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Thread: Advice on which size softener

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member muskybite's Avatar
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    Default Advice on which size softener

    Hi,

    I am planning on ordering a fleck 5600sxt valve softener and am confused about what size to get.

    I am on city water with hardness of 18gpg, live alone in 2.5 bath house and am guessing I use about 75 gals a day. If I understand right, 1 person x 75 gallons x 18 gpg x 7 days = needed regeneration of approx. 9500 grains once week. Is it more efficient for me to get a 32k (1 cu ft resin) or 24k ( 3/4 cu ft resin) setup?

    I know these questions come up a lot but could truly use some advice. Thanks, Noah

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Beacuase of the 2-1/5 bath flow rate potential requirements, I would recommend a 1.5 cu. ft, but regenerate it with a low salt setting. This will also allow for future family growth should that occur. Regenrating past 10 days gains very little efficiency, but it will not hurt the system either.

    1.5 cu. ft systems also cost almost the same as a 3/4 or 1 cu. ft. system.

    1 person x 75 gallons per day (single person tends to use more than 60, the only time I use 75 GPPPD is with 1 person) x 20 grains, = 1500 grains removal per day. At 4 pounds of salt per cu. ft, your system should regenerate approximately every 15-20 days.

    The 5600SXT is perfect for your application, unless you have a mega shower.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The basic fact is that the only difference between a small softener and a large one is how frequentily it regenerates. Both give the same soft water as long as the capacity is not exceeded, and recharging too frequently just wastes salt. This is why an electronic control with a usage meter is desireable because it can decide when its capacity has been reached regardless of any changes in your usage patterns.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    True, but installing a very small softener can lead to exceeding the recommended flow rates. Done occassionally, it does not matter. Done on a regular basis, it can cause some problems. A .75 Cu. Ft. has a recommended flow rate of 1-6 GPM, a 1 Cu. Ft. system has a recommeded flow of 1.3 - 8 GPM, and a 1.5 Cu. Ft. has a recommended flow of 1.6 -10 GPM. All have estimated peaks of 8-10 GPM, unless a 7000 is used then the peak jumps to 14-16 GPM. A 7000 on a 8x44 tank looks a little silly though. Even the 2510 will overwhelm the tank due to its large powerhead.

    The term "recommended service flowrate" is just that, a recommendation, not a mandate. I have seen 3/4 cu. ft. systems running at 8 gpm all day long for years without a problem, but it is bad practice. Just like designing and sizing plumbing, the maximum flow rates should not be exceeded, and if you know the velocity will be high the majority of the time, a little headroom is never a bad idea.

    The cost is the real issue, doubling the size of the system will typically increase the efficiency dramatically, and the equipment cost difference is minimal.

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    DIY Junior Member muskybite's Avatar
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    Thank you for the advice. Noah

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    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    If you go with the 1.5 cu ft system as recommended, and assuming the 75 GPPPD is correct, you can expect to regenerate every 21 days using 6 lbs/cu ft (9 lbs/regen), and it will take about 156 lbs per year.

    If you opt to use 4 lbs/cu ft (6 lbs/regen), you will regen every 16 days, and use about 137 lbs per year.

    The beauty of having a larger softener, IMHO, is that if you have visitors, and are using a metered (gallons used) valve as opposed to a timer valve, you have a significant buffer built in, and won't have to worry about hardness bleed thru.

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