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Thread: 3 companies came to do tests, please advise on which softener

  1. #61
    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Oh I see new conditions now but, after 25 years experience with control valves, and comparing that to your is it two weeks experience with your first softener, - I can tell you that it is rare for Fleck or Clack valves to have wear problems regardless of how frequently they operate.

    The piston travels in seals made of industrial grade materials and only move slowly up to 1.5" and back during a regeneration of normally 90 minutes or less. Backwashed or regenerated filters that operate daily use the same parts and materials although the piston has a slightly different side view shape and there can be fewer seals than in a softener and the wearable pars last 10-20 years. And then it is usually something in the water that causes a build up on the edge of the seals or on the piston between the seals, in the spacer area, that causes the "wear". When there is iron in the water, you use Iron Out or some other type resin cleaner and it removes any build up the iron causes.
    Well, I know how you don't think Aquatell puts out valid data, but perhaps you might put more merit into it than info coming from a 3-week old "softener expert" such as myself. But THEY seem to think that frequent regens speeds up the wear of the valves... http://www.aquatell.com/knowledge-ce...tener-capacity Read Paragraph 3. in blue, near the bottom...

    All those years in engineering school musta been wasted, if I think that moving parts, moving either faster or more often than "normal", would wear faster. DARN my old Physics and Statics professors!!

  2. #62
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    You want to see something fast? You should see how fast the motor (reversible DC) on the Fleck 5800 cranks. Ladies and gentlemen, keep your hands and feet away from the moving parts.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  3. #63
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    LOL, I have one of the Version 1.0 boards, it would not find its position as quickly as it should have, so the system would cycle the piston a couple times while the computer counted, now that was dangerous! The new verion, (production) finds the positions without a cycle, so going from service to backwash is less than a second. Amazing design on the gear train, I especially like the thumb slot on the back so you can manually move the piston, I dont know if you noticed that feature, but check it out. It is on the back side of the valve, you can easily move the piston. The brine cam is also b-directional, so it soft open, and closes the traditional Fleck brine valve design. SO far, I am liking it. I should have my first few pallets in a week, I will do an LXT review shortly as well. The programming.

    Now... regarding systems cycling too often and wearing out, F6Hawk, you are absolutely correct. Anybody who has real world experience would know firsthand of the wear problems with all of the manufacturers equipment when they are applied or programmed incorrectly. For regular residentail applications, you can wear out a seal and spacer kit in as little as 5 years on either a Fleck or Clack if they are regenerating daily and certain water conditions exist. The real problem comes with the demand flow systems, (commonly know as system 14). If these are not carefully programmed properly, short cycling can occur on either the Fleck lower piston, or the External shut offs on the Clack valves. When this occurs regularly, we see seal and spacer kits wearing out in as little as a few months, or leaks from the piston o-rings, etc.

    Then again, like you said, systems constantly regeenrating or cycling will obviously cause more wear and tear. I am still trying to figure out the contreversy.

    And BTW, the knowledge you have learned in a short amount of time is impressive, your ability to apply it is even more so. You are the type of guy that would make a great field technician, you would be easy to train.

  4. #64
    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    And BTW, the knowledge you have learned in a short amount of time is impressive, your ability to apply it is even more so. You are the type of guy that would make a great field technician, you would be easy to train.
    Man, can I get you to email that to my wife??? LOL

    Thanks for the compliment, but really, the kudos go to you guys who have taken the time to explain things so completely. Taking the time to help someone from whom you will never receive a dime is a true testament to your professionalism and dedication to the field.

  5. #65
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Now... regarding systems cycling too often and wearing out,
    "cycling too often".... define too often.

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    F6Hawk, you are absolutely correct. Anybody who has real world experience would know firsthand of the wear problems with all of the manufacturers equipment when they are applied or programmed incorrectly.
    First it was cycling too often with no definition and now it's "applied or programmed incorrectly", with no explanation.

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    For regular residentail applications, you can wear out a seal and spacer kit in as little as 5 years on either a Fleck or Clack if they are regenerating daily and certain water conditions exist.
    Now it's "cycling too often", "applied or programmed incorrectly" and "regenerating daily and certain water conditions exist".

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    The real problem comes with the demand flow systems, (commonly know as system 14). If these are not carefully programmed properly, short cycling can occur on either the Fleck lower piston, or the External shut offs on the Clack valves. When this occurs regularly, we see seal and spacer kits wearing out in as little as a few months, or leaks from the piston o-rings, etc.
    And now we see where "cycling too often", "applied or programmed incorrectly" and "regenerating daily and certain water conditions exist" comes from.... How many people that post here will have a system 14? Folks, the answer is NONE!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Then again, like you said, systems constantly regeenrating or cycling will obviously cause more wear and tear. I am still trying to figure out the contreversy.
    The fact is that most control valves will not have a wear problem of their piston, piston seals or flapper valves etc. unless something in the water causes it.

    Here is the bottom line, to say that regenerating a softener daily will wear out the piston, piston seals or flapper valves sooner than not simply is not true UNLESS there is something in the water to cause failure of those parts.

    Those parts are industrial quality and made from industrial type materials. And they are meant to be used daily for many more than a few months or years as is being mentioned here.

    On average most people will never suffer a failure of those parts over the life of their softener which is usually 10-20 years. And if they do, the parts are very affordable and easily replaced in most valves by most anyone if they have instructions of how to do it.
    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. #66
    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    The fact is that most control valves will not have a wear problem of their piston, piston seals or flapper valves etc. unless something in the water causes it.

    Here is the bottom line, to say that regenerating a softener daily will wear out the piston, piston seals or flapper valves sooner than not simply is not true UNLESS there is something in the water to cause failure of those parts.

    Those parts are industrial quality and made from industrial type materials. And they are meant to be used daily for many more than a few months or years as is being mentioned here.

    On average most people will never suffer a failure of those parts over the life of their softener which is usually 10-20 years. And if they do, the parts are very affordable and easily replaced in most valves by most anyone if they have instructions of how to do it.
    Then perhaps you should get on the phone and get Aquatell to remove their communistic blather that they have posted on their site about valve wear.

    Now, thanks to you and your insight on the world of moving, industrial grade parts, I can tell my son that it's ok to drive around in his car at redline instead of telling him to take it easy on the gas. Little did I know that revving the engine faster does NOT wear it out faster. And that old geezer down the road, the one with the car in the garage from 1957, who CLAIMS it has lasted so long because he put very few miles on it and drove it gently... what a dork! It must be because nothing was introduced into the engine to cause that extra wear, like "invisible dirt". This is going to revolutionize the world of.... well, EVERYTHING, since nothing will wear out any faster if you use it more! Thanks, Gary

  7. #67
    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    "cycling too often".... define too often. More often than necessary. The less the parts have to move, the longer they will last. We have the option of sizing softeners to regen less often, reducing wear.


    First it was cycling too often with no definition and now it's "applied or programmed incorrectly", with no explanation. I can program my 7000SXT to regen every day, or with a DO 4, even though its capacity allows 19 days between regens... this is an example of incorrect programming which will result in more frequent regens, and premature wear.


    Now it's "cycling too often", "applied or programmed incorrectly" and "regenerating daily and certain water conditions exist". Yes, daily regens will wear a valve out faster than one that regens every 10 days. And it stands to reason that water with dirt, iron, rust, etc. in it will wear faster than clear water. At least that's what my 3rd grade science teacher told me. Then again, she was hot, so prolly knew nothing about particles in water.

    The fact is that most control valves will not have a wear problem of their piston, piston seals or flapper valves etc. unless something in the water causes it.

    Here is the bottom line, to say that regenerating a softener daily will wear out the piston, piston seals or flapper valves sooner than not simply is not true UNLESS there is something in the water to cause failure of those parts.

    If you truly believe this, you are either: A) Just arguing for the sake of watching yourself type, or 2) Stupid. I doubt it's the second, so it must be the first. As long as there is friction, ANY moving parts that move either more frequently or faster will wear out faster. Period. Car engines, treadmills, helicopters, hot wheels, tricycles, you name it. Even softener valves. Granted, they may be designed so that they are low-wear items in general that last many years, but a valve that has 20,000 cycles in 10 years as a MTBF is going to have a lifespan of about 5 years if it moves twice as often. Simple math, with some room for variations in manufacturing quality, debris, etc.
    Simple math

  8. #68
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Amazing how EVERYTHING I say is incorrect, or misleading. I am obviously a poor exceuse for a water treatment professional and I should just leave the field, as should everybody else on this site except for the master.

    Or, someone here simply hates not being the sole giver of advice and since they are unable to make a competing forum that gets any traffic....

    BTW, I have already tried simple math, dont bother. some people dont beleive in math, charts, equations, test kits, but they will recommend fixing a plumbing leak with duct tape.

  9. #69
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F6Hawk View Post
    Simple math
    Fact is that Teflon coating usually doesn't fail unless it is scratched. Most of Fleck's pistons are Teflon coated. The seals fail to seal on the piston(s) when they are scratched or torn by the scratches in the Teflon. OR, from a build up of something in the water that builds up in between the spacers between each seal, that prevents the seal from running on a smooth piston surface.

    Now I don't know but from what you've said here in numerous threads, you are a first time softener owner for like a month... my guess is that you have never seen a piston or seals or spacers in a Fleck or the stack and non Teflon coated piston in a Clack, or, the flapper valves in an Autotrol valve. I have 25 years of seeing them and replacing them. BTW, the seals are not 0-rings.

    So you are working on a theory, and I'm working from actual field experience and as Yogi Bear used to say, “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”.

    So you hang on to your theory and I'll speak from my first hand experience, especially the part about too infrequent regenerating, especially in this case with iron in the water, and my seeing a fair amount of build up on spacers and pistons and readers can decide for themselves as to which way they view the future serviceability of their control valve.

    Here are pics of a Clack pistons (there is a black brine piston on the far end of the main piston) and seal stack. Note the rust build up on one of the spacers? The stack/pistons were only a few months old and was allowing an internal leak in the valve. A new complete piston and stack cured the problem.

    I have pics of a hard whitish biuld up on the main piston and spacers and a torn seal but I can't find it just now and knowing yous guys, I'd probably be accused of doctoring anyway, so these are all ya git.

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    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 06-11-2012 at 12:11 PM. Reason: added pics
    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.

  10. #70
    DIY Member dwassner's Avatar
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    Months later and I am back with a few last questions. I have the softener finally installed and running. After going through the best set up manual I could find on-line, I don't understand how to set the salt dose. It is the 80,000 tank, which if I remember is 2.5 cu ft and although there are 4 of us, 2 are below the age of 3, so if possible I would like to base the figures off of 2.5 people. At 28 grains hardness plus 2 grains of iron I was able to set the hardness at 36, although the manual says to figure 5 grains per every ppm of iron.

    What the manual didn't cover:
    How do I set the salt dose?
    In the master settings the days that it will automatically regenerate regardless of how much life is left is 14. Should I change this?
    What should I keep the salt level at in the brine tank?
    What should the water level be at? The float is in the down position and no water has filled the tank. Was this supposed to happen on its own? I believe I already did a manual regeneration because I held the cycle button down while plugging in the unit do do a hard reset and the unit took off and started doin its thing.

    Please advise
    thanks.
    Last edited by dwassner; 10-02-2012 at 06:31 PM.

  11. #71
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Salt dose is set by the brine refill time. In the master programming the refill time can be adjusted. See the programming guide below that we ship out with our equipment. You will need to determine what BLFC you have, it will be on a small white sticke on the back of the valve.

    14 days is the over ride. Should you leave for vacation, or if your water usage causes the system to regenerate infrequently, the system will regenerate on the 14th day and will reset the meter count. If you are using your system for Iron removal, the system should be regenerated at least every2 weeks, if you are not using it for iron removal, you can easily go 30 days between regenerations.
    Brine tank salt level, keep it full. Try to not let the salt level fall below the water level. if it does, it will not hurt anything. As long as their is undissolved salt in the brine tank.
    Water level in the brine tank... it depends on the BF setting, and if the valve is programmed for Brine Fill First or Standard. I recommend standard unless you are use Potassium Chloride.
    If you did a master reset, you will need to fully reprogram the valve, use the guide below to do this. Most companies pre-program the valve to the system size before shipping, all you are supposed to do is set the hardness, and time of day, the rest will be taken care of by the valve.
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  12. #72
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwassner View Post
    Months later and I am back with a few last questions. I have the softener finally installed and running. After going through the best set up manual I could find on-line, I don't understand how to set the salt dose. It is the 80,000 tank, which if I remember is 2.5 cu ft and although there are 4 of us, 2 are below the age of 3, so if possible I would like to base the figures off of 2.5 people. At 28 grains hardness plus 2 grains of iron I was able to set the hardness at 36, although the manual says to figure 5 grains per every ppm of iron.

    What the manual didn't cover:
    How do I set the salt dose?
    In the master settings the days that it will automatically regenerate regardless of how much life is left is 14. Should I change this?
    What should I keep the salt level at in the brine tank?
    What should the water level be at? The float is in the down position and no water has filled the tank. Was this supposed to happen on its own? I believe I already did a manual regeneration because I held the cycle button down while plugging in the unit do do a hard reset and the unit took off and started doin its thing.

    Please advise
    thanks.
    Obviously the people you bought from did not include the instructions and data you need. Although Dittohead says otherwise, most online dealers don't.

    The red Click Here link in my signature will teach you what you need to know to be able to complete the programming.
    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.

  13. #73
    DIY Member dwassner's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. After crunching the numbers, I am at roughly 41000 - 51000 per regeneration at 8-10 days respectively. This means that I fall between 6 and 8 lbs/cuft. for the most efficient salt dose. Can a 7 lbs dose be done? or must I round up to 8?

    Does so many minutes of brine refill time equate to 1 lbs per cu ft.?

    On the back of the valve it states a .250 blfc, 4 dlfc, and 0 injector.

  14. #74
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I can't recall but think you bought a softener with a Fleck control valve. If so the formula to set the salt dose with is in the valve service manual that you should have received. If not get one from the Fleck site or the guy that sold you the softener. Keep the manual and anything else you think you may need in the future with the softener so you can find it when you need it.

    You can use any number of lbs of salt as long as you get the volume of refill water right for that number of lbs. And I always rounded up fractions to the next higher whole number.

    You program for a specific K of capacity, and then come up with the amount of salt that requires.
    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.

  15. #75
    DIY Member dwassner's Avatar
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    I looked at the manual online and was not able to find what I need. I also looked at the wrong column in the chart. If I use a capacity of 41,000 how do I come up with the salt dose? With a blfc .250 I will get a gallon every 4 minutes but how much salt is this equal to?

    Yes Gary is a 7000sxt with a 2.5 cu ft resin bed.

    Last question: I did a test this morning with my Hach hardness and iron testing kit. I now have zero iron and it only took 1 drop to turn the test water from purple to blue. Does this indicate that I have 0 hardness or 1 grain per gallon since it took 1 drop?

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