Is this calculation for an optimized Water Softener OK?

ManlystanleyAugust 3, 2013

A while back, I was on this forum and appreciated your advice. I am a serious lurker, and learn so much from you guys. I got distracted with other stuff, and now (at the insistence of my wife) am finally getting a water softener.

I have gotten a water softener Fleck 5600SXT 64,000. Based on threads such as this one:

---- AND my test results (from a certified lab):

Total Coliforms -- Absent
E. Coli -- Absent
Nitrates + Nitrites 2.2 mg/L
Sand -- Absent
Turbidity -- 1.4 NTU
PH -- 6.6
Iron - ND
Hardness -- 372

On a Well, 4 Bathrooms, 4 people,;

Resin is: Softening Resin (2.0 cuft): NSF Approved High Capacity Cation 10% Crosslink

----- I can see that the most optimized setting for a water softener is: "6 lb salt per cuft of resin." So, it looks to me that I would set the size at 48,000 for the unit. Is this correct?


Best Regards,

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Did you solve the problems you posted in your old threads?

Your 2 cu ft softener is slightly undersized.

A 2 cu ft softener in a 12" tank is right at the design limitation of the 5600 control valve. Would have been smarter to get a 7000SXT control valve.

2.0 cu ft regenerated @ 6 lbs salt per cu ft = 40k not 48k

6 lbs salt / cu ft is the sweet spot.

pH is low... going to do anything about that?

This post was edited by justalurker on Sat, Aug 3, 13 at 16:02

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 3:50PM
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Justalurker: Thanks! I read the follwoing web site wrong:

To answer your question: I didn't have any contamination, but, thought to be save I'd do the well shock technique. So, I should be golden.

A question, is 6.6 Ph that bad? What would be the effect be??

Best Regards,

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 4:43PM
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Double post.

This post was edited by Manlystanley on Sat, Aug 3, 13 at 19:00

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 6:05PM
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Got the Fleck 5600SXT yesterday, installed it and it's working like a charm. I was really pleased with my vendor: "ohio pure water" for multiple reasons:

1.) I called up lots of vendors, they were the only one that a knowledgeable person was there to talk to me for pre-sales.

2.) There installation instructions is really good.

3.) I'm not an expert in this field, but I think the resin they sold was not the cheapest imported stuff. It was branded by a American firm 'Nelson', and at least on Amazon cost $140 per cubic foot:

4.) They give the the bypass for free.

5.) Have great post sales support. I told them what I was needed: 40,000 grain, 22 gpg, 4 person in the home, etc), and they today critiqued what I had set the unit for and gave me the proper settings.

In general, I'm very pleased. Also, many thanks to all those on this forum that has helped me out, partiucularly: justalurker

Best Regards,

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 10:05AM
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Curious... what settings did you use and what are the proper settings according to OPWC?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 10:22AM
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JAL: As your requested, from OPWC:

Based on how you are wanting to set up this softener, here are the settings I would suggest.

VT - DF1b
CT - Fd
NT - 1
C - 40
H - 22
SF - 20%
DO - 8
RT - 2:00
BW - 10
BD - 60
RR - 10
BF - 11
FM - t.07

Best Regards,

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 2:45PM
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And which BLFC is in your valve? Look at the sticker near where the brine line attaches.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 3:19PM
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JAL, It's:

.5 GPM
1.5 LB
Salt / MIn

Best Regards,

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 6:48PM
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Stan, you researched this and it seemed you understood and then you did what they told you instead of what you already knew.

.5 BLFC x BF of 11 (minutes) = 5.5 gallons of water

5.5 gallons of water dissolves 16.5 lbs of salt or 8.25 pounds of salt per cube of resin.. a far cry from the 6 lbs per cube you already knew you wanted.

2.0 cubes of resin regenerated by 16.5 pounds of salt gets you 48k hardness removal capacity at a lousy efficiency of 3000 grains hardness removed per pound of salt.

2.0 cubes of resin regenerated by 12 pounds of salt (6 lbs per cube of resin) gets you 40k hardness removal capacity (coincidentally what you set the C at in your programming) at the sweet spot of efficiency of 3333 grains hardness removed per pound of salt.

Change your BF to 8

Monitor your water to see that it stays soft all the way till regeneration. If it does then fine. If not then change your DO to 7.


This post was edited by justalurker on Tue, Aug 6, 13 at 19:35

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 7:12PM
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JAL: Good input. I have researched this, but I like to run my thoughts past people with more experience then myself.

I like your numbers, but the issue is that I'm pushing the efficiency as much as I can. Right now, my calculations assume a 57 gallons per day per person. Which is pretty low, but it's the only way to hit the sweet spot with my family size, hardness and 64,000 grain capacity.

So, I'm at the edge of being aggressive with my numbers and leaning towards fiction. Particularly, since I have 5 children (3 gone and moved out of the house), but come home often. Then we have lots of guests. Right now we have two young Chinese ladies from Taiwan staying with us for 5 days.

So, really, I should have gotten a larger unit like the 80,000 grain capacity. But, that's another $140, also, I have real space concerns--where I've installed the unit. So, a bigger unit would just push that envelope.

I agree the OPWC calculation are not optimum, but giving my needs, it's not so bad. Besides, I have bigger fish to fry; so wasteing some salt to free me up, is not so bad. My current house is my third foreclosure that I've bought. I buy them, remodel them, them move on. In my current house I've: moved interior walls around, moved the washer and dryer from the basement to the second floor, put in a 7.1 surround sound movie theater in the basement, etc, etc.

Then, I have plans for a new major kitchen remodel and a center piece water fall and pond in the back yard. So, I want to move beyond tinkering with the setting on this water softener.

The difference between your calculations and OPWC's would cost me about one 40 pound bag of salt every 9 weeks. I like to save money more then the next guy. But, sometimes you get to a point of diminishing returns.

Anyways, thanks again for your help. I welcome any other insight that you would want to offer.

Best Regards,

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 10:29AM
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The generally accepted gpd water use per person is 60 so you're not pushing anything @ 57. That is the number in today's resource and environmentally conscious reality. Any increase in water consumption caused by guests or anything else will simply result in more frequent regeneration and that is EXACTLY the advantage of an on demand control valve versus a timer based control valve.

You can use as much or as little salt to regenerate as you like and an SXT control valve doesn't care and doesn't even know.

The # of gallons of water treated determined by an SXT control valve is based ONLY on the C and the H setting and calculated by simple arithmetic. The BF setting is not used in the calculation.

One justifies the K by manipulating the salt dose for the resin volume and then use that # as C when programming the softener.

So, if you want to do what you said in your last post the C setting needs to be corrected otherwise the SXT never sees the additional hardness removal capacity you gained by increasing the salt dose to 16.5 pounds. In other words, you increased the salt dose but the gallons the SXT showed stayed the same... understand?

In your pursuit of the obscure you overlook the oblivious.

It's not a matter of diminishing returns... it is a matter of sizing a softener correctly for the water conditions and water usage (occupancy of the house) and setting it up correctly so you enjoy the water quality you expected at the most reasonable cost and so the person who buys the house when you flip it doesn't need to buy a correctly sized softener to replace the one you left them or try to figure out where you cut corners and saved a few bucks. A softener should be a value add to the house not an unexpected expense or mystery for the new owner... but that's just my opinion.

And now I'm done.

This post was edited by justalurker on Wed, Aug 7, 13 at 13:32

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 11:41AM
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JAL: It's taken me lot's of thinking about your last posting, but I think I've got it now. Please correct me if I'm wrong:

1.) While the 'BF' mode is the forth step in the regeneration process, it's also used in the "Brine Draw" cycle #2. In other words, while the BD phase is always set at 60. It does not actually draw from the brine tank for 60. Instead, it draws the same amount that is set for 'BF'. Then lets the brine soak the resin for the remainder of the 60-'BF' time.

2.) So, since 'BF' worth of brine has gone into the water tank, there needs to be a 'BF' worth of water going back into the brine tank in the forth cycle.

3.) So, if I set the 'BF' for a value higher then dictated by C and H, I'm not gaining anything. Just waisting salt. (as you tried to explain to me).

So, if I do 'have it', I stand corrected. You are very kind to be patient in explaining this to me!! Thanks so much!!

Best Regards,

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 3:26PM
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I tried the new value BF value that you gave me, and the unit regenerates at a much higher rate then it should. I switched it back to the values that gave me and it woorks good. I'm not an expert here, so I'll just assume that the vendors values are correct.

Best Regards,

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 11:11AM
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