Return to the Plumbing Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Water Softener Questions

Posted by amateurplumber (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 10, 13 at 22:59

Hello,

I will be purchasing a Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 grain capacity water softener. However, before I order, I've got a few questions:

1)What place do you guys think is the best place to order from? I've been recommended qualitywatertreatment.com, ohiopurewater.com, and qualitywaterforless.com. They're all within the same amount of money, and they all seem to be pretty good.

2)I can use this for a bypass valve, there is no need for another one, correct? http://i.imgur.com/9vhiQnZ.jpg

3)This drain is ok for the drain and overflow lines, right? http://i.imgur.com/CSXWX3b.jpg

4)Since my valves are not threaded, and I don’t know how to solder, I can just use sharkbite fittings, right?

5)Is it very difficult to assemble and install the water softener?

6)I’d appreciate any tips you may have (what materials the lines should be made out of, precautions to take, stuff like that)!

Thank you guys SO much!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

1) Whichever you are most comfortable with, gives you the most information, is most complete with setup instructions.

2) Your bypass is great for offering you the ability to remove the softener without disrupting water flow to your house. The softener should also come equipped with its own bypass.

3) Wrong. A floor drain is not the appropriate place to drain a softener.

4) Yes, provided they are acceptable under your locality's code. Learning to solder, however, is easy. Really. You could purchase your parts in triplicate and practice and still spend less than you will on sharkbite fittings.

5) Not if you have some basic plumbing skills

6) You are asking some pretty basic questions, which causes me to wonder how you determined the size softener you will purchase.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Ah, any ideas on where would be better to drain the softener? The only other drain is the washing machine drain, and thats up a floor and quite far away. The sump pump is metal. Thanks!


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

You should plumb in the appropriate drain - I believe code now specifies a 2" drain with a p-trap. A plumber could give you specific requirement for your locality.

How did you determine softener size? I would be happy to double check your calculations if you would like.

When I specify a softener, I want the following:

1) Water analysis: hardness, iron,manganese, TDS, pH, sulfides, alkalinity.
2) city or well water
3) # of people in the home
4) # of bathrooms in the home
5) Any high-water use fixtures, such as jet tub or multi-head shower?
6) The softener will arrive with default programming - it will need to be programmed for your situation in order to operate efficiently.

You should order your softener with:

1) Quality US or German resin.
2) 10% crosslinked resin if you have city water
3) Top distribution basket
4) Gravel underbed
5) Fleck or equivalent metered valve
6) noryl bypass
7) Plumb in your softener with a 3-valve bypass so you can remove it without disrupting water to your home.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Hi alice in wonderland! Thanks much for the informational post. I'll try to get on that drain renovation soon. :D Our city water is softened during some months of the year, and during other time it is not. Ranges between 15-30 hardness.3 people in the house. 4 bathroom (3 full). No iron. City water. pH 7. No manganese. Chose a 48000 grain Fleck 5600sxt.

The only thing i dont understand is the bypass valve on the wall, that i'll be dismantling into 2 pipes and hooking up to the softeners bypass valve. What the heck is it? As a I understand it, a bypass valve should look like this: http://hostedmedia.reimanpub.com/TFH/Projects/Lead-Image/FH05OCT_PLUMBW_01.JPG

Mine looks like this: http://imgur.com/a/m7u3X

Anyone care to try to explain it to me? Sorry that I have the plumbing knowledge of a 10 year old. :(

As always, thanks again!

Since I dont know how to solder and dont have the appropriate tools, i will be using a bypass on the softener, not the one on the wall. Per this advice from a friend:

[QUOTE]I saw the photo you have of the piping in the basement. Mine looked very similar when I started. What I did was cut that all out, so I just had two cut copper pipes hanging there. Then I got two gatorbite ball valves like these:

Shop GatorBITE 3/4" x 3/4" Removable Ball Valve at Lowes.com

Stuck one on each pipe. Then you'll have threaded ends on the softener side and gatorbite ends on the wall side. You can just go to Lowes then and buy PEX tubing and any elbows to join it all together.[/QUOTE]


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Your bypass DOES look like the one in the first picture. The only difference is that yours uses different valves. It's absolutely fine. Since I am not on site to trace your pipes, I can't say for certain, but it looks like water enters from the right. Currently, the two vertical valves are closed (if they weren't you would have a flood) and the horizontal valve is open. Water enters from the right, goes through the open valve and on to the rest of your home. The flow through the "what it should look like" picture is exactly the same. As long as they are functioning, your gate valves are fine.

I would not remove the bypass. Here is why:

1) If you leave it in place, you can take all the time in the world installing your softener. Then, once it is installed, you simply open the two vertical valves and close the horizontal one. Easy.

2) If you leave it in place and something goes wrong with your softener and you have to remove it, you simply close the two vertical valves and open the horizontal one and do what you need to do with the softener.

3) If you remove the bypass, you have to shut down the water to your entire house and drain it, the whole house. When you open the vertical valves, more water will drain out - have buckets and towels ready as you will need them. Then you have to remove the bypass. Then you have to install whatever it is you are going to install. Then you install the softener. If you were a professional plumber this might be a quick job, but you are not. It will take a long time, during which, you will have no water in your home.

4) If you remove the bypass and something goes wrong with your softener, you will have to shut down water to your home to deal with it.

You friend gave you poor advice. Any professional plumber will tell you the same thing. You also seem confused about which direction the water is flowing. This is just a matter of tracing your pipes. If you are feeling out of your depth tracing pipes and finding and installing the appropriate fittings to get from your existing valves to your softener, perhaps it is time to call in a pro - it is literally a 5 minute job.

Softener size: Will you be monitoring the hardness of your water so you will know when it is 15 and when it is 30? If not, do the water sources change on a schedule or is it random? If the changes are scheduled, you could size your softener smaller and changed the programmed hardness when the water changes. If you have no idea when it will change, it would be more appropriate to size the softener for the highest hardness and not have to mess with it. It looks like you split the difference and assumed about 22 gpg hardness to size your softener. If you program your softener for 22 gpg, during those times when your hardness is actually 30, you will have hard water running through your house 2 - days out of every week. If you program for 30 gpp, your softener will regen every 5 days,


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Wow, thank you so much for the detailed response! More information than I could have ever hoped for! I'll probably just call the water company every month to see what the hardness is. It's on a schedule, though. They stop softening during the "irrigation months."

You offer some really good explanations for keeping the valve in place. Man...if only I knew how to solder. I'll think about calling in a professional, but I really don't want to have to go (even more) past my budget. Are you sure about the gate valves? It seems like a lot of people are telling me to use ball valves instead.

This post was edited by amateurplumber on Sat, Mar 16, 13 at 13:10


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Gate valves have been used successfully in all sorts of piping for decades. They are fine. While it is true that they are not full port valves, unless your piping system is woefully under-sized, as a home owner you won't notice. A potential problem with gate valves is they can become stiff or stuck from lack of use. However, you can say this of any valve.

If, by chance, your valves are not functioning, would I suggest replacing them with a good quarter-turn ball valve? Sure. But if your valves are functioning there is no need to replace them.

As to soldering - perhaps you have a friend who knows how, or a neighbor, or a member of your church if you attend one, that would be willing to do it for you? A local place like Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware may have someone who could show you how, or they may offer a class.

I understand money is a concern, but think of how much more it will cost to fix a poor job than to do it correctly the first time. Possibly you could find some areas in your budget that you can cut in order to afford a plumber.

One other possibility, perhaps less costly than a plumber, but more costly than learning to solder: You could remove what you have and install the same configuration with sharkbite or similar fittings. $100 - $140, including the flexible connections to the softener.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Alice, thank you for the words of wisdom and the advice. I was actually thinking about removing the whole thing and making a sharkbite replica like you said! Might be kind of expensive, but it would make things a whole lot easier like you said above! Though, I don't think it'd be quite as expensive as you say (then again, I am frequently wrong, haha). Thank you so much for answering my questions; I know I must be irritating at times!

Ugh, now to go find all the appropriate fittings to redo the bypass. I'll need 2 3/4 to 3/4" sharkbite ball valves, 2 copper T fittings, some extra pipe to go from each side to the softener (and appropriate connectors), and then I have to figure out how to recreate the middle valve. :(

This post was edited by amateurplumber on Sat, Mar 16, 13 at 15:54


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

You might still need tubing soldered into the T fittings to accommodate the shark bite connectors.

The thing with gate valves, especially gate valves that have been in service for a long time and rarely used, is that they tend to fail at the exact time you need them to work.

You will spend a lot for shark bite connectors and shark bite valves. Maybe as much as it would cost to pay a handyperson or plumber to solder the connections you need and shark bites would be a less reliable assembly than the plumber would leave you with.

Get a handyperson or plumber to replace the gate valves with 1/4 turn ball valves and terminate the bypass with threaded males so you can easily get what you need locally to connect your softener and ALSO get the bypass that mates to your softener control valve.

Falcon Stainless threaded flexible SS connectors are excellent and reliable. The shark bite (John Guest) versions are relatively new to the market.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Ah yes, I was planning on using one of those Falcon stainless connectors, except I couldnt really find the right one. Before i thought about reconstructing the bypass assembly, I was just going to use the softeners bypass and connect one end of the Falcon connector to the copper pipe (its a push to connect) and the other end would go to the bypass (assuming the water softeners bypass is threaded). Truth be told, while not the best idea, this would certainly be the easiest. Id literally just need to cut the pipes and use the falcon/sharkbite connectors and bam, im done.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Just to give you an idea about relative cost if you do the work yourself:

(1)SHARKBITE AND FALCON $134

2, 3/4" Sharkbite T's [~$12 ea x 2 = $24]
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/100638165?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100638165&R=100638165#.UUTaIxxwrE0

3, 3/4" Sharkbite ball valves [~$19 ea x 3 = $57]
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/100638146?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=3/4%22+sharkbite&storeId=10051&N=5yc1v&R=100638146#.UUTa0hxwrE1

Some copper pipe to go between fittings maybe $10

2, Falcon fittings [$22 ea x 2 = $44]
http://www.falconstainless.com/price_list.html


OR

(2) JUST SHARKBITE $98

2, 3/4" Sharkbite T's [$24]

1, 3/4" Sharkbite ball valve [$19]

2, 3/4" Sharkbite ball valve with connector [~$22.50 ea x 2 = $45]

Copper pipe [$10]


OR

(3) SOLDER TO EXISTING BYPASS $75

Copper pipe [$10]
Falcon fittings [$45]
Plumber's kit [~$20]
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/203368715?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=203368715&R=203368715#.UUTjDBxwrE0


(4) REPLACE EXISTING BYPASS $120

Copper pipe [$10]
3, 3/4" ball valves [~$13 ea x 3 = $39]
2, 3/4" copper T's [~$3 x 2 = $6]
2, Falcon fittings [$45]
Plumber's kit " [~$20]

If it were my home, my order of preference would be: 4,3,1,2. You will have to weigh cost/benefit for yourself. Call around and see what a handyman or plumber will charge to do the work. You may be surprised.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

"Truth be told, while not the best idea, this would certainly be the easiest. Id literally just need to cut the pipes and use the falcon/sharkbite connectors and bam, im done"

And you're done except for constant vigilance to make sure none of the snap together fittings leak. If they do it will be at system pressure and usually when no one is home to shut off the water.

If it were my home it would be #4 and that's the most reliable choice. A system pressure water leak will result in a far higher coast to repair than the price to plumb the softener in correctly in the first place.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Aliceinwonderland, you are a freakin angel! Thanks a TON! Guess it's time to decide which I want to do and then do it; I'll most likely go with your suggestion. It'll just take a little more time, but at least I will learn something. Justalurker, you kind of freaked me out, heh. I may call a plumber, but I really have been wanting to learn these skills.

For #4, i'll have to cut the pipes, solder a copper T onto each side, solder a piece of copper pipe on the right and left side of each copper T, solder a ball valve onto those two pieces, then solder a ball valve on the bottom of each copper T, is that right? Then the falcon connectors will have what type of connections (I thought they have a push to connect and then a screw on end)?

I think this wont actually be too expensive, my brother in law has a soldering iron I can use.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

You're not soldering wires you're soldering pipe and that requires FLAME not a soldering iron. If you're smart you'll get a plumber or handyman (woman) to do the soldering. Soldering ball valves it's easy to overheat and damage the teflon ball inside the valve. Just watching someone who can really solder pipes is a great lesson in itself and you can learn a lot.

When you get the time buy some copper bits and a good torch and practice.

The Fleck 5600SXT can be ordered with Noryl bypass and Noryl yoke which will have 3/4" male thread. The copper bypass can be terminated in 3/4" male thread and a Falcon Stainless 3/4" threaded female to 3/4" threaded female SS flex can be used to connect the control valve. All common parts and reliable connections.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Gotcha, thank you for the information, that clears things up. Looking more and more like I will just call a plumber. Questions:

1)How do you guys like the EZ sweat fittings?

2)Ordering the softener with just the yoke is only if you have a bypass already set up, right (it's an option, though I dont understand why you wouldnt want both, like alice said)?

3)Is a noryl bypass 'better' than a stainless steel one?

4)Would it be wrong of me to just get all the parts and then call a plumber? Dont know if that goes against protocol.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

1) They work great. I think they are completely unnecessary because applying flux and solder is not difficult, but they work. The price is higher.

2) You want both.

3) Noryl is more corrosion resistant. The SS bypasses aren't a great grade of SS.

4) Not wrong if you know precisely what you need and how you want it done. But, in a case where you are pretty low on the learning curve, if you tell the plumber you have all the parts necessary and he arrives and finds you don't, it may end up costing you more. Most plumbers prefer to get the parts themselves so they know exactly what they have. When calling for quotes, simply explain that you have a 3/4" copper softener loop already, tell them what you want done and let them give you a quote. You can always ask what the difference would be if you supplied the parts


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

In agreement with Alice regarding both the copper bypass and the Noryl one. If you ever spring a leak in the Fleck bypass you can still have water to the house while waiting for parts or repair. That logic was sound earlier when Alice presented it and it is still sound advice now. The Noryl bypass is preferred and that's why Alice recommended it.

Let the plumber supply the parts. If his/her part fails then the plumber will stand behind the job. If your part fails then be prepared to pay the plumber to replace your failed part. Ever heard the old saying penny wise and dollar foolish? Paying a plumber twice to do the same job is more than twice the fun.

In order to do anything one needs the knowledge and the tools. In this circumstance you lack both so pay a professional to do the job right and don't begrudge them making a living. I'm pretty sure you like getting a paycheck so spread the karma and learn from watching a pro.

I will tell you this... some plumbers will resent the repeated questioning and second guessing you've done on this and the other forum you posted these same questions on and that usually results in a pricier invoice.

Ever seen a sign like this at the repair shop?

Normal Rates. $75.00 - $85.00................
If you watch $95.00 - $125.00....................
If you've worked on it before bringing it in, $175.00 - $250.00.

Just for grins I always liked this sign too...

We do 3 types of work in our shop - good, fast and cheap. You may choose any 2.

If you want it good and fast, it won't be cheap.
If you want it good and cheap, it won't be fast.
If you want it fast and cheap, it won't be good.

This post was edited by justalurker on Sat, Mar 16, 13 at 22:03


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

I completely understand what you mean, haha. That's why I thank you (when I remember to) for putting up with me! :P It's just in my nature to find out everything I possibly can about something that I don't understand and want to learn about.

When I find knowledgeable people (you guys) who can explain things to me in a clear and concise manner, I just can't help all the questions, especially if its about something that varies so much from situation to situation (i.e., plumbing) that requires experience and not just random information on the internet. And then the answers spawn new questions...it's a never ending cycle. :(

Again, thanks for all the help! Soldering really doesn't seem *too* bad; i'll try and buy some cheap pieces and practice to get some experience and then go from there.

This post was edited by amateurplumber on Sat, Mar 16, 13 at 23:18


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

There's do it yourself and there's screw it yourself... you've made your choice. Taking a chance of a water leak that can do incredibly expensive damage to your home rather than pay a plumber $100 or so to do the job right is well...

In Magnum Force Clint Eastwood said "A man's got to know his limitations" and in Dirty Harry... "... do you feel lucky... ".

Good luck.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

I said "and then go from there." That means "if I feel comfortable I *might* eventually try it" NOT "I wont call anyone for help if i think i need it" (or if I second guess myself at all). I'm no fool. :P Your message is getting through to me, fear not kind sir!

This post was edited by amateurplumber on Sat, Mar 16, 13 at 23:31


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Man, I'm now questioning whether it might not be better to get a lower capacity softener like Alice suggested I might do. For 10-12 gpg, I'd really only need a small one, then I could adjust it when my hardness increases to 30. I guess the downside is that during the "irrigation season" (30 gpg) it would have to regenerate more frequently.

Is there any downside besides cost to getting a higher capacity one though?I pretty much sized it based on the maximum 30 gpg. I would adjust it whether I had a smaller or larger capacity softener. My water company told me not to soften it too much, because extremely soft water is hard on the pipes. This sounds like baloney haha.

This post was edited by amateurplumber on Sun, Mar 17, 13 at 16:45


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

You didn't size it for 30 gpg - the size you picked is appropriate for 22 gpg, which is why I assumed you had split the difference between lowest hardness and highest hardness. I apologize for being unclear - the size you chose IS smaller than would be ideal for 30 gpg hardness.

While naturally soft waters can be hard on pipes, softened hard water will not, unless it already has low pH or very high pH.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Oh wow, whoops! Sorry for the misunderstanding. The guy at ohiopurewater and the other place both said that would be fine, guess they were wrong! Do you suggest I get an even higher capacity softener? I'll probably end up going with whatever you say.

I guess I don't really know what to do since our water company seems a little unusual with respect to the variable hardness. To be honest, it didn't really seem like they knew what they were talking about. One lady told me 8-10, until the irrigation season when it's 30. The other guy told me around 10-11, then 30 when they don't soften. The 2011 (most recent) water quality report said 11. On top of that, they told me that there are multiple water treatment centers/sources. Kind of confusing.

Btw, Id like to thank you for your help. You have the most informative posts I've ever seen on a forum (plumbing or otherwise)!

This post was edited by amateurplumber on Sun, Mar 17, 13 at 17:41


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Well, I was originally going to order the system today, but now I think I will wait until I have everything sorted out. Going to get the valve replaced and then work on figuring out the appropriate softener size.

This post was edited by amateurplumber on Mon, Mar 18, 13 at 12:29


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

If you want to set your softener for 30 gpg and forget about it, order a 2 cuft softener. You will use more salt this way 20 # per month EXTRA salt during the low-hardness periods.

If you want to monitor your hardness and adjust your softener accordingly (and if it's only during irrigation season that hardness is at 30 gpg, then you should only have to adjust twice annually) then purchase the 1.5 cuft softener.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Hmm...what to do, what to do? I think ill probably go with the 1.5 cuft softener since I really don't mind adjusting a couple times a year, but mostly because this project is already way over budget. Thanks for the help. It always comes down to money, heh.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Ok, so, basically, if I get the smaller softener, when the water shoots to 30 gpg, the softener will regenerate more often, right? The settings I have to change would just be the hardness setting and also the regeneration setting? What would you personally choose? Sorry for all the questions!


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

You would only need to change the hardness setting.

At 30 gpg with 3 people in your home, assuming 60 gallons/person/day, you will have 5400 grains per day. The sweet spot between water efficiency and salt efficiency happens at 6 lb salt/cuft resin, regenerating about every 7 days. At that salt dosage, a 2 cuft softener has a capacity of 42,000. Now we take off 15% for a safety factor. We do this because we set up the softener to regen at a convenient time in the middle of the night and you want soft water right up until regen time. This places your regen every 6 - 8 days.

At 12 gpg that same 2 cuft softener would regen every 16 days.

Now, if you go with a 1.5 cuft softener, 12 gpg regens every 12 and 30 gpg regens every 5.

While it is technically possible to size the softener smaller, you have a fairly large house with many bathrooms. When we try to choose the most appropriate softener size, we want to ensure that the softener is large enough to accommodate the use of several fixtures at once without negative impact on flow and without causing slugs of hard water during high-water-use times. For example: You don't want your shower to turn into a trickle if a toilet gets flushed in another bathroom. At the same time, we don't want to size the softener too large or you run the risk of channeling (where water runs through only a small portion of the softener rather than distributed across the resin bed).

If it were my home, I would go with the 1.5 cuft softener if I only had to change the settings twice per year. If, however, hardness changes frequently and without notice, I would go with a 2.0 cuft softener and leave it set for 30 gpg.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Question: I have seen some people suggest the Fleck 7000 SXT over the 5600 SXT because it has larger internal valves.

Even though my pipes are 3/4", would it be better to get the 7000 and just get an adapter?


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Scratch that. Looks like there has been some kind of a recall on the 7000SXT model. Not sure i feel like getting a potentially faulty model.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

I purchased a 48,000 grain system, figuring our water would be 30 grains/gallon for about a third of the year. However, a different water company representative tells me that this is not so, and our water is around 10 gpg (though it is likely higher than 10 in reality).

Figuring we use 90 gallons/day (which is a little high), the water is nearer to 13 gpg, there are three of us, and the water regenerates every 8 days, plus 10% for a "safety net," I am getting closer to 31,000 grains required.

Anyway, while I plan on monitoring the water throughout the year (especially during summer), I was wondering, what are the downsides to this? How can I mitigate the effects of too large a system? Thank you in advance for any information!


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

A 1.5 cubic ft system regenerated with 6 lb salt per cubic ft has a capacity of 31,500 grains.

If your hardness is 13 and you use 90 gpd/person, it will regen every 8 days. Perfect.

Now, if your hardness is 10 and you use 60 gpd/person, it will regen every 15 days. This is pushing it but possibly still fine IF you have a quality resin. The other possibility is regenerating with a lower salt dose, but that's not typically the best option.

What resin did you get with your softener? Brand and name. With this information I can use actual capacity instead of a "standard" capacity and determine the most efficient settings for your softener. Once I have that information, I can walk you through controller programming step by step.


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Hmm...I will try to get that information for you. I just got whatever was standard (NSF Approved High Capacity Cation 8% Crosslink Softening Resin (Imported)). Our water report says 'NA' for chlorine in the water (despite saying they use it to treat the water) and it was a little more expensive so I didn't get the 10% (I was already over budget). It says made in China. Definitely not a fan of anything made in China if I can get it made in the US, but I couldn't fit the extra $70 or so into my budget (again, budget) for the US made resin. Anyway, on the bag it just says "cation exchange resin" and he told me the other bag contained a softening resin (seems like he was just saying its generic resin, but I am not familiar with any of this).

The hardness is hard for me to pinpoint. I used a test strip that indicated something around 10-12 gpg. One or two people at the water company told me it's at 8-10, another told me 10-12, and the water report says 11. So I figure I'll go just a little higher to be safe.

I asked our water company for our complete water usage history. Turns out I am wrong. We can get up to 100 gallons/person, even higher (way higher) when we water the lawn, but we really dont use that much water at all. I'd say average we use only about 60 gallons per person per day (based on 30 days/month), sometimes slightly less, sometimes more. Though, its weird for me that all their calculations are flat x,000.

Well, I hope this is at least a little useful, and thank you for your help!

This post was edited by amateurplumber on Wed, Apr 10, 13 at 11:47


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Enter Master Programming Mode

  1. DF=Gal
  2. VT = St1b
  3. CT=Fd
  4. NT=1
  5. TS doesn’t matter because you only have one tank
  6. C=31.5
  7. H=13 (start with this, but you may need to make adjustments if hardness increases substantially during the Summer months)
  8. RS=FS
  9. SF=15
  10. RC=0 (You are using a % reserve rather than a fixed reserve)
  11. DO=8
  12. RT=2:00 (or another convenient time when you won’t be using water for a couple of hours)
  13. Regeneration cycle step times
    BW=10
    BF=60
    RR=10
    BD=Here, you need to find your BLFC sticker. There is a picture below showing you where to look. If the sticker is 0.125 gpm set BD=24, 0.25 gpm set BD =12, if 0.5 gpm set BD=6, 1.0 gpm set BD=3
  14. Ensure all days are set to ON, unless you have a specific day of the week when you do not want the softener to regen.
  15. CD doesn’t matter unless you set a day to OFF in step 14.
  16. FM t0.7
  17. doesn’t matter


Exit Master Programming Mode.
Set the time to the correct time.
Enjoy your soft water!

[edited to fix two typos]

This post was edited by aliceinwonderland_id on Wed, Apr 10, 13 at 17:27


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

Wow, thanks a ton! My little sticker said BLFC 0.125 gpm. Is this good, bad, or doesnt it matter? I could swear i read somewhere that someone said that was low (though they were referring to someone else system which could've been very different).

Also, it is interesting that you had the capacity set to 31.5. I get why you did it, but it just seems kind of weird thinking that the system is advertised as a certain capacity but thats not 'really' what it is.

Anyways, thanks so much, you have been insanely helpful. I appreciate you putting up with my annoying questions!

This post was edited by amateurplumber on Wed, Apr 10, 13 at 22:21


 o
RE: Water Softener Questions

BLFB of 0.125 is small for the size of your system, but it's fine. It just means it takes longer to refill the brine tank.

The advertised system capacity is the actual capacity when it reaches your door. The resin manufactures will specify that capacity. They have no way of knowing how you will regenerate the resin, so designating it any other way would not make sense for them. However, this is the reason I refer to cubic feet of resin when talk about the size of a system. Once we are actually using it, cubic feet of resin is "universal" and capacity is determined by salt dosage.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Plumbing Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here