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Need help sizing water softener system

Posted by maccps (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 2, 12 at 16:04

I read many useful information from this forum regarding Water softener system. I have never use water softener system before but will need one installed for my tankless water heater.

I'll need help in size/type of the system & type of controller I should get.

Water supply - city water
people in house - 3 adults, townhouse
bathroom - 3 washrooms; 2 baths
Flow rate (hot & cold taps full open) - 13.21 gpm

Information from town :
Water hardness - 7.26 gpg
Coliform - 0-1 (min# - max#)
Chlorine - 0.26-1.29 mg/L (min# - max#)
Mercury - <0.02 ug/L
Selenium - <0.0001 mg/L
Uranium - 0.0003 mg/L
Nitrite - <0.001 mg/L
Nitrate - 0.468 mg/L
Lead at distribution - 0.0001-0.0017 mg/L (min# - max#)
Sodium - 15.27 mg/L
PH - 7 to 8; ~ 7.6
Iron - non detacted
Manganese - non detacted
Copper - 0.032 mg/L

Questions :
1. should I get rock base + resin or just the resin ?
2. Is there different type of resin available (any brand is of higher/better quality) in the market ? The salesman mentioned a "regular" resin and a "finer" resin.

Thank you for your help.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Need help sizing water softener system

Here's my advice to you. Be patient & wait to hear from Alice on this thread. Take notes, pay attention, be axact with your findings as it looks like you have so far & you will save many hours of frustration trying to research different softener options as well as saving thousands of dollars. She knows this softening science really, really well. The only advice I can offer to you is buy your new softener from Jean at OPWC, she's a total sweetheart. I just purchased a complete new system from them that Alice specd'-out for me & they are Excellent to do business with!

Here's their site:

RE: Need help sizing water softener system

Thanks for your encouragement CigarLover. I will be patient.
It's your successful experience that prompt me to start this thread. I hope I can have a smooth experience same as yours.

I will contact Jean once I got my specifications. Thanks for your link.

Best Regards

RE: Need help sizing water softener system

Hello Maccps,
Ok, great to hear back from you. We are installing the new Softener system tomorrow. I will let you know how everything works in the coming weeks with monitoring the hardness of our water. I'm really glad that this forum is helping you as much as it has helped me. It's a great site!

Best Regards to you too.....

RE: Need help sizing water softener system

As a first run, your numbers can get us close. I strongly urge you to obtain your own water test from a sample of the water at your house. Although it should be similar to the city's analysis, it won't necessarily be. Particularly, water can pick up iron along its run through the various pipes on its way to your house and iron makes a huge difference in required softener size.

For example, if you actually have no iron, a 0.75 cubic ft softener will do nicely. However, if you have just 1 ppm of iron, you would need a 1.25 cuft softner - that's a pretty big difference.

In order to properly size your softener, we need to know:

As to your questions:
1) Absolutely you want a gravel base in your softener. This will ensure you get proper flow without channeling and improve backwash. Many softener providers will tell you this is not necessary, but they are incorrect. The issue is that gravel is heavy and expensive to ship. Too bad - you need it. The only time you shouldn't have gravel is if you have a turbulator. I don't generally recommend one though as they have a tendency to be a maintenance issue.
2) Any made-in-the-USA resin will be of high quality. You don't need fine-mesh resin (that simply means that the resin beads are smaller diameter) in your case, but since you are on city water with some chlorine, you do need resin that is 10% crosslinked, rather than a more standard 8% crosslinked resin. The 10% crosslink will withstand the chlorine and provide longer resin life.

It's generally a good idea to get a local water treatment company out and see what they recommend. You may get lucky and have a good one. See what they can offer your - you may be pleasantly surprised.

RE: Need help sizing water softener system

Hi Alice,

So happy to see your reply. Sorry I cannot response to you earlier because of health issue in my family.

I will try to get my own water tested but don't know how and where at this point. From previous reading in this forum, I guess I need to contact a lab. I will post my result as soon as I have it.

I have talked to some local water treatment companies but my feeling is I can't trust them. Especially after reading this forum. More like sales talk and give me prices to think about than telling me what's actually in the tank. I will compare prices after I have the spec but I don't mind buying from USA and get it to Canada myself.

Thanks again.

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