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Thread: Help with softerner selection and water filtration

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Clinger's Avatar
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    Default Help with softerner selection and water filtration

    Hello, I'm new to posting on this forum but have learned a lot reading the excellent post and replies. I need to replace my old Waterboss softener and need some advice. Wife also wants a good quality water source for drinking and cooking.

    Old Waterboss, must be a 1-1.5 CuFt system. Has overflowed twice during regenerations, doesn't do a good job softening the water. Needs to go. We have 6 people in the house, 2 under 10. I believe our water usage is in the 300 gpd range. Well water at 35-55 psi using lines (I can adjust the settings and get 40-60 out of it if needed). Only 1 shower (of 2 in house) is used at any given time. SFR not more than 10gpm, we don't run a lot of faucets at same time.

    Had Culligan and Kinetico come out for estimates. Both gave water hardness #s of 24-25 gpg, and Iron level of 3.5 ppm. We get a very noticeable orange stain from the shower/faucets when the softener is not working properly or when the kids forget to add salt when needed. We have a TDS of 480-550. We also have some sediment from the well, but it is filtered out with 2 small filters (old Kenmore unit that needs to go).

    Estimate from Kinetico: 735 Unit (dual tank, around 42000 grain I think) along with a K5 RO system and a whole house filter set. Total cost $3800 plus tax. Which isn't that bad (for Kinetico) from what I've read on the net. Culligan unit was a single tank, about 42000 grain, with a pre-filter and RO system for about the same $.

    I'm planning on testing the Ph level next week, and also getting a professional water report before making final decisions. I really like the K5 RO system and the dual tank softener from Kinetico, but I think the price is still way too high.

    From my research, I think the 42000 grain system is way too small and will need to regen every 3 days or less. This seems to be inefficient. I'd like a system that regens about 5-7 days. I believe I need 300gpd water x (25gpg + 3.5 ppm*5) = 13000 grains per day, so I'd need a 60000-80000 grain system to regen every 5-7 days.

    This is what I'm looking at installing myself: A Fleck 9100 SXT Dual Tank 80000 grain softener. A 20 whole house sediment filter, and a quality RO system. Perhaps an iron filter if needed.

    Questions:
    1. Do I need an independent iron filter system based on the 3.5 ppm iron content? Would a separate media filter such as MediaGuard KDF85 be good, if not, what should I get? Do I go with a smaller softener if iron filter is used?
    2. Is the 9100 at 80000 grain (dual tank) overkill? Should I go with a smaller dual tank unit (I want a dual tank option) and why? Calculations for softeners don't account for dual tank options.
    3. Should I go with Noryl or Stainless inlet (I'll get the bypass option either way)?
    4. Any other help or advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks for the time and the information.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Default

    .[/QUOTE]
    Questions:
    1. Do I need an independent iron filter system based on the 3.5 ppm iron content? Would a separate media filter such as MediaGuard KDF85 be good, if not, what should I get? Do I go with a smaller softener if iron filter is used?.[/QUOTE]
    Answer: I would install an iron filter. Your salt efficiency would be very poor trying to remove that nuch iron along with the hardness not to memtion the wear and tear the softener will suffer wil the iron removal.

    .[/QUOTE] 2. Is the 9100 at 80000 grain (dual tank) overkill? Should I go with a smaller dual tank unit (I want a dual tank option) and why? Calculations for softeners don't account for dual tank options..[/QUOTE]
    Answer: My calculation show you will remove 116,025 grains every 7 days. On an efficiency setting, you would need a 6 CF unit. With a unit that big, you would need to worry about enough flow rate to properly backwash it. You should look at regen every about 3 days with a 3 CF unit.

    .[/QUOTE] 3. Should I go with Noryl or Stainless inlet (I'll get the bypass option either way)? .[/QUOTE]
    Answer: Doesn't matter.

    .[/QUOTE] 4. Any other help or advice would be appreciated. .[/QUOTE]
    Answer: Again, look into getting an iron filter installed before the softener.

    .[/QUOTE]Thanks for the time and the information.[/QUOTE]

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Clinger, what is it that you like about a twin tank? Or why do you want one? Do you know that you only get water through one tank at a time? Do you know that that requires the same size tanks as a regular softener? I.E. that each would be say 3.0 cuft?

    60* 6= 360. 3.5* 4= 12, +25= 39, 360* 39= 14040 *8= 112320 rounded to 113000. That would be a much larger softener than I'd suggest so I would take the 11300/2= 56500 rounded to 57K and go with a 3 cuft (as they say 90K), and set the salt dose to 57,000/3333 grains per lb= 17.1 (so round to 17.5 or 18 if the valve doesn't allow but whole numbers. If you input minutes, you get 3 lbs per gallon of refill. You need a 24 hr reserve or subtract one day gallons (360) and you get gallons 57,000/39= 1461 - 360= 1100. 1100/360= 3 days.

    Most any well pumps will supply the needed gpm for successful backwashing and rinse flows.
    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.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Clinger's Avatar
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    Gary,
    I guess I don't need the twin tank. From everything I've read (lots of opinions on this subject), the majority opinion is that if you have the space for one and the budget (not that I have much of that, but I'd rather do it right the first time), then use twin tanks.
    The other reason I thought about twin tanks is that my family tends to forgo laundry for days at a time and then do like 20 loads in one or two days. During those times, we would exceed the capacity of a smaller/single tank. The twin tank would take care of any potential overages.

    Forgoing the twin tanks opens up a bunch of possibilities with different Fleck control valves, what would be the "best" option: 5600, 5000, 2510, or the 7000(SXT for any of them)?

    Thanks much.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member Clinger's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information.
    Any suggestions on a quality iron filter? I don't want to change filters every 30 days, would prefer a resin type iron filter. Would a Big Blue (4.5 x 20) triple set-up with a sediment filter and iron filter work?

    Installing the iron filter should reduce the required softener size correct? What size softener would I need based on installing an iron filter that reduces iron to less than 0.5ppm, and perhaps regenerating every 5-6 days?

    If I need to regen every 3 days, I will.......but the Kinetico guy said I'd regen every 3 days and would use 200 lbs of salt every month and that gets expensive. That much salt is probably not very good for the septic tank. Would prefer to limit the regen if possible.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member Clinger's Avatar
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    From looking at specs online, most backwashing iron filters have a very low SFR (unless you spend $1K or more), and the backwash flow rate is super high (over 8 gpm on most). It seems these must all backwash every night also.

    If I size the softener properly and use SST-60 resin, would that be a better (and more economical) option that installing an iron filter? I've been researching Manganese Greensand and Filox filters.

  7. #7
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinger View Post
    Gary,
    I guess I don't need the twin tank. From everything I've read (lots of opinions on this subject), the majority opinion is that if you have the space for one and the budget (not that I have much of that, but I'd rather do it right the first time), then use twin tanks.
    The other reason I thought about twin tanks is that my family tends to forgo laundry for days at a time and then do like 20 loads in one or two days. During those times, we would exceed the capacity of a smaller/single tank. The twin tank would take care of any potential overages.

    Forgoing the twin tanks opens up a bunch of possibilities with different Fleck control valves, what would be the "best" option: 5600, 5000, 2510, or the 7000(SXT for any of them)?

    Thanks much.
    Only Kinetico sales people would make that comment... lol

    The 5600 only goes up to a 2.0 cuft so choose one of the other valves you mentioned. Note and compare my much less than 200 lbs of salt use per month. My 18 lbs 4 times a month seems to save more than half of their 200 lbs.... And they will be using less than 18 lbs per regen but MANY more regenerations. Sometimes 2 or more a day. And when a tank of a twin regenerates, you lose at least half your SFR gpm and have to suffer their loss of flow due to whatever their DLFC gpm is running to drain while in rinse. They don't backwash or you'd lose flow then too.

    Now Fleck twins do do a backwash because they aren't upflow/counter current flow regenerated as is Kinetico twins. For iron, not having a backwash is not good. They didn't tell ya all that though, right?

    As to doing a lot of water use in a day, any metered valve you choose will take the meter to 0 gals remaining and then give you a full day's worth of reserve if you do as I showed you instead of using Fleck's percentage type reserve. That should prevent you from running out of capacity, if not then adjust the laundry to more than one day.

    I would not go to an iron filter or SST-60 resin because of the cost and your amount of iron. With the softener above I would run a 1/2 cup of Iron Out mixed in 2 gallons of water and pour it into the water in the salt tank, wait two hours and then do a manual regen, every 4-6 weeks to clean iron/rust out of the resin and valve.
    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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