Water Softener

Water Softener

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sun May 09, 2010 1:14 pm

Background info: Main house and guest house are fed from one well, guest house is supplied with softened water from the main house. Our current softener is the timer type; you have to set the pins on the dial to determine how often it regenerates. Up until now the system has worked pretty well, but recently we had two people move into our guest house. This is the first time anyone has lived in the guest house since we've owned the home, so I expected a few glitches.

Immediately after they moved in I noticed some surging in the water pressure when taking a shower. Didn't take long to discover the well tank was under-inflated and not correctly matched to the pump cut-in setting. Since I got that straightened out the water pressure has been excellent, but then we started getting spots all over the dishes. Makes sense that the softener would need to regenerate more often with twice as many people using water, so I added some extra pins to the week's schedule. The water seems to be fine now, but here is the sticking point...the folks living in the guest house are often gone for 2-3 days at a time, and their water usage is very erratic. Sometimes the softener regenerates when it doesn't need to, and other times the water starts to get hard due to high consumption for that particular day (laundry day, etc).

I would like to upgrade the water softener (current one is ~20 years old) to one that operates based on water usage, not just time. Just curious what you guys are using, what has worked well, what doesn't, etc. Any comments are welcome.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Water Softener

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sun May 09, 2010 1:21 pm

We've got a Kinetico. Made around the corner in Newbury,Ohio. Runs on water pressure only. No timers,no electricity other than what our well pump uses. has a double resin chamber so that softened water is always available(one waiting in reserve) Uses softened water to do the regeneration process. Does extremely well on salt usage. Not cheap,but is fairly bullet-proof and has been in flawless function for 8 years now.
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !

Re: Water Softener

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Sun May 09, 2010 1:35 pm

I've had both types: two timer/pin units and one flow/usage unit. Only ever had one problem with the flow unit. It wasn't related to the usage meter but the rotary valve seal. If it wasn't properly lubed w/silicone grease, it would hang mid cycle. I had that one problem two times. It took me a while to figure where the issue was but it wasn't too hard to fix. I wore one timer unit out after 22 years (Sears) and replaced it with the flow unit (again Sears). I've since moved and am now using a pin system again (Master - much simpler).

IMHO, t he flow system should solve the problem with the fluctuating usage. Just investigate what other say bout the metering valve's reliability. Staying with the pin system an conserving salt would require you to monitor the rent's presence and changing the pin configuration accordingly.
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace


Re: Water Softener

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sun May 09, 2010 9:31 pm

I have an Ecowater. Very expensive, but it computes usage & takes care of all that automatically. The only issue I've had with it was the stench caused by harmless bacteria that decided to make a home in it. I cleaned it out, but they would move from one appliance to the next. 2 gallons of bleach down the well fixed that problem ..... along with a few of the wifey's shirts! :lol:

It was a housewarming gift. I would have never spent that much on my own.
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Water Softener

PostBy: Bob On: Thu May 13, 2010 10:16 pm

You need a softener that measures water usage and regenerates based on gallons used--not elapsed time. A softener with either a Clack or Fleck control valve will give long reliable service and can be purchased from online dealers for very reasonable prices if you can handle the sizing, programming and install yourself.

I personally prefer the Fleck 7000 and it about $40 less than the Clack. You can purchase a complete system with 1.5 cubic feet of resin (48,000 grain) for about $550 delivered.
Bob
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Anthracite

Re: Water Softener

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:46 am

Bob wrote:You need a softener that measures water usage and regenerates based on gallons used--not elapsed time. A softener with either a Clack or Fleck control valve will give long reliable service and can be purchased from online dealers for very reasonable prices if you can handle the sizing, programming and install yourself.

I personally prefer the Fleck 7000 and it about $40 less than the Clack. You can purchase a complete system with 1.5 cubic feet of resin (48,000 grain) for about $550 delivered.


It is finally time to replace my softener. An neighbor was nice enough to help me get a few extra years out of my current softener, but water started leaking by the main piston pretty bad and the resin is way over-due to be replaced...so Saturday morning it will be coming out. I bought a 2 cubic foot unit with a Fleck 7000 control from an online vendor. It was $640 delivered, and I already have it assembled and ready for the swap.

I read the Fleck manual and have a decent understanding of how it should be set, but it appears the vendor already set the major things based on the information I provided. I just need to make sure nothing got missed and it should be up and running by lunchtime.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Water Softener

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:31 am

The softener has been online since Saturday. I manually forced it to regenerate when I first got it running, and again that night. The water is outstanding...lots of suds with very little soap, and the dishes are spotless. Now that the job is done I wonder why I waited so long.
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Last edited by Rob R. on Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Water Softener

PostBy: freetown fred On: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:02 pm

Hey Rob, how come you installed it sideways???? I'da thought perpendicular would work better. :doh: :clap: toothy
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Water Softener

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:34 pm

Is that better? ;)

Already having my first "challenge" with this unit...it stopped registering the water flow. A quick google search shows that frequently on a new install, pieces of solder, glue, or teflon tape can get stuck in the turbine wheel that measures the water flow. Looks like I will be getting wet again...
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Water Softener

PostBy: freetown fred On: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:47 pm

It probably was because it was side ways :nana: At least ya got something to do Sat. when you're not busy with other stuff. ;)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Water Softener

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:04 pm

I'm back from the basement...found a few pieces of grit and slime in that turbine wheel, back together and working fine. I didn't even get wet. :P

If this keeps happening I will put a sediment filter ahead of the softener.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Water Softener

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:50 pm

The filter is a good idea, I have one here ahead of the softener. You'd be surprised how much sediment is in the water.
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: Water Softener

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:58 pm

Wood'nCoal wrote:The filter is a good idea, I have one here ahead of the softener. You'd be surprised how much sediment is in the water.


I heard that the cartridge filters also hold their share of bacteria...I am going to give it a try without one, but if it acts up again I will put a screen type filter in. One of these should do the job: http://www.waterfiltersfast.com/Rusco-1 ... rce=nextag
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Water Softener

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:03 pm

First time I have seen that, thanks! I have the cartridge type filter, and a point of use unit at the kitchen sink on the cold side. I agree that bacteria can grow in them. Hell...bacteria can grow on practically anything. Something to think about.
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: Water Softener

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:03 pm

I ordered the sediment filter on ebay and it came yesterday...15 minute installation, and a few beers while the PVC glue did its thing. :) This morning I noticed a few pieces of sand in the bottom, so it seems to be doing what it is supposed to do.
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Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy