Softener not getting to 0 gpg hardness

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by Hawkins, May 12, 2019.

  1. Hawkins

    Hawkins New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2019
    Location:
    OH
    Ok - so hopefully this is my last post where I have questions and I can finally share my total experience with others as a commenter and not a "questioner".

    Just installed a Fleck 5810SXT Softener (48k hardness - family of 4 -- hardness of 11). At first it wasn't softening at all -- found out this is because the valve needed an adapter to fit the riser tube. Once I installed the adapter, I've had "soft water".

    The problem -- my water has been testing at 2-3gpg since the install of the adapter. Obviously this is better than the alternative (10-11 gpg); however, I was really hoping for 0-1 gpg and given my hardness, I don't see why that's not happening. Not that I have 10% crosslink resin and have already regened it a couple times to make sure the resin is "clean" or appropriately charged.

    Any ideas what could be causing the hardness to still occur. I understand that 0-3 gpg is still considered "soft" but is this a normal result. Note all tests have been done with a Hach 5b.

    Thanks,

    Hawkins
     
  2. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Glad the internal leakage problem was resolved. Did you check your GAC system to determine if it too may be missing the adaptor?

    As requested in your other thread, what settings were programmed? You said it was 'programmed appropriately with the retailer' but didn't specify which settings were programmed.

    A 'retailer' would not know which settings are appropriate for a softener to function efficiently or optimally which is some of the reason Fleck now restrict the distribution of its newer control valves to only authorized dealers who understand, install and service the products they sell. As such, you should not have been able to purchase your 5810 SXT systems from a 'retailer'.

    The 48K grains mentioned, is the Total capacity for 1.5 cuft of resin, not the softener's usable capacity. We will need to know all settings plus which BLFC (brine line flow control) that is installed which should be specified on a label nearby to the brine line connection. We will also need to know your household average water consumption or the number of occupants so as to estimate consumption.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Water quality vs efficiency. As bannerman stated above, check the settings, post them here with the actual BLFC button size. I have attached our new resin chart with a simple short explanation of quality vs. efficiency.
    resin chart.jpg
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I presume you are checking cold water, rather than water that went through the WH.

    I suspect that you are now only partially fixed the bypassing. It could be an o-ring missing or displaced. There are 3 different adapters.
    61419-02 ............... Kit, 32mm Distributor, Adapter
    61419-01 ............... Kit, 1.315" Distributor, Adapter ("1 inch pvc pipe size) 33.401 mm OD

    61419 .................... Kit, 1.05" Distributor Adapter ("3/4 inch pvc pipe size) 26.67 mm OD

    Do you know the part number of the adapter you installed?

    There may be two o-rings involved... inner and outer. I don't know.
     
  6. Hawkins

    Hawkins New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2019
    Location:
    OH
    Yes, both were missing the adapter and both are now fixed

    Will post my programming in a different post.

    I certainly understand rules may have been bent on this. There are a couple online retailers that will sell and walk through setup of the 5810's. For a DIY guy like myself, it's great --- but realize I don't know much about programming. I programmed the unit with the retailer I purchased the unit from and it seems standard to some of the settings I've seen only.

    Will post this in a seperate post as mentioned above
     
  7. Hawkins

    Hawkins New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2019
    Location:
    OH
    Yes, using a bath tub with a cold and hot water faucet -- using cold water handle only. I am not sure which adapter I had. It fit VERY snugly to the valve and seemed to fit pretty tight around the riser tube. I only remember 1 o-ring on the adapter.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  8. Hawkins

    Hawkins New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2019
    Location:
    OH
    For you all, the details/settings are as follows:

    A few of you asked about the Brine flow. Looks like its. 0.25 GPM and 0.75 lb salt/min. Is this what you were looking for?


    DF : GAL
    VT: 5810
    RF: dF16
    CT: Fd
    C: 48.0x1000
    H: 13 (my normal hardness is 11)
    RS: SF
    SF: 20
    DO: 10
    RT: 3:20
    BW: 10
    BD: 60
    RR: 10
    BF: 22 (This was 20 but I was only getting about 11.5 inches of water in the brine tank. I upped to 22 to see if that will give me 12 inches in the tank)
    FM: t1.2
    RE: Off
    VR: Off

    Note that this is for a family of 4. 1.5 cu ft of resin was added (10% crosslink)
     
  9. Hawkins

    Hawkins New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2019
    Location:
    OH
    I included my specs/settings in a separate post. I am not sure I fully understand the chart you posted.
     
  10. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Your Capacity and salt settings are incorrect.

    The height of water in the brine tank is not a concern as the liquid height will vary depending on the amount of salt remaining. What is relevant is your salt dose which needs to be directly matched to usable capacity.

    Your prior Brine Fill setting was 20 minutes X 0.25 gpm BLFC = 5 gallons refill. Each gallon will dissolve 3 lbs salt which is a salt dose of only 15 lbs total.

    In viewing Ditttohead's chart, if you view across the width for 1.5 cuft, you will see on the far right, for 48K usable capacity, it indicates 20 lbs salt per cuft which equals 30 lbs total salt needed. FYI, 48K usable capacity from 1.5 cuft is not really possible in practice as any broken and worn resin beads will be flushed to drain and so total capacity will become somewhat lower over time.

    If you view left on the chart, you will see the salt dose will reduce substantially while the usable capacity will drop only moderately. This means salt efficiency can be substantially increased if the usable capacity is reduced somewhat.

    For 1.5 cuft resin, the commonly recommended Capacity settings are either 31.5K grains which will require regeneration with 9lbs salt (3,500 grains per lb), or 36K grains requiring 12lbs salt (3K / lb)
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  11. Hawkins

    Hawkins New Member

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    Apr 19, 2019
    Location:
    OH
    So if I understand you correctly, should I set the C to 36k and knock the brine fill down to 16 min? I would imagine all the other settings remain the same. Also note that my brine tank has a salt grid at the bottom. Does this matter for the Brine Fill cycle given that water will not be touching the salt for the first 2-3 inches (I can't remember how tall the salt grid was at the bottom of the brine tank).

    Note that the rep indicated I should have about 12 inches of water in the brine tank.
     
  12. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Correct.

    Salt will settle into the support legs of the salt grid and so will be in contact with water even if the total quantity of water remains below the grid platform. As there will be 4 gallons re-entering your brine tank at the end of each regeneration cycle, the liquid level will likely be above the grid platform unless your brine tank footprint is larger than average. Dry salt above will continue to settle to replace the lower salt as it is dissolved.

    Because the maximum saturation point for brine is 3 lbs salt per gallon, when the water is unsaturated, as long as there is contact with the salt, salt will continue to dissolve until the resulting brine becomes fully saturated.

    Estimating your water usage at 60 gallons/person/day, you may want to readjust the Reserve Setting to 240 gallons Reserve Capacity as opposed to your current Safety Factor setting of 20% of Capacity.

    As your water source is municipal which will have no iron, the Days Override setting could be increased to 28 days from its current 10-day setting.

    Rapid Rinse is utilized to recompact the resin bed following regeneration. This setting could be reduced to 5 minutes from its current 10, thereby saving about 12 gallons of water.

    Municipal water is often obtained from multiple sources. As each source may have a unique hardness level, it is advisable to program 2-3 grains hardness above the hardness level tested, as you have already done. This will anticipate periods of higher hardness which will often occur due to variable water consumption in town throughout each day, distribution system maintenance, seasonal variability, etc.

    As you had been regenerating too much capacity with too little salt, some capacity may have been consumed but not regenerated which may be resulting in hardness leakage through the resin bed as you appear to be experiencing. As such, it would be advisable to add an additional 2-3 gallons to the brine tank with a bucket. Allow 1-2 hours for additional salt to dissolve but before performing a manual regeneration, ensure all of the setting changes have been performed.

    Regeneration Time is commonly set for 2 am but your setting is 3:20 am for some reason.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  13. Hawkins

    Hawkins New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2019
    Location:
    OH

    Thank you so much for your help. I'll adjust and give it a month or two and see how the water quality changes. I still get 2-3 gpg of hardness (cold water) but I'll see if that changes after adjustment. Based on the chart, I shouldn't have that much leakage.

    Regarding RC/SF, I know the rep told me I would have about 350 gallons of soft water reserve. I agree this is unnecessary but I didn't think that would hurt the performance much. I'll update to 240 gallons.

    Noted on DO as well. I can/will update but likely it'll be regenerated every 7-10 days anyways with current water usage.

    RT is because of sleep schedules. Often times, we have people up at 2am in the house. Setting at 3:20 allows this buffer and still will be complete by 5:00 am which is the well before the earliest anyone would be up.

    Thanks again!
     
  14. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Any reserve setting will result in some unused reserve capacity being wasted, likely 50% on average. If the reserve setting is higher than required = more wasted capacity. As your unit appears to have a Variable Reserve feature, you may wish to enable that feature to further minimize reserve wastage.
     
  15. Hawkins

    Hawkins New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2019
    Location:
    OH
    This makes perfect sense! I'll look into the Variable Reserve feature but will otherwise adjust reserve down further from where it currently is.

    Thanks for all your help!
     
  16. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Change the RS to CR, this will enable the variable reserve.
     
  17. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida Broad-Wing Hawk

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    Just some information since you're new to water softeners. Any amount of iron in your water will stick to the resin material. Overtime the iron reduces the sodium ion transfer to the resin thus making the output water harder. Most pellet salt bags will have an iron remover (check the label) so each regen a little iron is removed, if any. If you use salt blocks then an occasional "Iron Remover" needs to be added to the brine tank. When I had my home in Illinois (29 grams of hardness) and used salt blocks, it was about 2-3 years before I noticed the water hardness had increased. Two regens of Iron Remover and running water at the bathtub, nothing but rusty water came out. After some flushing the water cleared and the softener performed like new.
     
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