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Thread: 2 questions about softeners

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member outcast's Avatar
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    Default 2 questions about softeners

    hello, fng here.

    is it bad to buy a larger softener than is "needed" ?

    is it ok to drink the water from a properly functioning softener ?

    thanx

  2. #2
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    A larger softener is not a problem for a regular household application. I would recommend sizing it to regenerate at least every 15 days, anything beyond that is not a problem, just not necessary.

    The debate about drinking softened water is extremely complex, but for the most part, you will be fine unless you are on an extremely sodium restricted diet, or if your water is very hard. (over 50 grains). The WHO recommends against drinking softened water but that is more for third world country issues of health due to the lack of nutrition in the diet more so then the concerns for drinking water with slightly elevated levels of sodium. Calcium and magnesium deficiencies are common in some countries, even the trace amounts found in water can be beneficial when the body rarely sees other sources.

    For residential applications in "normal" size houses, try to keep the softener tank size 14" or less in diameter due to lower flow channelling issues.

    Hope this is helpful.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by outcast View Post
    hello, fng here.

    is it bad to buy a larger softener than is "needed" ?

    is it ok to drink the water from a properly functioning softener ?
    thanx
    Dittohead pretty much said it all. When you say "bigger than needed" what are you talking about? Can you give any details on the equipment, its age (used?), water conditions, number of people using water? etc. If new, why is this part of your decision making process?

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    When you say "larger" just how much larger are you thinking? Grossly oversizing can lead to channeling of the bed.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Junior Member outcast's Avatar
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    thanx, fella's.

    here is my situation :
    i just bought "this old house" just outside of the "chicago water" that i have lived with all my life.
    it is just me & wife = 2 showers a day and a few loads of laundry and the usual little water usage things.
    i have yet to have a water test done, but my new "city water" told us the water is "very very hard" (they may just be saying that to CTA) and about 30-40 parts per millions (never heard of it put this way). to me being used to chicago water, my new water does not seem bad at all = very little smell/taste and no rust that i can see = and i have been looking. the dish rack has a little white stuff on it, and soap does not work as well.
    we are not on a sodium restricted diet. and i want to get my new LG fridge water working for ice and water.

    a friend of ours, down the street, has a 38k unit and says it works fine. i am thinking a fleck 48k or 64k unit. thinking that a larger unit will be more efficient and reliable. and perhaps another adult in the house.

  6. #6
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outcast View Post
    thanx, fella's.

    here is my situation :
    i just bought "this old house" just outside of the "chicago water" that i have lived with all my life.
    it is just me & wife = 2 showers a day and a few loads of laundry and the usual little water usage things.
    i have yet to have a water test done, but my new "city water" told us the water is "very very hard" (they may just be saying that to CTA) and about 30-40 parts per millions (never heard of it put this way). to me being used to chicago water, my new water does not seem bad at all = very little smell/taste and no rust that i can see = and i have been looking. the dish rack has a little white stuff on it, and soap does not work as well.
    we are not on a sodium restricted diet. and i want to get my new LG fridge water working for ice and water.

    a friend of ours, down the street, has a 38k unit and says it works fine. i am thinking a fleck 48k or 64k unit. thinking that a larger unit will be more efficient and reliable. and perhaps another adult in the house.
    You size a softener based on the peak demand gpm flow rate you are going to have the softener treat. Then you adjust the salt dose used per regeneration to create the K of capacity your hardness etc. and the gallons used per day by the family,

    Resin manufacturers suggest that residential softeners be regenerated about every 7 days.

    To learn how to correctly size a softener click the link in my signature.
    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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    Regenerating resin weekly is not important. If you consider commercial exchange tank softeners, we size them for monthly deliveries, so the resin is only regenerated every 30-40 days maximum. A larger system will be more efficient, so long as you do not completely oversize the unit so that channeling becomes an issue. The sizes you are asking about are common, regular size units that should serve you very well. You should buy a decent water hardness test kit if you plan on doing this project yourself. The HACH 5B is a fairly inexpensive, highly accurate test kit.

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