Running out of soft water, what to change?

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GEWaterSoftenerDude

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Hi,

We recently installed a Fleck 5600SXT 64K water softener and put in some of the parameters advocated here. The water is wonderful, however, it seems to lose its softness a bit early. The wife complains. I had a look at it and it was very close to getting its recharge 32 gallons were left), but we had 1 or 2 days with relatively hard water before that. So I think I need to tweak a couple of parameters so the softness doesn't run out too early. I would be interested in what parameters to tweak to make this more consistent. Here is my setup:

System info (not programmed)
salt lb/cuft = 7.5 ; A choice ( efficiency vs capacity)
BLFC = 0.5 ; Brine Refill rate GPM
cubic ft resin = 2 ; ft3 resin = (nominal grains)/32,000
Compensated hardness = 25 ; 22 + high-hardness compensation
People = 4 ; gallons affects reserve calc
Estimated gal/day = 300 ; 75 gal per person typical calc

Fleck 5600SXT Settings:
DF = Gal ; Units
VT = dF1b ; Downflw/, Single Backwash, black cam
CT = Fd ; Meter Delayed regen trigger
NT = 1 ; Number of tanks
C = 46.1 ; capacity in 1000 grains
H = 25 ; Hardness-- compensate if needed
RS = rc ; rc says use gallons vs percent
RC = 300 ; Reserve capacity gallons
DO = 30 ; Day Override (28 if no iron)
RT = 2:00 ; Regen time (default 2 AM)
BW = 5 ; Backwash (minutes)
Bd = 60 ; Brine draw minutes
RR = 5 ; Rapid Rinse minutes
BF = 10 ; Brine fill minutes
FM = P0.7 ;

If I increase the RC, should this help? Any other parameters?

Thank you in advance.
 

Reach4

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Most logical to me would be to raise H. Maybe H=35 without knowing the answer to this:

How many days between regens now?

Reducing C has the same effect as increasing H.
 

Reach4

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So you are getting about 4 good days of 6 with good softening with H=25. That would suggest new H = 6/4*25=37.5 rounding to 38.

Your booklet is suggesting a lower salt dose of 6 lb/cuft. That works, but provides a little more hardness leakage but uses less salt per gallon of water.
 

Zenon2cubed

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What brine injector do you have?
I have a 2 cu-ft softener (not installed yet) and it came with an injector that fills the brine tank at 0.25 GPM, are you sure your BLFC is 0.5 GPM?

I'm wondering if I have the wrong injector, or if you have the wrong BLFC.
 

Bannerman

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it came with an injector that fills the brine tank at 0.25 GPM,
The injector and the BLFC (brine line flow control) are two separate components that do different things.

The injector controls the flow rate brine is drawn from the brine tank during the Brine Draw cycle, and also determines the slow rinse flow rate to rinse the resin. The BLFC controls the flow rate of the water entering the brine tank.
 

Zenon2cubed

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Thanks. My injector draw and BLFC were the same so I thought they were connected.

Any idea why this softener is missing the design capacity by 50% ?
 

Bannerman

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Any idea why this softener is missing the design capacity by 50% ?
By this, I anticipate you are asking why the 'C'apacity setting is less than the total capacity of the softener.

To regenerate 100% of capacity such as 64,000 grains for a softener containing 2 cubic feet of resin, would be extremely inefficient as 40 lbs salt would be required each regeneration cycle. The maximum hardness reduction efficiency would then be calculated as 64,000 / 40 lbs = 1,600 grains per lb.

By programming regeneration to occur when only a portion of the total capacity has been depleted, will require substantially less salt each cycle which will greatly increase efficiency. For example, by regenerating when 48,000 grains capacity of the total 64,000 grains has been depleted, will require only 16 lbs salt each regeneration cycle. Hardness reduction efficiency would then be calculated as 48,000 / 16 lbs = 3,000 gr/lb.

See capacity chart below. For each salt quantity, compare usable capacity, hardness reduction efficiency, hardness leakage and water quality.

index.php
 
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Zenon2cubed

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No, from above:
cubic ft resin = 2; ft3 resin = (nominal grains)/32,000
C = 46.1; capacity in 1000 grains
This chart has already been taken into consideration to arrive at the average 6 day regeneration (the actual softener is metered I believe), but soft water depletes after only 4 days.
 

Zenon2cubed

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Correct. I'm referring to the original poster.
The new softener I have purchased but not yet installed looks to be almost exactly the same, so I'm very interested to see what performance is being realized by others with similar hardware.

I would like to understand why the 46.1k grain capacity isn't being achieved.
The actual water has a measured hardness of 22 grains, high-hardness compensation takes this up to 25 grains.

If left to regenerate when all 46.1k grains are depleted (6 days on average) hard water is encountered on day number 4, meaning the softener is not actually delivering the 46.1k grains of ion exchange expected.

Increasing the programmed hardness to 38 grains reduces the utilized capacity from the expected 46.1k down to 30.3k and I was hoping to find out why the full 46.1k aren't being achieved.
 

Bannerman

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Correct. I'm referring to the original poster.
I assumed I was responding to issues you are experiencing.

I suspect the original poster's hardness maybe actually greater than 25 gpg. Perhaps the undefined water source is a private well that contains 25 gpg hardness but also iron and/or manganese which is also consuming softening capacity. If the correct compensation is not included in the hardness setting, then the controller will calculate an incorrect quantity of soft water being possible before the subsequent regeneration cycle is to occur.

Alternately, perhaps that softener is not actually equipped with a 0.5 GPM BLFC. If it is actually equipped with a 0.25 GPM flow restrictor, then only 50% of the brine will be created and so insufficient capacity will be restored each regeneration cycle.

The recommended capacity setting for each salt dose assumes the resin's total capacity (64K grains for 2 ft3) is available. Setting the Capacity setting at 48K means that regeneration is to occur when 48K of the 64K capacity has been utilized. There should always be capacity remaining so each regeneration should be only topping-up the depleted capacity so virtually all of the resin's capacity will be available again.

Once the resin's capacity has been depleted, then a 1X regeneration with 36-40 lbs salt will be needed to restore the 2 ft3 of resin capacity. If that restoration cycle is not performed, then even after regeneration with a lower salt dose, hardness leakage through the resin bed will be excessive, and hardness leakage will continue to increase as the remaining regenerated capacity is further depleted.
 
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