Water no longer feels slippery

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by Julie Hoglund, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Julie Hoglund

    Julie Hoglund New Member

    Feb 25, 2018
    I installed a fleck 5600 metered softener about 3 years ago. Initially water felt slippery. About a year ago I started noticing the water started to feel hard again. I bought cheap test strips and tested every faucet in the house. All tested soft except kitchen cold which is bypassed. Softener appears to be working properly so why does my water feel hard?
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2013
    I suggest you get a Hach 5-b test. It is better than strips.

    Also note if the water feels softer when the gallons-remaining on the display is higher. That would indicate that the softener recently regenerated. The number counts down to zero, then the regen happens at 2 am.
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  4. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    We tend to become accustomed to soft water over time so that the 'slippery' feeling we first notice when the softener is installed, eventually becomes routine and unnoticed. If the softener is bypassed for a few days, you would likely realize a difference.

    The Hach 5b is a better test option but it too will measure grains per gallon. Since 1 gpg = 17.1 ppm hardness, if the softened water contains 15 ppm vs 7 ppm hardness, the water can feel harder by comparison even as the hardness test will indicate each sample has less than 1 gpg.

    Has your softener ever run short of salt prior to regeneration so that there was not enough salt to regenerate the programmed capacity? A 1X regeneration with a higher salt dose may be required to restore additional capacity above the amount that is programmed to be regenerated.

    Post the current program settings as there may be adjustments possible to improve the softener's performance or efficiency. We will also need to know the softener's total capacity and the hardness of your municipal water, the softener's BLFC flow rate usually indicated on a label located nearby to the brine hose connection, and the number of residents so as to estimate average water consumption.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  5. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Jan 9, 2012
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Ontario California

    This is a great article by one of the smartest minds in this industry. Chubb explains the difference between "soft" and truly soft water. The difference can not be measured with a Hach 5B as this tes kit is not sensitive enough to work. For most applications simply setting the salt up a pound or two may do the trick.
  6. Julie Hoglund

    Julie Hoglund New Member

    Feb 25, 2018
    OK. I will give you what I know
    System is a Fleck 5600SXT meter water softener-40000 grain capacity Model F-R40-56SXM
    14x34 square brine tank
    Hi-capacity resin 8%crosslink

    Our water hardness from state hygenic lab is 440 mg/L with iron 0.02 mg/L

    There are 2 people in our household with daily showers

    Our current setting are


    The sticker next to the brine flow valve (I think that's what it is) says 50gpm/1.5 Lb salt/min
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2013
    following changes C to compensate for brine fill rounding.
    System info (not programmed)
    salt lb/cuft = 7.2 ; A choice ( efficiency vs capacity)
    BLFC = 0.5 ; Brine Refill rate GPM
    cubic ft resin = 1.25 ; ft3 resin = (nominal grains)/32,000
    Raw hardness = 30 ; including any compensation
    People = 2 ; gallons affects reserve calc
    Estimated gal/day = 120 ; 60 gal per person typical calc
    Estimated days/regen = 7.65 ; Computed days including reserve

    Fleck 5600SXT Settings:
    DF = Gal ; Units
    VT = dF1b ; Downflw/Upflw, Single Backwash
    CT = Fd ; Meter Delayed regen trigger
    NT = 1 ; Number of tanks
    C = 28.1 ; capacity in 1000 grains
    H = 30 ; Hardness-- compensate if needed
    RS = rc ; rc says use gallons vs percent
    RC = 120 ; Reserve capacity gallons
    DO = 21 ; 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 = 6 ; Brine fill minutes
    FM = t0.7 ;
  8. Julie Hoglund

    Julie Hoglund New Member

    Feb 25, 2018
    Ok, I've reset to these values. Also took the brine tank off and rinsed it out since it was a bit scummy and refilled. Will wait 24 hours for brine to mix then Regen. If I continue to have problems I will let you know. Thanks!
  9. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    Your previous C/40 setting and insufficient Hardness setting, resulted in all of the resin's capacity being consumed, but the BF/12 minutes X 0.5 gpm BLFC produced insufficient brine to regenerate that capacity. Even as you will now only be consuming 28,100 grains of capacity before regeneration is to occur, a restorative regeneration will first be needed to restore all of the resin's capacity. This will require a 1X regeneration using 22.5 - 25 lbs of salt.

    Because you had emptied and cleaned the brine tank, water will now need to be manually added to the salt in the brine tank to prepare brine for the next regeneration cycle.

    As each gallon added to the brine tank will dissolve 3 lbs salt, for 22.5 lbs to be dissolved, 7.5 gallons of water will be required which may be added using a bucket. Salt will dissolve fairly rapidly so 2 hours will likely be sufficient before performing a manual regen cycle.

    The new correct amount of water will then automatically enter the brine tank at the end of each cycle to prepare brine for the following regen cycle.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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