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Thread: installation of a water softener

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    DIY Junior Member Greg's Avatar
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    Default installation of a water softener

    I need some plumbing 101 on installing a water softener. I am installing a 2 cube with a flecks 5600 control valve. Can someone tell me how do I adjust the salt level in the brine tank that come into the resin tank. Do I need to make any other setting adjustment to get the right softening level. How often should I have it regenerate with two adults and a 2 and a 3 year old. Also what is the diff. between the 5600 and the 5600 econominder. Greg

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default softener

    1. The salt level has nothing to do with the amount of softening. All you have to do is make sure the salt is always above the water level in the tank. I.e., not water showing when you open the cover.
    2. The amount of softening is fixed so there is no adjustment to it, unless the softener has a "mixing valve" which dilutes the soft water with hard water.
    3. The only adjustment normally is to set if for the hardness of your water so the metering valve will know when it has reached its optimum capacity and should be regenerated.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg
    I need some plumbing 101 on installing a water softener. I am installing a 2 cube with a flecks 5600 control valve. Can someone tell me how do I adjust the salt level in the brine tank that come into the resin tank. Do I need to make any other setting adjustment to get the right softening level. How often should I have it regenerate with two adults and a 2 and a 3 year old. Also what is the diff. between the 5600 and the 5600 econominder. Greg
    Yes all softeners have an adjustable salt dose which establishes the capacity of the softener based on the type AND volume of resin you have. Look at the salt dose as the accelerator peddle in your vehicle. Gas mileage is best when you keep your foot off the peddle... but you need to get there sooner than idle does it so you push on the peddle and watch the spee-do-meter. Well the salt dose determines the salt efficiency and thereby the capacity of ALL softeners no matter who makes them and/or sells them, here's how....

    Your specific control valve has a salt dose setting cam in the right rear of the power head. Remove the one screw and loosen the other and then remove the back cover. For a 2 cuft of regular mesh resin, 12 lbs (6 lb/cuft) gets you 40k of capacity. The salt efficiency is 40000/12= 3333 grains per lb used; not bad huh. Well unless you don't have anything to compare it to it's meaningless huh LOL. For a higher capacity such as 48k, set the salt dose at 17 lbs (48000/17 = 2647 grains/lb used). That's one comparison.

    Well many 'guys' will look and say WHOA!! I bought a 64K softener, not a 40K!! Or 48K! Okay, to get 60K, that's the max capacity no matter how much salt you throw at it BUT, you have to use a salt dose of 30 lbs (15 lbs/cuft) to get that 60k, and 82 lbs gets you ...a... 60K! Now that gives you a salt efficiency of 60000/30= only 2000 grains per lb. So the question becomes how much salt do you want to go to the store and buy and then lug home to pour into your salt tank?

    Most guys then change their opinion of bigger always being better 'cuz they don't want to brag about their inefficient softener's high salt use! But now the guy with 3333 grains/lb has something to really brag about, and that's how little salt his uses. Now you can get better than 3333 grains/lb if you reduce the salt to say ... 4 lbs total but that's stretching things more than a bit and you'd be better off using fine mesh or SST-60 resin. pssst, you get higher kinetics, like 5000 grains/lb used BUT, you'll have a larger pressure loss across the softener..., not good huh..

    For more on this, search for "softener sizing chart" with the "" and find one that mentions SFR. BTW, your 2 cuft has a SF of 13 gpm. Only your 5600 has a SFR of 21 gpm and that has nothing to do with anything other than to tell us water treatment guys how large a tank we can use that control valve on; not the peak demand flow rate gpm that the softener can successfully remove all your hardness from. Your 12" diameter tank is the largest the 5600 can be used on REGARDLESS what some web sites say. All you have to do is read the Fleck spec sheet on the 5600 and it tells us that (I'm right'n those guys are wrong).

    You don't use the float in the brine tank, if you have one, to set the salt dose; that's done on cheap control valves/softeners. You should have a float and it is a safety overflow float. To set the salt dose, you adjust that cam I mentioned, loosen the screw and point the itty bitty pointer to the lbs; the white numbers on the black gear the cam is attached to. But you have to know how many K of capacity so you can set the meter gallons correctly; so do that search and some reading.

    The Econominder is the mechanical metered version of the 5600. The other versions are 12 day timer and electronic metered.

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    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    For more on this, search for "softener sizing chart" with the "" and find one that mentions SFR.


    Interesting Gary, that took the thread starter right to your website. Why don't you just flat out put a flashing banner on your name and tell everyone you are here to sell your product at the expense of Terry's website. Are you going to pay Terry a percentage of your earnings for using his website for your personal gain? I have my own business and I certainly don't push my products on this site, nor anyone elses. If you had any loyalty to the sites you participate in you would stop trying to sell your water softeners and products in usernet forums. I get tired of noticing your games on these good sites like Terry's and you have to ruin its good nature. Innocent people are here to learn about their plumbing problems, not an internet softener guru who makes money off of the thread starters. Disrespectul you are.

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    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Default Water Softeners

    Gary, do you not use a formula that includes water hardness , iron count ,type of iron and softener capicity in grains plus the capicity of the well to provide enough backwash flow so you can size a softener and to determine how many gallons of water can be used before the next regeneration. Isn't that equation what it's all about? I guess I need to be refreshed again.............thanks

  6. #6
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    There's only one type of iron that a softener can remove; ferrous soluble clear water iron. If there are other types of iron in the water, they require removal before the softener or you have to kill reducing type iron bacteria. So they aren't included in the formula to size or set up a softener.

    The salt dose in the given volume and type of resin used dictates the capacity of the softener. Or we could say that the capacity needed dictates the volume of resin based on the type of resin we want to use and the number of days between regenerations whether a day timer of metered control. But yes, there is a formula to size the softener and set the gallons between regenerations with the use of a demand, metered control valve. Or we could say the capacity the salt dose causes in the type and volume of resin we use, dictates the gallons.

    All softeners are drain line flow controlled, so the well has nothing to do with sizing or setting up a softener. The largest DLFC in a softener is much smaller (usuall yfrom 1.2 to 5 gpm, and 5 gpm is for a large softener) than say in a turbidity, acid neutralizing or iron filter etc.. Those filters will normally be about 7-8 gpm with the max being 10 gpm. If the well system can't put out the required flow, then the equipment is misapplied. But that wouldn't be an issue with a softener up to say a 5.5 cuft or larger. And that size softener in a residential application is quite rare.

    All softeners are set up to use X gallons between regenerations; including a timer control although they regen based on the number of days between regenerations. You still must know how many gallons of softened water is used per day. There is no other way to do it.

    So how do you do it?

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates

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