Need to replace my old water softener-need advice

Old 01-16-16, 01:31 PM
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Need to replace my old water softener-need advice

I have a "Sears Kenmore Super Salt Saver 80 Plus" that is over 20 years old. I want to replace it. How do I choose a replacement that is equivalent to it? I have a 3 person household and very hard water. Is a water test required to get a proper softener? If I get a softener that is bigger than I need, to be sure it is adequate, is that a problem? For instance, Sears has a single cabinet unit that is 41,000 grains. This seems to be the largest. It is about $500 which is not to bad a price. If I only needed a 24,000 grain softener, for instance, it there a problem with buying the 41,000 grain model? Is the "grain" spec all that is really needed?
Here is a page from my manual that show my softeners capacity..... Name:  Screenshot from 2016-01-16 15:31:13.jpg
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Old 01-17-16, 05:10 AM
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If you are going to buy a Sears, buying the largest one they have will not be a problem. To get 20 years out of one is extremely lucky. Normally, getting 3-5 years is good.
Old 01-17-16, 09:28 AM
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Softener size

Grain size of a softener is the maximum capacity of hardness that can be removed. 41K softener can remove 41,000 grains of hardness before it needs to regenerated with the brine. But that is the maximum that it can remove. Always multiple this number by .7 for the reserve capacity. Resin should never be pushed to its maximum, as this can cause premature fouling. .7 of the maximum, will allow for the softener to work comfortably within its limits. 41k X .7 would be a 28,700 grain unit.
If the water analysis shows a hardness reading of 30 gpg, and 170 gpd (gallons per day), (2 people X the average 85 gallons per person). That results in 5,100 grains per day through the home. 28,700/5,100 = 5.62 days between regenerations. This is perfect. Always size a softener to be regenerated as close as you can to to the 5 days. This keeps the resin fresh and will give it its longest possible life. Any more frequent regenerations will waste salt and water. A softener that is sized too large will function fine at removing the hardness but will also waste water and salt.
The |Sears example you show, contains .77 cu ft of resin and a service flow of 8 gpm. That is the maximum water flow, not what can be used in a constant basis. I would put no more than 4-5 gpm through that size of a softener. If you require more water now or in the future, install a larger one.
And on a final note, the softener can handle <2 parts of iron but the iron must be calculated into the above formula for computing the required grain size of a softener. For each part of iron, times it by 3. 1 part of iron would be equal to 3 parts or hardness in gpg (grains per gallon). Add that to the formula if iron is present.
And if the iron count is between .5 and 2, use a chemical feeder in the brine tank for the addition of res-up cleaner or preferably, iron out.
Anything above 2 parts of iron, and a chemical free iron filter must be used. These are around $1200.

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