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Thread: New water softener programming/setting.

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member 311hemi's Avatar
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    Default New water softener programming/setting.

    Hi there, first time poster here but long time viewer.

    I just built a new home and just got the water softener installed along with a inline filter. Everything is plumbed 3/4" Pex, and then has 1/2" Pex going to fixtures. I installed the following units:

    Aqua-pure CWS150ME, which has fine mesh resin.
    Aqua-pure AP-801 filtration system

    I have 4 people in the house, two adults and a baby and toddler.

    New well at 75':
    Hardness = 10
    Iron = 3.6
    pH = 7.5
    TDS 190 (145 on a different test)
    Tannin = .6 (no tannin removal as of yet, I know the tannin could foul the resin)

    I turned on the Clack WS-1 valve and programmed as the instructions said. I programmed the hardness at 24 and set the day override at 5 days due to the iron levels but not sure I need to do this. Factory setting are at 9 lb salt dose which is listed at 32000 grains.

    I am curious if I should be setting the day override due to the iron levels, and if I should go into the deeper levels of programming of the valve to change salt dosing or anything. Anything else I should consider? I know at the 5 days override I had 900 something gallons remaining, so I am wondering if I should drop to a 6 lb salt dosage?

    I have never had a softener before, so not exactly sure what I am doing but did a little research before buying and installing. I did add super iron out to the salt tank per the label, and using Morton system saver II salt.
    Last edited by 311hemi; 06-17-2013 at 08:23 AM.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    What is the capacity of the softener?

    I show you at around 6600 grains per day of hardness/iron that must be removed with a family of 4. Now you aren't quite a family of 4 yet cause the kids are still small and don't use a whole lot of water but they will grow. If it were me I'd be treating the iron with separate filtration.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member 311hemi's Avatar
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    It's a model with 1.5 cu/ft fine mesh resin (manf: 3m Aqua-pure, formerly Cuno), vs the standard model which had the hi-cap resin. I think I only used 600-700 gallons of the 1550 or so it said I had useable after it regenerated the first time. but again I set the day override at 5 days.....so it regenerated much earlier than it normally would have. One of the water quality guys said I may want to regen earlier due to my iron levels.

    The test results listed above were from Kinetico (on site). I also had a second water quality company test my water with the following results:

    Hardness = 7
    Iron = 3
    pH = 7.5
    TDS = 142

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    I agree with Tom, a proper Iron removal system would be a good idea. The system you have will work, but will also use 3x the amount of salt it should.

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    DIY Junior Member 311hemi's Avatar
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    Will it be using 3x the salt because I should be regenerating every 4-5 days like I have it set up, so I currently have it running properly? Or, should I let it run at factory settings and remove the day override?

    Could I drop my salt dosage down to 6 instead of 9, since we are not using the full amount of water (less that half) between regens?

    What would be a proper iron removal system, like a full tank setup?

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Iron removal is calculated at 5 grains per ppm of iron, you only have 5 grains of actual hardness, your compensated hardness setting will be closer to 20 grains. That is why it will use approximately 3x the salt.

    Hope this helps.

    Softening is not typically an efficient iron removal treatment.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member 311hemi's Avatar
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    My hardness listed above is either 7 or 10, depending one which test you guy by. I calculated using 4 grains per ppm of iron, I seem to see it anywhere from 3-5 depending on who you talk to. I know I should be somewhere around 20-25...and understand that it is not the most efficient.

    I have tannins in my water as well, and was told that they would probably foul any iron filter I put before the softener.

    Plus (if I understand correctly), even if I use 3x the salt and have to buy 650 lb in a year vs 230, it's only a $50 difference. It would take 13 years to make up the difference in the price of the iron filter system (assuming it's around $700).

    I assumed I will regen every 5 days, at 9 lb per regen. 365/5 days = 73 regens per year (not including manuals) 73 x 9 = 657 lbs. Is that correct?

    Will it hurt anything for me to drop to 6 lb per regen istead of 9lb since I am not using the full amount of water?

  8. #8
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    The factory settings in a Clack are usually nowhere close to what they should be in actual use. You need to set the salt lbs to regenerate the K of capacity you need for your daily water use total and then your regeneration schedule.
    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.

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 311hemi View Post
    I have tannins in my water as well, and was told that they would probably foul any iron filter I put before the softener.

    Plus (if I understand correctly), even if I use 3x the salt and have to buy 650 lb in a year vs 230, it's only a $50 difference. It would take 13 years to make up the difference in the price of the iron filter system (assuming it's around $700).
    I don't see a cost for replacing fouled resin, "iron out" to clean it, etc. I guess time spent lugging salt and on increased maintenance is free too . . .

    Your water is not the easiest to treat. It is worthwhile to consider if higher up-front costs pay off in better water quality, reduced maintenance, and lower recurring costs.
    Lifespeed

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member 311hemi's Avatar
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    Are they correct in that the tannins could foul a iron filter? If so, what would be the recommendation on how to proceed to remove the iron that would not be fouled by tannins. In the long run, I don't have the knowledge to know how soon an iron filter would be fouled as compared to the water softener. If the above detail is correct and iron filter could foul, then that's another maintenance item on top of the up front cost.

    Good point on the other cost details, I did forget to include those. But, there is still the balancing act of trying to determine what machine is first in line (iron filter I assume) and what possible maintenance issues I could run into with that if I did go with the higher up-front cost.

    Is there maintenance I might have to do on an iron filter system, and or reoccurring costs associated with that?

    Could you point me in a good direction on how to treat this water (with keeping my current softener) where my maintenance and reoccurring costs would be lower?

    I am an IT guy by day....so I know nothing about water quality treatment which is why I am here. I just did not want to pay $4000-6000 to Commers/Kinetico to treat my water (their systems included tannin filters, but no iron filters). I can get contractor pricing on plumbing supplies from Ferguson, which is where I bought the 3M Aqua-pure softener.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member 311hemi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    The factory settings in a Clack are usually nowhere close to what they should be in actual use. You need to set the salt lbs to regenerate the K of capacity you need for your daily water use total and then your regeneration schedule.
    The softener came setup from 3M, I assume with their settings in the clack valve. They had set the salt dose at 9. Do I still need to make adjustment to it. Your site says"If you have 2.0 ppm or more of iron, you may want to regenerate every 3-4 days." My system has fine mesh resin, and I have it set to regen every 5 days due to iron levels.

    Would you have recommendations on how to set it and how often to regenerate?

  12. #12
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Like I said, the factory default salt dose is 9 lbs. Since you assume, and I don't agree that they programmed the valve for your use and water quality, what are the rest of the program settings? Compensated hardness in gpg, K of capacity, gallons between regenerations etc.?

    And how do those figures correspond to what you get if you run your figures through the formula on my sizing page doing the math yourself? Then we can talk about how frequently to regenerate and use Iron Out. etc..
    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 Junior Member 311hemi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Compensated hardness in gpg, K of capacity, gallons between regenerations etc.?

    And how do those figures correspond to what you get if you run your figures through the formula on my sizing page doing the math yourself?
    Compensated hardness = 24 (I set this)
    K of capacity = 37 x 1000
    Salt dose = 9
    Gallons between regens = 1541
    Day override = 5 (I set this)

    Over the past 9 days (since the softener was installed), we have not used over 95 gallons in a day with my family of 4. And only 2-3 of those were over 90. Other days were 55-70 gallons total.


    From your site:
    Based on this, and entering a hardness of 10 and iron level of 3.6 on your formula, family of 4 using 30 gallons each....I get a daily grains requirement of 2928.

    27328 is the Total Grains of Capacity you need for approximately once per week regeneration with a 24 hr reserve. 1.5 is the minimum cubic foot size of softener required for your capacity needs.

    Salt dose = 8
    Capacity = 27300
    Days between regen = 8

    If you have 2.0 ppm or more of iron, you may want to regenerate every 3-4 days. If so divide the numbers you just produced by 2. Round each up/down, they are your salt dose and capacity figures. Then you will Calender Override the control at day 4.
    8/2 = 4
    27300/2 = 13650

    So I want to set my capacity at 13650 and the salt dose at 4, and day override at 4?

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member 311hemi's Avatar
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    Here are the specs from the spec sheet, if that matters. I have the 150 model.

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    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    You are setting day override at 5, with the aim of preventing the softener from iron fouling. Yet you have a lot of capacity remaining as you don't use a great deal of water. However, setting the salt dose to 4 lbs to more closely match your desired regeneration frequency (again, trying to "clean" the iron from the resin) will result in lower water quality in terms of softness. It is preferable to salt your softener at 6 - 8 lbs per cubic ft for water quality reasons, and let it go longer between regenerations. Neither does reducing the volume of resin to match capacity to your regeneration interval work because it limits your service flow rate. So ideally you don't put iron into the softener so you can operate it efficiently with a sufficient service flow rate, a high enough salt dose to produce soft water, and no fouling from regenerating at appropriate (longer) intervals.

    One possibility is to chlorinate, followed by a backwashable carbon filter to remove both iron and tannins. But you would have to confirm your particular tannins can be treated with chlorine. If this is the case you kill two birds with one stone using a simple chlorine-retention tank-GAC-softener setup with very low recurring costs and maintenance.
    Lifespeed

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