1959 house. 2 1/2 bath. City water. 1 1/2" main. Awaiting my Hach kit to test water, but I do know it's high-grain hardness. Deposits on all aerators and appliances, and in copper pipes I have been in. Sprinkler head outside clogged with calcium carbonate after about 5 hours of use. Need to clean master bath shower head about every three months with vinegar or CLR. No iron staining to speak of, but have not tested.
Three daughters and my wife live with me. Lots of long showers. We have a dishwasher with a 145 minute cycle. High-efficiency side-load clothes washer. House is tri-level, and softener will be on the lower level. Softener waste line will flow into sump pit and be carried by 4,000 GPH sump pump.
I plan on remodeling and adding another 1 1/2 baths in 5 years. Will be in the house at least 10-15 years.
My water consumption is 6 CCF when not watering the lawn. All low-flow aerators, showerheads, etc.
I am a DIY guy and can do the hookups and be code compliant. I am very familiar with H2O params like pH, phosphate, nitrate, nitrite, magnesium, KH, etc. I test these params regularly as part of my aquarium hobby, and I know how they interrelate. I also understand RO/DI pretty well, including resins, membranes, flow rate, and rejection. So I figure it won't be too hard for me to make the leap to understanding softener technology.
I am interested in whole-house softening. I know with some things, over-engineering is fine. With others, it's a no-no (like HVAC).
I am in Indianapolis on city water and our aquifer is predominately limestone and dolomite-base bedrock with high carbonate.
1) Is there any reason I should not oversize in anticipation of more water use? What are the downsides to over sizing?
2) What size softener do you recommend (assuming my hardness is on the high side - yet to be measured).
3) Is variable regeneration or not regenerating during low-use periods a gimmick? If not, what brands are good at this?
4) What brand do you recommend. The kicker is that I want to install, calibrate, and maintain the system myself, and want the service manual for the unit.
5) Does the resin in the system matter? Krystal Pure has a 20 year resin replacement warranty. Is that industry-standard?
6) Does the waste from a softener damage sump pumps? Can I run the waste line up about 8 feet to avoid the sump or is it gravity-feed only?
Thanks in advance.