yet another help me choose a softener (hopefully with a new twist?)


  #1  
Old 07-27-09, 04:49 PM
G
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: north
Posts: 12
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
yet another help me choose a softener (hopefully with a new twist?)

We recently purchased a beautiful house in the country, with a steep learning curve on resources - having always been a city boy (well, suburb boy anyway), this is my first time on well water.

Our well seems to have issues keeping up (will post about this in the right forum when we get to it) - here's the setup that seems to be working ok:

Well (about 61' deep), with a 10gpm 1/2 HP pump controlled by a Franklin controller, water goes through a flow restrictor valve (1.5 gpm), into a 300 gallon holding tank. Then, a jetpump, filter, and pressure tank, (jetpump and pressure tank set to 60/40), an Ecowater softener, then the cold water pipes & hot water heater (the hot water pipes also have a Grundfos recirculation pump with a hot water return line to the bottom of the hot water heater).

Anyway, the softener is shot - the pump guy across the street, who was the guy who installed it said the previous owner (actually two owners ago) bought it used 3 years ago, and it was already 8 years old - he had to do a lot of work to get it going, but the most recent owners had it on bypass for at least a year. The plastic bypass valve is completely seized and his recommendation was to toss it (which I agree with, based on how things were maintained here I'd rather just dump it and get a new one, with a warranty/etc).

So here's my first question - since our well often can't keep up even at 1gpm (which I'm assuming is why we have the holding tank, which actually ends up working quite well), his concern is the amount of water that's going to be used for backwashing, and whether the well will be able to provide enough volume and pressure for the process.

I've been reading about two-tank models (Kinetico and Fleck) - the main focus about most posts about these has to do with 24/7 supply, which I actually don't care about. But the other interesting feature is the use of softened water to rinse/backwash/etc - so my question is - would this be a good option for us? Since the softener would use softened water (presumably from the other tank) for the regeneration process, would it cause less stress on our well? Or am I barking up the wrong tree? (wouldn't be the first time...)

g.

PS: Water testing was done before we purchased, but that was only for bacterial content, of which there was none. Home water test seemed to indicate extremely hard water (we already knew that from using the shower, dishwasher and clothes washer), but was difficult to figure out how hard and other details like iron content/pH/etc. Will have a more thorough professional test later this week, so we can start to properly size the system.

But hopefully I can find out whether to look at two-tank systems first?
 
  #2  
Old 07-27-09, 06:46 PM
A
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northwest Ohio
Posts: 1,478
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by groovejumper View Post


I've been reading about two-tank models (Kinetico and Fleck) - the main focus about most posts about these has to do with 24/7 supply, which I actually don't care about.
Strange, I have been on the web for about 5 years now talking about twin tank systems and never really ever see the FOCUS on 24/7 as you say. In fact , the only people who tend to focus on that benefit are those who are against the idea. Not really sure of your point there. Nobody uses water 24/7 outside of commercial applications.

One of the nice things, especially considering your particular water situation, is that a twin tank uses less water per regeneration than many other units. Since you have a limited capacity, that may be a plus.

Get a thorough water test.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
 
  #3  
Old 07-28-09, 06:35 AM
G
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: north
Posts: 12
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by AndyC View Post
Strange, I have been on the web for about 5 years now talking about twin tank systems and never really ever see the FOCUS on 24/7 as you say. In fact , the only people who tend to focus on that benefit are those who are against the idea. Not really sure of your point there. Nobody uses water 24/7 outside of commercial applications.

One of the nice things, especially considering your particular water situation, is that a twin tank uses less water per regeneration than many other units. Since you have a limited capacity, that may be a plus.

Get a thorough water test.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
As I said, I don't really care about that feature, just seems to come up, regardless of the reason.

In any case, I'm more curious about specs - minimum water pressure & flow for regeneration - the pump guy was talking about placing the softener before the holding tank, and I'm not 100% sure why, or even if it would work. I've looked through what I could find on the Fleck9100 but it didn't seem to have those details.

Hopefully I can find the same specs for a single-tank Fleck or Clack, so I can compare the savings in water (and in fact whether my well could keep up with a single-tank) vs savings in money.

Any advice would be appreciated...

g.
 
  #4  
Old 07-28-09, 06:02 PM
biermech's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 2,007
Upvotes: 0
Received 3 Upvotes on 3 Posts
Originally Posted by groovejumper View Post
So here's my first question - since our well often can't keep up even at 1gpm (which I'm assuming is why we have the holding tank, which actually ends up working quite well), his concern is the amount of water that's going to be used for backwashing, and whether the well will be able to provide enough volume and pressure for the process.
There should be no concern provided the system is installed correctly. From the well, the water goes into the storage tank. The pressure pump builds the pressure into the pressure tank and then moves on to the softener. A 1 cu ft Fleck 5600 uses about 65 gallons to regen. Even if the holding tank had only 50 gallons, it will fill enough before a 2am regen. It would not be wise to put the soft water into the holding tank. There would not be enough flow to properly backwash the unit.

Originally Posted by groovejumper View Post
I've been reading about two-tank models (Kinetico and Fleck) - the main focus about most posts about these has to do with 24/7 supply, which I actually don't care about. But the other interesting feature is the use of softened water to rinse/backwash/etc - so my question is - would this be a good option for us? Since the softener would use softened water (presumably from the other tank) for the regeneration process, would it cause less stress on our well? Or am I barking up the wrong tree? (wouldn't be the first time...)
The # 44 is stuck in my head and I believe it's the # of gallons it takes to regen a Kinetico model 30. Not sure though. Anyway, with the Kinetico, it is possible for it to regen twice in a day. And if you happen to use a lot of water (laundry day), you run the risk of not having the water from the storage tank for a proper regen. Just food for thought.
 
  #5  
Old 07-28-09, 07:16 PM
G
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: north
Posts: 12
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Cool, thanks for the details, this will be a big help getting this sorted out.

The pump guy has suggested an Autotrol 255 with a 760 (metered) valve, so now it's a matter of deciding between that and the Fleck 5600, both seem to be highly regarded so it'll probably come down to price.

Unless - we have iron (according to the pump guy) around 4 or 5 ppm, will either of these units be better for dealing with that? I know that a softener will only deal with certain types and only so much, I'm prepared to live with what's left over for now but just wondering if Autotrol or Fleck happen to handle it better.

g.
 
  #6  
Old 07-28-09, 08:41 PM
biermech's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 2,007
Upvotes: 0
Received 3 Upvotes on 3 Posts
Before deciding on a unit, you must know the hardness and iron amount for proper sizing. Both will work fine.
 
  #7  
Old 08-05-09, 10:49 AM
G
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: north
Posts: 12
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Hardness: 93 gpg (yes, 93, she tested it twice)
Iron: 4ppm

2 adults, 2-3 kids, we're learning to conserve water more, so I would tend to think we'd be closer to an average of 50 gallons/day each.

So: 5 people * 50 gpd * 93 gpg = 23,250. So would the Autotrol 255/760, 60,000 grains model work for us?

g.
 
  #8  
Old 08-05-09, 06:17 PM
A
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northwest Ohio
Posts: 1,478
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
We handle water in that range and more severe all the time. I would recommend a twin tank system using 12" or 13" tanks. These will have 2.25 - 2.5 cuft of resin in each tank.

A 60,000 grain single tank system will be extremely challenged and you will either suffer excessive salt use or intermittent hadrness and iron bleed through, which, with your iron, will be evident very quickly.

You forgot to compensate your hardness with the iron. Multiple the iron times 4 and add to the hardness: 93+14= 117. I recommend sizing softeners at 75 gpppd (gallons per person per day).

5*75=375 gpd * 117 gpg= 43,875 per day. I would not recommend a single tank system to be geared or sized to regenerate every day. A minimum of three days or 131,625 grains per regeneration. WOW, that's a big tank!!! and you would need a very big backwashing flow rate.

Kinetico's model is called the MACH 2175 which is designed to treat water upto 175 grains 24/7. Twins will regenerate when needed.

You had better decide very carefully for a wrongly sized unit will be expensive. I can provide tech stats if you'd like.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
 
  #9  
Old 08-05-09, 06:41 PM
biermech's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 2,007
Upvotes: 0
Received 3 Upvotes on 3 Posts
Originally Posted by groovejumper View Post
Hardness: 93 gpg (yes, 93, she tested it twice)
Iron: 4ppm

2 adults, 2-3 kids, we're learning to conserve water more, so I would tend to think we'd be closer to an average of 50 gallons/day each.

So: 5 people * 50 gpd * 93 gpg = 23,250. So would the Autotrol 255/760, 60,000 grains model work for us?

g.
93 gpg is not the highest I measured, but is up there. I always been told that you want to get a unit that's higher than the hardness. In other words, the hardness of 93 gpg should have a 120k unit (4 cu ft). A 60k unit will work, but not for long. You should add 3 gpg hardness per 1 ppm iron. In your case, thats another 12 gpg bringing the total to 105 gpg.
5 people * 50 gpd * 105 gpg = 26250.

A cubic ft of resin has 30,000 grains of removal @ 15 lbs of salt. If you use only 8 lbs salt, you get 20,000 grains. You save salt using less. So the 60k unit @ 16 lbs salt will yield 40k which means a regen everyday. Whereas a 120k unit yields 80k @ 32 lbs salt regenerating every 3 days.

You would be better served with a bigger unit.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: