Water Softener - Water become harder and harder until regen.

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by Henrik, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Henrik

    Henrik New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Location:
    Denmark
    Hi, I have a new installed Water softener in our house installed to public water.
    Our incoming water is very hard - 356 PPM (20dH) and the setting is done with removing all hardness.
    Based on the parameters after regen we have 1,56 m3 bal.
    Our daily avg. consumption is approx. 0,3 m3.
    We started with refill type: Before regen (Dry Bin) but the pæerformance here was even worse.
    So we changed to after regen.
    We have done following total hardness test.
    Day 0 8AM: Bal. 1,56 m3 0 dH
    Day 1: 8AM Bal. 1, 30 m3 3 dH
    Day 2: 8 AM: bal 0,96 m3 6 dH
    Day 3; 8AM Bal. 0,61 m3 9 dh
    Day 4: 8Am Bal. 0,09 m3 13 dH

    any idear what could be the reason?
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Your softener is undersized it would seem from your numbers. How big is your resin media tank? Your water hardness setting for the softener is too low. For high hardness additional compensation is needed. Your water use is about 79 US gallons per day.


    dH is what, deciHenry?:rolleyes: Found it... dGH or 'German degree (°dH, deutsche Härte) -- anyway, approximately the same as grains.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_water
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
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  4. Henrik

    Henrik New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Location:
    Denmark
    Hello, Thanks for your reply.
    Yes dH is the German Degree.
    Yes our avg. daily consumption is approx. 80 (0,3 m3).
    The Resin tank is 12,5 liter (Pur0lite C100E)

    Your input of the resin tank is too small is a good point!!!
    But its really stange for me: The softner works well after regeneration - And I let the water flow for a couple of liters - when I measure first time
    it do its job and remove all the hardness.

    As I look at my measures - also from the past - it like the performance are liniar with the water consumed at a rate of 1 dH pr. 0,1 m3.

    The next model available is 25 liter resin. Will this be enough to be able to performe (remove hardness) as i expect?
    Is there a formula there can be used to calc. the size of a softner. Like this: Input hardness - output Hardness X avg. consumption = Resin volume
     
  5. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I understand water softeners in Europe are much smaller than we are accustomed to in North America. The 1.56 m3 remaining water volume following regeneration, equates to approx 412 US gallons which X 21 grains per gallon = 8,652 total grains capacity to be utilized between regeneration cycles.

    I suspect your controller is programmed so that 100% of the resin's total capacity will be utilized, but is likely programmed to use too little salt to regenerate that capacity. The Capacity setting may need to be reduced so that less capacity will be consumed before regeneration occurs, or the salt setting may need to be increased, or both.

    Usable capacity is directly related to the quantity of salt being dissolved into brine. Using only a portion of the resin's total capacity will significantly reduce the amount of salt required and will increase salt efficiency. Once all of the resin's capacity has been exhausted as yours appears to be, then a much greater quantity of salt will be required to restore capacity to prevent hardness leakage as you are currently experiencing.

    We will need to know your softener's total capacity if you know it. It would also be helpful if you can indicate all current settings and also post some photos of the entire unit as well as close-ups of the control valve on top of the tank as well as all labels.
     
  6. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    To confirm, is 12.5 litres the volume of resin, or the capacity of the resin tank?
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Here are my calculations.

    salt lb/cuft : 8 ; I chose a good dose for you... I don't know what your actual dose is.
    cubic ft resin : 0.44 ;
    Raw hardness : 20.0 ;
    High-hardness compensation factor ; 1.12
    H = 22 ; Hardness grains after comp factor
    Estimated gal/day ; 80.0 ;
    Est days/regen: 5.9 ; presuming days each use estimated

    So based on this, your hardness leakage is happening way too soon. So why? Here are some possibilities that come to mind:
    • Actual hardness is much harder than 20 grains.
    • Usage is more than 80 (improbable since you did your own calculations)
    • Salt dose is way low.
    • Your resin tank has much less than 0.44 cubic ft of resin.
    If the resin tank is not painted, you could shine a flashlight through and see the actual resin level. Typically the tank would be 2/3 full of resin. Maybe the top basket/screener is bad and your backwash rate is high enough to wash a lot of your resin away during backwash.
     
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  8. Henrik

    Henrik New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Location:
    Denmark
    Hi, Yes I confirm its a 12,5 L Resin in the tank.
    The control valve is this model here:
    http://www.article-times.com/water-...ogy-water-softener-valve-ase2-products-china/

    The 1,56m3 bal. is depending on the various parameters like input water hardness, ratio etc. I have tried to change these parameters and that will change the bal. volume = time for regen.
    I can try change the parameters to be lowest possible bal. Lets say 0,5. But even that I believe It will still reduce the performance by 1dH pr. o,1 m3 water there flow through.
    And lets say I put a double size system who incl. 25L resin. Would it just not change the performance to be 1 dH pr. 0,2 m3?

    This really troubles me as the system are capable to regen. = get all the calcium flushed out and start on a fresh but why do it so fast and so liniar decline in its ability to perform (Remove hardness).
     
  9. Henrik

    Henrik New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Location:
    Denmark
    Hi Reach, Thanks alot.

    Yes it happens too soon and the decline is almost linear with the flow.... this is very strange.
    • Actual hardness is much harder than 20 grains. - No I took a total hardness test also on the raw water and it was 20 dH as publiced by the authorities.
    • Usage is more than 80 (improbable since you did your own calculations). - No I have a manual flow rate measurement connected.
    • Salt dose is way low. - There was plenty of salt in the tank (Over the water level) - Also if there was too low salt how do it explain that the system is capable to regen. and just after that it can remove all hardness. Also the linear decline do not add up for me in regards to less salt.
    • Your resin tank has much less than 0.44 cubic ft of resin. - I will take a look at it and come back
     
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    20 dH *0.9591= 20.85 grains/gallon

    I was wondering if the salt use was set too lean. 8 lb/cuft would take 4.44 liters of water to have been put into the brine tank before regeneration. How about adding 4 liters to what is there, wait 3 hours or more. If the next regeneration makes the softening last a lot longer, I would look to the brine refill being too low.
     
  11. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Using a salt setting of 8 pounds per cuft of resin, then the salt setting for 0.44 cuft resin should be 3.52 lbs to regenerate 10,560 grains usable capacity.
    Alternately, 2.64 pounds salt would be required to regenerate 8,800 grains which appear most similar to the usable Capacity calculated earlier.

    The relationship between salt setting and regenerated capacity is not linear.
    The following example is for 1 cuft (32,000 grains total capacity) of resin using North America measurements:
    To regenerate 30,000 grains will require 15 pounds (6.8 Kg) salt (2,000 grains per pound)
    To regenerate 27,000 grains will require 10 pounds (4.55 Kg) salt (2,700 grains per pound)
    To regenerate 24,000 grains will require 8 pounds (3.64 Kg) salt (3,000 grains per pound)
    To regenerate 20,000 grains will require 6 pounds (2.7 Kg) salt (3,333 grains per pound)

    The capacities and salt settings indicated are conditional on the total capacity of the entire resin volume being previously regenerated. Because your resin capacity had been exhausted, it will now require a 1X high salt regeneration to restore all capacity. Suggest manually adding an additional 5.5-6 litres water to the brine tank, wait approx 1.5 hours for additional salt to dissolve, then initiate a manual regeneration cycle.

    Also, suggest re-programming the salt setting to 3.52 lbs (1.6 Kg) and capacity to 10,560 grains prior to performing the restorative regeneration cycle.

    With regard to incoming hardness, even when testing at your location, that is a snapshot of the hardness at that point in time. It is advisable to program the softener for 2-3 additional grains in anticipation of hardness variance which can often occur if the public system obtains its water from multiple sources.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  12. Henrik

    Henrik New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Location:
    Denmark
    Hi Bannerman, Thank you for your calc. and other details.
    Yes I also get it to approx. 1,5 kg salt consumed pr. regen cyklus of 1,56 m3.
    So I have plenty of salt in the machine.

    Unfortunately there is no programming option for salt consumption.

    As the machine is set to refil type After Regen it has plenty a water in the tank during service.
    For the next reg. I will change the brine refill time from 4:5 min to 7:5 min to see if that change anything.
    if that is not working I will replace the machine and see if its able to run the first cyklus with improved performance. That will at least indicate to me if the issue lay with getting the calcium flushed out of the resin beads or its a faulty machine.

    Previously, when the machine was installed, it came with another setting called before regen (Dry (Empty) Brine tank).
    During this cyklus the performance was even worse and also liniar with a decline of 1 dH pr. 0,03 m3.
    After I changed this setting the performance improved 3 times.
    Here I also try adding more water manually but without results!

    So I do not see adding more water manually will do any change....
     
  13. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    The quantity of salt in the brine tank does not determine the salt setting. As long as ample salt is in the tank, that is adequate.

    The salt setting is controlled by the controller's Brine refill time setting X the brine fill rate X the amount of salt dissolved per Litre. Do you know the brine fill rate? The Brine Fill or BLFC rate may be indicated on a label on the controller or in your owner's manual.

    Common North A fill rates are 0.125 gpm (0.4725 L/min), 0.25 gpm (0.945 L/min), 0.5 gpm (1.89 L/min) and 1 gpm (3.78 L/min).

    Each 1 Litre entering the brine tank will dissolve 0.36075 Kg salt so for the 1.6 Kg salt setting would require 4.44 Litres.

    The 1X restoration regeneration suggested above will require 3 Kg total salt to restore almost all 14,000 grains capacity for 12.5 Litres resin. When adding more water to the brine tank, enough time must be allotted for additional salt to dissolve. If salt has not been given adequate time to dissolve, then the brine already in the tank will be diluted and the intended regeneration result will not be realized.

    You said manually adding water previously did not change the results. Does your brine tank include an overflow drain so that additional water added may have flowed out to drain?

    Adding more water to the brine tank will not in itself change the remaining volume of water that is displayed. The remaining volume is a calculation which uses the Capacity and hardness settings. The amount of brine nor the brine setting will alter the remaining water volume displayed.

    When Brine Fill was previously programmed at the beginning of the regen cycle, did a 1-2 hour delay occur to allow salt to dissolve before the controller proceeded to begin the Backwash cycle?

    Edit to correct metric flow rate conversions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  14. Henrik

    Henrik New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Location:
    Denmark
    Hi Bannerman,

    Thanks again highly appreciated.

    I just went through the full regen. it went as following:
    1. Backwash: 1:30 min
    2. Brine & slow rinse: 16 min (110 L water was flushed down the drain)
    ... During the end of this cycle the flow af drain water became less.
    3. Fast rinse: 4 min (50L was flushed down the drain)
    .. The drain water went out fast.
    4. Refill: 7,5min
    .. here only the first 3 min the water came into the tank. Rest of the time no water was added. So here there is a potential issue related to water inflow
    at it seems this is hardcoded.

    .. I added manually 3 L water on top and the tank is now 2/3 full with water and salt is just 5 cm bellow water level.
    My guess is there is 10 kg. of salt in the tank.
     
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    We are used to a 60 minute brine draw and slow rinse, with the brine having been sucked down in about the first 15 minutes. This allows the brine to have a slow trip through the resin, and the remainder of time (slow rinse) is rinsing the salt away. Having a quicker brine transit time does not give the salt as much time to act. A shorter time to save water could make sense. Typically the injector is chosen to give that kind of timing.
    Tilt the salt to put some salt above the water, to avoid stratification.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  16. Henrik

    Henrik New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Location:
    Denmark
    Hi Reach,
    Yes this maybe the issue. During the Brine & slow rinse there was no suck down period. Immediately it start blow out the water to the drain.
    In the past I had the setting to 30min where it used 255 L for a regen. Therefore I changed the time. I may change the next regen run to be 60min for this phase to see what happens.

    Ok I will fill up with salt to above the water line.
     
  17. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    That is normal. The injector is a venturi pump. It is powered by water flow. Initially the flow through the tank to the drain is both the water powering the pumping, and the brine from the tank. Once the brine is gone, the air check valve closes. Then the water through the tank to the drain is just the incoming pressurized water.

    If the BD cycle is too short for your injector, to actually suck down the brine and have some slow rinse, the symptom could be early hardness. If the BD is long enough to draw the brine and get it well into the resin, but not long enough to rinse, the symptom would be salt in the early softened water. Watch the brine being drawn. The brine with the extra water will take longer than normal, of course. But once you get things working otherwise, you could monitor the drain line during BD using taste or TDS tester. The TDS will be much higher while the brine is still being rinsed out. Once drain water TDS down to little more than your softened water or salt taste is gone, you can end the brine cycle.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  18. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    If the Brine Draw setting is too short, then not all of the brine required will be drawn into the resin. The resin will also not be rinsed as intended. As additional water will be added to the brine tank at the end of each regeneration cycle, the quantity of water will continue to rise until the brine tank's safety float is eventually raised, thereby closing a safety valve to prevent more water from entering. This appears to be happening in your situation.

    Proper softener settings are based on math and proven history for water treatment. Trial and error settings will not usually work correctly.

    Could you provide the measurements for your resin tank? These volumes of water seem excessive, especially for such a small capacity system. The Backwash and Rapid Rinse rate is directly related to the tank diameter.

    Slow Rinse & Brine: 110 L / 16 min = 6.875 L per minute = 1.8 gallons/min. I would expect far less than 1 gpm, maybe closer to 0.5 gpm depending on the injector. Is there a label that identifies which injector is installed?

    Fast Rinse: 50 L / 4 min = 12.5 L per min = 3.3 gallons/min. This is the approximate Rapid Rinse and Backwash flow rate usually required for a 12" (30.48 cm) diameter tank.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  19. Henrik

    Henrik New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Location:
    Denmark
     
  20. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    A tank diameter of 18.1 cm equals 7 inches. A height of 44 cm equals approx 17 inches.

    Viewing the link you provided to show your control valve, there are various valves shown on that page so I am uncertain which actual valve your softener is equipped with.

    The service manual for a common Fleck 5600 control valve, specifies the appropriate Backwash/Rapid Rinse flow rate for a 7-inch diameter water softener is 1.2 gallons/min (4.536 L/min). This flow rate is controlled by a Drain control or DLFC button within the control valve. As this rate is significantly less than 12.5 L/min you specified, installing the appropriate flow restrictor will significantly reduce the quantity of water utilized during regeneration. While a Backwash setting of 10 minutes and 10 minutes for Rapid Rinse is common, with the small resin volume in your system, it is likely a 5-minute Backwash and 3-minute Rapid Rinse setting would be adequate.

    The Fleck 5600 service manual also suggests the appropriate injector for a 7-inch water softener is #0 RED. The flow rate for a #0 RED injector is 0.31 gpm (1.17 L/min) during Slow Rinse plus an additional 0.28 gpm (1.06 L/min) while brine is actually being drawn from the brine tank. Brine is normally all drawn within 15 minutes of a usual 60 minute Brine Draw/Slow Rinse cycle.

    Although your system may not utilize a Fleck 5600, these flow rates will be approximately the same regardless of the control valve model.

    Since the usual correct Brine Draw/Slow Rinse setting is 4X the time needed to draw brine, a 60-minute setting can be likely reduced once it is established how much actual time is needed to draw the correct quantity of brine from the brine tank.

    With your 0.44 cuft of resin, suggest setting the usable capacity for your system to 10,560 grains while utilizing 3.52 lbs (1.6 Kg) salt. This will increase the usable capacity over the current setting and will, therefore, reduce the frequency of regeneration while also providing high-quality soft water.

    After programming to the recommended settings, perform a manual regeneration. Since there apparently is an excessive amount of water currently in the brine tank, once the Brine Draw cycle commences, suggest pulling-out the electrical plug so the controller cannot advance to the next cycle. Allow all of the brine to be drawn then wait approx. 30 minutes before restoring power to allow the controller to complete the remaining regeneration cycle.

    As we do not know your actual controller brand or model, we can't provide specific direction in adjusting settings.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
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