Replacing old water softner system

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nbailey

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I am looking for some assistance in finding an appropriate water softner to replace my current aging/failing unit (Whirlpool WHES40) that has been in the house prior to purchase ~15 years ago. A brief description of the system is well water pump with 1" line to a whole house filter. Then a WHES40 water softner that uses Morton Clean and Protect + Rust Defense Pellets (noticeable difference when using standard vs. Rust defense). House is using CPVC/PEX throughout.

I had a water analysis done that shows the following (can provide full report):

Hardness: 36.65gpg
Iron: 2.91 mg/L
Manganese .0441 mg/L

With that hardness level and level of iron I'm not really what is the best way to proceed. Currently we just have the softner, but it seems like I should really have something dedicated for the iron? If I do that I am assuming that would reduce salt usage and probably allow me to use standard salt?

I have researched sizing a softner and if I understand the process correctly have a compensated hardness around 48 and with a family of 5 have a water usage around 375 (75 gallons per person). This gives me around an 18,000 average daily grains needed. At that size I'm assuming something like a 3-4 day regeneration should be expected so a 54,000-72,000 grain capacity?

Any guidance is appreciated. I would love to purchase and install a system myself but understand that purchasing online is not the best route. Any recommendations on where to get a recommended system in NW Ohio is appreciated. Otherwise I will be reaching out to a couple local companies that offer Kinetico and Ecowater systems and will use your recommendations to better understand what they are offering.
 

Reach4

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I don't like your last sentence. I would go with a less proprietary system than Kintetico. They are the ultimate in proprietary; they will not sell you parts, and will not sell parts to plumbers who are not the Kinetico dealer in the your geographical area.

Ecowater uses cabinet type softeners, and I don't know much besides that. I would consider a Fleck 5800 SXT based softener, but make sure that the rest of the softener did not have inferior parts. That would take over 2 cuft of resin, so you are looking at maybe a "96000 grain" system. Your use and hardness could make good use of a dual tank system. I am thinking a softener based on the Fleck 9100SXT with two 10x54 inch tanks. That gets you regeneration more frequently, which you want when treating significant iron, but with better salt efficiency than using a single tank regenerating every 2 to 4 days.

When using a softener for your level of iron and Mn, 3-4 days makes sense. Do note that when you see a system advertised as "64,000 grains", do not use that as a number that you would use in calculations.

That may be the only way to spend less than $3000 on a good system IMO.



There are systems that will cost more, but will require enough backwash GPM. An AIO or AIO3 system with Katalox light will get the media clumped (turned to a solid mass) if insufficiently backwashed.

To do things with a softener only requires extra work. But it is more economical. You can make good use of Iron Out. You can do a periodic batch treatment, and you can layer that into your salt for some treatment every regen.

Estimates today are more frequently based on 60 gal per person per day. Toilets take less.

If you are to do your own compensation calculations, there are two compensations that you need:
1. compensation for iron and Mn
2. high hardness compensation. For that, see https://terrylove.com/forums/index....0-sxt-programming-settings.60651/#post-450189 , Also http://media.wattswater.com/F-WQ-EngineeringGuide.pdf page 11 of 40

I am not a pro.
 

nbailey

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I don't like your last sentence. I would go with a less proprietary system than Kintetico. They are the ultimate in proprietary; they will not sell you parts, and will not sell parts to plumbers who are not the Kinetico dealer in the your geographical area.

Ecowater uses cabinet type softeners, and I don't know much besides that. I would consider a Fleck 5800 SXT based softener, but make sure that the rest of the softener did not have inferior parts. That would take over 2 cuft of resin, so you are looking at maybe a "96000 grain" system. Your use and hardness could make good use of a dual tank system. I am thinking a softener based on the Fleck 9100SXT with two 10x54 inch tanks. That gets you regeneration more frequently, which you want when treating significant iron, but with better salt efficiency than using a single tank regenerating every 2 to 4 days.

When using a softener for your level of iron and Mn, 3-4 days makes sense. Do note that when you see a system advertised as "64,000 grains", do not use that as a number that you would use in calculations.

That may be the only way to spend less than $3000 on a good system IMO.



There are systems that will cost more, but will require enough backwash GPM.

To do things with a softener only requires extra work. But it is more economical. You can make good use of Iron Out. You can do a periodic batch treatment, and you can layer that into your salt for some treatment every regen.

Estimates today are more frequently based on 60 gal per person per day. Toilets take less.

If you are to do your own compensation calculations, there are two compensations that you need:
1. compensation for iron and Mn
2. high hardness compensation. For that, see https://terrylove.com/forums/index....0-sxt-programming-settings.60651/#post-450189 , Also http://media.wattswater.com/F-WQ-EngineeringGuide.pdf page 11 of 40

Yeah, I preferably want a system that I can work on myself. That was the one nice thing about the Whirlpool, parts and instructions were readily available. I replaced the motor, gears, seals and it was all fairly straight forward. At the same time.. I had to replace the motor, gears, seals... :)

The local companies do not impress me. One (Ecowater ) has poor customer support from my previous interactions when trying to get information about a water test and the other (Kinetico) is heavily invested in "subscription" services (rent vs. own, monthly salt deliveries). I can see where this would be beneficial to some, but I would prefer to own my equipment. As you also stated, proprietary system.

I would like to purchase a system directly but the key, as I have read and as you stated, is to make sure that all parts are quality. I unfortunately am not sure who does and doesn't provide a quality unit. Any direction that can be provided would be greatly beneficial.

I was curious about what usage was commonly used. Some showed 60, others 75. I went with 75 as our three children are homeschool and I also work from home. Wasn't really sure if that would provide a better estimate or if something like 60 gal should still be used?

We will be in this house for the foreseeable future, hopefully 30+ years, so I do want to invest in the right system.
 

Bannerman

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While a softener is often utilized for iron removal when the iron level is lower (1 ppm or less), but iron removal using a softener is not an efficient method and will require ongoing regular maintenance to prevent the softening resin from becoming iron fouled.

To efficiently and reliably remove a significant amount of iron such as you are experiencing, requires a dedicated iron reduction system.

There are various methods for removing iron, the suitability of each method will be largely conditional of the water chemistry in addition to the well and pump capacity.

Since you have already obtained a lab test, suggest posting the full report. Also provide details regarding your well and pump system.

In reviewing this forum, you will find repeated advice not to obtain water treatment equipment from online sources.

Although some franchise network brands do offer high quality, reliable equipment, franchise brands are also not usually recommended since there is no competing supplier of the same equipment except from other network dealers. Those networks are typically closed loop as equipment, parts and service will often be only available from network dealers at whatever price they set.

Two brands of control valves most often recommended on this forum are Fleck and Clack. Those companies also manufacture other softener/filter components such as tanks and screens, but those components are also offered by many other companies including many low quality versions produced by offshore suppliers.

The Fleck & Clack brands are most commonly offered by a variety of generic water treatment professionals, some which may be local to your town. Their softeners and filters will be frequently labelled as a dealer unique brand since the system will often be assembled by each dealer and, an average consumer will not be usually familiar with the Fleck or Clack brands so featuring those names will not necessarily offer much benefit.

Since local dealers install and guarantee what they sell, they will be less likely to utilize cheap, low quality unreliable components since the failure of a cheap component during the warranty period, will cost them more to replace during a service visit, compared to the money they saved using a cheap version.
 

Reach4

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In reviewing this forum, you will find repeated advice not to obtain water treatment equipment from online sources.
It is not that repeated. I did not repeat that. Few speak in such absolutes. Going for quality parts is important, but it is not a given that you cannot get quality parts online. It may take more configuration or negotiation.

Is by phone much different from "online"?

Remember OP got pretty good results for a while with a softener, and only used rust-treating salt, without using citric acid or a Res-Up or ResCare feeder. Those use wick to meter a phosphoric acid solution into the brine tank. Citric acid is good to add manually. Citric acid smells better than Iron Out, but IO is even more effective.
 

nbailey

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I have attached the report.

I don't know too much about the well other than it uses a Goulds J5S pump and when I had to replace the foot valve years ago I seem to remember the lines only went 28ft down. I'm going to try to check today to find out what my GPM is. After the well the system is as described before 1" main line to pressure tank then whole house filter, current softener and then on to fixtures / water heater.

We don't currently use the water for drinking but will be looking to get a RO system setup in the future.
 

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  • Report GVDZCM.pdf
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nbailey

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I don't like your last sentence. I would go with a less proprietary system than Kintetico. They are the ultimate in proprietary; they will not sell you parts, and will not sell parts to plumbers who are not the Kinetico dealer in the your geographical area.

Ecowater uses cabinet type softeners, and I don't know much besides that. I would consider a Fleck 5800 SXT based softener, but make sure that the rest of the softener did not have inferior parts. That would take over 2 cuft of resin, so you are looking at maybe a "96000 grain" system. Your use and hardness could make good use of a dual tank system. I am thinking a softener based on the Fleck 9100SXT with two 10x54 inch tanks. That gets you regeneration more frequently, which you want when treating significant iron, but with better salt efficiency than using a single tank regenerating every 2 to 4 days.

When using a softener for your level of iron and Mn, 3-4 days makes sense. Do note that when you see a system advertised as "64,000 grains", do not use that as a number that you would use in calculations.

That may be the only way to spend less than $3000 on a good system IMO.



There are systems that will cost more, but will require enough backwash GPM. An AIO or AIO3 system with Katalox light will get the media clumped (turned to a solid mass) if insufficiently backwashed.

To do things with a softener only requires extra work. But it is more economical. You can make good use of Iron Out. You can do a periodic batch treatment, and you can layer that into your salt for some treatment every regen.

Estimates today are more frequently based on 60 gal per person per day. Toilets take less.

If you are to do your own compensation calculations, there are two compensations that you need:
1. compensation for iron and Mn
2. high hardness compensation. For that, see https://terrylove.com/forums/index....0-sxt-programming-settings.60651/#post-450189 , Also http://media.wattswater.com/F-WQ-EngineeringGuide.pdf page 11 of 40

I am not a pro.

So how does the dual tank system work for sizing capacity? For example, you mentioned 96,000 grain capacity for a single tank above. Should a dual tank system be the same capacity per tank (96,000 grain) or since the tanks are switched between are two lower capacity tanks used (say 2x 48,000 grain tanks)? Any information about understanding a dual tank system is appreciated.
 

Reach4

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So how does the dual tank system work for sizing capacity? For example, you mentioned 96,000 grain capacity for a single tank above. Should a dual tank system be the same capacity per tank (96,000 grain) or since the tanks are switched between are two lower capacity tanks used (say 2x 48,000 grain tanks)? Any information about understanding a dual tank system is appreciated.
It is done both way. If it says dual 48000 grain, and uses 10x54 inch tanks, that would be 1.5 cuft of resin in each tank.

The marketers might instead describe the same system as a 96000 grain.
 

nbailey

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Estimates today are more frequently based on 60 gal per person per day. Toilets take less.

If you are to do your own compensation calculations, there are two compensations that you need:
1. compensation for iron and Mn
2. high hardness compensation. For that, see https://terrylove.com/forums/index....0-sxt-programming-settings.60651/#post-450189 , Also http://media.wattswater.com/F-WQ-EngineeringGuide.pdf page 11 of 40

I am not a pro.

I looked over the hardness compensation information and I have questions. In my first post I mentioned a compensated hardness of 48gpg as I used an article I found online to calculate it (https://help.afwfilters.com/portal/...ftener-sizing#What_size_of_softener_do_I_need). This article (and other similar reference I found online) uses a specific calculation for iron/manganese instead of a general hardness multiplier like in the chart you sent. Is this a use one method or the other scenario or do I need to use the multiplier for the high levels of hardness then calculate the compensation for iron/manganese seperate and add them together?
 

Reach4

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You must use both, but I don't know in which order. If you add the iron+Mn compensation first, then apply the high-hardness factor, then obviously you get a higher compensated hardness number.

For iron and Mn, Ditttohead uses 5*iron +1*Mn.

Whatever you come up with, you can test the hardness as you count down to zero. You can change the hardness higher if you find there is too much hardness leakage at the end. If your hardness tested with the Hach 5B always turns blue with zero drops of reagent, even as the count down gets to zero, you can go the other way. One problem with that, tho, I think when you change H, the softener thinks it has been freshly regenerated. So you might want to trigger an immediate regeneration after changing C or H.
 
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nbailey

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Well.. I expanded my search and reached out to a few companies to see what their recommendations might be. I sent my water report to give them a chance to do a proper sizing. Their sizing varies:

- Fleck 9100SXT 80k (5.0 cu. ft. total) dual tank (160k total); Purolite resin
- Fleck 9100SXT 64k (4.0 cu. ft. total) dual tank (128k total); 8% resin
- Fleck 5600SXT 64k (2.0 cu. ft.) single tank; 8% resin
- Fleck 5600SXT 80k (2.5 cu. ft.) single tank; Purolite resin
- Fleck 2510SXT 96k (3 cu. ft.) single tank; Purolite resin

I was a little surprised at the 64k single tank recommendation. It seems to fit when you aren't accounting for the iron / manganese and undersizing. Comparing general prices I think that the 96k doesn't really make sense when a dual tank system isn't much different in cost.

Any thoughts on the other systems? What about the resin choices? Hope to call and speak to someone tomorrow to try and finalize a system.
 

Reach4

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I might consider the 9100SXT with two 10x54 inch tanks ( 3.0 cuft total). Get gravel at the bottom of each tank. Expect that to regen about every 2.5 days.

With significant iron, you want more frequent regen. But with a single tank system, that can mean inefficiency, because you might have on average 0.5 days (potentially, even 0.99 days) of softening capacity remaining at the time of regen.

I would layer the salt with Iron Out, and would consider some IO batch treatments in addition.

People use to talk more about the Purolite SST resin. There were some reports of a water smell being generated. They claim to be better for iron. There is also the possibility of fine grain resin. Those beads are really tiny, and the backwash rate should compensate. Backwash is a lower rate IIRC. Supposed to deal with iron better. There could a downside in addition to a little more pressure drop in service.

Loading resin is harder than you think, and fine resin is probably harder to avoid spillage.

After install, you might want to consider well and plumbing sanitizing, if the weather cooperates. https://terrylove.com/forums/index....izing-extra-attention-to-4-inch-casing.65845/ is my sanitizing write-up.

Even if you don't sanitize well and plumbing, you do add some chlorine bleach to the brine for the first regen of each tank. Dose: 1.2 fluid ounce (35.5 ml) per cubic ft of resin for 5.25% Sodium Hypochlorite household bleach. If stronger solutions are used, adjust the dosage accordingly. I like the Aldi bleach, or the Chorox Disinfecting bleach (does not have the special laundry additives).
 
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