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Thread: Confused--Really confused softener and BB install.

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    DIY Junior Member pauli5500's Avatar
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    Default Confused--Really confused softener and BB install.

    Some people I know with softeners have had their resin blow up, explode, whatever, and it's supposedly due to the higher (3ppm) of chlorine we have in our water supply. Due to our hardness at 15 gpg, we're think of getting a Fleck 5600 softener and it makes sense to have a charcoal filter before the softener to remove the chlorine so our resins doesn't explode as well. Now I hear another viewpoint: put the the filter afterward..supposedly the Big Blue will capture runaway resin before it gets in the plumbing and we'll have the benefit of chlorine in the softener to kill off bacteria. Thoughts on where the filter should be, please.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I'm against a disposable cartridge type prefilter for a softener because human nature being what it is, many guys won't change the cartridge until they can't power wash their butt in the shower and by then it is way past the time it should have been changed and it has starved the softener for proper backwash water flow which has been harming the resin. That is not good for a softener.

    I think you meant to say that chlorine harms resin instead of resin explodes... and yes chlorine over time harms resin but, it takes many years to notice it. And if you remove it at the softener, the softener and the whole house is unprotected from bacteria in the city water system. Relatively speaking, resin is much less expensive than many years of replacing carbon cartridges.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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    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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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    ...by then it is way past the time it should have been changed and it has starved the softener for proper backwash water flow...
    Umm... he's talking about putting BB after the softener to catch the disintegrated resin. How can that impede backwash?

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    Not really seeing why you would put a carbon filter AFTER the softener. If all you want to do is catch resins that somehow escape the system, then a sediment filter would be used because it is of adequate size. But unless you are having this unusual problem, I wouldn't even bother. Instead, put the BB carbon BEFORE the softener.

    Are you talking about a radial flow-through (carbon block) or an up-flow (granulated) BB replaceable cartridge? Actually, explode implies some kind of danger but in reality the resins do swell to a size big enough where they can break apart--so I guess you might say they exploded. I have opened city-watered, chlorinated-drenched resin tanks where the resins ooze out the top because they have expanded so much.

    What kinds of bacteria are we talking about here? Pathogens? I wonder why the 63 million well water users don't worry about bacteria. The water will bacteria-free until it gets to the filter, right? Sanitizing the household lines is so simple but probably never needs it. Mine has had chlorine-free water for 15 years and I still have ten toes.
    Last edited by water solutions; 02-06-2012 at 02:01 PM.

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Are those the same guys that will add iron out to their brine tank on a regular basis LOL


    Chlorine above 3 ppm will damage resin fairly quickly. It causes the crosslink structure to fail allowing the resin to fracture and once that occurs, you no longer have round beads, you have irregular particles that will restrict flow rate. I would recommend a backwashing carbon system ahead of the water softener. The only time resin exits the bottom of a softener is due to the low quality bottom screens a lot of companies use. The Heavy Fleck or heavy Clack bottom screens do not suffer this problem. We only use the Fleck 40922 bottom screen and we have never had a field failure in any media with this bottom screen. We have been using it as an OEM systems builder for many years and it has proven itself to be bulletproof.

    With chlorine levels as high as you are stating, you should notice a smell of chlorine in the water. If you cant, then guests should be able to. You can get used to the chlorine smell very quickly, to the point that you dont notice it anymore. For reference, a swimming pool should be maintained between 1-3 ppm residual free chlorine. Some municiapl supplies will be this high due to your proximity to the point of chlorine injection. Municipalities are supposed to maintain a MRDL of 4 ppm. 4.0 mg/L or 4 ppm as an annual average. If you are near the pumping station where they inject the chlorine, you can get some very high levels. Thisis because the guys at the end of the line must have some residual in their line and chlorine dissipates quickly. Many municipalities use Chloramine to extend the time that chlorine stays in the water.

    A BB style filter is a waste of money, they have poor flow parameters, and their ability to remove the contaminants they claim is based on extremely low flow rates. Even a large residential backwashing tank has its limits for THM, VOC, and other contminants. See the attached chart for reference. A 20" BB carbon filter is less than 1/6 of a cubic foot of carbon.
    A 10X54 tank with 1-1/2 cu. ft. of GAC, or (10) 20" BB filter has a technical rating of 1.6 gpm - 4.5 gpm. Chlorine removal is quite easy, even at high flow rates, it is the other chemicals that take proper contact time for adequate removal. These charts are based on information directly from the Carbon manufacturers. Name:  7000GAC.jpg
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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Umm... he's talking about putting BB after the softener to catch the disintegrated resin. How can that impede backwash?
    He first said; we're think of getting a Fleck 5600 softener and it makes sense to have a charcoal filter before the softener to remove the chlorine so our resins doesn't explode as well.

    Then he said' Now I hear another viewpoint: put the the filter afterward

    I replied to both the before and after.
    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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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by water solutions View Post
    Not really seeing why you would put a carbon filter AFTER the softener. If all you want to do is catch resins that somehow escape the system, then a sediment filter would be used because it is of adequate size. But unless you are having this unusual problem, I wouldn't even bother. Instead, put the BB carbon BEFORE the softener.

    Are you talking about a radial flow-through (carbon block) or an up-flow (granulated) BB replaceable cartridge? Actually, explode implies some kind of danger but in reality the resins do swell to a size big enough where they can break apart--so I guess you might say they exploded. I have opened city-watered, chlorinated-drenched resin tanks where the resins ooze out the top because they have expanded so much.

    What kinds of bacteria are we talking about here? Pathogens? I wonder why the 63 million well water users don't worry about bacteria. The water will bacteria-free until it gets to the filter, right? Sanitizing the household lines is so simple but probably never needs it. Mine has had chlorine-free water for 15 years and I still have ten toes.
    I totally agree on the removal of chlorine for the entire house. It should be done. Sanitizing the house lines is easy and could be done annually if you were really concerned about it. Just like an RO system, or most other drinking water systems. I have seen the comment more than once on how one shouldnt remove the chlorine from city water supplies. I have also been running chlorine free water in my house for over 15 years. Other than the common toilet slime that results because I dont keep up with the chlorine tablets in the toilet tank, there has been no problems. My water also tests negative for ecoli, coliform. I do sanitize my water softener resin every year, and I clean and sanitize my brine tank. The salt on the West coast comes primarily from Guerro Negro in Baja California, and I have seen the large number of birds that fly over the evaporation ponds...

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    He first said; we're think of getting a Fleck 5600 softener and it makes sense to have a charcoal filter before the softener to remove the chlorine so our resins doesn't explode as well.

    Then he said' Now I hear another viewpoint: put the the filter afterward

    I replied to both the before and after.
    Ah, I thought he was talking about a real GAC in front, not a disposable (BB) type.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    I totally agree on the removal of chlorine for the entire house. It should be done. Sanitizing the house lines is easy and could be done annually if you were really concerned about it. Just like an RO system, or most other drinking water systems. I have seen the comment more than once on how one shouldnt remove the chlorine from city water supplies. I have also been running chlorine free water in my house for over 15 years. Other than the common toilet slime that results because I dont keep up with the chlorine tablets in the toilet tank, there has been no problems. My water also tests negative for ecoli, coliform. I do sanitize my water softener resin every year, and I clean and sanitize my brine tank. The salt on the West coast comes primarily from Guerro Negro in Baja California, and I have seen the large number of birds that fly over the evaporation ponds...
    I just tell people to remove the carbon filter between change outs and run chlorinated water through the household lines and appliances and let sit for x-number of hours. Problem solved.

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Slime in the toilet tank after removing the city water chlorine, and then adding chlorine tablets to the toilet tank to kill the bacteria that causes it... but there's no problem removing chlorine on a whole house basis from city water. I hear ya.

    You guys seem to be most interested in selling stuff.

    I say if people want the chlorine out of their drinking/cooking water and the shower, they are much better off buying POU (point of use) specific kitchen sink and shower head filters instead of a POE (point of entry) whole house filter to supposedly prevent resin damage in their softener 10-20 years later. A cuft of resin should still be retailing for just around $125. A whole house filter of any kind will cost much more over those 10-20 years.
    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 pauli5500's Avatar
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    Default I'm here, I'm here..more info and questions....re: Water Softener and filter install

    Had another guy come out today..offering a Fleck 5600 and Clack WS1...the later is $200 more. Another choice I gotta make.

    This guy was thinking I'm worrying too much about the resin disintergating and clogging up my whole system. He said they use 10% crosslinked resin and the people around me, who bought their systems from the builder, probably had 8% which is more susceptible to resin failure.

    As it turns out, my chlorine level is 1.78 pp not the 3 I had been told.

    He also said if I want to be really sure about no clogged up system, I can skip the carbon block and just have a sediment filter put after the softener. Sound reasonable?

    Also, seems most of you like Clack v. Fleck?

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauli5500 View Post
    Had another guy come out today..offering a Fleck 5600 and Clack WS1...the later is $200 more. Another choice I gotta make.

    This guy was thinking I'm worrying too much about the resin disintergating and clogging up my whole system. He said they use 10% crosslinked resin and the people around me, who bought their systems from the builder, probably had 8% which is more susceptible to resin failure.

    As it turns out, my chlorine level is 1.78 pp not the 3 I had been told.

    He also said if I want to be really sure about no clogged up system, I can skip the carbon block and just have a sediment filter put after the softener. Sound reasonable?

    Also, seems most of you like Clack v. Fleck?
    10% crosslink resin will last much monger than 8%, do not use 8% in your supply without removing the Chlorine first.

    If they are building a system with high quality bottom screens and a gravel underbed, a post filter should not be necessary. It would be a waste.

    Clack vs. Fleck... not even gonna discuss that one other than to say they are both excellent valves. The cost for the Clack should be very similar to the Fleck metered system. I would personally go for the Clack Ws1 over the 5600, but I would also go for the 7000SXT over the WS1. Regardless of my opinion, all three valves are excellent and will require very little service. As an OEM who distribute both of them, we have virtually no problems with either, and we sell enough to have very accurate data about consistency and quality control issues. Both exceed all quality expectations.

    The people around you probably had less than 8% crosslink. Many OEM's stock "non qualified" resin which will sometimes barely meet 6% crosslinking. This garbage resin will sometimes lat only a year before it fractures and fails. 7% is very common as well due to its lower cost. 8% crosslinking pricing has come to be within a few dollars per Cu.Ft. so many of the OEMs are now using 8% as their standard, but many "budget priced" units still use junk resin. Most major name brands use 10% or similar resin as their standard. Considering they are charging $4000 for a softener, they better include the best resin.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauli5500 View Post
    Had another guy come out today..offering a Fleck 5600 and Clack WS1...the later is $200 more. Another choice I gotta make.

    This guy was thinking I'm worrying too much about the resin disintergating and clogging up my whole system. He said they use 10% crosslinked resin and the people around me, who bought their systems from the builder, probably had 8% which is more susceptible to resin failure.

    As it turns out, my chlorine level is 1.78 pp not the 3 I had been told.

    He also said if I want to be really sure about no clogged up system, I can skip the carbon block and just have a sediment filter put after the softener. Sound reasonable?

    Also, seems most of you like Clack v. Fleck?
    The Clack WS-1CS is easier valve to program and in my opinion a much better choice than a 5600 or 7000. I have sold them all but quit selling the 7000 after about the first 20 of them about 2 years after they were put on the market back in Feb 2005. I sold the Clack WS-1 from Jan 2nd 2004 until June 15 2010 and had thefewestproblems of any valve I ever sold. That includes Autotrol 155 to the 269 and Technetic 1000, Brunner, Erie, Fleck and Clack. I've also sold 2-3 proprietary valves made by Fleck based on the 2500. Clack is the easiest and fastest to program and repair because it was designed to be the easiest to program and repair.

    I hear the 7000 is going through another tweaking to solve a strength problem where the by pass valve connects to it. I found it to be somewhat difficult to take apart and put back together to replace the seals and spacers. The original SE and then the SXT timers aren't 'user friendly' due to them using computerize instead of English. Plus it is a 1.25" valve and IMO over sized for most regular single family 2.5 bath houses. The 5600 has a limit of no larger than a 2.0 cuft softener which can be undersized for some of those houses with large tubs and/or 2 person or body spray showers.

    Not that it doesn't happen but... I have never sold anything put 8% cross linked resin and I can not recall having a single person have to replace their resin due to chlorine damage in my 25 years as a dealer selling to the end user customer.
    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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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    The 7000 valve is an excellent valve. As with any new product, some people will have difficulty adapting to more modern technology. I sell hundres of 7000SXT's a month and they have been our most bullet proof valve. The WS1 is a close second. The 5600 is the best selling control valve ever, but it is showing its age. The 7000SXT is better for a DIY if future service is a concern since its parts are available, and not just through a few select dealers. You will do very well with any of these control valves.
    Last edited by Terry; 03-10-2012 at 12:03 PM.

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    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Your previous post was deleted because of the personal derogatory comments in it. This post is borderline. More of the same will result in more deleted and/or edited posts.

    mialynette2003 has had his last post deleted for the same reason.
    Based on the chlorinator I sold and mialynette's statements concerning the length of time between his servicing his customers that are using it, yes, he is not servicing it per the manufacturer's instructions.
    I guess you don't consider this a personal attack? You have attacked the equipment I sell many times but yet no one has deleted your posts. Why? You delete posts just to make yourself look good. If someone differs from you, you slam them. But when someone has something negitive about equipment you endorse, you delete their post. How fair is that?

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