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Thread: Water softener sizing - what do I need?

  1. #16
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    The chances of your unit channeling is slim to none. This would be more of a problem on larger units. Most of the electronic valve thses days have a day override. So if you set the day override for every 7 days, the system will regen if the gallon count has not reached it's max.

  2. #17
    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com...et%2042749.pdf has specs. 20 GPM continuous at 15 PSI drop. 3/4", 1" or 1-1/4" input and output. However the price difference may be negligible currently.

  3. #18
    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reach4 View Post
    http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com...et%2042749.pdf has specs. 20 GPM continuous at 15 PSI drop. 3/4", 1" or 1-1/4" input and output. However the price difference may be negligible currently.
    That is a lot of pressure drop. The less pressure drop the better. If the price difference is negligible, go for the lowest pressure drop all else being equal.

    Edit: The 5600 is equivalent to a 3/4" valve internally despite available adapters. Having suffered through inadequate plumbing in my house I resolved that my new installation would present the least restriction possible. So I chose a pair of 7000SXT and 1" type L copper trunk all the way to the bathrooms. The resulting flow rates vindicated these choices.
    Last edited by lifespeed; 12-20-2013 at 01:25 PM.
    Lifespeed

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member opto_isolator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reach4 View Post
    Consider that

    1. OP only has 8 GPG.
    2. Most people with 8 GPG don't have a water softener, and they get along fine by using more soap. I lived with 8 GPG of hardness 100% of the time and no softener for years with no real problem. The pipes did not lime up as far as I could tell.
    3. If OP passes 2 GPG of hardness through 1% of the time, it is very unlikely that any effects would be noticeable.
    4. The odds of having every water load on full at the same time are small.
    Yes - I realize that the hardness level isn't that high, but this would definitely help us - we get white stains on the water dispensers from mineral build up. Plus all of the other things as well (etching of the glasses, etc).

  5. #20
    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by opto_isolator View Post
    Yes - I realize that the hardness level isn't that high, but this would definitely help us - we get white stains on the water dispensers from mineral build up. Plus all of the other things as well (etching of the glasses, etc).
    Agreed. My mother has similar low hardness levels and still experiences the inconveniences of hard water. It is not as bad as my 30 GPG water, but still a maintenance headache.
    Lifespeed

  6. #21
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    10 GPG is not that bad, but you will benfit from a softener. Also, the cause of scale is a lot more than the hardness. pH, temperatures, etc... all affect the scaling potential of water. I have fouled up membranes with scale in as little as 2 GPG of hardness. Steam boilers require <5 ppm of hardness, etc.

    Here is a great article explaining the low levels of hardness and their affects in a simple way. http://www.wcponline.com/pdf/1203Michaud.pdf

  7. #22
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
    It does not make sense to size for adequate SFR 100% of the time, it is more efficient to cover 99% of use cases. This might be two showers, a toilet and a washing machine. IMO, the 1.5 cu ft size would be a good compromise that will let you use many fixtures without exceeding the softener capacity.

    I would only consider the 5600 valve if your water main is 3/4". Any larger and you should use the larger 7000 valve, and of course there is no downside to using the 7000 on a 3/4" supply.


    100% agree on this. Peak flow rates of systems are almost always very conservatively stated, and exceeding the SFR on a very rare occassion has almost no affect on a softeners longevity in a residential application. Of course, if you are constantly exceeding the systems design parameters, you will cause pre-mature damage to the media, but residentially, where the SFR may be exceeded very intermitently, and for very limited amounts of time...

    Day over-rides are nice, but for residential applications, I set them to 30 days. Small systems and tanks do not channel under normal conditions. It is the very large tnaks that tend to have issues due to low flow across too large of a bed area.

    Hope this helps.

  8. #23
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reach4 View Post
    Consider that

    1. OP only has 8 GPG.
    2. Most people with 8 GPG don't have a water softener, and they get along fine by using more soap. I lived with 8 GPG of hardness 100% of the time and no softener for years with no real problem. The pipes did not lime up as far as I could tell.
    3. If OP passes 2 GPG of hardness through 1% of the time, it is very unlikely that any effects would be noticeable.
    4. The odds of having every water load on full at the same time are small.
    Consider that I have seen 2-3 gpg of hardness cause problems with fixtures and water heaters. Especially problems with oil, gas and tankless water heaters which are very expensive. People with electric water heaters tend not to see what that hardness causes them but it increases their cost of operation and maintenance which is usually premature replacement. And if the softener is not removing all the gpg of hardness, it usually happens when showers or washing machines are being used so, that hardness is mostly going into the water heater because hot water is being used. And the damage is internal and not noticeable, but it's there, and in increased fuel bills and eventually it will cause premature heater failure in most cases.

    The odds are... my customers do not exceed the constant SFR gpm I told them to expect because they look in the history of their Clack control valve to see the max gpm that has been run through their softener. I have yet to have any of them find I was wrong, although some get real close to going over it, and I ask them to look and I ask if they think the softener has always given them 0 gpg soft water. Without running low or out of salt, they always say yes.

    I have never sized based on all fixtures' max gpm as if all fixtures were running at once. But plumbing codes do call for that. I size based on the type of fixtures and how many bathrooms and the number and ages of the people living in the house and how they use water. IOWs, real world water use.

    Using a bucket etc. to try to determine flow rate means you have to run all the fixtures into buckets at the same time, you can't physically measure it by running one at a time. All fixtures but tubs and toilets have a federal government max flow rate; that's the numbers I mentioned previously and will be your peak demand.

    The Pentair flow rate figures are for their control valve, not an entire softener.... If you go to any resin manufacturers' web site and look up the SFR on their resins you will normally see a range of 1-5 gpm per cu ft.

    My figure of 9 gpm constant SFR for a 1.0 cuft softener is all but twice their figure so I don't see that as a conservative figure. The SFR of a control valve is to be used to determine IF that control valve can service the size tank being used, and the cuft volume of resin dictates the size of the tank and that dictates the control valve that can be used. Example, a 5600 can be used for up to a 12" dia tank for a softener (2.0 cuft) and up to a 10" dia tank for a filter (1.5 cuft). The valve speck sheet also shows the pressure losses at X continuous and peak gpm and that is mostly used to compare one valve to another. Many people mistakenly think otherwise but, I would like to know how anyone can size for constant SFR 99% of the time.... And if you can do that, I have to ask why not 100% of the time? That's like saying that removing all but 2-3 gpg of the hardness is OK. Or with a filter, to not get all the H2S or all the iron out is OK.
    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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