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Thread: Water Softener Settings & Salt/Brine Grid Question.

I would have used it in my own system, but... I was too cheap.
AH-HA! The truth comes out!

I am now thinking that by the time the SST60 resin pays for itself, there will be another resin that is that 10%-20% better that I want. Such is life.

2. Thank you Gary, that is a very good explanation of capacity vs actual usage. Also thank you for keeping your web site up, it is extremely helpful and useful for newbies, it helped me greatly with the size selection of my softener and helped me avoid costly mistakes!

Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
I've read all of what has been said here about regenerating resin except for the resin manufactures saying it was OK to go 30 days or even 6 months between regenerations as has been claimed here.

Fact, all city water and private well water has turbidity in it; some city waters have more than private wells, mostly due to the condition and type of their water distribution lines and their age.

Turbidity ( and bacteria etc.) buildup in a softener causes a loss of capacity and can cause a resin replacement long before it would have to be replaced if it had been regenerated more frequently. Like every 7-9 days. Kinda like an engine lasting longer the more frequently the oil is changed.

To help you understand the operation of your softener. Compare it to you going to fill up the fuel tank in your vehicle.

Then you drive X miles or X number of days and refill the fuel tank again. It is a 20 gallon tank, it takes 12 gallons to refill it the first time. You can calculate fuel mileage by dividing the miles driven by the gallons needed to refill the tank.

What happened to the other 8 gallons that were still in the tank when you refilled? .... your new softener starts out with 2.0 cuft of fully regenerated new resin = 64K of capacity... You use 13k in say 8 days and have the equivalent of another full day's reserve plus the balance of 64 - 13 = 51K. How many K do you have to regenerate to get full capacity, full capacity will be 60k?

The max is 60k and that is due to the resin being used and you'll not be able to regenerate it to 64k unless you use more than 15 lbs of salt/cuft, and even then it is questionable.

Now 60k takes 30 lbs of salt per regeneration. Looking at salt efficiency you calculate it the same as fuel mileage, 60,000/30= 2000 grains per lb of salt used but... if you only used 13,000 and want a salt efficiency of say 3333 grains per lb, you use 3.9 lbs (round to 4 lbs) per regeneration, that is not per cuft. AND the remaining 60,000 - 13,000 = 47,000 (or 47k), is still in the tank. The same as the 8 gallons of fuel in is your vehicle.

You program the K of capacity for say an 8 day service run plus the reserve and then the salt dose that is required to regenerate that K of capacity and set the calendar override for day 8 or a couple days longer.

The WQA says that a softener is working just fine as long as there is no more than 1 gpg (17.1 ppm or mg/l) of hardness in the softened water. I have sold softeners programed this way for many years without customer complaints or problems.

More frequent regeneration prevents resin problems in the future.

3. Like most people I like to use things in the most efficient manner and in my case it's not that I'm a penny pincher but I'm lazy and I don't want to have to lug an extra forty pound bag of salt down the basement, lol... no I'm not really lazy, but I still want to lug as few bags of salt as possible from the store to the house. Ok, maybe I am a bit lazy...

Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer
With 1ppm Iron you should keep the programming you are using. Salt efficiency (and water) is all very well and good but in actual dollar savings the diffenence isn't enough to worry about except for cronic penny pinchers.

4. Thanks a lot to everyone who posted here, this is a great site with lots of good help. I sure like my new softener, the dishes coming out of the dishwasher are sparkling! And there are almost no water spots in the stainless steel kitchen sink. I will also now be able to wash my new shiny black truck without having it end up in a disaster full of water spots! The only complaint is that I'm not all that fussy using the softened water for the coffee pot, the hard water makes better tasting coffee, I may bypass the kitchen cold water for drinking & coffee. Once again, thanks to all for the great help!

5. I'm glad it's working for you. Remember that your softener is an appliance just like any appliance in your house. You don't want to be wed to the damn thing, you just want it to do it's job with the least amount of interference or maintenance. I get that, carrying bags of salt thing. I'm in the middle of the heating season carrying 40lb bags of pellets into the house.

6. Wood pellets... that's my next thing, I want to set up a pellet stove for backup heat. I moved about 3 years ago, my old old house was pretty well 100% wood heat, my new house is 100% electric, 3 stories and has no chimney and to place a chimney in a 3 story house that had not provided for one would be a major headache plus I don't really want to start buying and stacking wood again (even though nothing beats wood heat for comfort!). In these parts it gets pretty cold in the winter and if a major electrical outage were to happen I would be in a fine pickle. I think that a backup pellet stove running off a small generator is probably my best option. But now we digress...

Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer
I'm glad it's working for you. Remember that your softener is an appliance just like any appliance in your house. You don't want to be wed to the damn thing, you just want it to do it's job with the least amount of interference or maintenance. I get that, carrying bags of salt thing. I'm in the middle of the heating season carrying 40lb bags of pellets into the house.

7. Get a Harman

8. Thanks for the tip. I had even thought of putting a coal stove... the big problem with that here in eastern Canada the anthracite comes from the States, dealers in Canada charge outrageous prices and importing it directly means buying a five years supply (to get reasonable price with shipping).

Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer
Get a Harman

9. Originally Posted by John5
Thank you Gary, that is a very good explanation of capacity vs actual usage. Also thank you for keeping your web site up, it is extremely helpful and useful for newbies, it helped me greatly with the size selection of my softener and helped me avoid costly mistakes!
You're welcome John and thanks for the kind words and I'm glad it helped you.

I've kept the web site up because there are 3,000-4,000 unique/first time visitors each month. Plus I like to think it pisses Clack off, even if it doesn't.

10. Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
... Plus I like to think it pisses Clack off, even if it doesn't.
That's reason enough .

11. Originally Posted by ByteMe
OK, I'll ask. Why does Clack need to be pissed off? And why would posting about efficiency do this?

ByteMe
I don't know that they "need" to be pissed off but I know that my site being up after June 15, 2010 did because they told me about it in an email.

That's the day they stopped their distributors from shipping any equipment using their valves to internet dealers' customers. Supposedly they amended their distributors' contract to say that anyone selling the Clack valves had to visit the prospective customer's location in person to gather presale and post sale info and then to deliver the unit and install it in person (on site) and to service it in person through the 5 yr valve warranty period and after the warranty period.

The original contract with their distributors did not disallow internet sales and actually said (I have a copy) that it was up to the distributor to decide if the internet dealer was 'competent' enough to be allowed to do internet sales. And if the distributor failed to do that then Clack would decide and if they said no then the distributor was to not sell to that dealer for internet sales.

That contract started in 2000 and in July 2005 after getting many complaints from internet dealers' customers for various reasons, Clack decided to stop the complaints to them by preventing internet sales. I and I suppose other internet dealers, and my primary supplier, one of their largest distributors I found out later, 'fought' that idea and things continued as usual into the spring of 2010 when they decided again to stop internet sales regardless of who didn't like it. And they threatened their distributors with voiding their control valve contracts if they didn't stop internet sales (by preventing drop shipments).

I was one of, if not the first, internet dealers to sell their valves online and I was the only dealer all over the internet telling everyone how great their valves were. And they said they were not getting complaints from my customers but from some of their distributors that were told there were not supposed to be any internet sales... those complaints were back in 2005. But many dealers, sales people and companies with somewhat proprietary versions of the Clack valves, among others and especially WQA members, had complained about me for all the years I had been on the internet (since Jan 2, 1997) before and after I started selling their valves on Jan 2, 2004.

I sold and installed their valves as a local dealer until the end of 2004 when I closed my local sales and spent all my time with the internet sales and well pump work. Then I closed my well pump work in the spring of 2005 because I was so busy on the internet. That lasted until June 15, 2010 when all Clack distributors stopped internet sales and I've been out of business since.

And there are those that still would like to see me off the internet. It is claimed that I take money right out of their wallets and food off their table etc. etc. because I tell people how to repair their equipment instead of falling victim to shyster dealers and sales people while making dealers, drillers and plumbers selling water treatment equipment look bad etc.. Now Dittohead is here joining a few others that claim I don't know what I'm doing and that I make the 'industry' look bad.

But then you might see the number of new softener owners here that have questions about their new softeners and I didn't sell them the softener.

BTW, I don't see any of my customers complaining about me or the equipment I sold them and since 99% of them bought from me due to my presence in many forums and especially this one, you'd think if there were unhappy customers of mine they would show up here.

In the original Clack contract they had the power to force their distributors to prevent their internet dealers from doing things wrong and prevent their customers complaining to Clack but they didn't do that at any time over the first 10 years that their valves had been made/sold, and including over 7+ years of being sold on the internet. Or, they could have started an end user/consumer Customer Service department.

But, in their distributor contract they also called for all their distributors to make up their own name for the valves and not to use the Clack name etc.. And the distributors' dealers were to use that distributor's name and not mention Clack or their model numbers. The first I heard of that was in July 2005. The distributor was to disallow/prevent their dealers to have pricing on their web site too; or not sell to them. Clack and their distributors I bought from all knew what and how well I was doing on the internet.

The problem with all that is that distributors selling to independent dealers have no contract with the dealer.

When Clack contacted me in July 2005, they kept referring to "the contract" and I kept saying what contract, I have no contract with any of three of your distributors that I order from.

I mentioned that I paid in full for all the equipment I ordered, including the shipping to me or my internet customer, before the equipment left the distributors' docks and somehow dumb me, I thought I could do anything I wanted to do with the equipment, including smashing it with a sledge hammer if I chose to but I was not under their or any other contract.

That seemed to go over their head and any talk about the internet did too. They kept saying they thought the internet was a great educational tool but shouldn't be used for sales... It was also admitted that they knew very little about the internet in both 2005 and 2010. I mentioned there were billions of dollars of sales being done every year and it would just get bigger because of the convenience to consumers if nothing else. But research showed that most people used the internet to compare products and hear what owners had to say about them before they bought most things costing over a \$100 or so but especially big ticket items.

They kept saying internet dealers were causing a lot of complaints to them and I told them I knew of a number of 'bad' dealers because I too had been contacted by many of their customers. I asked why they didn't talk to their distributors and somehow solve the problem or shut them off. That was before I was told about "the contract" which later I got a copy of.

So Clack has not improved the industry or the quality of dealers and now Fleck is following their lead in stopping internet sales of certain of the their valves. Instead they have protected local dealers from some internet sales and driven up the cost to consumers while the economy is getting worse by the day and it is going to get much worse very soon.

12. Ok, it seems to be as I expected. I have run into this exact issue with another large (Billion) dollar manufacturer.

The manufacturer tries to fix the problem of complaints from end users by stopping a segment of the sales and also complaints from other sales/service companies. This segment being internet sales. From what I have seen there could be a very good court case if any of the internet sales people cared to pursue it.

These "other" sales and service companies are only doing what human nature makes them do. All of us work to protect ourselves. It is human nature to try to eliminate competition and hence protect ourselves and family.

These companies that follow this protectionist policy easily justify it by thinking they are helping many of their "old" distributors and not getting a bad reputation from the normally much cheaper and less service oriented internet sites (in general).

I believe this way of thinking is very short sighted and just plain lazy. My argument can be mostly simplified down do the question, how do you make money by limiting your sales? A number of companies have tried this and failed (as in went bankrupt). From what I have seen this is a good sign of a company heading backwards. Of course a few seem to have succeeded.

The issue and arguement about avoiding the bad reputation is better eliminated by WORK. Use the service and training department to aggressively pursuse and train the internet sales companies and when that fails, train the end user.

Would you rather have a bad reputation and make some money or an excellent reputation with selling nothing?

One of the good things about this free market is that us end users and massively influence this. If you disagree with a companies policy, don't buy from them. A letter telling them so can also help. I guess I won't buy a Clack and should send a letter to Fleck. Yea I know, a fart in the wind.

*edit* I type like crap.

13. It's all about the money. If their decision was not making them money, they would not have made it.

14. Of course that is true idea. Do I have to google companies that have failed with policies like this? Or companies that have been sued and lost because of policies like this?

But this also gets into the problem of letting accountants run a company. And no I will refrain from boring everyone.

15. Companies are allowed to sell who they want to, to price products as they feel fit, and to lose to the competition if they want to, unless Obama deems the companies to big to fail...

Clack made a good choice when they went after the companies that were not following their contracted rules. We have had to cut off several companies, and honestly, good riddance to them. These companies would constantly try to send end user customers our way for technical support, or they would try to send them direct to Clack. Just like Culligan, Kinetico, Rayne, and many other water systems companies, their equipment can only be sold and installed by licensed dealers. If Culligan catches a small dealer selling their stuff online, the supply chain gets cut very quickly. I have contracts with most of my major suppliers, this is normal business practice. So long as there is an alternative source to a product, the competition will keep the price in check. Unless we are talking about Monpolized industries, which Clack is not, there are over a dozen valve manufacturers that compete with Clack, then they can legally chose where and how they want their product sold.

Do you think Kmart can sue Gucci to get their products into their store? Not likely.

This is all a dead issue anyway, this was over a couple years ago, and Clack has done extremely well since then, far better than they did prior to this decision. And they dont care about someones website bemoaning their decision, actually, it is quite the opposite. They probably use it to their advantage if it is ever even brought up. It shows that they stand by their contracts.

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