Too Frequent Regen --268/762 Autotrol

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by wascalwabbitt, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. wascalwabbitt

    wascalwabbitt New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2019
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Reaching out for help on solutions to the following problem and suggestions on correct cycle time and programming.

    PROBLEM:
    Softener does a regen, shows 1120 gal capacity, water is used only down to 740 and it regens again.

    MY SYSTEM:
    Softener 268-762-200-1252 Autotrol, 2 cu ft SST60 resin, 12"x52" tank, dark blue injector, #10 backwash plug
    This was originally on a smaller tank, which I bought used, then put it on the 1252 tank.
    Well water flow of 6 US gpm
    25 Hardness
    7.5 pH
    3.6 ppm Iron before Iron Filter / 0.2 ppm Iron before Softener
    2 people in house at 60 gal/person/day
    For my system, the Pentair manual (page 10) shows 28,548 grains removal at 6.6 lbs salt total. This gives an efficiency rating of 4,325 grains per lb of salt at the 6.6 lbs total salt. It would be nice to achieve this sort of efficiency if possible.


    ESTIMATION:
    (2 people)x(60 gal/day/person)x(25 grain/gal hardness) = 3000 grains/day Daily Softening Requirement
    Want softener to regen every 9-10 days so I used a 28,000 grain capacity setting.
    So: (28,000 Total Grains) / (25GPG Hardness) = 1120 Gallons before a regen is required
    (1120) / (120gal/day) = 9.3 days before a regen

    MY SETTINGS -- in PROGRAMMING mode
    P1 to P3 = - time of day, day of week, regen time - all set appropriately
    P4 = 10 - day overide
    P5 = n/a only for 742
    P6 = 3 - lbs per cu ft salt amount
    P7 = 28 - kg system capacity
    P8 = 25 - hardness
    P9 = 0 - US unit of measure
    P10 = 0 - 12 hr clock
    P11 = 0 - service interval
    P12 = n/a only for 742
    P13 = 0 - off - refill sensor control
    P14 = 33 - refill rate gpm, 33 is 0.33 gpm
    P15 = 38 - draw rate gpm, 38 is 0.38 gpm
    P16 = 0 - reserve capacity, 0 is variable reserve with delayed regen
    P17 = 30 - reserve amount, 30% factory default
    P18 = 1 - flow sensor selection, 1 is performa valve 1" internal turbine
    P19 = 1 -
    Pr = 0 - refill first option, 0 is not going to refill first
    Pd = n/a only for 742

    MY SETTINGS -- in CYCLE mode (minutes)
    C1 = 10 - backwash
    C2 = 6 - draw
    C3 = 52 - slow rinse
    C4 = 3 - system pause/repressurization
    C5 = 4 - fast rinse
    C6 = 1 - second backwash
    C7 = 1 - second fast rinse
    C8 = 6 - refill cycle

    I would appreciate any suggestions/criticisms regarding the frequent regen issue and setting up proper cycle times and other programming.
    I am under the idea that, in order to get higher softener efficiency, one needs to draw the brine in slower but then will have to increase the rinse time to clean the resin better. Hence, a higher efficiency setup would run a smaller injector. Is this logical or just way out to lunch?
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Smaller injectors = slower draw = higher efficiency but the numbers are minimal. Akin to getting 30 MPG or 31 MPG on your car.
     
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  4. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I suspect the 30% reserve setting is resulting in a substantial amount of capacity remaining unused when regeneration next occurs. Reserve normally needs to be only 1 day average usage so you may wish to reduce the reserve setting to ~150 gallons.
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Good point. Also, how many days are you seeing between regenerations?

    Not possible. 3334 is about as salt-efficient as you want to get, and that would correspond to 6 pounds of salt per cubic ft of resin.

    lb/cuft ; grains/pound of salt
    4 ; 3800; very low salt use with fair softening
    5 ; 3640
    6 ; 3334; low salt use with good softening
    7 ; 3148
    8 ; 3000; pretty low salt use with better softening
    9 ; 2853
    10 ; 2700
    11 ; 2546
    12 ; 2396
    13 ; 2254
    14 ; 2121
    15 ; 2000; high salt use with great softening
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  6. wascalwabbitt

    wascalwabbitt New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2019
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Hi all,
    Just want to say that this is a really great site with a lot of great threads thanks to guys like you all who are willing to share your knowledge and experience!!

    Dittohead: I hear what you're saying re: the injector - not worth monkeying with it. This head came off of a 10" tank so it had the blue injector, but I think I'll order in a new pink injector and set it up correctly for this 12" tank. (it is actually a 1252 not a 1248 as I listed above)

    Bannerman: I believe it can be flipped over to a set reserve amount in P16/17, so I'll try that tomorrow. [Seeing about 4 days between regens.] We are actually using 140 gpday average vs the 120 gpd which I had listed above. Should I set reserve at ~170?

    Reach: I wondered if I was reading that Pentair sheet correctly. It sure looks like they are saying total grains 28,548 for total salt 6.6 ???
    See attached fotos - Pentair sheet and my system
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I appear to have been mistaken, and they are indeed talking total salt.

    They are talking about a super-lean setting. You would be on the far left side of the figure 3 graph below. You would probably not want to go that far, but people do. I have not paid much attention to the area to the left of 5 lb/cuft of salt.


    [​IMG]
     
  8. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Water treatment often involves compromise. Higher salt efficiency will result in lower quality water (higher hardness leakage through the softener) as well as less efficient water use since regeneration will occur more frequently as the usable capacity is also reduced.

    The most recommended efficiency configurations on this forum for a 2 cuft softener are 3k grains/lb (16 lbs to regen 48K grains capacity) or 3,333 gr/lb (12 lbs for 40K gr cap) as these are a good balance between salt efficiency, water quality and regeneration frequency.

    I'm not understanding why the 10-day override is set. A short override is often required when the softener is to remove iron, but then, a higher salt dose is also needed to reduce iron fouling. With iron exposure, salt efficiency will not be the main concern.

    In programming a short override, if there is unused capacity remaining when the override setting lapses, the resulting regeneration cycle will regenerate capacity that does not need to be regenerated. The unused capacity is wasted which then results in lower overall efficiency, even if the salt setting chosen is extremely efficient. With a meter initiated softener, the most efficient operation will be for the flow meter to fully manage when regeneration occurs, based on the usable capacity programmed (P7) being consumed.

    Suggest programming 12 lbs/40K which at 140 gals/day @ 25 gpg is anticipated to result in approx 11 days between regen cycles. A 15 - 18 day override setting will allow some leeway for periods with lower than average water consumption.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  9. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
  10. wascalwabbitt

    wascalwabbitt New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2019
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I set it up as per your suggestion Bannerman, 40k, 12 lbs total, 25 gpg, 16 day overide.
    The display should show 1600 gallons (40K /25gpg) but instead it shows only 1300 gallons. Why would this be?
    This is baffling because before when I had set it up for 28k, 6 lbs total salt, 25 gpg the display always started off with 1120 gallons. (28k/25gpg)

    So I went into P16 and set it at #1 which is fixed reserve with delayed regen, then went into P17 expecting it to allow me to input a set reserve amount of 140 gallons. However, it would not move out of the 0 to 70% selections.
    Am I doing something wrong?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  11. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    In the video below, it seems the reserve amount is based on a percentage of programmed capacity. ie: 10% of 40K = 4K / 25 gpg = 160 gallons.

    As the remaining capacity displayed usually does not include the reserve amount, I expect the remaining capacity indicated will increase once the reserve amount is reset to a lower percentage.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=79mIrXGv8sA

    Edit to add: when reprogramming, did you reprogram, perform a regen cycle and then read the remaining capacity, or was no regen performed so whatever capacity consumed since the last regen cycle, may have been subtracted from the programmed capacity as indicated?
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  12. wascalwabbitt

    wascalwabbitt New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2019
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I think you hit the nail on the head, I did not perform a regen. I'm going to let this work through on it's own time, monitoring it each day and see how it works.
     
  13. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I anticipate then, no additional water was added to the brine tank to regenerate the increased capacity now programmed.

    The suggested capacity and salt settings are based on almost all of the resin's total capacity first being regenerated. As your prior settings placed only 2 gallons (for 6 lb salt setting) in the brine tank, suggest adding (with a bucket) an additional 8 gallons, wait ~ 2 hours for salt to dissolve, and then perform a manual regeneration. With the 40K/12 lbs previously programmed, the softener should then operate as intended with little interaction from you other than periodically topping-up the brine tank with salt.
     
  14. wascalwabbitt

    wascalwabbitt New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2019
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Thanks very much for the heads up Bannerman.
    When I perform a manual regen is it necessary, in this instance, to let it completely cycle through for the full time allotment? Or is there a way to short circuit it?
     
  15. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    It will require a complete cycle.

    The cycle should actually be extended when additional water is added to the brine tank. Since Brine Draw/Slow Rinse is often combined within one 60 minute setting, the additional brine quantity will likely take substantially longer than 15 minutes to be drawn into the resin tank, so any remaining time from the 60-minute setting will probably be insufficient to thoroughly rinse the resin. You may find the water initially flowing from the softener will be salty for a short while following a regen cycle that uses more brine than usual. Slow rinse is usually 3X the time required to draw brine.

    One method to prevent salty water to your fixtures would be to program a longer Brine/Rinse cycle (ie: 120 or 180 minutes) depending on the amount of additional water added to the brine tank. As this will operate automatically, the regen cycle could be initiated before going to bed. The Brine/Slow rinse setting would then be returned to 60 minutes the next morning after the capacity restoration cycle has been completed.

    Another method would be to commence the regen cycle but then pull the power plug during brine draw, so the controller will be prevented from moving on to the next cycle. Wait ~1.5 hours to restore power to allow the controller to proceed with the remainder of the regen cycle.

    A further method would be to add less additional water to the brine tank for an initial regen cycle and then perform a 2nd regen cycle with no additional water manually added to the tank. The 2nd cycle should be directly following the first with about 2 hours in between to allow salt to dissolve for the 2nd cycle.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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