Requesting opinions on Watts Vortech Softners

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Finally_Retired, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. Finally_Retired

    Finally_Retired New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    Florida
    So I recently moved to Florida from Ohio, didn't need a softner in Cleveland but sure need on here. Been trying to get information by reading websites and was happy to find this forum. It's just two of us so our water needs modest. We live in Pinellas County, the county states our hardness ranges from 11.2 -> 14.3 grains of hardness. From calculations I found on website the indications are a 32000 grain softner would be a good choice to minimize salt usage and provide headroom for softened water should we have guests.

    I like the idea of the small self contained unit like the Watts model PWSCAB30K as it will live in our garage. Does anyone have experience and opinions on this product?
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Such a 1 cubic ft softener would be fine for your 2 people. It does not have the margin you think, but with visitors, just regen more often.

    People don't normally repair cabinet type softeners. I don't know why that is, but there does not seem to be the parts and info so widely available. Ten years of life is what is commonly expected. A system with a separate brine tank is usually expected to be more cleanable and rebuildable.
     
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  4. Finally_Retired

    Finally_Retired New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks for your very quick reply.
    I found is a lager cabinet softener, a GE mdl GXSH40V 40,000 GRAIN WATER SOFTENER. I expect it would use much less salt and provide good headroom.
    Attached is the info from my county, do you have any comments about it?


    Pinellas_Water.png
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I doubt it would use much less salt.
    When it comes to hardness, you want to plan on the max rather than average.

    For chlorinated water, you would like to have 10% crosslinked resin, or at least 8%. Is that speced for the two softeners you have been looking at?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
  6. Finally_Retired

    Finally_Retired New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    Florida
    From various sites I read that if you choose a size softener larger than is normally needed that it results in less salt usage, I don't have any practical experience on this matter. I have not checked anything about resin for either of the softeners but did see that the warranty is voided for the WATTS if there is chlorine in the water. I presume you mention the crosslinked resin because of the chloride in my water, is that correct?

    BTW- Thanks for the link you sent, seems like a very good site.
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I wonder how it would be to put the softener in the garage and a separate brine tank outside, connected by a single plastic tube through the wall. Some people in non-freezing climate put both parts outside, with a hood of some sort over the head. One concern with that could be algae etc growing because of light penetrating the tank(s). Maybe with chlorinated water that won't happen. There are light-proof covers.

    Regarding Watts and chlorine, I doubt they void the warranty because of city water chlorine. I mention chlorine because of the free chlorine or chloramine -- the disinfecting stuff. That is not covered in your test data, and it would commonly vary according to how close to the treatment plant you are. As the water travels to you, it reacts with stuff. The city wants to make sure there is some residual chlorine at everybody's house without being too strong at the closest house.

    Regarding bigger being more efficient, that is true... the reason is that every 2AM the softener checks that there is enough remaining capacity to make it through to the next night. If not, it regenerates. On average there might be 1/2 day of capacity remaining unused. So if you regenerate every 7 days, that comes to about (0.5/7) unused capacity. If you regen about every 10 days, that is 0.5/10. A savings, but not a big savings.

    On the other hand, if you regenerated every 3 days, that half day of capacity would be more significant.
     
  8. Finally_Retired

    Finally_Retired New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    Florida
    I have seen softeners placed outside houses in the neighborhood, thought about that but it isn't very attractive to the wife ;-) I have also seen brine tanks buried in the ground, essentially only the lid being exposed above ground. If there aren't issues with burying the brine tank than having the softener in the garage would work.
     
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