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Thread: Double-Check my Softener Sizing?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member JohnnyO's Avatar
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    Default Double-Check my Softener Sizing?

    Greetings,

    First off, thanks to all who donate their time and experience in this forum. I've been reading voraciously for the last week, and have gained a fair bit of insight.

    I'm looking to replace a tired, old Sears Kenmore Deluxe Demand water softener (625.348591).

    From what I'm reading, for a DIY installation, a Fleck valve-based unit seems to be a good choice.

    From the various calculators out there, I seem to be coming in with recommendations that vary between a 32K and a 64K system, but with grains per week in the 20K range.

    Here are the usage particulars:

    - 1700 sq.ft. home with 2.5 bathrooms, 1 with bathtub, 1 with un-restricted single head shower
    - 1 bath, and 2 showers a day, typically.
    - 2 people, sometimes an overnight guest
    - 3-4 loads of laundry per week (top loader, large loads)
    - 2 dishwasher loads a week
    - 3/4" copper softener loop

    Here are the water particulars (municipal water - Eagan, MN)

    - hardness (grains) 18-20
    - iron (ppm): 0.00
    - manganese (ppm) 0.02
    - chlorine (ppm) 0.5-1.0
    - flouride (ppm) 0.9-1.2


    So - the compromiser in me would suggest a 48K system.

    I'd appreciate any and all recommendations on sizing and system selection. Please let me know if there is additional info I'm missing.

    Thanks,

    John
    Last edited by JohnnyO; 03-30-2013 at 08:26 PM.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    A 32K system will be fine. If you are planning a family in the future, you might consider a 48K, but I would not go any bigger than that. Fleck makes a very good valve. I have read a few complaints about the 7000 valve recently though. Have you looked into a Clack valve? It is a good choice for DIY'ers as well.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member JohnnyO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mialynette2003 View Post
    A 32K system will be fine. If you are planning a family in the future, you might consider a 48K, but I would not go any bigger than that.
    Thanks for your advice. We are beyond the family planning stages. If we sold the house in 10 years, it would be an appropriate size for a new family, with perhaps 2 adults and up to 2 kids.


    Quote Originally Posted by mialynette2003 View Post
    Fleck makes a very good valve. I have read a few complaints about the 7000 valve recently though. Have you looked into a Clack valve? It is a good choice for DIY'ers as well.
    My understanding was that Clack no longer sold through Internet resellers. Since my DIY desire is strongly tied to saving some money, I made the (perhaps incorrect) assumption that purchasing a system with a Clack valve would be considerably more expensive than getting a Fleck-based system from an Internet reseller.

    Thanks again,

    John

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    With 4 people (future), a 32K or 1 CF will work as well. I send you a PM.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member JohnnyO's Avatar
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    How timely. I received my water bill today.

    It shows that between 12/1/2012 and 3/1/2013 our home consumed 17000 gallons of water.

    17000 divided by 90 days gives me ~188 gallons a day of usage, which is closer to 94 gallons a day per person. I guess we are real water hogs here.

    This usage is from the dead of winter here in Minnesota, so no outside watering (pre-softener) is considered. In a summer quarter, my use skyrockets from 17,000 to 55,000 gallons per quarter. Thank goodness that water is not flowing through the softener.

    My bill shows usage for the last 5 quarters. Water usage by quarter (other than outside watering) seems be be safely in the 14,000 to 17,000 range per quarter.

    John

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    so 17000/90=188 GPD*20GPG hardness=3777 grains removed each day. With a 1 CF unit you will go 4 days between regens using 45 lbs of salt and with a 1.5 you will go 7 days using 39 lbs salt. It looks like the 1.5 CF will be better.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member JohnnyO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mialynette2003 View Post
    so 17000/90=188 GPD*20GPG hardness=3777 grains removed each day. With a 1 CF unit you will go 4 days between regens using 45 lbs of salt and with a 1.5 you will go 7 days using 39 lbs salt. It looks like the 1.5 CF will be better.
    Thanks again. I'd agree the new numbers point more strongly to the 1.5 CF tank.

    John

  8. #8
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mialynette2003 View Post
    so 17000/90=188 GPD*20GPG hardness=3777 grains removed each day. With a 1 CF unit you will go 4 days between regens using 45 lbs of salt and with a 1.5 you will go 7 days using 39 lbs salt. It looks like the 1.5 CF will be better.
    Isn't that pretty lousy brine efficiency? Per the NSF standard, efficiency rated softeners must have a rated salt efficiency of at least 3350 grains per pound of salt used for regeneration -- 4000 grains/lb in California. Or maybe I'm missing something?

  9. #9
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    No you aren't missing anything. IMO he has his own incorrect way of doing things and doesn't pay any attention to salt efficiency.

    And who buys a car or softener based on what size family will own it years later; maybe?

    All water treatment equipment is correctly sized based on the number of gallons per minute it has to treat.
    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.

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    LOL. I did not add "per month". The Clack units I sell are set with the hardness and I let the unit determine when to regen.

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    No you aren't missing anything. IMO he has his own incorrect way of doing things and doesn't pay any attention to salt efficiency.

    And who buys a car or softener based on what size family will own it years later; maybe?

    All water treatment equipment is correctly sized based on the number of gallons per minute it has to treat.
    And everyone is intitled to their opinion. Even you.

  12. #12
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Assuming a Clack WS-1 CS. I suggest 3777 * 8 days (1520 gallons) = 30216 so call it 30.5K.

    A 2.0 cuft would give the best salt efficiency (3800 grains per lb of salt [sodium chloride]) and a 13 gpm constant SFR while using 8 lbs of salt per regeneration. Roughly 32 lbs a month.

    Now that is not an opinion; it is factual.
    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.

  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    How do you know what size softener is the most efficient for your operation?

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    DIY Junior Member JohnnyO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Assuming a Clack WS-1 CS. I suggest 3777 * 8 days (1520 gallons) = 30216 so call it 30.5K.

    A 2.0 cuft would give the best salt efficiency (3800 grains per lb of salt [sodium chloride]) and a 13 gpm constant SFR while using 8 lbs of salt per regeneration. Roughly 32 lbs a month.
    Thank you Gary.

    John

  15. #15
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amateurplumber1 View Post
    How do you know what size softener is the most efficient for your operation?
    I would have thought you know by now but...

    I suggest you click on the red Click Here link in my signature and do your math and then if you want to, use the Calculator link at the bottom of the page to check your math.

    Then you might want to check out the Customer Comments in my forum for all you need to know about installing a softener. There are hundreds of pictures.
    http://www.qualitywaterassociates.com/phpBB2/index.php
    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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