(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 15 of 18

Thread: Help Configuring water softener

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member KraTToR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Posts
    3

    Default Help Configuring water softener

    Hi everyone! I have a 7 yr old softener that I need to setup/configure. It's a 32k grain with what I think is a Clack control valve. The sticker on the side say's its a F-30 (top) and F2-U-E (bottom) but according to clackvalves.net it looks like a WS1.5 or WS2 - CI.

    The city tells me that the municipal water supply runs about 25 grains hardness.

    Currently, the machine fills, sits for 2 hours, and then goes through its thing. Its set to re-gen at 2AM so it fills at midnight. I've been fighting with having enought soft water for a while and figured I would try here before requesting a service call.

    I have 3 young adults in the house along with my wife and I so there is quite a bit of showering, laundry, etc. In the summer I wash my car once or twice a week with soft water to prevent spots. The current settings are as follows:

    Fill - 8 lbs
    Up Brine - 60 minutes
    Backwash - 8 minutes
    rinse - 3 minutes
    capacity - 19k
    regen - auto.
    Hardness - 30
    Regen Day - 5

    From reading a few posts here I believe that some of these settings are on the low side and any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Patrick.
    Last edited by KraTToR; 01-26-2012 at 08:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,707
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    A WS1.5 on a 32000 grain system? That is unlikely. Nobody even makes a 9" tank with a 4" opening. You probably have a WS1. I need the tank size, not the capacity it claims. You also need to do a softness test, the city says it is about 25 really means nothing, unless you have only 1 well or source they draw the water form and they never mix water from other supplies.

    That being said, I am going to guess the following.

    32K grains is a maximum capacity calculation that is used to make a system sound bigger than it really is. Your actual capacity should be set at 24000 grains when you are using 8 pounds of salt.

    Do you have any iron or manganese in the water supply?

    Does the valve have 3 or 5 buttons.

    I assume the system is metered.

    Fill, 8 pounds is fine, but you can test the system to see if it properly filling, it should refill approximately just shy of 3 gallons of water into the brine tank.
    Up-Brine, 60 minutes, ugh, upflow brining is great when it works and the system is working perfectly. I am not a fan.
    Backwash, 8 minutes, after upflow brining? Really, ugh, again, this is fine but... sigh...
    rinse 3 minutes, perfect.
    capacity, 19K, should be 24K
    Regen auto, good.
    Hardness, 30, set to the actual hardness, test the water, otherwise there is no way to know.
    Regen day, 5? Not even sure what that is, other than the day of the week, day 1 through 7, but what is the point on a metered system? Is the system metered?

    Your settings would waste a lot of salt but should maintain soft water.

    Unless it is a timeclock model, then...


    5 people x 70 gallons x 25 grains hardness = 8750 grains daily, the system would need to regenerate every other day.


    Your system is way too small.

    You need a 60,000 grain (real capacity, not maximum salt dosage capacity) or a 2.5 cubic foot system.

    The size of your system would make it very innefficient and intermittent hard water could definetly become an issue.

    Somebody here will know the programming of the older Clack valves better than me. Even so, reprogramming it wont fix the underlying problems.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member KraTToR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Apologies for not being more precise in my information.

    The retailer told me that it's a 32k system, I guessed that it was a WS1.5 based on a photo on the Clack website but i'm pretty sure it's a CI tho but really how do I tell? there's nothing I can find on the unit, same with the resin tank. Am I looking in the wrong place??

    WIth regards to the city water, a good friend of mine manages the dept. that is responsible for the city's water quality and he's telling me the average hardness of the city water is 25 but I've set it to 30 in case there's a fluctuation and also on his recommendation.

    On another note, you dont seem to like the un-brining and the backwash after. It is a metered system and I think the regen day of 5 is in the event it doesnt hit the capacity by that time from lack of use (never a problem in my house!)

    Again, thank you and I hope these comments help!


    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    A WS1.5 on a 32000 grain system? That is unlikely. Nobody even makes a 9" tank with a 4" opening. You probably have a WS1. I need the tank size, not the capacity it claims. You also need to do a softness test, the city says it is about 25 really means nothing, unless you have only 1 well or source they draw the water form and they never mix water from other supplies.

    That being said, I am going to guess the following.

    32K grains is a maximum capacity calculation that is used to make a system sound bigger than it really is. Your actual capacity should be set at 24000 grains when you are using 8 pounds of salt.

    Do you have any iron or manganese in the water supply?

    Does the valve have 3 or 5 buttons.

    I assume the system is metered.

    Fill, 8 pounds is fine, but you can test the system to see if it properly filling, it should refill approximately just shy of 3 gallons of water into the brine tank.
    Up-Brine, 60 minutes, ugh, upflow brining is great when it works and the system is working perfectly. I am not a fan.
    Backwash, 8 minutes, after upflow brining? Really, ugh, again, this is fine but... sigh...
    rinse 3 minutes, perfect.
    capacity, 19K, should be 24K
    Regen auto, good.
    Hardness, 30, set to the actual hardness, test the water, otherwise there is no way to know.
    Regen day, 5? Not even sure what that is, other than the day of the week, day 1 through 7, but what is the point on a metered system? Is the system metered?

    Your settings would waste a lot of salt but should maintain soft water.

    Unless it is a timeclock model, then...


    5 people x 70 gallons x 25 grains hardness = 8750 grains daily, the system would need to regenerate every other day.


    Your system is way too small.

    You need a 60,000 grain (real capacity, not maximum salt dosage capacity) or a 2.5 cubic foot system.

    The size of your system would make it very innefficient and intermittent hard water could definetly become an issue.

    Somebody here will know the programming of the older Clack valves better than me. Even so, reprogramming it wont fix the underlying problems.

  4. #4
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,707
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Up-flow brining is more efficient on paper, but in the real world, it is a pain. Lowered brine draw pressures causes all kinds of problems when you have to run the drain line up, or any distance. The potential efficiency gains are not worth thr problems. Kind of like the Honda civic hybrid, you get 1 more mile per gallon, but all the problems associated with the car, its not worth it.

    An upflow brining system should not be backwashed prior to brining which creates even more potential problems for the brining cycle due sediment loading of the resin and potential backpressures, and finally, backwashing after brining takes away the claim the the bottom resin is hit with the brine and therefore will give you the best quality water.... backwashing moves the resin around a lot. Just watch a standard system backwash in a clear tank, the resin goes all over the place.

    Up-flow brining is a great try, and really neat on paper, but in the real world it is not worth the potential problems.

    Anybody who has upflow brining, I recommend that the drain line goes down only, keep the drain line no less than 5/8", and keep the drain line short.

    downflow brining with adequate water pressure, you can run the drain line up and over the roof of a house if you needed to.

    If the WS1 is running out of soft water at your current settings, I would be checking a few things.

    Resin level inside your tank, it should be approximately 30" high inside the tank.

    Is the salt filling approximately 2.6 gallons of water back into the brine tank?

    Do you have any iron in the water? (iron will foul up the resin giving it less softening capacity)

    What is the real hardness? (hardenss is like amp draw on a battery, if you have 50 grains, your system will last half as many gallons as compared to 25 grains)

    Get a bigger softener, your system is completely undersized. The Clack valve will probably try to regenerate the system every other night just trying to keep up, this will waste 1/2-1/3 of the salt, and it will use a lot more water than it should.

    Hope these suggestions help.

  5. #5
    DIY Member teve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    57

    Default

    I have an up-flow Clack valve and have a couple questions, if you don't mind, others can respond as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Lowered brine draw pressures causes all kinds of problems when you have to run the drain line up, or any distance.
    How is there any difference between up-flow and down-flow concerning pressure during brine rinse? If anything I would think there would be less pressure loss with up-flow through the resin, there is no possible compaction. What difference does it make how high and long the drain hose goes if it comes down the same distance, especially with the lower flow rate of brine rinse?

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead
    An upflow brining system should not be backwashed prior to brining which creates even more potential problems for the brining cycle due sediment loading of the resin and potential backpressures, and finally, backwashing after brining takes away the claim the the bottom resin is hit with the brine and therefore will give you the best quality water.... backwashing moves the resin around a lot. Just watch a standard system backwash in a clear tank, the resin goes all over the place.
    I'm not clear what this means. With up-flow, would prior backwash be preferred, or is it bad, or is it unnecessary? If bad, why?

    My Clack provides provides only post backwash for up-flow but pre and post backwash for down-flow. This seems typical of other systems but why are there two for down-flow? Why backwash afterwards for up-flow and not before? Doesn't backwash just clear out sediment which I would think should be done first?

  6. #6
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,707
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Downflow is unregulated. The systems ability to use a veturi to create suction is also based on back pressure. If you have an unregulated venturi injection, you may have 70 PSI of available prssure, going up 15 feet will add about 7 pounds of backpressure, now take into consideration length of pipe, capillary restriction (friction loss) fittings, etc, all will affect a systems ability to draw brine.
    Upflow brining is regulated brining. If you ran full pressure you would disrupt the bed causing channeling of the media which would make for a poor regeneration.

    Yor thoughts on upflow being compacted vs. downflow... Resin is round, not irregularly shaped. Imagine a ball pit, not matter how many times you try to settle it, the balls will stay at the same hgight. Now consider a box of cornflakes, those irregularly shaped items will continually compact as they find ways to better fit into eachother. Disposable Resin based filtration systems do not have a backwash valve. The round media is not good for sediment removal, nor will it cause flow restrictions. We do hundreds of disposable DI resin tanks, Arsenic medias (Ferrl-X,) and other designs, we never put backwash valve on these.
    point being, wate will flow through the media wether it is backwashed or not, does your softener have better flow rate after regeneration? of course not. GAC, Multi-media, turbidex, filter ag, etc all require backwashing eventually because they are compactable medias that will eventually restrict flow.

    The theory is this...
    Downflow brining: The brine enters the top of the tank through the calcium filled resin first, and forces this "hardness" water down through the clean resin. On paper this is a bad design. In the real world, we know it is almost identical in efficiency to upflow.

    Upflow does the opposite, your clean resin never get hit with the bad water. The brine enters the bottom "clean" resin and forces the calcium back out the way it came. Worded correctly, this sounds like the only way to regenerate resin. A backwash before regeneration would mix the resin and would lessen the supposed benefits of upflow brining. The other supposed benefit is that the resin that the raw water touches last is "super regenerated resin" giving you the ultimate soft water! A backwash after regeneration defeats the purpose of giving the customer the super clean resin that the water hits last. Since it is being backwashed after upflow brining, the resin is now "mixed" negating the supposed benefit.

    The second backwash on a downflow brining system uses a small amount of extra water, but it mixes the resin giving you better quality soft water. This was found to be extremely beneficial once you drop below 8 pounds of salt per cubic foot of resin.

    The first backwash is to clean dirt, debris, precipitated iron, etc out of the resin. Depending on your water quality, it can be set at 1-3 minutes with no negative affect. Most municipal supplies have extremely clean water that requires almost no bakwash. The second backwash is usually set to 2-5 minutes.

    A quick technical note: Clack does not have a regulated injector which is common for other manufacturers to get the upflow brining to not disturb the resin bed, instead we use a much smaller than normal injector, and we use a longer brine cycle. Not exactly ideal but it works.

    Class dismissed.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member KraTToR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Ok, so I get the impression that you dont like my settings and that's ok, I didn't program it! LOL
    I'll check the resin to see if there's 30" of it.
    and my question is, how would you program it? Underlying reasons aside.





    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Up-flow brining is more efficient on paper, but in the real world, it is a pain. Lowered brine draw pressures causes all kinds of problems when you have to run the drain line up, or any distance. The potential efficiency gains are not worth thr problems. Kind of like the Honda civic hybrid, you get 1 more mile per gallon, but all the problems associated with the car, its not worth it.

    An upflow brining system should not be backwashed prior to brining which creates even more potential problems for the brining cycle due sediment loading of the resin and potential backpressures, and finally, backwashing after brining takes away the claim the the bottom resin is hit with the brine and therefore will give you the best quality water.... backwashing moves the resin around a lot. Just watch a standard system backwash in a clear tank, the resin goes all over the place.

    Up-flow brining is a great try, and really neat on paper, but in the real world it is not worth the potential problems.

    Anybody who has upflow brining, I recommend that the drain line goes down only, keep the drain line no less than 5/8", and keep the drain line short.

    downflow brining with adequate water pressure, you can run the drain line up and over the roof of a house if you needed to.

    If the WS1 is running out of soft water at your current settings, I would be checking a few things.

    Resin level inside your tank, it should be approximately 30" high inside the tank.

    Is the salt filling approximately 2.6 gallons of water back into the brine tank?

    Do you have any iron in the water? (iron will foul up the resin giving it less softening capacity)

    What is the real hardness? (hardenss is like amp draw on a battery, if you have 50 grains, your system will last half as many gallons as compared to 25 grains)

    Get a bigger softener, your system is completely undersized. The Clack valve will probably try to regenerate the system every other night just trying to keep up, this will waste 1/2-1/3 of the salt, and it will use a lot more water than it should.

    Hope these suggestions help.

  8. #8
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,707
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    ummm, that question is not answerable without the above questions being answered. The way you have it programmed, assuming your guestimate of hardness is correct should waste a lot of salt and water and should result in soft water assuming the valve is regenerating every other day. Setting it differently without knowing the water conditions does not make sense. Your settings are wrong, but should result in soft water. Your system is undersized by a factoe of three, but still, if it is working, it should maintain soft water. The Clack valves have extensive diagnostics that will tell you how often it regenrates, last regeneration, avg daily water usage, etc. More information than any technician would ever use. Assuming the systems meter is accurate, easy to test, simply run 20-30 gallons to wash a car or water the lawn and make sure the meter is reading accurately at different flow rates. if the meter is working, the brine tank is filling with the amount of water I said earlier.......

Similar Threads

  1. Water softener WHES40 & Central Water Filtration System - Questions
    By reggiev6 in forum Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and reviews
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-16-2011, 10:57 AM
  2. Ancient Water Softener Guidance, Advice, and Spraying Water All Over the Garage
    By DavidK in forum Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and reviews
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-03-2011, 12:41 PM
  3. Water Well Line - Sediment Filter - Expansion Tank - Water Softener - H2O Htr. Order?
    By chuck b in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-09-2011, 05:21 PM
  4. Water softener, metal studs, water meter, copper pipes...
    By pghsebring in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-14-2010, 08:54 PM
  5. New water heater, existing water softener, expansion tank needed?
    By dhancock in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-12-2009, 08:09 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •