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Thread: Configuring a softener to a different size.

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member cannin's Avatar
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    Default Configuring a softener to a different size.

    Hi everyone, I have been skulking around for a little bit and reading up and think I have a bit of an idea on what I'm doing but would like some help.

    First off, what I am trying to do is to make my softener as efficient at possible to use the least salt and water I can. What I have is a Clack-WS1 head on 1.5 cuft of softener resin.
    Now here are my results for my water:
    Hardness: 120ppm (7gpg)
    Ferrous Iron: 0ppm
    Ferric Iron: 0.23ppm (treated with sodium silicate by city)
    Chloramine: 0.64mg/l
    TDS: 184
    pH: 7.36

    Water Usage: average 64 gallons per day (calculated based on our water bill).

    It is only my wife and I in the home and we are very water concious. As such we want to make sure we can make this softener as efficient as possible. Now if my thinking is correct a 1.5cuft softener is around 30k grains. What I am thinking about doing is regenerating it as 30k grains then then setting it to 20k (setting the salt dosing to 6lbs). With my hardness I could have it regenerate every 2500 gallons and still have around 350 gallons reserve which is quite allot for us but would most likely accommodate when we have guests over. We have 3.5 bathrooms in the home but never run more than 1 shower and the laundry machine or dishwasher at once (both very high efficiency, low water usage models) and maybe a toilet flushing or the kitchen sink running for a brief period. I would say our peak water usage would be around 4-6 gallons per minute.

    Now I have heard that channelling isn't a problem any more and also heard that you cant let a softener go more than 7 days without a regeneration. I am not sure which to believe and having it regenerate at 2500 gallons could be up to 38 days for our normal water usage, which would be great if I could let it run that long, but I am skeptical that you guys are going to say "yeah that's fine".

    Also in my thinking if I have regenerated once to 30k and am then regenerating to 20k, does the remaining 10k stay usable, so if one cycle I have guests over and go way over the limit before it cycles it will still last?

    Let me know what you guys think! Or if you think there is anything better I could be doing to make my softener more efficient I'm all ears!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cannin View Post
    First off, what I am trying to do is to make my softener as efficient at possible to use the least salt and water I can. What I have is a Clack-WS1 head on 1.5 cuft of softener resin.
    You need to click on the link in my signature and come back with a better understanding of how to size and program a softener.

    I.E. a 1.5' has an operating capacity of 45K If you set teh salt dose at 15lbs/cuft and what you use is subtracted from that and when you regenerate what you used, you're back to 45K.

    Guests use gallons off the meter but then if you use the variable reserve feature you don't need to worry that guests will cause an overrun of the reserve gallons.

    And don't lie to a softener control valve unless it is the time of day you're lying about. And with a Clack and all other electronic controls, there is no need for that.

    Most if not all resin manufacturers suggest a weekly regeneration for residential softeners.

    You may be using 64 gals/day now and only 3-04 gpm but that gpm is way low from my experience, but a 1.5 cuft is not capable of treating near the max gpm water a 3.5 bathroom house can use if you start using a large tub or shower. AN you can 'cuz Dad moves in with his new sweetheart or Mom with her new boy toy move in. Or you have twins...

    BTW, a shower is 2.5 gpm, a washing machine clothes or dishes, 3-4 gpm each and a toilet 1.5 or so. And guests use more fixtures than you two will being there alone. The efficiency of the washer has nothing to do with it's max fill rate gpm, they just shut off the water sooner than a less efficient washer does which equates to fewer gallons used, they still fill at the same 3-4 gpm rate. The connection hoses and plumbing feeding them and the water pressure is the same right? Sinks are 2.2-2.5 gpm.

    Channeling is a potential problem if the unit doesn't regenerate frequently enough.
    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.

  3. #3
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    http://www.purolite.com/RelId/606346...JS%20BLEND.pdf

    Here is a great article for the best explanation of capacity/efficiency/leakage, etc. Chubb is one of the brightest people in our industry and I would recommend searching for any article he has written over the past 20 years and reading it.

    Regarding 38 days between regeneration... not a problem but... my concern is the small amount of iron and infrequent regenerations may cause fouling of your resin bed. Without iron, I would have no issue with the low frequency of regeneration.

    FYI, my system is a 2 cu.ft. system regenrating approximately every 25 - 35 days, going on 12 years, still producing perfect soft water, resin condition is still almost new, resin capacity exceeds 85% of its original capacity...



    I would set your system to 6 pounds salt per regeneration (4 pound per cu. ft.), and the capacity to 24K. I would set the Day overide to 30 days. Using 6 pounds of salt every 30 days will be fine for your application. You may also want to clean the resin with Iron out once a year.

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post

    I would set your system to 6 pounds salt per regeneration (4 pound per cu. ft.), and the capacity to 24K. I would set the Day overide to 30 days. Using 6 pounds of salt every 30 days will be fine for your application. You may also want to clean the resin with Iron out once a year.
    I totally agree with that
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    I didn't see it above, so I might add that I would set your hardness to 8 or 9 to compensate for your small amount of iron, and use the settings above. Note: With the recommended DO of 30, you will typically use only 15,360 grains every 30 days (based on your water usage estimate), so you will have 24,000 - 15,360 = 8,640 grains worth of reserve, enough to handle any guests that may show up.

    Also, you need to make sure you set your brine fill time based on your salt needed (6 lbs, or 2 gallons of water). This will be based on the size of your brine fill control.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member cannin's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, i guess it is a 45k unit, i thought i read that 1.5cuft was 30k, my mistake, but at least im well prepared for the future now should we end up with a few kids soon. I should mention that I have all low flow fixtures, (1.7gpm shower heads and 1.5gpm faucets) also I measured the flow rate on our toilets and they are less than 1gpm (very slow fill valves in them I guess). I am not overly concerned about running over the gpm capabilities for the amount of resin, as it's not too hard to make that conscious effort to not use too much water at once. That and our pressure from the city is poor at best and we are lucky if we can have a shower while something else is running.

    As for the iron, I have been told by some friends who work in the water treatment plants here that it is treated with sodium silicate and because of this it will not effect a softener or build up in the resin. I have been told even some of the most heavy duty filters that they use in treatment will not remove it, the only way is with a membrane filter, or by heating the water to separate the bond between the iron and the chemical. That is where we have some problems since the water heater will separate the iron and it will come through on the hot side. But they did mention that since the water will be soft, the iron will be a piece of cake to clean off since its not sticking to calcium spots.

    With that being said since the iron just shoots through the softener, I may be ok with a longer regeneration? Because one regeneration every 30 days sounds very nice!

    Thanks again guys!

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    Well, I am no expert like many you will find here, just a DIYer much like you... but if you have been told correctly about the iron, then I see nothing wrong with 30 day regens. I am only able to get 17-19 days between regens, but I have 4 in the house. If I could go 30 and save all that salt from going into the ground, I would. I currently have my softener set at 6 lbs/cu ft with a 30 DO in case I go out of town.

    A 1.5 cu ft softener can have many capacities. Softeners commonly get referred to by the amount of salt used per cu ft per regen. For example, using 4 lbs, you will get 24K of softening capacity. But you must multiply that 4 times your size, 1.5 cu ft, so you actually consume 6 lbs per regen. Similarly, 6 lbs (9) yields 30K of capacity, 8 lbs (12) is 36K, 10 lbs (15) is 40.5K, and 15 lbs (22) is 45K. If you were to regen twice using 15 lbs, you would actually get the max capacity of your resin, or 48K. But as you use higher amounts of salt, it becomes very inefficient.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member cannin's Avatar
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    Thanks! Well I have it set up for 6lbs and have purchased a little hardness kit and am going to test it periodically until the 30 day mark to make sure it stays soft. I will keep you guys up to date but from what I have read I don't think I should have any problems! Thanks again!

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