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Thread: Got a Clack today - 2 questions so far

  1. #16
    DIY Junior Member Glowrdr's Avatar
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    OK, so I set it to Pre.

    But I've got a question now that will need some clarification in lamens terms I'm guessing - because I'm confused.

    Everything I have read says that 1.5 ft of resin is a 45k system. And a 45k system is a 10x54 tank. Well, that is everything EXCEPT my manual. Maybe there is a number that changes the specs or something, and that is where I'd like someone to explain to it me if possible.

    My manual has a little table on page 2 (It is a Hill Millenium system if that matters). It states: (I'll only type out the one that applies to me, not the whole table for other softeners)

    Recommended Flow Rate: 5.4 GPM
    Exchange Capacity - based on 10#/cu ft: 32,500
    Tank Dimensions: 10x54
    Resin Volume: 1.3
    Salt Usage per regen - based on 10#/cu ft: 13#

    So this would seem to me that the original setting of 32.5k is correct, vs the 45k that I've read EVERYWHERE would be incorrect? Is there something to the "based on 10#/cu ft" statement that changes the capacity? I beleive my gravel bed is in the brine tank correct? It's not actually taking up room in the mineral tank? That would make sense, but something inside of me says that's incorrect, so don't confuse myself any more than I already am.

    These are the things that get me confused, and I'm sure I'm not getting a piece of the puzzle. Sorry for asking so many questions, I'm just trying to get a fundemental understanding, rather than just asking the "what do you want me to set my stuff to" question.

    I frequent a lot of forums, so I'm used to people asking the inevitable question that only they can answer. I'm just not in a position at the moment to answer my own questions.
    Last edited by Glowrdr; 08-17-2012 at 02:41 PM.

  2. #17
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    The systems capacity is an industry standard number that is based on maximum capacity. Not real world usage. In order to get the extremly high capacities systems are rated at, you would have to waste large amounts of salt. Your system is set at 10# per cu. ft., that is rare and not even allowed in many states that have efficiency standards for water softeners. Many states and localities have required that softener meet efficiency standards that require the systems to be regenerated at no more than 4 pounds of salt per cubic foot. The majority of companies selling softeners set their units between 4 and 8 pounds of salt, this is the "sweet spot" for water efficiency, salt efficiency, and water quality. The only time we recommend exceeding 8 pounds per cu. ft. is for applications that require a very high level of water quality, this would not even be able to be measured by standard test kits.

    Hopefully someone will post a little cheat sheet shortly of salt usage vs. system efficiency, it has been posted 100 times on this site this year, but it never hurts to post it again.

  3. #18
    DIY Junior Member Glowrdr's Avatar
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    I've actually seen that line chart that you are talking about. So is the efficiancy based on household water usage, or is the efficiancy based on the size of the unit? We are only averaging about 100 gallons a day between 2 people. With a 48k sized unit, is there a definate setting that should be used? I know I can do whatever I want - but I don't need to regen a bag of salt each week either.

    That's where I get a little lost. Maybe this question will help me understand a little: Do I set the regen functions based on having a 1.5 cu ft (48k) mineral tank? Or do I set it as the 19.2k grain needs of my household? I'm looking at this from the tanks size, rather than a usage standpoint. Maybe that's where I am losing myself.

  4. #19
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Every softener has an adjustable K of capacity.

    The capacity is controlled by the volume (in cuft) and the type of resin (regular or fine mesh)or SST [shalow shell technology])., and the lbs of salt used to regenerate the resin.

    The max capacity per cuft of resin (most common is regular mesh) is 30K @ 15 lbs of salt. Salt efficiency is 30,000/15 = 2000 grains per lb. If you set the salt dose at 6 lbs you get 20K. 20000/6 = 3333 grains per lb which is a substantial increase in salt efficiency.

    Lets say you needed 56K, to get the salt dose divide that by 3333 (6 lb/cuft). To get the K of capacity, You figure your daily grains used and multiply them by the number of days between regeneration and for gallons, divide the K of capacity by the compensated hardness.

    If you needed 30K, you could buy a 1.5' and set the salt dose at 9 lbs. That compared to a 1.0' where the same 30K requires 15 lbs, saves you 6 lbs of salt every regeneration for the life of the softener, which is usually 15-20 years.

    Since all new resin is fully regenerated right out of the bag and you aren't going to use the full capacity (30K/cuft) unless you want the worst salt efficiency possible, the difference of say 45k-30k = 15K is still in the bed,
    ,
    Another benefit of the larger softener is the 1.0' has a constant SFR of 9 gpm and the 1.5' 12 gpm. That SFR is based on the volume of resin but specifically the depth of the resin bed. If your peak demand gpm flow rate exceeds the SFR gpm you eventually get hardness through the softener.
    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.

  5. #20
    DIY Junior Member Glowrdr's Avatar
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    OK - last question then

    Reading your statement above - it looks like I can scale down to 6# (or even 9# if I wanted to play it safe). With the known info on my system - do I leave my settings @ the current OEM setting of 32.5k, or do I jump it up to the 48k figuring I have a 1.5 cu ft resin tank? Not sure if this really matters a whole lot - but it would affect the gallons till regen rate.

    I am certainly trying to learn on my own, but until I know what the right answer is, it makes it tough for me to comprehend how that decision is made (when I don't know that that decisision is).

    I owe a beer to everyone that has helped me. If you live in the area, or if your motorhome happens to swing on through (or you demand a Paypal equivilent to a bottle of beer) - I appreciate all of your help

  6. #21
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    IIRC there are 2 of you in the house... and the hardness is 23 gpg but tested lower. You should use 23 gpg and 60 gals/person/day, 120 total.

    120 * 23gpg =2760 grains per day. I suggest 8 days between regens so 2760 * 8 = 22080 grains or 22K.

    22080/3333 = 6.62 lbs of salt so program 6.5 lbs. That is not per cuft, it's total and what you program.

    22080/23 = 960 gallons between regens but with the variable reserve it will regen when needed based on the average daily water use over the last 7 days. That usually is on day 8 unless you've had a day or so with higher than usual water use. Prove 960/120 = 8 days.

    If your programing asks for a program number (CS version), use 13. If it doesn't, you probably have an EE version or the original that didn't allow for any changes in the number of minutes of each cycle position.
    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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