Need Help choosing a water softener


  #1  
Old 01-17-10, 07:18 PM
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Need Help choosing a water softener

I had Kinetico come out earlier this week to perform a water test and they provided me with a couple of quotes. I'm quite new to water softeners and the like, but trying to get my head wrapped around it at least enough to invest in a unit.

I have a 3 full bath house, and I'll quote what I have on the water test below:
Well water
Hardness of 7 gpg
Iron of 0 gpg
Compensated Hardness of 7 gpg
PH of 6.9
TDS of 120ppm

My plumbing is 3/4" CPVC and drain is ~ 15' from where the softener would reside. (off subject, but with a septic, do you see a problem with regen draining to septic tank?)

Household is 7 people (wife and I and five kids), so we are constantly washing clothes and using water. We presently get our drinking water in 5gal bottles and use 14 per month. We are hoping that a new system will also give us great tasting water. Our current well water has a 'grainy' taste, no smells or odors, just not a good taste, hence the need for bottled water. I do have what I think is magnesium sediment that my prefilter mostly catches, but you can still find some in the storage tanks of our toilets. I'm thinking that is where the grainy taste comes from.

If I have the numbers correct in Gary Slussler's calculator, I come up with the following:
Based on the information you entered, 2940 is your Daily Grains of Capacity needed. 23520 is the Total Grains of Capacity you need for approximately once per week regeneration with a 24 hr reserve. 1.5 is the minimum cubic foot size of softener required for your capacity needs.

When it says 1.5 is the minimum cubic foot size needed, should I move up to a 2.0 cu ft system just to be on the safe side? In looking, it seems to not be too much more of an added cost (< $50). It is quite possible that we might have two showers going, clothes washer and dishwasher all running at the same time. Our well provides us plenty of pressure presently, so I would like to minimize loss due to the system.

I'm quite certain there is more information needed to really be able to provide some help with my needs, so please ask and I will answer if I can.

Thanks in advance!

Matt Slaga
 
  #2  
Old 01-17-10, 08:16 PM
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I had Kinetico come out earlier this week to perform a water test and they provided me with a couple of quotes. I'm quite new to water softeners and the like, but trying to get my head wrapped around it at least enough to invest in a unit.
It is good to get educated so you can make a good decision. There are many options so it can be a daunting task. You said you had a couple of quotes. What were they? Which equipment are you talking about?

I have a 3 full bath house, and I'll quote what I have on the water test below:
Well water
Hardness of 7 gpg
Iron of 0 gpg
Compensated Hardness of 7 gpg
PH of 6.9
TDS of 120ppm
Based on these tests alone, and providing there are no other significant problems, you can get a quality system to handle your needs.

The pH is not a major problem and no worries about your plumbing. Your hardness is easily handled.


My plumbing is 3/4" CPVC and drain is ~ 15' from where the softener would reside. (off subject, but with a septic, do you see a problem with regen draining to septic tank?)
No, no problem with septic systems as the chlorides will be quite low. The only hurdle is if local codes put restrictions on discharge. Since your plumbing is 3/4", your flow rate will max-out around 12-14 gpm depending on line pressure, length of plumbing and elevation (rise).

Household is 7 people (wife and I and five kids), so we are constantly washing clothes and using water.
Your water use will vary greatly from day-to-day. It is very important that what you get will serve you all the time.

We presently get our drinking water in 5gal bottles and use 14 per month.
Just out of curiosity, what is your expense on bottles water? 70 gallons per week is significant, and I would assume you use it for more than 'drinking', only.


We are hoping that a new system will also give us great tasting water. Our current well water has a 'grainy' taste, no smells or odors, just not a good taste, hence the need for bottled water.
"Great" tasting water is subjective. It would be interesting to find out what the TDS is of your bottled water. The filter suggested is not an RO but a carbon filter, which is primarily for clarity, taste and odor, but won't reduce TDS.

I do have what I think is magnesium sediment that my prefilter mostly catches, but you can still find some in the storage tanks of our toilets. I'm thinking that is where the grainy taste comes from.
Mg is a hardness mineral and the softenr should manage that very well. It may or may not improve the taste to your pleasing.

If I have the numbers correct in Gary Slussler's calculator, I come up with the following:
Based on the information you entered, 2940 is your Daily Grains of Capacity needed.
That is basing it on 60 gal/person/day. Of course real water use may either be more or less than that and never exactly that. It is just an estimate for guessing at sizing a single-tank softener.

23520 is the Total Grains of Capacity you need for approximately once per week regeneration with a 24 hr reserve. 1.5 is the minimum cubic foot size of softener required for your capacity needs.
Those measurements are based for a single-tank system, not a twin tank. With a twin, a reserve capacity is not factored like that. You needed worry if one day your water use is unusually high.

When it says 1.5 is the minimum cubic foot size needed, should I move up to a 2.0 cu ft system just to be on the safe side? In looking, it seems to not be too much more of an added cost (< $50). It is quite possible that we might have two showers going, clothes washer and dishwasher all running at the same time. Our well provides us plenty of pressure presently, so I would like to minimize loss due to the system.
Because of your water use and timing, it is important that your water needs are served all the time without any significant loss in pressure AND softeness. A Kinetico an help you achieve that.

I'm quite certain there is more information needed to really be able to provide some help with my needs, so please ask and I will answer if I can.

Thanks in advance!
You're welcome. I hope I can help.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II

Matt Slaga
 
  #3  
Old 01-18-10, 05:28 AM
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Much appreciated on the reply Andy! Beer 4U2

The equipment they quoted were the following:

1040S single tank

2030S dual tank

They said they would also throw in a MAC7500 under sink filter.

My concern here is that these units seem to cost almost double what it appears the comparable competitors charge. I.e., a Clack WS-1 single tank 2.0 cu ft system is less than $700, a Fleck 9100 dual tank system is less than $1000. Understanding that the Kinetico system includes installation, I'm trying to determine what else I am getting for the extra money. There is the 'one-throat-to-choke' for problems if they occur, but in my opinion that by itself is not enough to justify the added cost.

We only go through 70 gallons of bottled water a month, mostly drinking and cooking is what we use it for. My apologies if my original post was confusing.

You mentioned reserve capacity is not factored in dual tank systems. Is that true with all dual tank systems, or just Kinetico's implementation?

Greatly appreciated for your time!
Matt
 
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Old 01-18-10, 06:10 PM
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Much appreciated on the reply Andy!
You're welcome.

The equipment they quoted were the following:

1040S single tank

2030S dual tank
I would recommend either the 2040s OD or the 2060s OD for better flow rate. The 1040 might struggle to kep up with your demands. That is a Fleck valve, either a 5600 or 2510.

I noticed this on a another forum
(We are looking for a system that will be available 24/7, as with 5 kids you never know when one is taking a shower or using the bathroom, needing a middle-of-the-night hose off, etc.)
For this reason, I would certainly recommend a twin-tank system. But that is not the only benefit.

They said they would also throw in a MAC7500 under sink filter.
This is a nice filter but not really what I recommend, which would be an RO. It is a $299.00 value. it will improve taste, odor and clarity and can come in a VOC configuration for addtional contaminant removal.

My concern here is that these units seem to cost almost double what it appears the comparable competitors charge. I.e., a Clack WS-1 single tank 2.0 cu ft system is less than $700, a Fleck 9100 dual tank system is less than $1000.
That has been true and will always be true, yet Kineticos are still doing very well. The warranties on the Kinetico are up to ten times longer on some softeners. Fleck has a five-year warranty.


Understanding that the Kinetico system includes installation, I'm trying to determine what else I am getting for the extra money. There is the 'one-throat-to-choke' for problems if they occur, but in my opinion that by itself is not enough to justify the added cost.
With your water use, it would be a great way to go. Kinetico is, as you might imagine, is a fine piece of equipment and will last you decades rather than years. You don't have to get the Kinetico, but I do see the value in the twin-tank design.

We only go through 70 gallons of bottled water a month, mostly drinking and cooking is what we use it for. My apologies if my original post was confusing.
Only? That is a lot of water to BUY on a regular basis. Also, you tend to ration it when it comes in penny-counting bottles. An RO would help reduce that cost very quickly.

You mentioned reserve capacity is not factored in dual tank systems. Is that true with all dual tank systems, or just Kinetico's implementation?
Since duplex systems have "endless" capacity, setting a reserve capacity like on a single-tank system is unnecessary. You can use water anytime day or night.

Hope to have helped,
Andy Christensen, CWS-II


Greatly appreciated for your time!
Matt
 
 

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