Thanks for chiming in Gary. I have a few comments and questions for you but others are most welcome to comment.
"IIRC the WS-1 Clack you probably have allows down to 1 lb and 5K but don't hold me to that."
Mine goes down to 0.1 pounds of salt. Where would that setting ever be used?
"The "32K" for a 1 cuft softener is a slang term."
Who came up that and why? It seems it can only cause confusion. I can see marketing people preferring the bigger number. I read somewhere that 32K refers to "ideal lab conditions", and 30K is the more practical value for home use.
Let me clarify something about my understanding about computer controlled, water metered softeners. Their regeneration is basically determined by metered water use which is determine by programmed capacity and water hardness. Mine is currently set to 30,000 grains and 30 gpg which gives 1000 gallons between regenerations (and set with 7 pounds of salt). It seems that I could set these values to 20,000/20 or 150,000/150 or 7,200/7.2 or 1000/1. All give 1000 gallons of capacity. It seems that is all that is done with those numbers. I assume the control valve would operate exactly the same, not knowing the difference. Is that correct or could the softener do something different?
"Set the calendar override for 8 days so you don't use more capacity than the salt dose can regenerate"
(Now I have heard 4 different numbers.)
I don't think the day override is meant to protect against using too much capacity, I think it protects the resin from going too long without regeneration due to low water use. The water metering ensures regeneration is done when capacity is reached. Low water use is when the day override kicks in. High water use is when the water meter kicks in. Or am I missing something?
I am assuming the desire is efficient salt use, as low as is reasonably possible, with the longest reasonable time between regenerations that is not too long (harming resin) and not too frequent (wasting water and valve wear). I think that basically sums it up. I am not sure what other factors might come into play. One question I have is this. Is there a salt dose that can be too low? I would think there must be.
It seems that one should aim for days between regeneration based on expected water use and set a day override a somewhat larger for infrequent occasions when water use happens to be lower than normal. But maybe it should be set to ensure regenerations are done regularly at the expected water use. I'm not sure.
With a 30K tank, 20 gpg hardness, one person, 60 gpd water use (1200 grains per day), regen in 8 days, after 9600 grains, would take 3 pounds or less of salt I think. Is that salt dose too low? For 14 days, 16,800 grains, 4 pounds of salt. For 20 days, 24,000 grains, 8 pounds of salt. Is 20 days getting too long?
Of course with more people/water use or more water hardness, the longer time between regenerations is less of an issue and frequent regeneration and water use more of an issue.
I have read/heard that 14 days is recommended as the longest time that should be allowed between regenerations. I am assuming that is for routine regenerations. But maybe it is OK to go longer if it is infrequent. It seems different people have different recommendations.
Note that I am not trying set my softener as cheaply as possible. I am thinking it could possibly be set less conservatively.