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Thread: Please help size water softener / carbon filter

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member yugnat75's Avatar
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    Default Please help size water softener / carbon filter

    I'm currently completing a new home, should be ready in about 4 weeks. We are on city water (Houston, TX). We've stubbed up for a water softener in a closet accessible from the garage. I'd also like to do a whole house carbon filter (yes, I know there are those that advise against it). The house is 4,100 sq ft, 4 full bathes, and it's my wife and I plus our son - and we're expecting our second child so I'd like to size for four (4) people. I also am picky about losing water pressure in the house (showers). Our master bath has a 12" rain head plus standard shower head but no body sprayers, we have a large soaking tub but no jets. Kids will share a jack/jill bathroom - the other shower is a guest and the last shower is upstairs (not used frequently).

    I filled a 4.5 gallon bucket in 32 seconds using my master tub. I also had a water test done, here are the results:

    Copper = 0 ppm
    Total Chlorine = 1.5 ppm
    Nitrates = 0
    Nitrite = 0
    Alkalinity = 100
    Hardness = 9 GPG
    pH = 7.0
    TDS(Total Dissolved Solids) = 297ppm
    Iron = 0

    Any recommendations on sizing and brand / model of system would be much appreciated!
    Last edited by yugnat75; 11-16-2012 at 12:53 PM.

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    You are in need of an odd piece of equipment. You fall into the low usage, low hardness, high flow category. Considering the pipe size, # of baths, etc. I would recommend a 2.5 Cu. Ft 7000 (13x54 tank) for both the softener and GAC system. Install the GAC first, ahead of the softener. Set your salt to a low setting and put the override at 30 days, and you will do just fine. The GAC system can backwash every 14-30 days depending on sediment in your water. With this design, it is very unlikely you will have any noticable flow reduction. Be sure to order the 7000 iwth the plumbing connectors that match your plumbing size.

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    DIY Junior Member yugnat75's Avatar
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    Thanks dittohead. Is 30 days not too long on the softener? I thought it should ideally be around 5-7 days to avoid any sanitary issues within the resin? Also, do you recommend any of the available options / accessories i.e. gravel underbed, upgraded resin, vortech tank, etc etc?

    Thanks.

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    DIY Junior Member yugnat75's Avatar
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    BTW, I just asked my builder to confirm the size of the water line and I was told it's 1" PEX stubbed for the softener / filter. Our meter is 5/8" and the builder ran 1-1/4" from the meter to the house. In the house is 1" to the main areas then down to 3/4" or 1/2" to the fixtures depending on flow requirements. So I'm not sure if my 8.4 GPM flow rate is fast, slow, or normal. The largest size softener I've been recommended besides your recommendation is 1.5 cu ft (also was recommended 1 cu ft)?

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    There is no problem with going several weeks between regenerations. If you consider the vast majority of protable exchange tank companies only change the tanks monthly, and then the tanks may sit at their shop for a week before someone gets around to regenerating them, and this goes on for years... your issue is a flow rate issue more than a capacity issue. Running the resin at high flows does some minor damage to it and over time you may need to replace the resin earlier than expected. The Peak flow rate of a 1 cu. ft. softener with a 7000 valve is approximately 14 GPM, but the maximum service flow rate is about 8 GPM. Your tub alone uses 9 GPM, so assume the laundry, a faucet, another shower, or the dishwasher is running as well. you will be in the 12-15 GPM range with ease. A 13" tank has a service flow that ranges up to 18 GPM, with the same peak flow capability.
    As to the capacity and regeneration frequency, assuming you program the system to 4 pounds of salt per cu. ft, 10 pounds per regeneration,

    4 people x 60 gallons per person, x 10 grains hardness = 2400 grains per day. A 2.5 Cu. ft unit at low salt as described above would be good for 40,000 grains / 2400 grains daily use = 16 days between regenerations. This is only an approximation but it is usually fairly close.

    Hope this helps!

    Options, definetly go for the gravel underbed. I am not a fan of the Vortech distributor, no need to go into details, I prefer a gravel underbed. I would recommend the 61601, 90 degree 2 pack, and a 1x1-1/4 sweat connector 41242-01, and a 1-1/4" x 1-1/2" sweat connector 41243-01, swet the 2 together and use the 90's to make a perfect connection betwen the GAC and softener tank. See the picture below.
    Name:  7000c.jpg
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    Last edited by ditttohead; 11-16-2012 at 03:35 PM.

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