Water Softener Sizing Help Please

jagmanvdpMay 28, 2010

Ok, I am back with some (hopefully) useful numbers and hope someone here can guide me down the right path.

Looking to replace a very old and broken water softener. My local municipailty ran a test on a water sample from my home and the results for hardness and iron were:

Hardness as CaCo3 is 261 ppm (approx 15 grains I believe)


Iron is 0.5 ppm

According to my water meter I use approximately 316 gallons (imperial) per day (1434 litres) , which jives with average usage numbers as we are a family of four. While not all the water goes through the softener, most does. I have the outdoor taps and the kitchen tap (cold) on non-softened water as the plants and I agree it tastes better.

So...with that information in hand..and a desire to purchase a quality unit that will last me many years....but keep salt and regeneration costs down over the long haul, what should I be looking at for bed volume and brand name. All help gratefully appreciated.

thanks in advance.


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Hi Darren,

In order to correctly size a softener we'd need to know how many people in the home and # of bathrooms.

Any high water use appliances like a Jacuzzi or the like?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 11:57AM
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Family of four...kids are roughly 10 and 8.
2 bathrooms
and no unusually high water demand appliances..regular dishwasher, high efficiency clothes washer....
over the life of the softener, the kids will become teenagers and probably become water hogs for some of those years...

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 12:14PM
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Based on the info you provided a 2.0 cu ft softener setup with an efficient salt dose will be efficient and regenerate about once a week.

An industry standard softener based on a Fleck brand control valve will be cost effective, reliable, and easy to get parts for.

I'm not sure what distribution is like in CA but I can point you to a system on the web for reference and you can look around up there... click here

Check locally for an independent water treatment professional. They will cost a little more than buying on the net but include the install and setup and actually service what they sell.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 12:34PM
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I will look around and see if i can find someone that sells Fleck up here. I found one guy but all he carries is Kinetico.

If I can't find a dealer that supplies Fleck, do you have a second choice that you would feel comfortable purchasing?

And, if I find someone that gives me a choice of resins, is there a name/type I should try to get that will give me better salt usage (less salt usage) or longer resin life?


    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 1:05PM
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More Fleck control valves are on softeners than all other brands added together worldwide. Fleck is the defacto industry standard with many decades of reliable service in the field. There is always someone almost everywhere who sells Fleck based softeners and services them.

For resin, either Purolite C100 or Sybron C249. Both are premium quality standard resin and will give reliable service. No need for anything exotic... just cost you more and gain you nothing. Avoid no name bulk resin from unknown distributors... it is the cheapest resin they could find.

If you have a local Kinetico dealer with a good reputation it's worth getting them to come out for a free quote. Kinetico softeners are twin resin tank units and are top tier but pricey. If you're looking for the best Kinetico is among them and will offset the higher cost with long and reliable service. Kinetico dealers often offer a more cost effective industry standard single resin tank softener as an alternative... ask them about that.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 1:33PM
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Thanks for that. I have found one company locally (within 100 miles) that carry Fleck. When you live where I live, thats considered close for some things. Everyone else I have contacted thus far had never heard of Fleck. I have attached their URL.


I wondered if I could be a royal pain and ask you to look at what they include with their system and see if that is reasonable (everything I would need?, sizes of brine tank and resin tank seem right? for 2 cubic feet of resin?)
Also, I wondered about salt usage. Is there a way to tell the Fleck head how much salt you wish to use I have red some of your other posts to people about capacity. You talk about pounds of salt per cubic foot of resin. I see that you talk about 6 pounds vs 15 pounds. Does the Fleck head allow you to set up the capacity and salt usage yourself?

Thanks in advance for your time. I truly appreciate it.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 2:09PM
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100 miles... that's just down the road a piece.

For a 2 cu ft softener I prefer the Fleck 7000SXT control (I linked to exactly that softener in my previous post) over the 5600SXT. The tank diameter limit of the 5600 is 12" and a 2 cu ft softener uses a 12x48 tank. I don't like pushing anything to the limit of it's specs.

Aquatell doesn't seem to list the Fleck 7000SXT but they can get it with no problem. They offer the Clack, which appears to be a good valve, but is the new kid on the block without the long enviable service history of Fleck valves.

Any of the Fleck SXT class controls allow custom settings for salt dose. In your circumstances you would set the control valve for 17 grains of (compensated) hardness, 4 lbs of salt / cu ft (4 lbs x 2 cu ft = 8 lbs salt total), and capacity at 30400 and that should regenerate every 7th or 8th day. You should set the calendar override at 8 days.

Those settings will get you 3800 grains removed / pound of salt which is pretty darned efficient.

Some softener sellers will disagree with me but you'll be smilin' at them for a long time.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 2:39PM
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Ordered the Fleck based system on the weekend. Should arrive on dodorstep later this week. Thanks for the advice....greatly appreciated.

Now to the job of installing the new softener!

THanks again


    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 8:35AM
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Ordered which system? Which control valve? With bypass?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 9:33AM
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Did you ever find out what system the OP ordered? and if it performed well?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 7:31AM
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