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Thread: Water softener sizing and system selection?

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    DIY Member Killer95Stang's Avatar
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    Default Water softener sizing and system selection?

    Hello, I've been utilizing this site for various plumbing projects around the house and now its time to take care of my water softening, filtering needs. Thanks in advance...

    I recently re-piped my home with 1" copper from my meter to the drop at the rear of the house where it reduces to 3/4" before the tankless water heater to feed the entire system.

    San Dimas, CA on city water (home of Bill & Ted)

    Currently just my wife and myself with hope of kids in near future, one to two showers each per day. I'm basing the system on 75 gallons used per person per day.

    Home Spec's:

    -3 bedroom, 2 full baths
    -2 showers with almost no use of the tubs no body sprays.
    -dishwasher and washing machine

    70 PSI pressure measured at house bib at house shutoff valve.

    Water measurements from water company
    *Hardness 3.5-21 measured with 12g/gal average, I measured 19-20g/gal from 3 home tests using Hach 5-B
    *Magnesium 7.4-34mg/L measured with 20mg/L average
    *pH 7.6-8.8 measured with 7.9pH average
    *TDS 190-550mg/L with 370mg/L average
    *Chlorine 1.6mg/L average
    *Iron 0.0 detected

    online calculators suggest that I use a 32k grain system

    I plan on purchased a Fleck 5600SXT, sticking with just the basics in resin to keep it simple

    I was thinking of using an R/O for drinking water at the kitchen sink, but not sure if it is needed. Also, the way everything is plumbed, I would be sending softened water to the refrigerator which only has a simple filter. Do I need to re-route plumbing to change this?

    Thanks... Please let me know what other info is needed, so I can pick the right piece of equipment.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I usually use 60 gpd per person but if you plan on having a kid or two 75 should take up the slack. 32K is big enough for the two of you with some extra capacity so yea, go with it. If you plan on having a whole lot of kids you might want to go with a 48K but for now, that's overkill. The 5600SXT is a fine piece of equipment and a good choice also and it's always a good idea to make ice with softened water because softened water won't plug up all the little holes and passages on your ice maker. Party on Dude
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Member Killer95Stang's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply...

    Any advantage to going with a 7000SXT over the 5600SXT for such a basic install? I do like the fact that the 7000SXT will give me less pressure drop across the valve head, but not sure if its even something to worry about. Also, does anyone know if their is a 90 degree yoke adapter available for the 7000SXT, like the one they make for the 5600SXT? My installation will be a pretty tight fit and keeping the tank as close to the wall as possible would be helpful.

    adapter for 5600SXT



    Thanks again...

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    The 7000 will give you higher flow rates but I don't see where you really need that. It is a larger valve and longer valve so it stands the tank further from the wall.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Member Killer95Stang's Avatar
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    Thanks again...

    Looks like I'll just order the 5600SXT and call it a day... I'll start working out the calculations for the settings once I get the unit. Funny thing about adding this water softener. I grew up with softeners, so I love them. My wife on the other hand has been fighting tooth and nail for me not to install one. Her reasoning.. she does not like the slimy feel of the softened water. Since I've been working extra overtime, just to buy the nicer fixtures during my bathrooms remodel, I need to keep them looking nice, so the softener is a must. Also, as part of the final remodeling of the house, we are building an in ground swimming pool... of course the wife had a list of "Musts" when building the pool, which of course included that the pool be a salt water pool... go figure!! I'm just glad I piped in a water softener loop when I did the copper re-pipe to make the install easy.

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    To be honest, I don't like soft water either. I have an iron filter and UV in my house and the water is hard enough that a softener would probably be a good idea but I just don't like the feel of soft water nor what it does to the taste of the water and I like putting salt in the tank even less.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killer95Stang View Post
    ...the pool be a salt water pool...
    Well, no problem finding a place to dump your softener backwash . But I doubt you've got a septic tank to worry about.

    After using softened water for a while, I miss it every time I travel and take a shower in un-softened water. I'm going to start taking my hardness kit with me to see just how hard "foreign" water is. Most women complain mightily that their shampoo doesn't lather and thus their hair doesn't get clean. When we have houseguests the ladies often comment that they love the shower, 'cause their hair gets so clean. If she continues to b... er, gripe about the soft water, build a double shower and plumb one side to hard water.

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    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killer95Stang View Post
    I was thinking of using an R/O for drinking water at the kitchen sink, but not sure if it is needed. Also, the way everything is plumbed, I would be sending softened water to the refrigerator which only has a simple filter. Do I need to re-route plumbing to change this?
    I use an RO for both the drinking water at the kitchen sink, as well as plumbed to the refrigerator. I did a taste test with RO vs softened, dechlorinated water (I have a Fleck 7000 carbon tank ahead of the softener). RO water tastes much better! I highly recommend it. The softener is supposed to make it easier on the membrane and prevent Ca and Mg fouling.

    One thing you might also consider is a carbon filter in front of the softener. I do notice the lack of chlorine in the shower, and it is a nice improvement. Not to mention it will help with resin life.

    Edit: don't use copper to plumb the RO, use polyethylene or stainless steel tubing. It will pick up some of the copper in the tubing if you use Cu.
    Last edited by lifespeed; 11-02-2012 at 08:22 PM.

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    DIY Member Killer95Stang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
    I use an RO for both the drinking water at the kitchen sink, as well as plumbed to the refrigerator. I did a taste test with RO vs softened, dechlorinated water (I have a Fleck 7000 carbon tank ahead of the softener). RO water tastes much better! I highly recommend it. The softener is supposed to make it easier on the membrane and prevent Ca and Mg fouling.

    One thing you might also consider is a carbon filter in front of the softener. I do notice the lack of chlorine in the shower, and it is a nice improvement. Not to mention it will help with resin life.

    Edit: don't use copper to plumb the RO, use polyethylene or stainless steel tubing. It will pick up some of the copper in the tubing if you use Cu.
    Thanks... I have my RO unit on order and will most likely plumb lines to the sink and fridge. Funny how the deciding factor was our dog who won't drink the softened water..lol

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    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killer95Stang View Post
    ...the deciding factor was our dog who won't drink the softened water..lol
    Dogs know best. My wife has had an indoor cat for about 6 years. I have never seen that cat drink water from any source -- dish, toilet, dripping faucet, never. Yet she pees like a racehorse. Maybe I'll try a dish of unsoftened water and see how she reacts.

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