Hi, Newb here. I've been lurking and searching and trying to educate myself and am still a bit overwhelmed so I thought I would post. I'm building a new house for my family of 4: two adults and two kids. 3,100 sq ft with 3 bathrooms. It will have in-floor heat using a Polaris on an open system so it provides hotwater for both the floor and dhw needs. It has three zones on the 2000 sq ft floor lower level but the tap water at the sinks and all hose bibs are regular city water. As I understand it for the Polaris warranty to be valid it needs to be used with a water softener since Flagstaff AZ water is considered Hard.
I'm a geologist and I confess other than knowing what Mb and Ca are I know very little about water softeners, how they work, and most importantly what I need. I looked at the big box store options (ie., Sears and Home Depot and they look cheap to me. I'm a DIYer but the plumber on the job is willing to install the water heater but wanted me to pick it up. However, I'm not certain that he knows enough about water treatment to size the unit correctly and I don't want to install the the cheapest unit I can at Home Depot. I like the fact that he's letting me know that he really doesn't know except that he thinks we need a 70,000 grain unit. That seems overkill to me. Here's the basic info:
-the water hardness in Flagstaff varies depending on sources but ranges from 125ppm to 200 ppm (7.3-11.7 grains per gallon). I measured it myself as 8.6 GPG. Dissolved irons and other solids are minimal. It's mainly Ca and Mg.
-we're pretty light on water consumption and our billing shows about 200 gallons/day. Doing the math from what I've gleaned on this forum means my system needs to remove ~2000 GPG/day. Maybe more when my daughters become teenagers
-the house is pre-plumbed for a water softener. There is a "U" in the pipes located to the left of the water heater. Space is a bit limited but it looks like a unit that is 24"x24" or 18" x 30" would fit. The plumber said a stacked tank design would fit better but the ones I looked at just like they're going to break in 3 years.
-the return and supply is 1"
From my research it looks like I could get by with a 1.5 cu ft 40,000 or 45,000 system and not 70,000 as recommended by the plumber. The units I have looked at on-line that have a Fleck valve or Clack which seem to be highly regarded also appear to be a two part system where the brine tank is separate so I'm not sure about fit. Anyway, I'm more concerned about quality and longevity and not bells and whistles. I'm a set it and forget it type. But the Clack WS1 valve looks nice. Any suggestions on a system that will fit by size requirement and type (Anion vs cation) as well as filtration is appreciated!