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Thread: How is softener capacity programmed or calculated with lower salt usage?

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    DIY Member teve's Avatar
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    Default How is softener capacity programmed or calculated with lower salt usage?

    I have a basic water softener control valve question. Maybe someone can clarify this for me.

    I have new water softener with a Clack control valve on a 30,000 grain tank. The valve is programmed with a 30,000 grain capacity and a 30 gpg water hardness which displays a 1000 gallon capacity after a regeneration. As I understand, 15 pounds of salt will restore 30,000 grains or 1000 gallons of capacity. But the salt use setting is programmed with 7 pounds per regeneration which is supposed to restore only about 22,000 grains of capacity. It seems that the valve is letting the resin tank remove more grains of hardness than it will restore in the next regeneration. Doesn't this mean that hardness will build up in the resin tank over time?

    Shouldn't the valve take this salt setting into consideration when calculating the restored capacity after a regeneration and display that there is only a 733 (=22,000/30) gallon capacity? If not, why?

    Should the softener capacity be explicitly programmed to equal the capacity restored by the salt used per regeneration? If not, how is this dealt with?

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    The program works off what the user or service tech programs in, ie 22k 30k etc.... then the proper salt setting needs to be added in to get that capacity.

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    DIY Member teve's Avatar
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    So the salt dose and the corresponding capacity are set independently and the user should make sure they are consistent. The control valve just assumes the salt dose specified restores the capacity specified. Is that correct?

    Is there any reason or circumstance that the capacity would programmed to 30,000 for a tank with 1 cubic foot of resin when specifying less than 15 lbs of salt?

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    The digital control is a computer, trash in trash out.. or at least that is that my teacher back in 81' said.

    The digital control works on numbers programed in, and I would say that yours was programed wrong, why I have no idea.

    I know that when I am programing a unit , I go through and put the numbers in and then go back through to make sure that I have the right numbers in the right spots, and then check again.

    Check and then double check again ... I am human and have been known to opps, so I check and check again to make sure that it is correct, but not all do the double or triple checks.

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    DIY Member teve's Avatar
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    Can you describe how you set salt dose, capacity, and water hardness or point me to information on how to figure the values to be set? I can't find much detailed information.

    I assume you start with how many grains of hardness need to be removed every day on the average (possibly adjusted upwards) and then set the salt dose for a reasonable interval between regenerations. The salt dose determines the restored grain capacity per regeneration to be programmed and then setting the water hardness determines the gallon capacity allowing water to be metered for the next regeneration.

    I assume some values need to be somewhat conservative to ensure hardness does not accumulate over time in the resin. Should the restored grain capacity for the salt dose be set a little more conservative than the tables show or are they already conservative enough? It seems the water hardness is typically set higher than the actual water hardness from other people I have talked to. What determines how the water hardness should be set?

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Comp hardness on my books is
    iron x 4
    Mn x 4
    Hardness in grains.
    Iron + Mn + grains = comp hardness

    That comp hardness in to the programing at the step it is called for.
    I use 6lbs of salt getting 20k for capacity on 1 cubic foot and 12lbs for 32k is the standard max per cubic.

    1 gallon of water will do just under 3lbs of salt.

    Depending on the flow to the brine tank or salt tank as to how many minutes will give the water needed for the salt needed.
    If the control is .5gpm then 4 minutes will do 2 gallons and 6 lbs of salt.

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