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Thread: Is there any way to tell a water softeners capacity by tank size?

  1. #16
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonjonbear View Post
    hmmm. 11 days. is it okay for it not to regen for that long? I keep reading they should regen at least once a week else the resin gets damaged, and this valve doesn't seem to have a clock on it so it must be completely water use..Yes outside bibs are separate, had the house built with a loop..
    You have no iron... so there is going to be a mixed school on the 11 days between cleanings...
    The main challenge with the 11 days is a thing call channeling of the resin... low flow making channels in the resin..
    You are right that the unit does not have a clock, it is meter driven... use the gallons and then is when it changes to the next tank.. like having 2 fuel tanks on the truck... do you change x days? or run til 1/4 tank then change?

    The change to Digital that you where talking about would have a day default.. so it would clean say every 1500 gallons or every 9 days which ever came up first. that way if you have lots of people there the gallons kick in, if just the 2 of you the day kicks in...

    You might try a month with the system off line and see how you like the water.... and how much extra cleaning one has to do with out the softener.. if skip is right about the water in that area you might only need the carbon to take out the chlorine and nothing else..
    Last edited by Akpsdvan; 03-17-2010 at 11:33 AM.

  2. #17
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonjonbear View Post
    Okay will look at that fitting, hopefully it has the labels, seems like everything else is missing on this darn thing! Looks like given the numbers you mentioned, even at the lowest setting, it will be more than I need for my hardness.
    On the filter, the tank looks to be about 26" tall, but I can't tell the circumference. The entire filter is about 36" tall. The tank is encased in a plastic outer tank sort of like a kenmore water softener. The parts list says:
    Activated Carbon, 10lbs
    Gravel, 6lbs
    Filter sand, 5lbs.
    Aqua lists our chlorine at 1.5 to 3.0 mg/l, is that a lot?
    chlorine is either Free or Total... if total is getting up to 3.0ppm that is up there and you will smell it like the public swimming pool....

    10 lbs of carbon....is just under a .5 cubic foot of carbon...
    My sizing of carbon is 1 cubic foot for every 6gpm , so if your house could hit 10gpm then you would have 2 cubic of carbon.. for the removal of the chlorine..

    If the unit does not have the lables that I talk about, there is another way of finding out.. bit more of a challenge but it can be done. The book will be your next best friend...
    Last edited by Akpsdvan; 03-17-2010 at 11:35 AM.

  3. #18
    DIY Junior Member jonjonbear's Avatar
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    I just went back and checked and he told me it was 1.5 to 3.0 mg/l free chlorine residual, is that better than total?

    Thanks,
    John

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonjonbear View Post
    I just went back and checked and he told me it was 1.5 to 3.0 mg/l free chlorine residual, is that better than total?

    Thanks,
    John
    A little, I know that when sizing a system to inject Chlorine to treat some thing the Free Chlorine level to go for is 1.0 to 1.5ppm, so if yours is running between 1.5 and 3.0.. that to some would be high, but then think if the system that water is going through.. how many miles of pipe?

    It would be good to test there at your place, your house might be on the high side because you are at the start, or it might be low if you are at the near or at the end of the water line.

  5. #20
    DIY Junior Member jonjonbear's Avatar
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    Probably lots of miles. We are in a rural area and the coop services a large area from something like 21 wells..
    I have some pool/spa test strips, and even an aquarium test kit. Maybe I will see what I am getting at the tap.

  6. #21
    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
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    Free chlorine doesn't give a chlorine odor. It is the combined chlorine (chlorine that has partially oxidized organic material) that gives the chlorine odor). If you are doing a test at the home a high quality swimming pool test kit will have the appropriate chemicals to test for free and total chlorine. Alternatively most swimming pool supply stores will do the chlorine test for you. If the total chlorine is higher than the free chlorine then you will have chlorine odor.

  7. #22
    DIY Junior Member jonjonbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan View Post
    On the fitting that has the brine line and drain line there should be a lable, one number for the backwash number like 3 or 4 gpm and then there should be a white, or 0 , 00 injector then there should be a black one that says .5gpm on it for the brine...

    In the front of the manual for the 9000 is a formula on figuring the numbers..

    Say the unit with 9 lbs gives 22000 grains.. with your hardness of say 3grains...that would give 7000 gallons.. but then the number of gallons from cleaning would be subtracked from the 7000 gallons...

    Large carbon filter.... ok.. How big is the tank on that carbon unit? How many bathrooms in the home?

    It could last out to 10 years, but water usage , amount of chlorine in the water... any thing else that the carbon might take out will change the 10 year time frame... you could get 3 years, or 7 years... but yes carbon Will Take Out the Chlorine .
    Checked the tags. On the drain hose label, the amount has faded so I can't read that one.

    On the brine hose fitting, it says ".50 gpm, 1.5 lb salt minimum"
    Does this mean anything? I am going to try to attach pictures of my dial setting and pin wheel for your review.
    I really appreciate all the help!
    John
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  8. #23
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonjonbear View Post
    Checked the tags. On the drain hose label, the amount has faded so I can't read that one.

    On the brine hose fitting, it says ".50 gpm, 1.5 lb salt minimum"
    Does this mean anything? I am going to try to attach pictures of my dial setting and pin wheel for your review.
    I really appreciate all the help!
    John
    The part that you can read , the .5gpm is the flow rate back into the brine tank... that is good.
    From what I can see in the pin/space settings,, 8 minute backwash. 60minutes on brine draw/rinse, 6 minute rapid rinse and 6 minutes or 9 lbs on the salt...

    The Meter is at 1350 gallons with 1125 remaining before it trips into the next cycle.

    Most likely there is a 2.0 gallon per minute backwash plug in the drain outlet...
    With that in mind and the .5 gpm most likely in the brine draw/rinse part and the brine refill, you would use about 61-62 gallons in the full cleaning cycle..

    So if the capacity of a tank says that it could do for example 2000 gallons, then I would subtrac 100 gallons, 62 for cleaning and the other 38 for the water usage while changing from one tank to the other..

    Keep asking questions....

  9. #24
    DIY Junior Member jonjonbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan View Post
    The part that you can read , the .5gpm is the flow rate back into the brine tank... that is good.
    From what I can see in the pin/space settings,, 8 minute backwash. 60minutes on brine draw/rinse, 6 minute rapid rinse and 6 minutes or 9 lbs on the salt...

    The Meter is at 1350 gallons with 1125 remaining before it trips into the next cycle.

    Most likely there is a 2.0 gallon per minute backwash plug in the drain outlet...
    With that in mind and the .5 gpm most likely in the brine draw/rinse part and the brine refill, you would use about 61-62 gallons in the full cleaning cycle..

    So if the capacity of a tank says that it could do for example 2000 gallons, then I would subtrac 100 gallons, 62 for cleaning and the other 38 for the water usage while changing from one tank to the other..

    Keep asking questions....
    Sounds like I am getting closer to figuring this out thanks to you guys!
    So do my pin settings look good? Given what you guys have told me, it sounds pretty good, maybe a bit heavy on the salt or no?
    So should I set the gallons dial at 1900 and call that it or am I misunderstanding how this setting works?
    Thanks so much for staying with me on this..

    John

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonjonbear View Post
    Sounds like I am getting closer to figuring this out thanks to you guys!
    So do my pin settings look good? Given what you guys have told me, it sounds pretty good, maybe a bit heavy on the salt or no?
    So should I set the gallons dial at 1900 and call that it or am I misunderstanding how this setting works?
    Thanks so much for staying with me on this..
    John
    Pin and space settings look good...
    one thing that you might try for say a month or so is cut one space out of the brine refill... from 3 spaces to 2 spaces and change the meter from 1450 to 1900... then let things ride for a month or more and see how the water is... are there days that the water is a little hard? if there is then cut the gallons down 100-200 .. let that go for awhile again to see what happens to the hardness...

    Are there times that the house fills up with people? goes from 2 to say 8 people ever?

  11. #26
    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
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    If you experiment as Akpsdvan suggests just be aware that with a twin tank system that most changes you make in settings affect the regeneration of the current tank that won't come back into service for some time. In your case with 2 people in the house and typical water usage of 120 gallons per day and a setting of 1900 gallons a tank will last about 16 days so if you change the salt dose that won't do anything until the unit regenerates and then the regenerated tank won't come into service for another 16 days on average.

  12. #27
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I wouldn't set it up that way for 2 people and 3 gpg of hardness with no iron. Eleven or 16 days is too long between regenerations and it's using too much salt and water.

    I don't recall the size of the tanks but I would do a regeneration of each tank with the max lbs of salt for the cuft of resin (15 lbs/cuft) and then program it based on 120 * 3 = 360 * 8 = 3K (3000/3= 1000 gals - those used per regeneration rounded down to the lower 25 gallons )and say 3 lbs of salt.

    If you have a 2.0 gpm DLFC, you can remove it and see if there is a 2.0 or what the number is on it, that's the gpm. You can use the math formula in the manual to come up with the exact number of gallons used per regeneration (minutes times the DLFC gpm), and subtract them from the meter setting and round them down to the nearest 25 gallons. You do that because your meter dial is marked in 25 gallon increments.

    And if you do the math right to get the programming right, you don't have to make a change and then use water for a few weeks or a month to see how it goes.

    It doesn't matter how many people show up, however many use up the gallons on the meter faster than just the two of you normally do. The guests leave and you go back up to the on average once a week regeneration per tank. The down side of that is that your control valve does not do a purge rinse of the week old stagnant water, and in TX fairly warm water in the stand by tank before putting it into service. Frankly unless your household is using softened water 24/7, you don't need a twin tank softener and would be better off with a regular softener regenerating at 2 AM once every 7-9 days.

    Your 10" x 48" is probably a 10 x 47, a 1.25 cuft (40K) per tank. Or an undersized 1.5 cuft.
    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 03-18-2010 at 08:38 AM. Reason: tank size
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    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
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  13. #28
    DIY Junior Member jonjonbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan View Post
    Pin and space settings look good...
    one thing that you might try for say a month or so is cut one space out of the brine refill... from 3 spaces to 2 spaces and change the meter from 1450 to 1900... then let things ride for a month or more and see how the water is... are there days that the water is a little hard? if there is then cut the gallons down 100-200 .. let that go for awhile again to see what happens to the hardness...

    Are there times that the house fills up with people? goes from 2 to say 8 people ever?
    That sounds like a good plan. We do get a houseful but not very often. Maybe one party a year, and during holidays sometimes more folks, otherwise just the two of us and all very water wise appliances and plumbing fixtures.

    Thanks for all your help,
    John
    Last edited by jonjonbear; 03-18-2010 at 08:55 AM.

  14. #29
    DIY Junior Member jonjonbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I wouldn't set it up that way for 2 people and 3 gpg of hardness with no iron. Eleven or 16 days is too long between regenerations and it's using too much salt and water.

    I don't recall the size of the tanks but I would do a regeneration of each tank with the max lbs of salt for the cuft of resin (15 lbs/cuft) and then program it based on 120 * 3 = 360 * 8 = 3K (3000/3= 1000 gals - those used per regeneration rounded down to the lower 25 gallons )and say 3 lbs of salt.

    If you have a 2.0 gpm DLFC, you can remove it and see if there is a 2.0 or what the number is on it, that's the gpm. You can use the math formula in the manual to come up with the exact number of gallons used per regeneration (minutes times the DLFC gpm), and subtract them from the meter setting and round them down to the nearest 25 gallons. You do that because your meter dial is marked in 25 gallon increments.

    And if you do the math right to get the programming right, you don't have to make a change and then use water for a few weeks or a month to see how it goes.

    It doesn't matter how many people show up, however many use up the gallons on the meter faster than just the two of you normally do. The guests leave and you go back up to the on average once a week regeneration per tank. The down side of that is that your control valve does not do a purge rinse of the week old stagnant water, and in TX fairly warm water in the stand by tank before putting it into service. Frankly unless your household is using softened water 24/7, you don't need a twin tank softener and would be better off with a regular softener regenerating at 2 AM once every 7-9 days.

    Your 10" x 48" is probably a 10 x 47, a 1.25 cuft (40K) per tank. Or an undersized 1.5 cuft.
    Thanks Gary,
    But boy I am really confused now..Now I know what it was like trying to explain an auto repair to a not auto person :-)
    I followed your calculation, up until the 3000/3. I didn't see that on your page, is that something you did because of my unusual situation? where does the division by 3 come from? I figured this unit is overkill but it was free.
    One thing I can't find any info on is the timings for backwash, Brine/rinse, Rapid rinse timing settings. Only the brine fill. How do you calculate the necessary timing for these other steps? If I am reading my dial correctly, this is what I see:

    Backwash-8 minutes (purpose of this to remove sediment?)
    Brine/Rinse-64 minutes (wow that seems long)(so this sucks the brine solution from the brine tank until the brine tank valve closes, at which time this cycle becomes the rinse?)
    Rapid rinse-6 minutes
    Brine fill-6 minutes, @.50 per minute, does this mean 3 gallons and 3 lbs of salt? (does this seem light? Did I read you think this should be set at 22.50 based on your 15lb per cf media? Won't this really raise my salt use?)
    With my light load, do I need to have a 64 minute brine/rinse? Seems with my small salt draw, that maybe this brine rinse is too long? (tapping for water savings here)
    In the first part of your reply you said not to use the 2 person, 3 grain settings because it would use too much water and salt? This I don't understand, it would appear to me to use less, but not flush often enough which seems to be my biggest problem here, correct? Water sitting in the unused tank too long?
    Please forgive all the questions, I can't believe this is so hard for me to grasp. Throw a car repair at me, or a computer and I am good but this stuff it tough for me. Thank goodness for folks like you all, the rest of us would really screw it up! :-)
    I am just glad I didn't go in there and start re-arranging pins and timing without asking someone.
    Second let me apologize for my long posts. I try to relay everything I thing pertinent but I am sure is exhausting to read.

    Thanks,
    John

  15. #30
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    The first 1/3 of the brine draw/rinse is for the removal of the brine, the other 2/3 is a rinse..

    With a twin one finds the capacity in gallons of a tank, and remove from that capacity in gallons the amount needed for cleaning and a little for the change over time.
    The number of people will tell how long it is likely to be between cleaning cycles.

    Your set up ,,, 1.0 cubic foot and the low end setting of capacity is more than what your meter at the high end.
    There are challenges if the unit goes Too long... weeks not days between cleaning.. hardness is one thing, Iron is another.. With hardness one might get 15 days between cleanings with no problems, but with Iron in the water that number goes down..

    One person and 1.0 ppm of iron the unit should be cleaning about every 5-7 days.... any more than that and the iron will start working through the media bed.
    Others may say different, I can only go on what I have found around my area in the last 20 years of what works and does not work and time frames that work best.

    Ask away, only through questions can one gain enlightment.....

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