Water softner - Strange Issue(City water)

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drana

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Eight months ago, I enlisted the services of a local vendor to install a water softener system. Initially, it performed well until its first regen cycle, but after the first regeneration, the system only provided soft water for a few days before reverting to hard water. Despite the vendor offering lifetime free maintenance and support, various technicians attempted different solutions, including two replacements of the control valve and one replacement of the entire tank. Essentially, they ended up replacing the entire system twice, yet the underlying issue persisted for six months.

Frustrated with the ongoing problem and the inability to identify and rectify the issue, the vendor opted to issue a full refund and retrieve the system. Suspecting a potential flaw in the local brand, I decided to explore other options and purchased an Aquasure system from Amazon. I hired a professional to install the new system, and much like the previous local brand, it initially worked after the regeneration process. However, the same pattern emerged – soft water for a few days post-regeneration followed by a return to the issue. All the functionalities the system was designed to perform, including backwashing, brine filling, quick washing, and the like, are operating as anticipated.

Now, having experienced the recurrent problem with three different systems from two distinct brands, I am contemplating whether the issue lies elsewhere, possibly within my water line. What additional considerations should I explore to identify and address this persistent problem?
I would greatly appreciate any advice and guidance.
 

Bannerman

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State the total capacity of the system that is installed. Totally Capacity will be typically indicated as 32,000 grains (1 ft3 of media), 48,000 grains (1.5 ft3) or 64,000 grains (2 ft2).

What is the hardness of the raw water when measured at your location? A Hach 5B Total Hardness test kit is recommended for testing not only the raw water hardness, but also to measure hardness within the softener water.

Do you know how many gallons of water your family consumes per month not including irrigation? If not, state the number of occupants so we may estimate the amount of soft water consumed.

Do you know the settings that are programmed? From the info you provided so far, I suspect each softener had not been correctly programmed, resulting in a greater amount of capacity being depleted than is being regenerated.
 

Reach4

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Can you get a service manual for your softener?

I think the issue is that the softness lasted for an unspecified but satisfactory time initially. Now the regeneration makes satisfactory softening for a significantly shorter time.

A 1.5 cuft softener typically has a 10x54 inch tank. 2 cuft 12x52 inch tank.

For presumed city water, you should have ordered the unit with 10% crosslinked resin, but that problem will not hit you for several years.

Provide the info on settings as Bannerman asked. Your softener may be set for lower hardness than you have.
 

drana

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Thank you for looking into this.

Totally Capacity : 48,000 grains
Hardness of the raw water : 12 gpg
Water usage: we are a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids)
Settings programed:
Back wash time: 15 min
Brine Time: 60 min
Rapid rinse time: 10
Brine fill time: 12 mins


Please let me know if you need additional information.
 

Bannerman

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Totally Capacity : 48,000 grains
That signifies 1.5 cubic feet of softening resin. To regenerate all 48K grains capacity would require 30 lbs salt each cycle, which would be very inefficient and wasteful.

For higher efficiency, the usual recommended Capacity setting for a 1.5 ft3 system will be 36,000 grains as that will require only 12 lbs salt each regeneration cycle.

You specified the Brine Fill setting is currently 12 minutes, but without knowing the flow rate restrictor button that is installed, we won't know the number of gallons entering the brine tank during those 12 minutes. Perhaps there is a label on the control valve that specifies which brine fill restrictor (aka: Brine Line Flow Control) is installed, and the label may also detail other relevant information such as which injector is installed, and also the drain flow restrictor (aka: Drain Line FC).

In viewing Aquasure softeners on A__z_n, they all seem to be equipped with a control valve I am not familiar with, so I can't advise on the procedure to change or even check the current settings. I expect the Owner or Installation manual will detail the procedures.
 

MaxBlack

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I have a Culligan system with specs similar to your own including when Bannerman says "12lbs salt per" that is what mine uses also. The brine well flow rate is marked at .45gm so 12 minutes fill for us means adding-back about 6 gallons. We are a family of two and typically go 10 days or so before a regen, and our hardness is 3 times yours at 36gpg.

Does your flow meter look like it's working (indicator when water is running)? How many gallons does it show when you've detected that water feels hard again?

Honestly I have no clue why the many systems you've tried have all misbehaved in this wierd manner, unless for example your "12gpg" hardness measurement is off by an order of magnitude. If instead it's 120gpg (like our water in Texas was!) then your system does need to regen every few days!
 

drana

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Does your flow meter look like it's working (indicator when water is running)?
Yes it is working.
How many gallons does it show when you've detected that water feels hard again?
after the regen is done, it shows 3000 gal, approximately when the meter shows 1250 gal, i do not get soft water.
 

bingow

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...unless for example your "12gpg" hardness measurement is off by an order of magnitude. If instead it's 120gpg (like our water in Texas was!) then your system does need to regen every few days!
@drana please confirm city water or well. If well, hardness can change dramatically, and the before mentioned Hach B hardness test kit, or sending a sample off for testing should be done. DIYer here with very hard water and very short regens.
 

MaxBlack

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Yeah I'd be inclined simply to change @drana system hardness setting to 40gpg and try to maintain soft water throughout the house. Letting the system go hard and filling hot water tank(s) with hard water will skew all of your readings for many days. I'll never forget 50 years ago having a water guy show me how a small amount of hard water made the test readings look hard.
 

drana

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@MaxBlack Thank you for the response. I am a newbie and not seeing a setting for hardness for ,my Aquasure system.

Also my system is programmed to start a regen a for 3000 gal, not sure this is accurate. What is the correct setting for a 48,000 grain, 4 member family with 13-15gpm hardness?
 

Bannerman

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my system is programmed to start a regen a for 3000 gal
3,000 gallons X 15 gpg = 45,000 grains Capacity consumed before regeneration will occur each cycle. This for a system containing 1.5 ft3 resin (48,000 grains total capacity). As stated above, consuming that much capacity will require an excessive and inefficient quantity of salt each cycle as 22.5 lbs salt will need to be dissolved to create sufficient brine to regenerate 45K capacity.

I briefly reviewed the product manual at the link that you supplied. I have not found the BLFC flow rate specified, so I'm not certain of the quantity of water that is flowing into the brine tank during the current 12-minute Brine Fill cycle. The quantity of water determines the amount of salt that will be dissolved to create brine, and the brine amount will determine the amount of resin Capacity that may be regenerated each cycle. Each gallon of water dissolves 3-lbs salt.

The manual's diagram shows the BLFC flow rate restrictor button as part #24, with the Part # specified as A-120XX. The XX is a variable relating to the flow rate, with many softeners offering a choice of 4 different BLFC buttons, but no default flow rate for that unit is indicated in neither the drawing nor the programming instructions. If the brine fill rate is not defined on a label located somewhere on the unit, suggest disconnecting the brine line at the top of the brine tank, manually advance the controller to Brine Fill and measure the amount of water that is discharged from the open brine line in 60 seconds.

For significantly greater efficiency through reduced salt consumption, suggest reducing the gallons Capacity setting. As mentioned above, the usual recommended usable Capacity setting for a 1.5 ft3 unit is 36K grains which will require only 12 lbs salt each cycle.

Using 15 gpg hardness, as defined by the calculation shown in the manual on page 24, this calculates to be 2,100 gallons (36,000 gr / 15 gpg - 300 gallons (4 ppl X 75 gals) Reserve Capacity).

Once you measure or identify the BLFC flow rate, post that information so we may assist to determine the appropriate BF setting, and also to advise on procedures to regenerate additional resin capacity that had been depleted while utilizing the current settings.
 
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MaxBlack

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@MaxBlack Thank you for the response. I am a newbie and not seeing a setting for hardness for ,my Aquasure system.

Also my system is programmed to start a regen a for 3000 gal, not sure this is accurate. What is the correct setting for a 48,000 grain, 4 member family with 13-15gpm hardness?
Yeah I looked again and it seems they want you instead to do a calculation to give you the gallons of soft water the system is capable of given your GPG. I'd try setting THAT at 1000 and see how it works, leaving all else alone.

If it works you're done. If it works but you think sys is using too much salt, goto 1,100gal and see if you stay soft. Repeat as desired until you get hard (!) then back-off.
 
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