Water Softener backwash

remington351November 26, 2012

I need some help with my water softener. I have a fleck 2510sxt on a 10x54 tank with about 1.25cuft of standard resin.

The problem I'm having is the backwash mode is only expanding the resin by about 9 inches during regeneration. I have 4-5 inches of gravel in the bottom of the tank and about 30 inches of resin. Everything I read says that I should be achieving a backwash expansion of 50% or more (15+ inches).

My current DLFC is 2.4. The drain line has a vertical run of about 4ft before going horizontal for 15 ft to the air gap drain. Drain pipe is 3/4 cpvc. Will increasing the DLFC to 3, 4 or 5 improve the bed expansion during backwash?


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How did you determine the bed expansion is 9 inches?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 11:30AM
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The tank is a light tan color. Shine a bright flashlight from behind the tank with the basement lights off and I can see the level of resin when in service and when backwashing.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Okay, how old is the softener? Is this a new problem? Water pressure? Do you have particulates in your water (pre-softener)? Does your water contain iron and/or manganese?When the softener is in backwash mode, can you re-direct the flow to a bucket and get an idea of the actual flowrate you are getting?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 1:33PM
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Thanks for the help, Alice.

The softener unit is new from Ohio Pure Water. Installed six months ago. Expansion rate has been consistent since installed. Pressure is from a well and Amtrol pressure tank with 30/50psi switch. The softener is plumbed downstream from a 10x54 calcite tank.

No iron. No Manganese. No particulates/sediment in raw water.

Bucket measure will be kind of a pain.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 2:26PM
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One more question that I should have asked. What type of resin are you using? If you know the specific brand and product that would be great. If not, at least need to know if it is standard or fine mesh. Did you pay for a resin upgrade or get the standard from Ohio Pure?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Also, have you contacted Ohio Pure about the issue? What did they say?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 2:50PM
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Purolite standard resin. Not fine mesh. I emailed OPW a couple of months ago asking about the 9 inch expansion and they said that I "really should try to get a 50% expansion". I asked for any advice and they said to try setting the backwash to 15min instead of 10min. I did not inquire about changing the DLFC at that time.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 3:13PM
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Purolite C-100E resin, you need a backwash rate of 3 gallons/minute/sqft at 40 deg F, 5 at 50 deg F, 5.8 at 68 deg F. This translates to 1.6 gpm at 40 deg F, 2.5 gpm at 50 deg F, 3.2 gpm at 68 deg F.

At 2.4 GPM, you should be getting about 4.4 gpm/sqft. If you are only getting 33% bed expansion, either your water is warm or there is a clog somewhere and you are not actually getting the correct flow rate.

Measure the temperature of the backwash water. If it is above 50 deg F then you need a larger DLFC. If it is below, then you likely have an obstruction somewhere.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 4:09PM
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Alice, thanks for the detailed answer. The basement is heated during the fall and winter with a pellet stove to about 78f. So I think the water in my pressure tank may be getting a little warm. I'll check the temps next regeneration.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 10:15PM
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