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Thread: Sizing Question for very hard water and one person

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Mike16W's Avatar
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    Question Sizing Question for very hard water and one person

    I have just moved into a house that does not have a water softener but has very hard water. I am the
    only one in the house the greatest majority of the time and have low water usage appliances with 2 1/2
    baths. The results from my water test are:

    Source: Well
    pH: 7.3
    Iron: 0.3 PPM
    Manganese: 0 PPM
    Hardness: 889 PPM
    Hardness: 52 Grains per Gallon
    Total Dissolved Solids ('TDS"): 1413 PPM
    Tannin: 0

    I don't want to buy a larger water softener than I need but one online stores are pushing me to a 60K unit. Do I need that much of a softener when I am the only one living in this house 90% of the time?

    Thanks for any help

  2. #2
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    You might try looking for a unit that is 1.5 cubic foot, with the 9lbs of salt that would be in the 32k range or about 600 gallons.
    It would have the room to handle the flow rate for the 2.5 bath.... and clean about every 6-7 days depending on your usage.

    If you bought a fleck unit then you or the next owner would have an easy time of upgrading to a fleck 9100 if there is the need for an increase in capacity.

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    DIY Junior Member Mike16W's Avatar
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    Thanks for the recommendation. I am new to this subject and still trying to figure out how you would set a system to use 9 lbs of salt. I will look for a 1.5 cubic foot system. I think those are usually classified as 48k units, aren't they? Like I said, I am still learning.

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    That is the max salt load capacity that they will do..

    Would run a car at max rpm?

  5. #5

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    48K GPG unit is overkill. You need a 40K at most and may be okay with a 32K unit, depending on your actual water usage. Take a look at www.hvacandwater.com/ws_main.html for the calculation breakdown and a lot of great info on water softeners in general.

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    DIY Junior Member Mike16W's Avatar
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    Default Quotes for best size

    I have now received quotes recommending a water softener that is 80k. Why is there so much variation in the size recommendations that I need. There should'nt be this much difference in what is recommended for my situation. Either it is the right size or it isn't.

  7. #7
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Why are they saying an 80k max unit?

    How many people could be in the house later if you where to sell it?
    say 1-2 people per bedroom.

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    DIY Junior Member Mike16W's Avatar
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    I have no idea why they are saying what they are saying. I live alone but will have another person visiting. I understand you are suppose to size it below the max but it seems like there should be very little variation on what size is needed. That's why I posted this question here. What size would you recommend without going over board or using to much salt?

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    With what you have in the way of iron and hardness and that you have 2.5 baths and say 1.5 people....
    I my self would do the 1.5 cubic or as some call it the 48k..
    If one uses 9lbs of salt each regen over the 1.0 or 32k's 6lbs per regen .. under the low salt setting the 1.5 comes out using less salt per year than a 1.0 cubic by about 2 bags.
    Even if one pushes either to the max the 1.5 will still use less salt per year by about 4 bags.

    As I have said this is what I would do..(been doing this for 22 years).. but others may and will say different...

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Mason View Post
    48K GPG unit is overkill. You need a 40K at most and may be okay with a 32K unit, depending on your actual water usage. Take a look at www.hvacandwater.com/ws_main.html for the calculation breakdown and a lot of great info on water softeners in general.
    You are forgetting about the constant SFR (service flow rating), and looking at your web site you do not mention it but very vaguely. Exceed the constant SFR gpm and the softener is undersized and will allow hard water breakthrough.

    A "32K", actually a 1.0 cuft, has a 9 gpm constant SFR; a 1.5 cuft has 12 gpm. A 2.5 bath house with 2 people there can exceed 9 gpm. It depends on how many fixtures they run at once, or if they have any body sprays or 2 person showers or a large jetted tub etc..

    I'm not sure if you know that you can adjust the salt dose up and down on all control valves. That increases/decreases the K of capacity and salt efficiency. Or that all softeners are sized by cuft volume of resin. Sizing for the peak demand water flow through the softener is critical and that dictates the cuft volume of resin required. Then you adjust the salt dose to get the required volume of capacity needed for the regeneration cycle you want to use; on average and depending on the iron content, once every 8 days is best.

    BTW, Fleck made all Culligan valves for like 50+ years and Culligan still uses the same (Fleck) piston, seal and spacer design of all Fleck (and Clack) valves. Fleck has made the control valves for more national softener brand companies than any other control valve manufacturer. And for the longest time frame. Fleck, Autotrol, Erie, Clack, the four control valve manufacturers do not make softeners or filters, they only make the control valves used on them.

    You mention Rainsoft on your site.... they use a Fleck valve modified to their design which makes it proprietary. RS is famous for undersizing softeners.

    Ecowater makes all the big box store brands; GE, Mortonsalt, North Star, Whirlpool, Kenmore and possibly walmart.com. They do not sell their control valves separately as Fleck etc. do. All their valve parts are interchangeable as are their valves and tanks. They are not very good quality IMO and have the shortest of all valves. All are proprietary meaning you can't get service or parts from anyone but their dealers etc., that includes Culligan, Kinetico, Rainsoft and most other national branded softeners, even if the valve was made by Fleck or the others.

    All Kinetico softeners take the tank being regenerated off line during a regeneration. Most only allow water through one tank at a time during service. That applies to all twin tank control valves, including Fleck, which sells many more than Kinetico.

    Also, control valves barely use any electricity, so why do you say on your site that larger softeners use more electricity than smaller ones?
    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 Junior Member Mike16W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan View Post
    With what you have in the way of iron and hardness and that you have 2.5 baths and say 1.5 people....
    I my self would do the 1.5 cubic or as some call it the 48k..
    If one uses 9lbs of salt each regen over the 1.0 or 32k's 6lbs per regen .. under the low salt setting the 1.5 comes out using less salt per year than a 1.0 cubic by about 2 bags.
    Even if one pushes either to the max the 1.5 will still use less salt per year by about 4 bags.

    As I have said this is what I would do..(been doing this for 22 years).. but others may and will say different...
    Thanks for the recommendation and all the information. I ordered a Fleck 1.5 cubic this morning.

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    Service Contractor CESWater's Avatar
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    Something that none of you are paying attention to is the TDS..... as stated above = 1413.......... This water wil be very difficult to soften as the molecular charge of the salt in the water will compete with the molecular charge of the softening resin...........

    This water would be better treated with Nano-filtration..... Similar to RO but Calcium tolerant membrane tech.......

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