Water softener help

kelgz4March 7, 2013

We are in need of a water softener and have been reading alot about them, but are still a little confused. We have:

5 people in our house
jacuzzi tub
swimming pool
4 baths
8.5 ph
15 gpg hardness
2.0 ppm total chlorine
city water
septic tank

A Kinetico rep is coming this weekend, but we wanted to get some advice on what we need.

Not sure if it matters as to which water softener we go with, but we would like to bypass our outdoor spigots and kitchen sink. We have a water filter on our fridge which is where we get all our drinking water from...do we need to bypass that too?

We are thinking we need a 64K 2.5cu ft softener .....just trying to figure out if we should go purchase one and install it ourselves (with the help of a plumber friend).

Thanks in advance for advice.

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Why would you want to bypass the kitchen sink and deal with water spots and hardness buildup there? You don't "have" to bypass drinking water unless you want to. Some people don't care for the taste of soft water. If you like the taste of your city water, then run it to your refrigerator for drinking. If the kitchen sink bypass is for taste, you can always install another small faucet just for drinking/cooking water and plumb hard water to it. It's all up to you.

There are other things we need to know in order to get a proper softener size. Since you are on city water, locate your city's water report (they should do a complete quarterly analysis) and provide that analysis. What is the water source, surface or well? If there are multiple sources, there should be reports for each, unless they mix in equal proportions all the time.

Just FYI: 1 cuft of resin is typically reported as 30K - 32K grains, so a 2.5 cuft softener would be 75K - 80K grains, not 64K.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 10:01AM
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I have requested a copy of our city water report, but haven't received it yet.

We did meet with a Kinetico rep and he recommended we get a carbon filter (to remove Chlorine) and a water softener and a reverse osmosis to decrease our TDS (215 from our tap and our filtered fridge) for a grand total of $4495 plus an extra $100 to bypass our backyard spigot. He tested our water to be 12 gpg hardness.

I am more confused now than I was before he came. While we would love to purchase his package we can't afford to, so we do know that we will need to purchase one online or at Home Depot or Lowes. We are leaning towards purchasing one online possibly a Fleck.....any suggestions?

Do we need to install a carbon filter too?

If he tested our water at 12 gpg and another test showed 15 gpg of hardness is a 64K softener the correct size?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 1:03PM
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You don't "need" to install a carbon filter. You may wish to install a small point-of-use carbon filter to remove chlorine from your drinking water, if you wish to keep hard water for drinking. If chlorine is bothering you in your showers and other uses, perhaps a whole-house carbon filter would be indicated. If it's not bothering you, however, no need to spend extra money.

You also don't "need" an RO unless you dislike your water, or if there are specific things, aside from chlorine, that you want removed.

We won't know what size softener is appropriate until we know about pH, iron, manganese and a few other things. Hopefully you city water report will contain the information we need. If not, you will need to get some testing done on your water.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 1:45PM
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Here is what our water report says:

pH 8.8
Iron .003 mg/l
Sulfate 56.5 mg/l
TDS 231 mg/l
magnesium 23.1 mg/l
copper .026 ppm
barium .078 ppm
chromium 2.94 ppb
fluoride .13 ppm
calcium 20.8 mg/l
chloride 23.1 mg/l

Is 64K the right size or would 48k be better, looking at either the Fleck 7000 sxt or 5600 sxt.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 8:05PM
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Sizing based on your higher hardness number of 15 gpg, you are looking at a 2 cuft softener. Often, sellers will advertise these as 64K capacity. This size will regen about every 8 days. You could also go with a 1.5 cuft and regen every 6 days. Either will work for you. If space is tight, go with the smaller softener. If you intend to fill your swimming pool with softened water, the larger softener would be a better option.

As you look around to determine where to purchase, specify the following:

1) American or German made resin (better size distribution)
2) 10% crosslinked resin. This will increase the price somewhat, but will better resist the chlorine of city water.
3) top distribution basket
4) gravel underbed
5) noryl bypass
6) If your plumbing is 3/4" - Fleck 5600sxt. If your plumbing is 1" or larger - Fleck 7000sxt
7) Plumb the softener with a 3-valve bypass so that it can be removed for service. This can be done before your softener arrives if you would like.

Post back to this thread if you would like help evaluating bids. Once your softener arrives, the valve controller will need to be programmed for your specific water conditions. Post here again and I will be happy to help with that as well.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:24PM
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Thanks for all your help. I called Ohio Pure water yesterday to order the 5600 sxt 48K. We were planning on ordering the Vortech Resin Tank rather than the standard, but they can not do a gravel underbed with the Vortech tank.....so, should we do gravel underbed in a standard tank or Vortech with no gravel underbed?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:54AM
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No Vortech. Sellers love them because they have high profit and are cheap to ship. Get the gravel instead.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:11AM
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It's installed (finally). What would you suggest for the settings?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 7:51PM
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Do you know what specific resin you have? If so, I can tailor programming to that resin. If not, I can use typical specs for programming.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 9:33AM
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Softening Resin (1.5 cuft): NSF Approved High Capacity Cation 10% Crosslink Softening Resin

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 11:31AM
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With that information, I will have to just use typical resin specs. I guess I should have been more specific about what I meant by "specific resin" - Brand name and type are necessary to lead me to engineering specifications.

Enter the Master Programming mode for your softener.

1. DF - GAL
2. VT - St1b
3. CT - Fd
4. NT - 1
5. TS - you only have one tank
6. C - 31.5
7. H - 15
8. RS - SF
9. SF - 15

  1. RC - doesn't matter because you are using a safety factor
  2. DO - 8
  3. RT - 2:00 AM or other convenient time when you don't expect to use water for a couple of hours
  4. This is where you set regen times.
    BW - 10,
    BD - 60,
    RR - 10,
    BF - This depends on the size of your BLFC. Please see the picture below to locate the sticker. Of your sticker is 0.125 gpm then BF - 24, 0.25 gpm then BF - 12, 0.5 gpm BF - 6,
  5. Ensure all days are set to ON, unless you have some reason your softener should not regen on a specific day of the week.
  6. CD - doesn't matter unless you set a day to OFF in step 14.
  7. FM - t0.7
  8. K - doesn't matter

Exit Master Programming and set the time clock to the correct time.

This post was edited by aliceinwonderland_id on Wed, Apr 3, 13 at 10:04

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 11:55AM
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