles back-to-back should restore most if not all depleted capacity that would otherwise continue to remain not regenerated. Resin capacity that is not regenerated, will not be assisting to remove hardness so hardness leakage will be higher and soft water quality will suffer as a result.

I did a second regeneration last night before going to bed. So in total, the system did 2 regenerations yesterday using 10.5lbs of salt each time. Sounds like I should be good to go moving forward!

I changed the capacity to 24,000 and set the salt at 10lbs. The system is configured to regenerate after 2,400 gallons (water hardness is 10gpg) have been used or 14 days go by, whichever happens first. Because there is only two of us in the house, I suspect the system will normally regenerate every 14 days. Average water use for two people would take about 16 days to go through 2,400 gallons. I'm happy with the setup even though it's probably using slightly more salt than necessary. It will ensure the water is definitely soft and the system will still regenerate twice month.
 
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