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Thread: water softener advice, 32K grain, twin vs single, 1" valve

  1. #31
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    You can remove the brine line and have the system fill into a bucket to confirm the flow rate is correct.

    A gallon of water will dissolve approximately 3 pounds of salt.

    The valve will usually say what is installed but these are easily changed so testing it is important if you are not sure that it is correct.

    You are correct, there is a flow control button that regulates the refill rate.

    Hope this helps.

  2. #32
    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    So, at 3 gallons, or 9 pounds of salt, my softener was already 30,000 grains capacity? It sounds like the vendor gave me bad info setting the capacity to 44,000 grains.

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
    So, at 3 gallons, or 9 pounds of salt, my softener was already 30,000 grains capacity? It sounds like the vendor gave me bad info setting the capacity to 44,000 grains.
    Here is a set up sheet for a 1.5 Cu. Ft system, 10x54, with 6# salt per regeneration. This is a generic set-up sheet we use during assembly, you will need to set the actual hardness, and you can probably set the SF to 10 instead of 15. Set the RR to 5 minutes instead of 10.


    oops, I converted the file wrong and have a minor error, not sure how to remove the attachment below, but the top one is correct.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by ditttohead; 04-26-2012 at 11:55 AM.

  4. #34
    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    OK, got the hardness test kit and I am only at 7 grains hardness right now. Could go a bit higher in the summer, but I'll check periodically and program a safety factor for now.

    Configuration below is where I am set right now. It will definitely regenerate too soon based on current programmed hardness being too high. Will changing the hardness be reflected immediately in more gallons of capacity remaining, or does it not recalculate until the next regeneration? Right now I'm at 1856 gallons remaining, which will take me another week to use up.

    I am still unclear about my capacity being set to 44,000, which I believe was a safety factor without using the percent safety factor from 48,000 for a 1.5 cu ft system. But with a 12 minute brine draw at 0.25 gal/min, which is 3 gal or 9 pounds of salt, I thought my capacity would only be 32,000.

    I think I should set H to 7, C to 32,000 and separate the capacity from the safety factor by setting SF to 15.

    What do you guys think?

    DF Gal
    VT df26
    CT Fd
    C 44,000
    H 17 (obviously this is too high!)
    RS SF
    SF 0
    RC (this did not appear, probably because it is programmed for safe factor as a percent)
    CR (did not appear)
    DO 30
    RT 3:00
    B1 10
    BD 60
    B2 0
    RR 8
    BF 12
    CD (did not appear)
    FM t1.2
    Last edited by lifespeed; 04-27-2012 at 07:14 PM.

  5. #35
    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    Re-programmed as shown below. Indeed the hours remaining did increase when the hardness was decreased. But the capacity was erroneously large and it had run for a week, so I did a manual regeneration.

    One thing that I don't understand is why the brine line runs dry? It is programmed to Brine Draw for 60 minutes, yet sucks up the 3 gallons of brine in less than 15 minutes. Then it sucks air. Is this why I get air bubbles out of my faucet for days after a regen?

    What determines how much brine is used, the brine fill time? So it dumps in three gallons after the regen, then next time it draws until those three gallons are consumed, then sucks air?

    I have a safety float and an "air check valve" in the brine tank. Is the air check valve supposed to stop it from sucking air?

    DF Gal
    VT df26
    CT Fd
    C 30,000
    H 7
    RS SF
    SF 10
    DO 21
    RT 3:00
    B1 5
    BD 60
    B2 5
    RR 8
    BF 12
    FM t1.2
    Last edited by lifespeed; 04-27-2012 at 11:39 PM.

  6. #36
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
    Re-programmed as shown below. Indeed the hours remaining did increase when the hardness was decreased. But the capacity was erroneously large and it had run for a week, so I did a manual regeneration.

    One thing that I don't understand is why the brine line runs dry? It is programmed to Brine Draw for 60 minutes, yet sucks up the 3 gallons of brine in less than 15 minutes. Then it sucks air. Is this why I get air bubbles out of my faucet for days after a regen?

    What determines how much brine is used, the brine fill time? So it dumps in three gallons after the regen, then next time it draws until those three gallons are consumed, then sucks air?

    I have a safety float and an "air check valve" in the brine tank. Is the air check valve supposed to stop it from sucking air?

    DF Gal
    VT df2b
    CT Fd
    C 36,000
    H 7
    RS SF
    SF 10
    DO 30
    RT 3:00
    B1 5
    BD 60
    B2 5
    RR 8
    BF 12
    FM t1.2
    Its late and I have one of my many daughters birthday party in the morning so I will answer part of your question, and I will recommend you copy my set-up sheet above, except change the hardness to 7. I tried to modify your settings as well.

    The BR cycle is called by many the brine cycle, but it real name is very specific. It is "Brine and Rinse" The "brine" portion should take approximately 15-25 minutes, or approximately 1/3 of the total time. The remaining time is the "Rinse" cycle which slowly rinses the remaining salt from the resin bed. The water still flows through the injector causing suction on the brine line. The air check inside the brine tank should prevent the system from sucking air into the softener. If you here air being sucked in, you have something in the seat of the air check or it is worn. These air checks typically last for 10-20 years. String from the salt bag, a piece of paper, etc. Anything can an airleak, if you hear one, remove the aircheck and thoroughly clean it with water and check it carefully with a flashlight.

    Hope this helps,

  7. #37
    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Its late and I have one of my many daughters birthday party in the morning so I will answer part of your question, and I will recommend you copy my set-up sheet above, except change the hardness to 7. I tried to modify your settings as well.

    The BR cycle is called by many the brine cycle, but it real name is very specific. It is "Brine and Rinse" The "brine" portion should take approximately 15-25 minutes, or approximately 1/3 of the total time. The remaining time is the "Rinse" cycle which slowly rinses the remaining salt from the resin bed. The water still flows through the injector causing suction on the brine line. The air check inside the brine tank should prevent the system from sucking air into the softener. If you here air being sucked in, you have something in the seat of the air check or it is worn. These air checks typically last for 10-20 years. String from the salt bag, a piece of paper, etc. Anything can an airleak, if you hear one, remove the aircheck and thoroughly clean it with water and check it carefully with a flashlight.

    Hope this helps,
    Thanks for the info. The air check valve (actually the whole system) is brand new, so I don't understand why it would fail. The brine tube is definitely full of air after it draws all the brine out, and it does sound like it is sucking air. I rinsed it out and blew it with compressed air. Hopefully that unsticks it. I could hear the valve rattle freely.

    I reprogrammed DO to 30 and C to 36,000. Can you explaine the reasoning behind the increased C? I thought 1.5 cu ft with 3 gals/9 lbs was 30,000 or 32,000 grain capacity? Right now it shows I have 4,572 gallons capacity remaining, so should go for a good 3 weeks before needing a regen, so I certainly understand the reasoning behind increasing DO. I will do it manually so as to observer the air check valve function, and replace if it does it again.

    On the one hand, it seems my system is slightly over-capacity. But a smaller 1 cu ft system has a pretty low service flow rate, which I thought would be inadequate under some circumstances.

  8. #38
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Sorry, I should do my math a little more carefully when I am tired. long day here with my daughters B-day. Your salt setting is 12 minutes, x .25 gallons per minute. = 3 gallons x 3 pounds per gallon, = 9 pounds. I am doing this quickly so please check my math. 6 pounds per cu. ft. = 20000 grains x 1.5 = 30K I was thinking 8 pounds. You are correct to set it to 30K, not 36. Thanks for the catch.
    Last edited by ditttohead; 04-28-2012 at 01:08 PM.

  9. #39
    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Sorry, I should do my math a little more carefully when I am tired. long day here with my daughters B-day. Your salt setting is 12 minutes, x .25 gallons per minute. = 3 gallons x 3 pounds per gallon, = 9 pounds. I am doing this quickly so please check my math. 6 pounds per cu. ft. = 20000 grains x 1.5 = 30K I was thinking 8 pounds. You are correct to set it to 30K, not 36. Thanks for the catch.
    No problem, thanks for all the help. I'll figure out the air check valve at the next regen and replace if necessary.

    I'm 43 years old, and this is the first water softener I've ever had. Had I known what I was missing I probably would have installed one years ago. I'm glad the re-pipe and tankless water heater prompted me to take the plunge.

  10. #40
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Excellent choice on the softener. Tankless heaters really should have softeners, not conditioners, hydromag, anti-scale, phosphate injection, etc. Just good old fsshioned softening. You can test the aircheck fairly easily. Remove it from the brine tank, clean it, and then use it as a straw. It should not allow any air to be sucked in.

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