Water Softener questions?

Outatime80November 23, 2011

Hello All

Hope someone can please help me, I have recently been given a Hydroquad water softener and to be honest I am not sure its working 100%.

Its a 10 year old unit with original resin and am thinking of changing out the resin as its wasn't regenerated for over 7 years now which I am not sure is a good thing or a bad thing, water was running through it daily and the controller was unplugged and not used, I did the soap and water test but it didn't really have the results I expected but our water isn't majorly hard. Do you think its worth replacing the resin and starting fresh? I have been told my unit needs 1.5sq ft of new resin for 44grain capacity.

Also regeneration is a question I am not sure about, I have used all the calculators online but none of them really give me a good answer to how often I should regenerate. Its just myself,wife and our 6 month old baby, we run the washing machine a few times a week (front loading) same with the dishwater, shower each day but our water bills are saying we only use about 800 gallons a month. If I do the calculations with our water hardness at about 4 then it says I hardly ever have to regenerate. What do you think about regen times? I am using a Fleck5600 if that helps.

I have a six stage RO unit for filtered water and a Samsung water filter on my fridge we use to drink from mainly.

Hope someone can please help



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First we need to know the water conditions...
Well or water system?
Hardness, iron, manganese, ph, tds, if well water then bacteria and nitrates also?

Then the # of people (3) and the # of bathrooms?

Then we need to identify the softener you have and the hardness removal capacity. Is there a model # on the unit like 948 or 8x33 or something like that? If not then measure the height of the resin tank (the one with the control valve on top) from the floor to the top of the neck but don't include the control valve and the diameter (width of the tank.

We need to know if you have a timer based Fleck 5600 or an on demand model Econominder?

Does the control valve look like this...

Or like this...

If it is an old technology timer based 5600 and it needs resin it would be more cost effective to buy a newer technology on demand based softener because it can be sized correctly and will be more water and salt efficient.

Since you don't know what the water conditions that old softener was subjected to it might be a better investment to start from scratch with a correctly sized and efficiently set up softener that addresses your water conditions and usage.

If you have hard water and feed it to an RO it will cause the (expensive) membrane to require replacement much more often than feeding the RO soft water. You should be feeding RO water to the fridge and eliminate the filter in the fridge.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 2:06PM
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Thank you so much for your reply, sorry got caught up over Thanksgiving.

OK these are the best water results I have to hand, Clorine 0, Alk 120ppm, PH 9, Hardness 3 grains 50ppm
We have two adults and one child in the home. We are using mains city water (no well) 2.5 bathrooms, no irrigation (run by a seperate irrigation well).

The softener is a United Standard Hydro Quad model 1054 there isn't really much info out on it I could find. Its 10" wide by 50" high with a seperate brine tank.

The controller on top is the Fleck 5600 Econominder.

Regarding the fridge, I am doing my best right now to figure out a way to get the RO tube to the fridge but my wash basin sink is on the other side of the room so its tough to feed the fridge but that is my goal.

Does the above help at all?

Thank you again


    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 10:31AM
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OK, a 1054 is 1.5 cu ft of resin so we know that. If you have the control valve in the top picture then you have an demand initiated control valve which is good.

There is no mention of iron or manganese in the specs you posted... didn't know or there wasn't any?

PH is a touch at 9. That may result in an alkali taste to the water.

So, with 3 gpg hardness and three people the 1054 softener is way too large and you'd most likely have problems with channeling.

You're right on the edge of needing a softener and may want to consider life without one. If you've decided you want a softener then you need one that is smaller. It would be more cost effective (under $500 online) to get a correctly sized one instead of buying resin and hoping the control valve on the 1054 doesn't leak and works properly. The 1054 would still be way too large for your needs.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 1:00PM
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Thank you once again for your advice and help. I hope you don't mind me asking but why is an over sized unit so bad? Is it because the cost of regeneration on salt and water? Surly it can't use that much water can it? Right now I have it set at 200 gallons and its taken nearly two weeks to get to the Regen point and its not quite there yet..maybe the controller is bad or I have really not used that much water. Right now my water bills don't get to the point of registering for extra units used its still using the standard billing fee amount of about $15.

I would really like to use a softener as it felt great when we started using it but it doesn't feel like the water is as soft right now so maybe I need it to regen more often?

I really don't want the expense of starting over unless its really necessary but I will definitely heed your advice.

Thank you


    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 2:40PM
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Here's where you are right now... you have too large a softener that you don't know works properly that is set up wrong and you don't know the water conditions.

Water treatment is based on chemistry, physics, and mechanics. None of those disciplines embrace guesses or I'll use what I have.

There's too small, too large, and just right. Too large a softener for the water conditions and water usage will channel and then you'll get hard water all the time. Too small a softener and it will regenerate too often wasting money, water, and salt and then hardness will leak through.

After you pay to replace the 1.5 cubes of resin in the softener you have and make whatever repairs to the control valve you may or may not need you'll still have too big a softener for your needs and will have spent almost what it will cost to buy a new correctly sized softener... under $500

You'll have to forgive me... I'm not a teacher. I do HOW questions. I don't do WHY questions.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 3:31PM
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