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Thread: Salt dose...?

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    DIY Junior Member Wally107's Avatar
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    Default Salt dose...?

    Hey guys...first I'd like to commend all of the experts on this forum. Your willingness to assist us DIY warriors is most appreciated. I poured over this wealth of info, as well as Gary's extremely helpful site, prior to making my recent water softener purchase. I do however have a question about salt dose (and I guess programming in general). Suppose I should start with the details:

    4 bedroom house with attached mother-in-law apartment
    3 1/2 baths total (1 with jetted 8gpm Jacuzzi tub)
    Use 300 gal/day (based on avg of 12 months of water bills) (*NOTE: This does increase during the summer months when college kid is home.)
    City water...14 gpg hard (per the Water Dept - I have a feeling it's a tad higher) ...no iron/Mn issues

    One of my major concerns was flow...I didn't want to hear anyone whining "my shower's not flowing enough..." I went to almost every fixture, and did the timed/gallon jug method. From what I can determine, we can sometimes hit 11gpm, and (although rare), may hit 13gpm.

    Initially, I thought I could get away with a 48K system, however, Gary points out in his tutorial that you need 2 cuft of resin to handle 13gpm. Therefore, I purchased (and just installed) a Fleck 7000SXT 64K - 2 cuft (12X52). Programmed per the instructions that came with the system:

    1st backwash: 10 min
    Brine draw: 60 min (which I now understand includes a 'slow rinse')
    2nd backwash: 5 min
    Rapid rinse: 10 min
    Brine refill: 40 min (as instructed in the manual for a 64K system)

    Safety factor: 20 percent (as recommended in manual for 4 persons)
    Day override: 10 days (I know Gary, you recommend 7-9...and I understand why, but manual says 14, so I thought 10 was reasonable...?)

    My question - other than the usual "How does my programming look?"...is specifically regarding 'salt dose':

    If I understand everything I've read, salt dose is a function of the Brine Fill (correct?) From what I can determine, the 7000SXT has a .25gpm BFLC...so a 40 min fill is 10 gal of water (correct?) If it's 3lbs salt for 1 gal of water...that's 30lbs of salt per regen...correct?

    If my math is correct, I'm using 42K in a 10 day period. Assuming: 51.2K (64K minus 20 percent reserve) - 42K = 9.2K of "unused" capacity.

    Since I don't want to go longer than 10 days between regen, I suppose my question actually is...should I shorten the Brine Fill time? Or maybe shorten the Brine Draw time?

    Thanx again for all your wisdom and help with this!

    Wally
    Last edited by Wally107; 11-02-2011 at 11:01 PM.

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    The brine draw time does not draw brine the whole time, but then you already knew that, so what would be your reasonong to shorten it? Certainly not to control salt dose?

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    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Your set up is using the max amount of salt. You would be better off using the min which is 6 lbs per cf. The formula is 30K w/15 lbs salt or 20k w/ 6 lbs salt. So you would calculate using 40k and 12 lbs salt so you would have 16 min fill time.

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    DIY Junior Member Wally107's Avatar
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    Thanx mialynette!

    Now it's time for me to show my noobieness...it never occurred to me to look at the sticker on the valve for the correct BLFC - it's actually .125 gpm (yet another flaw in the instruction manual...oh well).

    So...using the following rules:

    .125gpm = 8 minutes per gallon
    1 gallon water dissolves 3lbs salt
    3lbs salt "cleans" 10K

    And re-doing the math:

    42K / 10K = 4.2
    4.2 X 3lbs = 12.6 lbs salt
    12.6 lbs / 3lbs salt dissolved per gallon = 4.2 gallons
    4.2 gallons X 8 min per gallon = 33.6 minutes Brine fill time (round up to 34).

    Sound correct?
    Last edited by Wally107; 11-03-2011 at 11:13 AM.

  5. #5
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wally107 View Post
    .... I do however have a question about salt dose (and I guess programming in general). Suppose I should start with the details:

    4 bedroom house with attached mother-in-law apartment
    3 1/2 baths total (1 with jetted 8gpm Jacuzzi tub)
    Use 300 gal/day (based on avg of 12 months of water bills) (*NOTE: This does increase during the summer months when college kid is home.)
    City water...14 gpg hard (per the Water Dept - I have a feeling it's a tad higher) ...no iron/Mn issues
    You should use the highest hardness in the city water system.

    Then 60 gals/person/day. And you don't say how many people in the household...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally107 View Post
    One of my major concerns was flow...I didn't want to hear anyone whining "my shower's not flowing enough..." I went to almost every fixture, and did the timed/gallon jug method. From what I can determine, we can sometimes hit 11gpm, and (although rare), may hit 13gpm.
    The softener's constant SFR is so your peak demand flow rate (a total of all fixtures that are being used at one time) doesn't cause hard water to get through the softener, it's NOT a restriction type thing where the softener reduces flow...

    You can't measure one fixture at a time and then add them up to get your peak demand flow rate. Your tub at 8, plus a shower at 2.5 = 12.5 and a toilet flush gets you over 13 gpm...

    A 3.5 bath house with a large tub would need more like 15-18 gpm SFR.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally107 View Post
    .......... I purchased (and just installed) a Fleck 7000SXT 64K - 2 cuft (12X52). Programmed per the instructions that came with the system:

    1st backwash: 10 min
    Brine draw: 60 min (which I now understand includes a 'slow rinse')
    2nd backwash: 5 min
    Rapid rinse: 10 min
    Brine refill: 40 min (as instructed in the manual for a 64K system)

    Safety factor: 20 percent (as recommended in manual for 4 persons)
    Day override: 10 days (I know Gary, you recommend 7-9...and I understand why, but manual says 14, so I thought 10 was reasonable...?)
    I don't use 20%. Use one day's total grains of hardness * 60 gals/person/day. THEN the gallons between regenerations based on your regenerated K of capacity and covert the grains per day to gallons and subtract that number of gallons from the meter setting as your reserve.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally107 View Post
    My question - other than the usual "How does my programming look?"...is specifically regarding 'salt dose':
    I think you bought an undersized softener and you are using the full 60K, which requires 30 lbs of salt, which gets you the worst salt efficiency; 60,000/30 = 2000 grains/lb.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally107 View Post
    If I understand everything I've read, salt dose is a function of the Brine Fill (correct?) From what I can determine, the 7000SXT has a .25gpm BFLC...so a 40 min fill is 10 gal of water (correct?) If it's 3lbs salt for 1 gal of water...that's 30lbs of salt per regen...correct?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally107 View Post
    If my math is correct, I'm using 42K in a 10 day period. Assuming: 51.2K (64K minus 20 percent reserve) - 42K = 9.2K of "unused" capacity.
    You have to program as if you have to regenerate the reserve capacity too, so you need the 30 lbs. You should program as I showed you on my sizing page on my site.

    And I would get rid of the .125 gpm BLFC and use a .5 gpm.
    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.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member Wally107's Avatar
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    Thanx Gary! I want to say here that, in the 6 months of research I did prior to making my decision, I read and re-read your sizing page, as well as all of the informative info, on your QWA site no less than 10 times...to the point I can probably quote some of it from memory. I also read several of your posts on a few of the other forums you're on. I can't speak for everyone, 'cause we all have our detractors, but I consider you the "go-to" source for any and all things water softener. I have the utmost respect for your years of experience and pearls of wisdom, as evidenced by the fact that I used your guidance to choose my system. Having said that...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    You should use the highest hardness in the city water system.
    I have to be honest, I did NOT get a detailed water analysis prior to my purchase. 14 gpg is from the annual report issued by our water board. Since the board secretary lives next door, I asked her - she confirmed, 14 is the number to use, so I went with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Then 60 gals/person/day. And you don't say how many people in the household...
    I averaged my last 12 months of water usage from my bills, and came up with 75 gals/person/day (there's currently 4 of us). I know from reading your other posts that you always use 60 gals - and it's based on your many years of sales in several countries, which I accept and respect. Nonetheless, if I have accurate data readily available, it behooves me to use it, so I went with 300 total per day. Additionally, I've checked the "countdown" meter on my new softener at exactly the same time each day for the 3 days it's been running: 305, 283, and 285.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    The softener's constant SFR is so your peak demand flow rate (a total of all fixtures that are being used at one time) doesn't cause hard water to get through the softener, it's NOT a restriction type thing where the softener reduces flow...

    You can't measure one fixture at a time and then add them up to get your peak demand flow rate. Your tub at 8, plus a shower at 2.5 = 12.5 and a toilet flush gets you over 13 gpm...

    A 3.5 bath house with a large tub would need more like 15-18 gpm SFR.
    Understood. I know you caution people about excluding the big tubs (I chuckled at your scenario of junior suddenly getting in touch with his feminine side and taking bubble baths), but frankly, ours has been used maybe 5 times in the 7 years since we built the house. In my calculations, I tried to be a little more realistic, and used:

    2 showers @ 2.5 gpm
    washing machine @ 6gpm
    Totaling 11 gpm. This doesn't happen often, but it has happened. For good measure, I threw in a flush @ 1.6 and rounded to 13 gpm. Will we ever use the big tub again...sure...and somebody's shower will just have to wait.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I don't use 20%. Use one day's total grains of hardness * 60 gals/person/day. THEN the gallons between regenerations based on your regenerated K of capacity and covert the grains per day to gallons and subtract that number of gallons from the meter setting as your reserve.
    Understood. I will recalculate and determine the appropriate percentage, and re-program accordingly.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I think you bought an undersized softener and you are using the full 60K, which requires 30 lbs of salt, which gets you the worst salt efficiency; 60,000/30 = 2000 grains/lb.

    You have to program as if you have to regenerate the reserve capacity too, so you need the 30 lbs. You should program as I showed you on my sizing page on my site.
    I guess this is where I'm confused (and again, I've studied your sizing pages many times). Using 300 gals/day X 14gpg, I get 4200 "Daily Grains of Capacity"...which is 33600 "Total Grains of Capacity"...then to the lower portion of your sizing page: 36400 "Salt Dose Capacity" (round to 37000).

    With the exception of using 300 gals/day versus your 240 gals/day, I tried to follow your logic as best I could. How is a 60K softener undersized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    And I would get rid of the .125 gpm BLFC and use a .5 gpm.
    Understood, and I will do so immediately.

    Thanx again for all your help!

    Wally
    Last edited by Wally107; 11-04-2011 at 05:07 PM.

  7. #7
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    My comment of being undersized was due to the 13 gpm.

    I think you are using the calculator page. Use the sizing page and do the math yourself. Then check the settings with the calculator if you want to. Manually is the most accurate.

    The other part of being undersized is the salt dose setting. I don't think you're going to get down to the 3333 grains/lb with 300 gals/day and over 8 days between regenerations, but I haven't done the math.

    And maybe the MIL finds a nice looking young guy, or girl, to move in and then you have more water use at the same time and you go over 13 gpm...
    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 Wally107's Avatar
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    Although it may not seem like it Gary, I am catching on. So if you'll indulge me, I just have a couple more questions...

    Focusing on K capacity:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I think you are using the calculator page. Use the sizing page and do the math yourself. Then check the settings with the calculator if you want to. Manually is the most accurate.

    The other part of being undersized is the salt dose setting. I don't think you're going to get down to the 3333 grains/lb with 300 gals/day and over 8 days between regenerations, but I haven't done the math.
    I reviewed both pages again. Using the calculator page, and my 14gpg, 75gals/person/day X 4 people - the bottom of the page gives me (from top to bottom):

    Pounds of salt per cuft of resin: 5
    Salt dose (total lbs): 10
    Salt dose capacity: 36400
    Grains of capacity PER lb of salt (salt efficiency): 3640 - that's pretty good...right?
    Days between regeneration: 9
    Gallons between regeneration: 2600

    So, I'll change my Day Override to 9, and change my Brine fill to 27 min (which should give me 10.125lbs salt dose using my current .125gpm BLFC)

    Am I on the right track? (or have you given up on me )

    Now, focusing on peak SFR:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    My comment of being undersized was due to the 13 gpm.

    And maybe the MIL finds a nice looking young guy, or girl, to move in and then you have more water use at the same time and you go over 13 gpm...
    You crack me up...but I suppose anything's possible...she is a fiesty ol' gal! But let me ask this:

    Is it possible to add .5 cuft of resin to a 12X52 tank (giving me 2.5cuft)? Or does it need to be a 13X54 tank?

    I apologize if this is a ridiculous question, but I don't recall it specifically being discussed anywhere. I did read (somewhere) you mentioned the depth of the bed is actually more important than the diameter, etc - but not this specific question.

    Thanx as always...Wally

  9. #9
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I didn't do the math to check you yours out but, use the sizing page and do the math by hand, the calculator page is not as accurate because believe it or not, computers are not good at rounding and math formulas etc..

    No to adding another .5 cuft, you wouldn't have the proper freeboard space for complete bed expansion during backwash.

    Wait until the MIL comes home with tats!! and maybe a biker and wanting a new Hog to go to Strugis next year.
    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 Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    I don't believe in his sizing guide for residental use. If I used it for my home, I would need a 2 cf unit whereas I have had a 1 cf unit and have never had hard water. I just got out of the shower and the wife is washing clothes. As far as I know, he is the only one I have ever seen use this. Why don't major companies like Culligan, US Filter or EcoWater use it?

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    DIY Junior Member Wally107's Avatar
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    Why are you on here on a Saturday?...you're supposed to be retired!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    No to adding another .5 cuft, you wouldn't have the proper freeboard space for complete bed expansion during backwash.
    Thought so. Oh well, was worth askin'.

    Since I have to be at work (911 dispatcher), I'm sittin' here surfin' looking at BLFC's. Is this the right one?:

    http://www.softenerparts.com/BLFC_As..._p/3461450.htm

    Also - I'm ditchin' the 20 percent reserve nonsense and changing it to the Variable Reserve...seems like a no-brainer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Wait until the MIL comes home with tats!! and maybe a biker and wanting a new Hog to go to Strugis next year.
    OK...now you're scarin' me.

    Have a good weekend...Wally

  12. #12
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mialynette2003 View Post
    I don't believe in his sizing guide for residental use. If I used it for my home, I would need a 2 cf unit whereas I have had a 1 cf unit and have never had hard water. I just got out of the shower and the wife is washing clothes. As far as I know, he is the only one I have ever seen use this. Why don't major companies like Culligan, US Filter or EcoWater use it?
    A few days ago you said you were a dealer for IWT.

    Below is a link to a sales brochure for one of their softeners; at the bottom of the page you can read all about its SFR.

    Maybe you should look at sales brochures for the other brands you mention not having seen any info about the SFR of their softeners.

    All of IWT's softeners that I have looked at have a published SFR on the softener's sales brochure.

    Another place to look would be on resin manufacturers' web sites and their spec sheet for each of their resins (but I doubt that you will).

    BTW, your shower is probably 2.5 gpm and most washing machines are 3-4 gpm and that equals a peak demand of 6.5 gpm, while a 1.0 cuft softener usually has a SFR of 9 gpm. IWT says their 1.0 cuft has 10 gpm. Maybe that's why you've never had hard water break through ya think? It will break through as soon as you go over 9-10 gpm.

    I see you've finally came around to getting into salt efficiency LOL. But 6 lbs/cu ft is not the lowest you can use.

    A bit more time and you should be into correctly sizing a softener based on the peak demand of the household's water use that you plan on selling/installing a softener in. Or maybe not...

    Here's the link.
    http://www.iwtwater.com/uploads/IWT 165 Softener.pdf
    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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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    You need the .5 gpm for your control valve; whatever one that is.
    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 Wally107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    And I would get rid of the .125 gpm BLFC and use a .5 gpm.
    Gary...not to belabor this, but...

    Is there any downside to going to a 1.0gpm BLFC (in an effort to reduce the overall regen time)?

    Just curious....Wally

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    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    A few days ago you said you were a dealer for IWT.

    Below is a link to a sales brochure for one of their softeners; at the bottom of the page you can read all about its SFR.

    Maybe you should look at sales brochures for the other brands you mention not having seen any info about the SFR of their softeners.

    All of IWT's softeners that I have looked at have a published SFR on the softener's sales brochure.

    Another place to look would be on resin manufacturers' web sites and their spec sheet for each of their resins (but I doubt that you will).

    BTW, your shower is probably 2.5 gpm and most washing machines are 3-4 gpm and that equals a peak demand of 6.5 gpm, while a 1.0 cuft softener usually has a SFR of 9 gpm. IWT says their 1.0 cuft has 10 gpm. Maybe that's why you've never had hard water break through ya think? It will break through as soon as you go over 9-10 gpm.

    I see you've finally came around to getting into salt efficiency LOL. But 6 lbs/cu ft is not the lowest you can use.

    A bit more time and you should be into correctly sizing a softener based on the peak demand of the household's water use that you plan on selling/installing a softener in. Or maybe not...

    Here's the link.
    http://www.iwtwater.com/uploads/IWT 165 Softener.pdf
    There you go again, assuming facts not in evidence. I never said they didn't have a listing for the SFR, I merely pointed out that I have not seen any of them use it. Also, can you explain why your sizing chart would call for a 2 cf softener when a 1 cf works fine with no hardness bleed though. BTW, if you were to research some of my early posts, you will find I've always said the salt dose for a 1 cf is normally 6 lbs. So how is it that I'm now coming around?

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