Help Selecting a Softener please


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Old 10-22-09, 11:04 AM
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Help Selecting a Softener please

Hello All,

I have been reviewing threads and learning all that I can in order to make a good decision on which system to install.
The devil is in the details so here goes;
Family of 4 and sometimes 6 (explanation- 2nd marriage with my current wife and her 2 teens, my 2 teens come to stay with us on wed. and every other weekend) The kids think the shower is an amusement park to linger in.
City water w/ a reported hardness (by them) of 22 G/gal.
Havent received the written copy yet but will post the iron and other details when it arrives in mail.
Based upon all that I have seen here I am considering a Fleck 5600 Econominder Metered Valve and either 48K or 64 K grain capacity.
Was wondering about the Fleck Vortech model 48K also.

Technical installation questions.
How far and how high can I run the discharge drain/tube. the system would be installed in the basement near the entry of the water to the house. The nearest drain avail is on the 1st floor in the washroom approx 40 feet away. Can this drain be run that far and up a level????

Seperating lawn sprinkler water and also drinking/cooking water.
I can pretty easily seperate the outside spigots but am unsure of how to splice in an RO system for just the run to the kitchen sink cold and icemaker without opening up a can of worms in terms of having to do a lot of sweating of pipes. No space in kitchen to store a RO system so it would have to be downstairs and that means long runs. Difficult and complicated but not impossible. Any thoughts. Am pretty sure I dont want to use a different salt due to expense over the long haul.
What type of RO is most favored here and pros and cons of such?????
I'm sure I'm missing things you need to know and such but wanted to get the ball rolling. Wife will be really happy when clothes are clean and dishes dont look like they sat out in the rain for 2 summers after a washing.

Thanks to all

John
 
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Old 10-22-09, 11:25 AM
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More info

We have a large walk in shower in the master bedroom w/ multiple body sprayers. Kohler water tile on ceiling with 3 body sprayers on wall w/ seperate hand sprayer on other side of shower room. She gets the water tile w/ sprayers and I get the hand held thing.
Guessing that this has significant flow rate when all used at once. Add to that the kids like to shower in their bathroom exactly when we do and you get the picture. How to factor in capacity of flow???

Will get the iron info soon.

John
 
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Old 10-22-09, 03:13 PM
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With the high hardness and # of people, a 48k would be better for you. As far as the drain line, don't not go over 8" above the valve. The RO can be installed in the basement as long as you can run a line to the sink.
 
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Old 10-22-09, 03:35 PM
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I'm not a big fan of Fleck units only because of the long term cost of repairs. They are however the most widely used professional valve so I would say I'm in the minority on this. The Fleck 5600 would be a fine choice for a city water system though if that's the direction you're leaning.

Some actual info on the GPM of your multi-head shower would be useful. I'm assuming the other shower you addressed was a normal 1 head shower so no need for any more info on that.

Sizing the system definitely depends on water usage, specifically high flow rates for extended periods of time and a multi head shower is usually the one thing I ask about when I size water conditioning equipment. If no info can be found on the multi head shower I would bump up to the 64K unit in your situation. Usually the difference in price is about 10%.

The drain tubing can be run 40+ feet with little worries. a 64K unit would require about a 4 GPM discharge rate in the backwash cycle so make sure to use at LEAST 1/2" ID tubing and keep your direction changes to a minimum. I always use flexible tubing for the drain line and install it so the change of directions are long sweeping turns. At 5 GPM you lose about 13 PSI through 100' of 1/2" ID tubing/pipe. so if you use tubing, long sweep turns (where needed) and only have a 40' run the effective friction loss for the 64K unit should be about 7-8 PSI if you also factor in a 5' increase of elevation to your next floor. Every 2.3 ft you lift the water will require 1 additional PSI so the change in elevation is more important than the length of the run. I routinely install exactly as I just described and never have any issues.

If you are worried about it, then jump to a 5/8" ID drain line and be done with it.

Biermech addressed the RO unit the same as I would have.
 
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Old 10-23-09, 03:55 PM
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More Info

Thanks Shane21 I appreciate your response and also thanks to biermech

Report came today so that was next day and I'm impressed that they sent it so quickly

Iron = ND-463 PPB#
Manganese = ND-138 PPB
Aluminum = ND-363 PPB
Chloride = ND-60-88 PPM
Hardness (as CaCO3) 64-94 PPM
pH = 6.6-8.4
Sodium = NA
Sulfate = NA
Total Dissolved solids = 96-224 PPM
Zinc = ND - 0.01

Flow of shower heads in master shower is as follows

Body spray 2.5 Gpm X 3 on wall = 7.5 GpM total flow
Shower tile on ceiling 2.5 GpM X 4 = 10 GpM total flow
So total flow if all on at same time is 17.5 GpM
All at 80 Psi
My water Psi is controlled at point of entry by flow reducer to 65 Psi

Hope all of this helps.

John
 
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Old 10-23-09, 05:45 PM
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Your total hardness is only about 6 gpg in the most recent post. This is a lot less than the 22 gpg you originally posted.

What size service entrance do you have? I don't think you will get a flow of 17 gallon per minute unless your service is 1" or larger. If you will really have a use of 17 gpm and a service that will provide it that would indicate a large softener --perhaps an 80,000 grain (2.5 cubic foot) unit or even a 110,000 grain unit--to avoid getting some hardness leaking through during high use. If you have a large service entrance--1 or 1.25 inch-- it would also suggest you should consider a different head--perhaps a Fleck 7000 which accomodates much higher flow rates than the 3/4 in Fleck 5600. An alternative valve would be a Clack, which is available in both 1" and 1.25".
 
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Old 10-23-09, 06:27 PM
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As Bob999 stated the new info is different than your previous info. Also I'm a little worried by the .5 PPM iron especially at 17+ GPM flow rates. If your on a city water system I would suggest turning that shower on full blast and going down to the water meter and measuring the flow in a minute. If your meter reads in gallons no conversion is needed, if it reads in cubic feet then multiply each cubic foot by 7.5 to convert it to gallons. There is is no need to size a softener for the full 17 GPM if you can't get it.

I actually installed a water softener on a house that had an 18 GPM multi-head shower. The raw water was 24 grains hard and it also had about 1 PPM iron (1000 PPB) . I used an 80,000 grain unit with an Autotrol head (my personal favorite controller) and have had very little trouble out of it. The only real issue is a little iron through the system if it's used for 15+ minutes. I would have changed the design a bit for the customer had they allowed me but they didn't want to spend any more $ on it.

The water in that case also had a pH of about 6.8 so the softener does a better job of removing iron. If your water pH can get as high as 8.4 I think you may have iron issues albeit small ones.

Lastly keep in mind if you can use the full 17 GPM of the shower you may want to consider the possibility of what would happen if you were in that car wash and someone else started using water. If you can achieve the full 17 GPM you may want to see what happens if you turn on another shower and sink in the house. Does the flow go up even higher or will the inherent pressure loss of the house plumbing prevent that?
 
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Old 10-24-09, 05:23 AM
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Dont understand the different methods of calculating hardness. I admit it is very confusing. The 22 grains number came from calling up the water dept and asking. The lady who answered shot the 22 grains number out as if she gets asked it every hour. The numbers on the sheet were what I posted later.
I will run a flow test w/ the "Car Wash" on full to see what happens. The service line is 3/4".

John
 
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Old 10-24-09, 08:22 AM
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Jfmid indicated it is a city water system in the initial post. I believe that all city water systems are chlorinated and the posted analysis is puzzling because it doesn't list a chlorine level and it shows both iron and manganese which is not normally seen with chlorination.

Jfmid--is the water chlorinated?
Have you asked the city about the apparent contradiction of the 22 gpg hardness level and the 94 ppm hardness level in the report you received? (The conversion factor for hardness is 17.1 ppm equals 1 gpg.)

To revise a previous comment--Given the shower heads you have I think you should consider a head with lower pressure drop than the Fleck 5600 even though you have 3/4" supply plumbing. Fleck, Clack, and Autotrol (now GE) all make such heads.
 
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Old 10-24-09, 09:15 AM
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Hello All,

I have been reviewing threads and learning all that I can in order to make a good decision on which system to install.
The devil is in the details so here goes;
Family of 4 and sometimes 6 (explanation- 2nd marriage with my current wife and her 2 teens, my 2 teens come to stay with us on wed. and every other weekend) The kids think the shower is an amusement park to linger in.
The number of gallons per day as well as total flow rate is important in determing the unit size and valve type as well as the volume of the resin tank(s). Since your water use varys greatly due to the visitation of 'residents', then your selection should be made very carefully.

City water w/ a reported hardness (by them) of 22 G/gal.
Havent received the written copy yet but will post the iron and other details when it arrives in mail.
Can you determine whether the city supply comes from surface water or wells? That can make a big difference in the hardness count. Many cities have a series of wells (primary, secondary and reserve) that can great fluctuate the hadrness levels. If that is so, then always base it on the highest level. That is why the lady probably said "22" rather than "Oh, from 6 to 22 depending on...."

Also, ask the municipal supplier if (poly-, bi-) phosphates are used in treating the iron as a sequestering agent. If they do, then no softener will remove the iron, which would challenge an RO membrane resulting in a shorter membrane life. This is very imporant to determine.

If the city uses phosphates, they can break down in water heaters and stains in laundry, dishwashers can appear.


Based upon all that I have seen here I am considering a Fleck 5600 Econominder Metered Valve and either 48K or 64 K grain capacity.
Was wondering about the Fleck Vortech model 48K also.
Vortech. I have not had person expereince with this method, but in theory, I like it especially for tanks 10" or more in diameter.

For your water conditions, and expectations, my recommendation would be the Kinetico MACH 2100s OD. These have a sustained flow rate of 21 gpm and peak flow of 30 gpm.

Salt efficiency @ 5.5 lb/regen is 4,591 gr/lb or 10 lb/reg is 4,108 gr/lb both adhering to CA regulations. More details if needed.


Technical installation questions.
How far and how high can I run the discharge drain/tube. the system would be installed in the basement near the entry of the water to the house. The nearest drain avail is on the 1st floor in the washroom approx 40 feet away. Can this drain be run that far and up a level????
This can be a tricky depending on a few factors. I can't say about Fleck or Autotrol valves but with Kinetico the recommendations are: On drain lines that must travel more than 8 feet up and 30 feet over, it is best to take the drain
line that fits the valve and attach it to a larger diameter line or pipe.

I suggest for every 20' increase the diameter of the dran line. This helps prevent backflow pressure, slowing the backwashing stages. I would suggest, if possible elevate first, then travel horizontally.


Seperating lawn sprinkler water and also drinking/cooking water.
Good idea, always.

I can pretty easily seperate the outside spigots but am unsure of how to splice in an RO system for just the run to the kitchen sink cold and icemaker without opening up a can of worms in terms of having to do a lot of sweating of pipes.

I always avoid saddle valves that punches a hole the supply line. Instead, use a TEE with a ball valve. Simply cut the pipe, and connect. Remove as much copper line between the RO and the fridge as possible.

Becareful with fridge hook-ups. Many fridge manufacturers actually discourage RO connections due to low flow and pressure causing a shut off solenoid in prventing ice trays to be unfilled. An electric delivery pump on the RO may be required (+cost) or an RO that is de
signed to avoid those problems. Also, a larger (ten-gallon) retention tank can help


No space in kitchen to store a RO system so it would have to be downstairs and that means long runs. Difficult and complicated but not impossible. Any thoughts.
Under the sink is a no-go? Any other cabinets?


Am pretty sure I dont want to use a different salt due to expense over the long haul.
What do you menad a 'different' salr?

What type of RO is most favored here and pros and cons of such?????
My preference is the Kinetico k5 (especailly for fridge hook ups) but that's what I deal am used to. They are expensive but provide great service and longevity.

I'm sure I'm missing things you need to know and such but wanted to get the ball rolling. Wife will be really happy when clothes are clean and dishes dont look like they sat out in the rain for 2 summers after a washing.
Actually, sitting in the rain might not be so bad LOL. No hardness there! Hard water damage done to glassware is often irreversible.

Thanks to all

John

Andy Christesnen
 
 

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