# Water softener media expands and overflows tank after head removal

### Users who are viewing this thread

##### Water systems designer, R&D
Simple math, sort of...

πR²X tank height excluding domes /1728 x .66

10x54 = 3.14x5x5x44/1728x.66=1.31...

I think the math is correct but I was working on my car hauler trailer all day in the hot sun so my brain may be a little on the slow side..

Man… can we go off on some tangents. LOL

#### Mikey

##### Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek
I wasn't sure if 10" was the o.d. or i.d. I infer from your math that's it's the i.d., so I have met my learning requirement for today .

##### Water systems designer, R&D
LOL, it may be the ID, in general the math is not that critical (obviously since we use a 1.3 tank for 1.5...) there is enough forgiveness in the math due to the domes which are basically taken out of the equation anyway. A couple of companies in particular are so bad at this math that every large commercial unit is sized with a few extra feet of media so that they can have a lower cost larger unit, and they always dump a few feet of media down the drain n start-up . And no... I will not mention who they are.

#### Larry Schwarcz

##### New Member
The 10x54 tank is technically rated for 1.3 Cu. Ft. but everybody uses it for 1.5 ft3. When calculating the tanks capacities, we take the domes out of the equation for resin

A 10x54 has a total capacity of 2.19 ft3, the domes have a capacity of .09 ft3. of media capacity.

2.19-.09-.09x.66=1.33 ft2.

I think my math is correct (close enough).

It's sounding like the actual amount I use doesn't need to be measured to be exact. If I just put in my full 15 lb. bag (now cleaned) of gravel and then the full 1.5 cu. ft. of media, while not technically the exact amounts I should use, will effectively work just fine.

Thanks!
Larry.

##### Water systems designer, R&D
You are correct. Too may variables so as long as you are close you will be just fine.

#### Mikey

##### Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek
From the horse's (i.e., Pentair's) mouth:
10 x 54
ID 9.89"
Liner thickness 0.100"
Winding thickness 0.187"

##### Water systems designer, R&D
Even that is an estimation since the manufacturing technique allows for considerable variances. But thanks, very cool.

The only tanks we have seen to be consistent are the Enpress (different manufacturing technique) and steel tanks.

#### Larry Schwarcz

##### New Member
Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to give a (hopefully final) update.

The softener is now all back together and seemingly working great! The hardness of my incoming water is 200 and the softened water 20!

I put the 15 lbs of gravel in the bottom and then 1.5 cu. ft. of resin, buttoned it up, went through a full backwash cycle and it's working great!

One lesson I learned is to buy new gaskets as part of the replacement materials. When I first put it together it had a small leak where the by-pass valve connects to the adapter assembly (the part that meters the outgoing water). I have one of those assorted O-Ring sets from Harbor Freight but the one from there was too thick. The over all diameter of the o-ring was correct but the diameter of the actual material was a bit too thick.

I ordered a replacement set online. But, I also stopped at Home Depot to see if they had it. If HD didn't have it, then I would get the correct ones from Amazon the next day.

The O-Rings from Home Depot are size #17 (1-1/16" x 7/8" x 3/32"). The ones from online for my Fleck head don't specify the size (part number #13305) but have an overall larger diameter it seems. So, while not the official right size they worked fine for me!

Oh, and don't forget to lube all gaskets with some faucet grease (food grade silicone). As a handyman I of course had some of this.

Thanks again everyone for all of your great input!

Larry.

#### Reach4

##### Well-Known Member
The softener is now all back together and seemingly working great! The hardness of my incoming water is 200 and the softened water 20!
We hope that improves soon. Still, 20 is a lot better than 200.

If you check the hot water, it will take a while to let the hard water get replaced by softer.

#### Larry Schwarcz

##### New Member
We hope that improves soon. Still, 20 is a lot better than 200.

If you check the hot water, it will take a while to let the hard water get replaced by softer.

Actually, it won't for me. I replaced my tank hot water heater with a tank-less at the same time my softener was installed. So the hard water that was in it was flushed out pretty quickly!

Thanks again!
Larry.

#### Reach4

##### Well-Known Member
Actually, it won't for me. I replaced my tank hot water heater with a tank-less at the same time my softener was installed. So the hard water that was in it was flushed out pretty quickly!

Thanks again!
Larry.
How about putting another softener in series?

#### Larry Schwarcz

##### New Member
How about putting another softener in series?

What would be the point of having two softeners? A primary and a backup in case the first is broken?

Larry.

##### Water systems designer, R&D
In very hard water applications or where very low levels of hardness are desired, a system that is regnerated with low salt dosing (high efficiency) can be chased or "polished" with a high salted system. Since the system that is set for minimal efficiency/highest quality is only seeing low levels of hardness, its inefficiency is mitigated by the fact that it only needs to regenerate intermittently. This is a very common setup on steam boilers.

#### Larry Schwarcz

##### New Member
In very hard water applications or where very low levels of hardness are desired, a system that is regnerated with low salt dosing (high efficiency) can be chased or "polished" with a high salted system. Since the system that is set for minimal efficiency/highest quality is only seeing low levels of hardness, its inefficiency is mitigated by the fact that it only needs to regenerate intermittently. This is a very common setup on steam boilers.

Ah, I see. I think for me the one softener is enough. Not to mention that I wouldn't have room for a second unless I installed it somewhere pretty far away. The tankless water heater and the softener are in my garage boxed in between the furnace and some shelving I built (SUPER strong shelving built out of 2x and plywood that's actually secured to the walls).

Thanks!
Larry.

#### Reach4

##### Well-Known Member
Is it possible that your hardness test is calibrated in ppm rather than grains? 20 ppm of hardness leakage is only 1.23 grains of hardness.

#### Bannerman

##### Well-Known Member
As you state the incoming water is 200 and 'soft' water is 20, are we to assume this is grains per gallon or some other measurement scale?
If grains per gallon, 20 gpg soft water remains quite hard and much harder than when most people consider installing a softener.

If your soft water is as hard as we anticipate, then you should expect to experience a scaling issue in your tankless water heater.

#### Larry Schwarcz

##### New Member
Is it possible that your hardness test is calibrated in ppm rather than grains? 20 ppm of hardness leakage is only 1.23 grains of hardness.

Yes. Yes it is possible. I'll have to check to see what unit the Fleck head uses but the test I use is in ppm. The "Softchek" dip strips from Hach has a scale with both and the electronic tester displays in ppm too. But, the electronic tester does not give me a good result on softened water. Only the incoming water. I guess the softening process adds something that the device sees as hardness (salt or potassium?).

Thanks!
Larry.

#### Larry Schwarcz

##### New Member
As you state the incoming water is 200 and 'soft' water is 20, are we to assume this is grains per gallon or some other measurement scale?
If grains per gallon, 20 gpg soft water remains quite hard and much harder than when most people consider installing a softener.

If your soft water is as hard as we anticipate, then you should expect to experience a scaling issue in your tankless water heater.

I just checked and my testing devices (dip strips and electronic measurer) show ppm.

Thanks,
Larry.

#### Reach4

##### Well-Known Member
I just checked and my testing devices (dip strips and electronic measurer) show ppm.
I suspect you have an electronic TDS meter, and not a hardness measuring device. Test strips tend to not be very accurate for hardness, and certainly don't have a lot of resolution. Get a Hach 5-B test kit to do your hardness testing.

#### Larry Schwarcz

##### New Member
I suspect you have an electronic TDS meter, and not a hardness measuring device. Test strips tend to not be very accurate for hardness, and certainly don't have a lot of resolution. Get a Hach 5-B test kit to do your hardness testing.

I have the Hach Total Hardness test strips. Is the 5-B kit more accurate?

Thanks!
Larry.

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