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Thread: Las Vegas Water Softener Selection

  1. #1
    DIY Member John Vegas's Avatar
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    Default Las Vegas Water Softener Selection

    Hi all, need some help with selection of an on-line water softener purchase to replace a Culligan that has a leaking seal pack that I don't want to deal with.

    2500 SF house with two residents, use about average of 80-100 gallons per day. There are three full bathrooms with standard shower heads, but large bathtubs that are rarely used. Would like to be able to use two showers at once along with a faucet because I often have guests (guest uses about 30 gallons per day as they usually just shower and are out gambling the day away . Water is at about 20 grains and I believe I have 1-inch piping to the softener.

    I was thinking about a 32,000 grain system with the 7000SXT valve. The "sizing" programs at various websites seem to all have conflicting information and I would appreciate any suggestion. I am looking for something sized to water efficiency because of increasing water rates and don't mind a bit of hard water creeping through prior to regeneration.

    Thank you in advance,

    JS

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    For your application I would recommend a 2 Cu. Ft. 7000 programmed to 6 pounds of salt per cu. ft. This will give you an estimated 15 days between regenerations, and it will also handle the high flow demands of the three bathrooms. I can send you the programming cheat sheet once you have purchased your system. You can really minimize the water usage from the 7000 easily without sacraficing longevity or quality.

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I like your choice of valve I believe a 32,000 grain unit will give you good salt efficiency and should do the job for you and since you have 1" piping the 7000SXT will handle the flow just fine.
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 05-23-2012 at 04:50 PM.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Member John Vegas's Avatar
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    The up-charge to the 2 CF is quite bit of money (well not a lot, but percentage wise a lot). I assume the 2 CF allows for the longer regeneration time as well as handle the potential for high flow rates required for three bathrooms.

    The current Culligan system is about 6 years old and does seem to regen about every 14 days or so in "efficiency mode." I don't even know the CF capacity of the current system as the previous (foreclosed) owner had it installed, but I think it is quite large.

    Thanks, JS

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    The 32,000 grain system will work, and the flow rate for 3 bathrooms is just slightly high for that system, but nothing worth getting to worried over. I have a tendency to slightly oversize units for efficiency and flow reasons. I size hotels, hospitals, commercial and indsutrial plants, and I tend to use the same formulations for residential applications. Tom sizes more to the "real world". Neither is wrong, his way will save you a lot of money up front, my way will save you some money in salt and water over time, but the savings may take 10 years to match the initial savings. As to SFR, the larger systems will handle the higher flow rates better, but how often does a residential application ever see more than 5-8 GPM? Almost never. If you exceed a softeners maximum "recommended" flow rate on a rare occassion, it is unlikely to have a noticable negative affect on water quality or system performance.

    How about this, meet in the middle and go for the 1.5 Cu. Ft. system. Those tend to be minimally more expensive than the 1 cu. ft. systems.
    Last edited by ditttohead; 05-23-2012 at 04:45 PM.

  6. #6
    DIY Member John Vegas's Avatar
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    The initial price is really not that big of a deal, I guess my real question is "what is the difference?" I assume if I get the 2 cu.ft. system, then it just regens less often and permits higher flows if necessary (i.e. I can have shower parties) without hard water creep (not sure if that is what you call it).

    Oddly, the jump on pricing from the website I am considering is substantial from 1.0 cu. ft. to 1.25 cu.ft. and then minimal from 1.25 cu.ft. on up. Probably just skip a dinner out and get the 2.0 cu. ft.

    JS

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I went 32 because there are only 2 people in the house most of the time. A 48 will give better salt efficiency though. Yes you can go longer between regens and the 7000SXT is metered so it's going to do it's thing based on your programming. The 7000SXT supports higher flow rates though unless you decide to have a shower party I doubt you will ever need the extra capacity. So I guess it's between a 32 and a 48. Both will perform just fine.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Member John Vegas's Avatar
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    I read a lot about salt efficiency. My Culligan, which only regens about every 14 days in efficiency mode, uses very little salt. Based on the relatively low price of salt, it seems like salt efficiency is not that big of a deal, versus at least water usage (well at least here in Las Vegas where you don't want to be a third or fourth tier water user at very high rates per 1000 gallons).

    I assume the 48 or 64 is BOTH more salt AND water efficient?

    JS

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    If you are interested in educating yourself this is a good read.

    http://www.watertreatmentguide.com/a..._softening.htm

    It may be a bit more technical than you want but you can skim through and pull out the appropriate bits. I posted it in an earlier thread which has since been deleted because of the controversy (ok nasty argument) that is caused but still, it's a pretty good read.
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 05-23-2012 at 05:39 PM.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  10. #10
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Water softeners use very little water compared to the amount of water they treat. A properly adjusted softener will use less than 50 gallons for every 1000 gallons of treated water. The SXT series by Fleck are your best bet, be sure to have it set up accurately, (injector, DLFC) and I will forward you the master programming cheat sheets so you can set it up for maximum water efficiency.
    The article Tom posted is a well respected article that does a good job of explaining water vs salt efficiency. It is definetly worth the time reading. See how close you are to the next tier of water usage on your bill. I always recommend going with salt efficiency over water efficiency for a softener, water efficiency gains are much easier to achieve elsewhere in a residential or commercial application rather than trying for absolute maximum water efficiency while throwing salt efficiency out the window. Saving a hundred gallons of water a year on a softener... or save thousands of gallons by adding automated faucets in the kids bathroom? Modern ultra low flush toilets, HE laundry, a new dishwasher, adjusting irrigation or modernizing it, take a couple miute less shower, this will all dramatically reduce your water usage compared to making a water softener waste salt to save water.

    Great thread so far!

    The modern water usage average for a household used to be 75-80 gallons per person per day, we now use 60, in my household, we are well below 40 gallons, we have also modernized for extreme efficiency in water usage.

  11. #11
    DIY Member John Vegas's Avatar
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    Default Culligan

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Water softeners use very little water compared to the amount of water they treat. A properly adjusted softener will use less than 50 gallons for every 1000 gallons of treated water. The SXT series by Fleck are your best bet, be sure to have it set up accurately, (injector, DLFC) and I will forward you the master programming cheat sheets so you can set it up for maximum water efficiency.
    The article Tom posted is a well respected article that does a good job of explaining water vs salt efficiency. It is definetly worth the time reading. See how close you are to the next tier of water usage on your bill. I always recommend going with salt efficiency over water efficiency for a softener, water efficiency gains are much easier to achieve elsewhere in a residential or commercial application rather than trying for absolute maximum water efficiency while throwing salt efficiency out the window. Saving a hundred gallons of water a year on a softener... or save thousands of gallons by adding automated faucets in the kids bathroom? Modern ultra low flush toilets, HE laundry, a new dishwasher, adjusting irrigation or modernizing it, take a couple miute less shower, this will all dramatically reduce your water usage compared to making a water softener waste salt to save water.

    Great thread so far!

    The modern water usage average for a household used to be 75-80 gallons per person per day, we now use 60, in my household, we are well below 40 gallons, we have also modernized for extreme efficiency in water usage.
    Does anyone know how to determine the size of my Culligan softener? It is a 2006 vintage Platinum series.

    Also, I agree on the water efficiency. We actually use between 60-70 gallons per day between the two of us, and a bit more on weekends when we do laundry and are home during the day. We have low flush toilets, HE laundry, Bosch dishwasher, etc. This does NOT include irrigation use as that doesn't go through the Culligan.

    John

  12. #12
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Can you see a part number/model number? You could measure the diameter and height and attach a picture, we could base it on that information as well. We need the picture to see if the system has a jacket so we can estimate the tank size.

  13. #13
    DIY Member John Vegas's Avatar
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    Default Culligan Sizing and Seal Pack Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Can you see a part number/model number? You could measure the diameter and height and attach a picture, we could base it on that information as well. We need the picture to see if the system has a jacket so we can estimate the tank size.
    The tank is 10"x54". The P/N 01016618 (on the tank).

    I am 99% sure it is a seal pack problem, and I finally found a dealer that will sell me one since I refuse to get ripped off with a Culligan service call (I would rather buy the new softener than pay Culligan a single penny).

    So my question is, is it hard to change out the seal pack? I am an experience DIY'er, but I have never opened up a softener before.

    Thanks, JS

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    http://culligansocal.com/download/ma...efficiency.pdf

    Is this the unit you have? If it is, this is probably my least favorite of the Culligan units. Not to bad to service, but... good luck.

  15. #15
    DIY Member John Vegas's Avatar
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    Default Platinum Plus

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    http://culligansocal.com/download/ma...efficiency.pdf

    Is this the unit you have? If it is, this is probably my least favorite of the Culligan units. Not to bad to service, but... good luck.
    No, I have the Platinum Plus 1 1/4" series (I think). It is from 2006. I think this is it:

    http://www.culliganbakersfield.com/m...28RevB5%29.pdf

    Culligan documentation seems to use and re-use different pictures for the same item. it is hard to figure things out!!! Did I tell you how much I dislike Culligan?

    It is a 1.5 cu. ft. system that I am operating in Efficiency mode, so its seems like the head figures out what to do. I assume this minimizes salt/water usage (?).

    Efficiency Mode
    Water softeners historically use an optimum time range to control the Regeneration cycle steps,
    with a minimum and maximum time required to perform each step dependent on the salt being
    used, the hardness total and iron level. Culligan typically uses the maximum time range to insure
    effective Regeneration. However, if the iron content of the water to be softened is zero, and
    the hardness level is less than 20 gpg, Culligan has developed a new set of regeneration times
    geared to reducing salt and water usage. These times are defined under a new operating mode
    coined “Efficiency Mode”. Compared to the present time values used, these new regeneration
    times and salt dosages are considerably less.

    Does anyone know about the connections I attached from a picture of my Culligan (see attached photo). Can these type of connections work on the Fleck 7000 1-inch plastic bypass or do I need something different? Might be easier to sweat on new 1-inch threaded connections and then use the flexible lines to connect a new softener? Also possible to buy 1-inch push fittings with threads on the other side then use the flexible lines to connect the new softener (1-inch to 1-inch)?

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    Last edited by John Vegas; 05-25-2012 at 03:38 PM.

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