Too Frequent Regen --268/762 Autotrol

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wascalwabbitt

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Reaching out for help on solutions to the following problem and suggestions on correct cycle time and programming.

PROBLEM:
Softener does a regen, shows 1120 gal capacity, water is used only down to 740 and it regens again.

MY SYSTEM:
Softener 268-762-200-1252 Autotrol, 2 cu ft SST60 resin, 12"x52" tank, dark blue injector, #10 backwash plug
This was originally on a smaller tank, which I bought used, then put it on the 1252 tank.
Well water flow of 6 US gpm
25 Hardness
7.5 pH
3.6 ppm Iron before Iron Filter / 0.2 ppm Iron before Softener
2 people in house at 60 gal/person/day
For my system, the Pentair manual (page 10) shows 28,548 grains removal at 6.6 lbs salt total. This gives an efficiency rating of 4,325 grains per lb of salt at the 6.6 lbs total salt. It would be nice to achieve this sort of efficiency if possible.


ESTIMATION:
(2 people)x(60 gal/day/person)x(25 grain/gal hardness) = 3000 grains/day Daily Softening Requirement
Want softener to regen every 9-10 days so I used a 28,000 grain capacity setting.
So: (28,000 Total Grains) / (25GPG Hardness) = 1120 Gallons before a regen is required
(1120) / (120gal/day) = 9.3 days before a regen

MY SETTINGS -- in PROGRAMMING mode
P1 to P3 = - time of day, day of week, regen time - all set appropriately
P4 = 10 - day overide
P5 = n/a only for 742
P6 = 3 - lbs per cu ft salt amount
P7 = 28 - kg system capacity
P8 = 25 - hardness
P9 = 0 - US unit of measure
P10 = 0 - 12 hr clock
P11 = 0 - service interval
P12 = n/a only for 742
P13 = 0 - off - refill sensor control
P14 = 33 - refill rate gpm, 33 is 0.33 gpm
P15 = 38 - draw rate gpm, 38 is 0.38 gpm
P16 = 0 - reserve capacity, 0 is variable reserve with delayed regen
P17 = 30 - reserve amount, 30% factory default
P18 = 1 - flow sensor selection, 1 is performa valve 1" internal turbine
P19 = 1 -
Pr = 0 - refill first option, 0 is not going to refill first
Pd = n/a only for 742

MY SETTINGS -- in CYCLE mode (minutes)
C1 = 10 - backwash
C2 = 6 - draw
C3 = 52 - slow rinse
C4 = 3 - system pause/repressurization
C5 = 4 - fast rinse
C6 = 1 - second backwash
C7 = 1 - second fast rinse
C8 = 6 - refill cycle

I would appreciate any suggestions/criticisms regarding the frequent regen issue and setting up proper cycle times and other programming.
I am under the idea that, in order to get higher softener efficiency, one needs to draw the brine in slower but then will have to increase the rinse time to clean the resin better. Hence, a higher efficiency setup would run a smaller injector. Is this logical or just way out to lunch?
 
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ditttohead

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Smaller injectors = slower draw = higher efficiency but the numbers are minimal. Akin to getting 30 MPG or 31 MPG on your car.
 

Bannerman

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I suspect the 30% reserve setting is resulting in a substantial amount of capacity remaining unused when regeneration next occurs. Reserve normally needs to be only 1 day average usage so you may wish to reduce the reserve setting to ~150 gallons.
 

Reach4

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I suspect the 30% reserve setting is resulting in a substantial amount of capacity remaining unused when regeneration next occurs. Reserve normally needs to be only 1 day average usage so you may wish to reduce the reserve setting to ~150 gallons.
Good point. Also, how many days are you seeing between regenerations?

wascalwabbitt said:
For my system, the Pentair manual (page 10) shows 28,548 grains removal at 6.6 lbs salt total. This gives an efficiency rating of 4,325 grains per lb of salt at the 6.6 lbs total salt. It would be nice to achieve this sort of efficiency if possible.
Not possible. 3334 is about as salt-efficient as you want to get, and that would correspond to 6 pounds of salt per cubic ft of resin.

lb/cuft ; grains/pound of salt
4 ; 3800; very low salt use with fair softening
5 ; 3640
6 ; 3334; low salt use with good softening
7 ; 3148
8 ; 3000; pretty low salt use with better softening
9 ; 2853
10 ; 2700
11 ; 2546
12 ; 2396
13 ; 2254
14 ; 2121
15 ; 2000; high salt use with great softening
 
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wascalwabbitt

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Hi all,
Just want to say that this is a really great site with a lot of great threads thanks to guys like you all who are willing to share your knowledge and experience!!

Smaller injectors = slower draw = higher efficiency but the numbers are minimal. Akin to getting 30 MPG or 31 MPG on your car.

Dittohead: I hear what you're saying re: the injector - not worth monkeying with it. This head came off of a 10" tank so it had the blue injector, but I think I'll order in a new pink injector and set it up correctly for this 12" tank. (it is actually a 1252 not a 1248 as I listed above)

Reserve normally needs to be only 1 day average usage so you may wish to reduce the reserve setting to ~150 gallons.

Bannerman: I believe it can be flipped over to a set reserve amount in P16/17, so I'll try that tomorrow. [Seeing about 4 days between regens.] We are actually using 140 gpday average vs the 120 gpd which I had listed above. Should I set reserve at ~170?

Not possible. 3334 is about as salt-efficient as you want to get, and that would correspond to 6 pounds of salt per cubic ft of resin.

Reach: I wondered if I was reading that Pentair sheet correctly. It sure looks like they are saying total grains 28,548 for total salt 6.6 ???
See attached fotos - Pentair sheet and my system
 

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Reach4

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I appear to have been mistaken, and they are indeed talking total salt.

They are talking about a super-lean setting. You would be on the far left side of the figure 3 graph below. You would probably not want to go that far, but people do. I have not paid much attention to the area to the left of 5 lb/cuft of salt.


index.php
 

Bannerman

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Water treatment often involves compromise. Higher salt efficiency will result in lower quality water (higher hardness leakage through the softener) as well as less efficient water use since regeneration will occur more frequently as the usable capacity is also reduced.

The most recommended efficiency configurations on this forum for a 2 cuft softener are 3k grains/lb (16 lbs to regen 48K grains capacity) or 3,333 gr/lb (12 lbs for 40K gr cap) as these are a good balance between salt efficiency, water quality and regeneration frequency.

I'm not understanding why the 10-day override is set. A short override is often required when the softener is to remove iron, but then, a higher salt dose is also needed to reduce iron fouling. With iron exposure, salt efficiency will not be the main concern.

In programming a short override, if there is unused capacity remaining when the override setting lapses, the resulting regeneration cycle will regenerate capacity that does not need to be regenerated. The unused capacity is wasted which then results in lower overall efficiency, even if the salt setting chosen is extremely efficient. With a meter initiated softener, the most efficient operation will be for the flow meter to fully manage when regeneration occurs, based on the usable capacity programmed (P7) being consumed.

Suggest programming 12 lbs/40K which at 140 gals/day @ 25 gpg is anticipated to result in approx 11 days between regen cycles. A 15 - 18 day override setting will allow some leeway for periods with lower than average water consumption.
 
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wascalwabbitt

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Suggest programming 12 lbs/40K which at 140 gals/day @ 25 gpg is anticipated to result in approx 11 days between regen cycles. A 15 - 18 day override setting will allow some leeway for periods with lower than average water consumption.

I set it up as per your suggestion Bannerman, 40k, 12 lbs total, 25 gpg, 16 day overide.
The display should show 1600 gallons (40K /25gpg) but instead it shows only 1300 gallons. Why would this be?
This is baffling because before when I had set it up for 28k, 6 lbs total salt, 25 gpg the display always started off with 1120 gallons. (28k/25gpg)

I suspect the 30% reserve setting is resulting in a substantial amount of capacity remaining unused when regeneration next occurs. Reserve normally needs to be only 1 day average usage so you may wish to reduce the reserve setting to ~150 gallons.

So I went into P16 and set it at #1 which is fixed reserve with delayed regen, then went into P17 expecting it to allow me to input a set reserve amount of 140 gallons. However, it would not move out of the 0 to 70% selections.
Am I doing something wrong?
 
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Bannerman

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However, it would not move out of the 0 to 70% selections.
In the video below, it seems the reserve amount is based on a percentage of programmed capacity. ie: 10% of 40K = 4K / 25 gpg = 160 gallons.

As the remaining capacity displayed usually does not include the reserve amount, I expect the remaining capacity indicated will increase once the reserve amount is reset to a lower percentage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=79mIrXGv8sA

Edit to add: when reprogramming, did you reprogram, perform a regen cycle and then read the remaining capacity, or was no regen performed so whatever capacity consumed since the last regen cycle, may have been subtracted from the programmed capacity as indicated?
 
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wascalwabbitt

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Edit to add: when reprogramming, did you reprogram, perform a regen cycle and then read the remaining capacity, or was no regen performed so whatever capacity consumed since the last regen cycle, may have been subtracted from the programmed capacity as indicated?

I think you hit the nail on the head, I did not perform a regen. I'm going to let this work through on it's own time, monitoring it each day and see how it works.
 

Bannerman

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I anticipate then, no additional water was added to the brine tank to regenerate the increased capacity now programmed.

The suggested capacity and salt settings are based on almost all of the resin's total capacity first being regenerated. As your prior settings placed only 2 gallons (for 6 lb salt setting) in the brine tank, suggest adding (with a bucket) an additional 8 gallons, wait ~ 2 hours for salt to dissolve, and then perform a manual regeneration. With the 40K/12 lbs previously programmed, the softener should then operate as intended with little interaction from you other than periodically topping-up the brine tank with salt.
 

Bannerman

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It will require a complete cycle.

The cycle should actually be extended when additional water is added to the brine tank. Since Brine Draw/Slow Rinse is often combined within one 60 minute setting, the additional brine quantity will likely take substantially longer than 15 minutes to be drawn into the resin tank, so any remaining time from the 60-minute setting will probably be insufficient to thoroughly rinse the resin. You may find the water initially flowing from the softener will be salty for a short while following a regen cycle that uses more brine than usual. Slow rinse is usually 3X the time required to draw brine.

One method to prevent salty water to your fixtures would be to program a longer Brine/Rinse cycle (ie: 120 or 180 minutes) depending on the amount of additional water added to the brine tank. As this will operate automatically, the regen cycle could be initiated before going to bed. The Brine/Slow rinse setting would then be returned to 60 minutes the next morning after the capacity restoration cycle has been completed.

Another method would be to commence the regen cycle but then pull the power plug during brine draw, so the controller will be prevented from moving on to the next cycle. Wait ~1.5 hours to restore power to allow the controller to proceed with the remainder of the regen cycle.

A further method would be to add less additional water to the brine tank for an initial regen cycle and then perform a 2nd regen cycle with no additional water manually added to the tank. The 2nd cycle should be directly following the first with about 2 hours in between to allow salt to dissolve for the 2nd cycle.
 
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wascalwabbitt

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It will require a complete cycle.

Just an update:
I choose to use your first method Bannerman, and did a complete manual regen. It popped up showing the correct 1600 gallons on the screen and everything seems to be working well so far. Between the iron filter and the softener resin there is zero iron leakage to the house now. AND this is without using that dreaded air pumps that the roving salesman had inundated the neighborhood with six years ago. (just my rant!! lol) The toilet bowls have cleaned up and are darn near shiny!! The water now has a very soft, almost slippery feel to it and everyone is quite pleased.

The water usage is closer to 110 vs 140 gpday so I may tweak the days override to go longer than 16. But other than that it's working great so far.

Thanks a lot, Reach, Dittohead and Bannerman for helping me out on this diy project. Much appreciated!!
 

wascalwabbitt

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Hi all,
Since installing my iron filter and softener in Mar it has been working well for the first 4 months. However, this past month we have noticed two things:

1) some iron staining in the toilets. — I did not install an air pump or air injector before the pressure tank in the hope that the system would get by without one. I presume that the softener resin (sst 60) and iron filter media are not able to grab the iron effectively now. However, I wonder why it had worked very well for the first 4 months??

2) in the last 1 1/2 months there has been an ever increasing sulfur/rotten egg smell. We need to run the shower for a couple minutes before the smell goes away. — I did install two filters, 100 and 500 mesh, prior to the pressure tank to screen out sediment.

Appreciate any and all thoughts and comments.
Thanks,
wascal
 

Reach4

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Try sanitizing your well and plumbing... before it gets cold. https://terrylove.com/forums/index....izing-extra-attention-to-4-inch-casing.65845/
It will not cure all, but I expect it will help with the H2S, at least for a while. It may even help with the iron. If you will use use pH and high-range chlorine test papers, there is some lead time to get those things.

You should clean your resin with Iron Out or citric acid. The SST60 should be easier to clean, but you will need to give it some help.

What is the iron filter media? You backwash at 5 gpm, or what? What diameter tank?
 

wascalwabbitt

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The iron filter media is a product from Aztec Industries - their 'proprietary' 5 in 1 multi-media. Basically, starting from the bottom of the tank, coarse rock, finer rock, still finer rock, then some sort of very fine sand-like grey product, and finally activated charcoal. It is their way of distinguishing from the competition and convincing their customers to buy their 'exclusive' media at $500 a pop.

https://www.aztecwater.com/collections/rural-water-products/products/5-in-1-multi-media-bed
I had one package left so decided to use it up, but do not intend to continue with their 5 in 1 media. And instead go to katalox.

The iron filter tank is a 1047.
How do I tell at what rate the iron filter is backwashing? I assume it is at 5 gpm. Is it adjustable??
The head is one of those older brass heads - I believe a Fleck. But not sure.

Do you think I'd still need to add an air injector before the pressure tank to get the iron to precipitate out?
I was hoping to not add one. (the water is clear coming from the well but when left sitting in bucket for an hour or so it does show an iron tinge)
 

Reach4

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The iron filter tank is a 1047.
How do I tell at what rate the iron filter is backwashing? I assume it is at 5 gpm. Is it adjustable??
The head is one of those older brass heads - I believe a Fleck. But not sure.
You could look at the marking on the DLFC to see what was intended. You could backwash and time how many seconds the drain line takes to fill a 5 gallon bucket to get the actual.
 

ditttohead

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I wold lean toward an AIO with ozone design if you are experiencing h2s and iron. Most iron reduction systems work much better with an oxidant.
 
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