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Thread: Water Softener Maintenance

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    DIY Senior Member mrmichaeljmoore's Avatar
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    Default Water Softener Maintenance

    What type of routine maintenance should I be doing on my water softener?
    Is there anything I should be doing to ensure the system lasts as long as it should?

    I make sure the brine tank is full (no more than 1-2 bags of potassium chloride at a time to prevent any bridging)....
    it regens when necessary (no more than 13 days between regenerations)...the system seems to be dialed in pretty good.

    My system (installed in 2006) is 48,000 grain system with an Autotrol 255 valve head and the 762 processor. It has 1.5 cubic feet of C-249 ion exchange resin.

    Thanks....just want to make sure I am not missing anything.

    mike

  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Since you are using potassium chloride you'll have to clean the salt tank every year or two to get rid of the build up in the bottom. Same for any type pelletized salt.

    Keep the time set correctly.

    If you have any iron in the water you should not be going 13 days between regenerations. Also, if you used the 48K setting to get to 13 days, you are getting very poor salt efficiency.

    Depending on your salt efficiency, the 6 lbs./cuft or less will require a higher salt setting than sodium chloride will.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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    DIY Senior Member mrmichaeljmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Since you are using potassium chloride you'll have to clean the salt tank every year or two to get rid of the build up in the bottom. Same for any type pelletized salt.

    Keep the time set correctly.

    If you have any iron in the water you should not be going 13 days between regenerations. Also, if you used the 48K setting to get to 13 days, you are getting very poor salt efficiency.

    Depending on your salt efficiency, the 6 lbs./cuft or less will require a higher salt setting than sodium chloride will.

    To follow up on your post, the settings on my softener are as follows:

    Hardness: 21
    Salt Amount during regen: 9 lbs/cubic ft
    Capacity: 43KG

    The 13 days is the setting for the maximum amount of time between regenerations.

    I use Nature's Own Potassium Chloride (purchased at Tractor Supply stores).

    Well water has no iron.

    What do you mean by: "Also, if you used the 48K setting to get to 13 days, you are getting very poor salt efficiency."

    thanks.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I think you need to test the softened water for hardness each day at roughly the same time of day starting the day after a regeneration to the next one to see if you have 0 gpg every day.

    You can't get 43K with 13.5 lbs in 1.5 cuft of C-249.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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    DIY Senior Member mrmichaeljmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I think you need to test the softened water for hardness each day at roughly the same time of day starting the day after a regeneration to the next one to see if you have 0 gpg every day.

    You can't get 43K with 13.5 lbs in 1.5 cuft of C-249.
    Haven't done it in a while, but, if I remember correctly, I've tested the water on the 13th day between regenerations and have had 0 gpg hardness......
    I use the Hach test kit.

    "You can't get 43K with 13.5 lbs in 1.5 cuft of C-249" I have no idea what you mean by that.....

  6. #6
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    To get 43K in 1.5 cuft of regular mesh resin you need to set the salt dose at 22 lbs.. Max K in 1.5 cuft is 45 and that requires 23 lbs of salt. Or we could say that 13.5 lbs will only regenerate about 37K. Your meter setting would be based on gallons and those gallons must be calculated for a 24 hr reserve (it is subtracted and the balance is used to set the meter gals; most Fleck valves.) on most metered/demand regenerated control valves (not the Clack WS-1) and you want a regeneration on average every 7-9 days. It's like your engine manufacturer telling you to change the oil and filter every ***x miles or every 6 months whichever comes first. And that's for normal driving and is reduced if you are off road, dusty, hot etc. etc..

    Checking your hardness at 13 days... you may have had a regeneration say 3 days before that so you are testing after only 3 days.

    IF you needed 48K between regenerations, you need a larger softener. You should size and set up a softener based on a regeneration every 7-9 days at 6 lbs/cuft or less salt use which gives you great salt efficiency.

    Another part of correctly sizing a softener is the peak demand gpm of your house based on the number of family members and bathrooms and the type of fixtures in them and how your family actually uses water. A homeowner can not come up with their peak demand on their own. The constant SFR gpm of the volume of resin you have must be higher than that peak demand gpm or you get hardness through the softener every time your flow rate exceeds the resin/softener's constant SFR.

    Most dealers use the wrong SFR, like 16 gpm@15 psi, meaning if you will suffer a 15 psi pressure loss you can run 16 gpm through the softener. Most will drop the @15 psi part. Note that does not say anything about removing all or any of the hardness in your water; just X gpm flow @ 15 psi pressure loss. I don't know of anyone that wants to lose 15 psi.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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    DIY Senior Member mrmichaeljmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biermech View Post
    Mike,
    Why are you using potassium chloride? Are you on a low salt diet? The cost for potassium chloride here in Fla is double the price of salt. If you have an ro, it removes quite a bit of the potassium chloride.
    The potassium seems to give the water a better taste than with the sodium chloride.

    I don't have an RO....

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