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vpr80 02-22-2012 03:48 PM

Need Help Buying a Sediment and Water Softener System.
I really need a sediment and water softener system so I need some help on picking it out. I have spent days reading info online to learn about the different systems, but just want to run this by the experts before placing orders. I was going to order from Ohio Pure Water since they seem to have pretty much anything and the prices are good so I'll reference them on the item that I found.

Source: Private Well Water. 360ft Deep with Grundfos 25GPM 3HP Pump and Well-Mate Blue Tank ~80 Gal.
House: 2 Adults + 2 Small Children, 3 Bath. Using Approx 1000 Gal Per Week and expected to go up as the kids get older.
Plumbing: 1" From Well Tank then 3/4" Around House
Tested Water Quality:
pH* pH 7.8
Hardness (as CaCO3)** GPG 17.89
Iron (Fe) PPM < 0.05
Manganese (Mn) PPM < 0.05
Copper (Cu) PPM < 0.05
Sodium PPM 20.1
Tannin PPM 0.3

NOTE on GPM: I really hate low water pressure so I really want to keep my GPM as high as possible so some of the system that I found are sized a bit big, but I was looking for the high GPM flow rates in addition to capacity. I get approx 20GPM at the tank.

Sediment: I get a LOT of sediment coming up from the well that ranges in size from visible chunks to very, very fine sand. I do NOT want any filters where I need to change cartridges. I have that now and I don't really like doing it so I am looking for a system that does automatic backwashing.

OPW sells a ChemSorb system that looks to do the job, but for the same price ~$1000 it comes with either a 7000 or 2750 valve.
1) Should I go for the 2750 since it's more durable (brass) and I don't need the fancy electronics for sediment filtering?
2) Regarding size, I was going to get the 3.5 cu ft system that is quoted for 17 GPM. Is this ok?
3) $1000 is a lot, are there similar lower price options for automatic systems?

Water Softener: I estimate that we need a 48k Grain system, BUT that one is only stated for 12 GPM so I wanted to get the 80k Grain Capacity system to get 18 GPM flow rate. I am a bit confused on the whole ECO Mode to use less Salt which makes the 80k system act like a smaller one, but generally I think that would be ok and then it's not too big. In either case, it would probably only regenerate closer to once every 2 weeks instead of every 6-7 days.
4) Any concerns with getting the 80,000 2.5 cu ft system?
5) Is the 2750 Valve worth the extra $700 upgrade or just get the 7000SXT?
6) Do I need a Turbulator?
7) Which Resin should I get? Is the Canton High Capacity that OPW sells a good one to use? Or upgrade to SST60 resin?

So that's it. Please let me know what you think.

Thank you very much!!!

Bob999 02-22-2012 07:25 PM

I can't imagine why you think you need more than 12 gallon per minute from the softener and oversizing a softener can cause problems. The 12 gpm rating is for good softening--not the rate water will flow through the unit and I don't think the pressure drop at 12 gpm in a 48k tank is much different than the pressure drop at 12 gpm in an 80 k tank. So without a further explanation of the fixtures in your house that would result in flows exceeding 12 gpm for softened water my recommendation would be to stick with with 48,000 grain unit.

I would get the 7000 valve for the softener. No turbulator needed with your water conditions. I would stick with the standard resin with your water conditions. The one upgrade you might consider is a Vortech tank--it isn't listed on the site but I think they will quote it if asked. The Vortech tank has the advantage of a better backwash--but like most things it has a downside--the entire unit has to be replaced if there is a problem--not individual components of the tank. A softener should be set up to regenerate approximately every 7 days. The actual capacity of the softener is controlled by the salt dose used for regeneration. To get a capacity of 48K (really 45K in the real world) it is necessary to regenerate at the very salt inefficient rate of 15 lbs of salt per cubic foot of resin (a total of 22.5 lbs of salt for a 1.5 cubic foot softener).

So if your family is typical and uses 60 gal/person/day your weekly grains of softening would be 60 x 4 x 18 x 7 = ~30,000 grains per week plus one day margin or about 34 k grains. Programing the softener for a salt dose of 10 lbs and a capacity of 34 k and days override of 8 should be efficient and provide good service. I see your estimated present use is substantially lower and if the figures are accurate you could reduce the salt dose and capacity.

As for the sediment filter--the 7000 has sightly better flow characteristics at high flow than the 2750 so given your preferences I recommend the 7000 for the sediment filter.

vpr80 02-22-2012 08:04 PM

Need enough flow rate to run a master shower with rainfall head, handheld wand and 3 body sprays plus a separate vanity sink or second shower with single handheld wand. So basically I don't think 12 gpm will be enough. What about a compromise with a 64,000 grain system? Then I guess it could be programmed to use less salt and capacity and I can just adjust as our usage changes.

Bob999 02-23-2012 08:26 AM

What is the combined flow of the multiple shower heads at max usage? Have you actually measured it or are you using a computed rate? I note that in your original post you indicated that the the piping size is 3/4" inside the house. Is that 3/4" maintained to the shower heads or does it drop down to a smaller size before the shower? Depending on your answer your piping may be the flow limiting factor.

An additional considsideration is the availability of hot water. Unless you have a large water heater with commercial recovery capabilities the hot water won't last long at 17 gpm. My point is that the system has to be balanced and every component needs to support high flow rates to get satisfactory performance. Otherwise you are just wasting your money buying oversized components. And--in the case of a softener--an oversized unit my develop channeling. Your posted usage figures--1000 gallons per week for a family of 4 are quite low. As I posted previously even with modern low water use appliances and fixtures 60 gallons per day per person is more typical.

Assuming 1000 gallons per week usage and a 2 cubic foot softener the figures would work out to be:

1000 x 18 = 18 k grains for 7 days and ~21K when the extra day is added. The salt dose for 21K with a 2 cubic foot softener is only a little over 2 lbs/cubic foot and at that salt dose hardness leakage increases. I don't generally recommend salt doses less than 4 lbs/cubic foot for standard "high capacity" resin. If you go with a 2 cubic foot unit and your usage is really 1000 gallons per week you migh want to consider SST-60 resin because its leakage at low salt doses is better (less) than standard resin.

vpr80 02-23-2012 08:34 AM

Piping is 1" out of the main lines that steps down to 3/4" at some point to the heads.

Can you help me understand the calculations for proper salt dosage? I see how the grain capacity is calculated, but how do you get the lbs/cu ft of resin that should be used for a certain capacity?

Aside from having to use more salt than necessary (like 4 or 5lbs instead of the 2lb), are there any other disadvantages to using the proper amount of salt for a bigger size system that basically never reaches its capacity and just regenerates as necessary?

I am trying to understand what happens if I get the bigger system, dose as much as the system needs to properly regenerate (some salt wasted here), but then never actually reaches the intended capacity.

Bob999 02-23-2012 09:07 AM


Originally Posted by vpr80 (Post 860962)
Can you help me understand the calculations for proper salt dosage? I see how the grain capacity is calculated, but how do you get the lbs/cu ft of resin that should be used for a certain capacity?

Resin manufacturers publish technical data that includes the information necessary for determining lbs/cu ft salt dose.

vpr80 02-23-2012 09:43 AM

If I understand this correctly, I am going to stick with the 64k system and then just adjust the salt dosage down to approx 5-6lbs/cu ft. This way the system will function like a 36k one which is still a bit big, but closer to my actually usage and also won't waste salt on the regenerations.

vpr80 02-23-2012 09:49 AM

Here is a silly question, I just looked through the master programming manual of the Fleck 7000 and I don't see how to indicate the amount of salt to be used. Is there some trick to converting the amount of time of the Brine draw to the LBS of salt it come into the tank?

Bob999 02-23-2012 09:56 AM

Salt dose is determined by the time for Brine fill. Each gallon of water dissolves 3 lbs of salt. To determine the appropriate time to set for brine fill you need to know the size of the brine line flow control (BLFC). There is typically a sticker on the back of the control valve with the size and it will typically be either .25 or .50 gallons per minute.

vpr80 02-23-2012 10:19 AM

If I am not mistaken looks like the 7000 comes with a .25gpm BLFC so 10-12lbs/3 = 3.3-4gal/.25 = Approx 13-16 Min for Brine Draw. Wow the default setting is 60 minutes, yikes!

In any case, I have more question on the optimal programming, but that comes later after the system is installed. Thank you

Bob999 02-23-2012 10:26 AM


Originally Posted by vpr80 (Post 861071)
If I am not mistaken looks like the 7000 comes with a .25gpm BLFC so 10-12lbs/3 = 3.3-4gal/.25 = Approx 13-16 Min for Brine Draw. Wow the default setting is 60 minutes, yikes!

In any case, I have more question on the optimal programming, but that comes later after the system is installed. Thank you

You are confusing brine draw--which is typically 60 minutes plus or minus--and includes both brine draw and slow rinse with BRINE FILL (BF).

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