# Softener Recommendation for VERY Hard Water

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#### Wobble

##### New Member
MY SITUATION:
Our area has very hard water (55gpg), and we are needing to get a better water softener. We previously had a Whirlpool 44k softener, that was completely overwhelmed, and has since given up the ghost. I'm pretty sure we will be going with a Fleck valved unit, but I wanted to run my math by you all first, and welcome any thoughts and recommendations.

WATER INFO:
Municipal Supply: Designated "Surface Water" Source
Hardness: 55g per Hach 5B
TDS: 955-965 per home meter
Chorine: 1ppm (home test kit)
Copper: .3ppm (home test kit)
Iron: .4ppm (home test kit)

USAGE INFO:
5-6hcf per month (per water bill) but might go up a bit as kids are getting older
4 people
2 bathrooms
No irrigation

By my math using 600cf as usage max, I'm seeing

600cf x 7.48 = 4488 gallons/month / 30 days = 150 gal/day * 55 (hardness) = 8250 grains * 7 (days between cycles) = 57750 grain system requirement * 1.3 (extra hard water multiplier, I read about somewhere here) = 75075 grain need

MY QUESTION:
If need is theoretically 75075 should I be looking at an 80k (2.5ft) system or a 96k (3ft) system for our needs? Likely either a Fleck 5600SXT or 2510SXT unit (depending on size).

My Thanks in Advance for Any Thoughts

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#### Bannerman

##### Well-Known Member
A 3 ft3 unit will run more efficiently when using 24 lbs salt to regenerate 72,000 grains usable capacity. (72K / 24 lbs = 3,000 gr/lb Hardness Reduction Efficiency).

Usage load: 150 gals/day X 55 gpg x 1.3 = 10,725 gr/day

72,000 / 10,725 = 6.7 days - 1-day reserve = 5-days estimated regeneration frequency.

A single tank softener requires 1-day reserve allowance as regeneration will be delayed until typically 2am when most residents will be sleeping so there will be 0 or minimal water use. Because the softener's remaining usable capacity can become depleted anytime during the day including during the 1st toilet flush, the reserve allowance is intended to ensure sufficient capacity will remain available for use during that day until 2am the following morning when regeneration will occur.

With extreme hardness, your reserve allowance will equal 10,725 grains which on average only 50% will be actually used. To eliminate the need for a reserve allowance, you may want to consider a twin tank softener. A twin tank unit will immediatly switch over to the alternate tank when the capacity in the active tank becomes depleted so all of the regenerated capacity within each tank may be used.

Because all of the regenerated capacity in each tank will be available for use, you could utilize smaller tanks.

A system with twin 2 ft3 tanks will deliver 48K grains usable per tank while consuming only 16 lbs salt. 48K / 10,725 gr/day = 4.4 days estimated regeneration frequency.

A twin 2.5 ft3 will deliver 60K grains while consuming 20 lbs salt. 60K / 10,725 = 5.59 days estimated regeneration frequency.

The usual recommeded limit for Fleck 5600 is a 12" diameter (2 ft3 resin) softener and 3/4" plumbing supply lines.

Fleck's current single tank model valves include 5800 (3/4" plumbing), 5810 (1") & 5812 (1.25").

Fleck offer the Fleck 9100 valve equipped with a SXT digital controller for twin tank applications.

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#### Wobble

##### New Member
Thank so much for the insight. It's appreciated. I need to read through it a few more times to fully process but I think I've got the gist. I'm going to be pushing the lower end of the envelope monetarily to get this done (but still aiming for sensible). If the option is between a 2510 3cuft 96k system or a 2*1.5cuft 2*48k system 9100 series, which is the better bet in your mind. 2*2cuft is probably going to be out of range for me.

##### Water systems designer, R&D
I prefer the single tank design in your application. There are some unique tank sizes out there that would work well for you. A 16x53 mineral tank has become very popular for a multitude of applications. It can handle 3 ft3 of media easily.

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Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

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