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freeclimbmtb 10-10-2012 10:34 AM

Need to install a water softener
So the symptons were as follows: white scale on EVERYTHING, especially stuff in the dishwasher, and bathroom/kitchen fixtures. Also, waterspots when I wash the car, and more white residue on the shower doors/tile. Ive had guests complain about soap not lathering well either, though this I never personally noticed. (guess Im used to it) All the signs pointed to hard water.

Picked up a free water test kit from FWWebb, followed the included instructions, and dropped it off Monday, they got back to me with the analysis and a recomendation yesterday (sweet! quick turn around!)

Iron: 0ppm
Manganese: 0ppm
pH: 7.5
Total Dissolved Solids: 289ppm
Hardness: 14gpg (THAT EXPLAINS IT!!)

They also included a recomendation on a water softening system.

They recomended a Watersoft DS-64V

Now being the engineer that I am, I naturally did as much research on the suggested unit as I could.

This gives some good info on the models watersoft offers, but I really dont know what I'm looking at. It seems to me like the smallest unit on that chart would satisfy the results I got from the water test.

I don't have a problem spending the money for the product that I need, but I just want to make sure I'm getting the right product before I shell out $1300 for a system.

Thanks all!

Akpsdvan 10-10-2012 12:10 PM

Number of people in the house?
Say 4 people in the house.
Say 60 gallons per person per day
4x60=240x14=3360grains per day removal
7 days X 3360=23520 grains.
A 1.5 cubic foot or 31000 grain unit at 9lbs would work.
Then there is the flow rate that one then needs to take into account.
How big is the house?

freeclimbmtb 10-10-2012 02:14 PM

Ah makes more sense now!

4 people in the house, 1.5 bathrooms plus the kitchen. Ive got plans to add another bathroom in a few years. The recomendation they wrote up said 2CF. Also with regard to flowrate, one of the questions on the sheet I filled out with the sample had me calcualte the pump flow rate by timing the pump cycle and measuring the water from a fixture until the pump cycled on. It came out to about 7.5 gallons to trip the pump, and over 5 minutes to recharge!! Now since I've never had an issue with water pressure I just say "ok" but that seems like an awfuly low flow rate to me..

Akpsdvan 10-10-2012 05:15 PM

It took over 5 minutes to recharge?
Was that with the faucets off?
What pressure are you running for the pressure tank?

What size is the pressure tank?

If you draw down 8 gallons and the pump turns on and then it takes 5 minutes to bring the tank back to pressure... I would be asking a driller to go over your well...
How has the electric bill been over the last year?

freeclimbmtb 10-11-2012 08:19 AM

All the faucets off as well as the dishwasher and washing machine doors open and I even shut off the boiler (just in case)
Im not positive on the pressure switch installed, I want to say its a 30-50.
The pressure tank is a WR120R so a 33gal.

As far as the well is concerned, its a shallow well with a jetpump in the basement (Goulds model J5) which I just found a performance chart on, at 30' that pump should put out 11-13gpm. The pump is pretty noisy when its running, doesnt sound like cavatation, just an old piece of equipment.
Electrical usage hasnt been anything abnormal, no more than my last apartment with half the square footage and half the people in it.

Akpsdvan 10-11-2012 10:46 AM

I would say that the impeller in the bell housing of the pump could use a rebuild or replacement.
A lot of the water that should pass by and stay is dropping back and having to be re pumped to the pressure tank.
The pump should be getting the tank up to pressure within 90sec.
It would lower its usage of Elect...

Right now the pump and its out put would hurt any kind of treatment equipment and that equipment would not work right and you would not be happy..

freeclimbmtb 10-11-2012 11:31 AM

I had my suspicions about that pump from the start, but it was one of those “if it aint broke don’t fix it” deals. Not to say it isn’t broken…but it does technically work. Ill start looking into rebuild vs replace. When I bought the place it came complete with a hole in the basement floor with a sump pump in it...though since I have lived there I have never had water in the basement, it leads me to believe there once was, and by the looks of that pump, its been under more than once. At this point it might be better to replace it, I have no idea how old it is, and if I rebuild the impeller, and then in a year the motor craps out...I'm gonna be PISSED. Any recomendations for a replacement unit? Stick with a Goulds equivilant to what I have? or go with something better...

Akpsdvan 10-11-2012 11:39 AM

Gould pumps have been over the years the standard in pumps, they might be a bit more spendie but the life of the pump is more times than not long.
Most of the Well Drillers around here use the in the hole type and the pumps will last up to 12+ years.
If you get the same model that you have right now you would have a back up motor ...

Part of the challenge is not knowing what the well recovery rate is, putting a stronger pump in could out strip the well's recovery.

Bob999 10-12-2012 01:18 PM

You can buy a quality water softener for a lot less than $1300.

In your situation the advantage of a 2 cubic foot unit is that it can be programmed to regenerate approximately once every 7-8 days with better salt efficiency than a 1.5 cubic foot unit that regenerates with the same frequency. Higher salt efficiency translates into lower operating costs.

Fleck makes excellent softener control valves and it appears that the "Isobar II" is a Fleck valve.

Here is a link to a similar 2 cubic foot unit for a lot less money:

There are several other internet suppliers that sell the same unit for similar prices.

freeclimbmtb 10-12-2012 01:47 PM

Yes but those prices reflect the control valve itself, not the entire system correct?

EDIT: I spoke too soon, just read the detailed descriptions.

One advantage to buying from the distributor down the street, is just that...there right down the street.

Akpsdvan 10-12-2012 02:05 PM

And if any thing is going to go wrong it will be either at night or on the weekend..
Parts days away or with in hours.....

As for most of Watersoft... I would stay away from mainly because they have changed just enough of their systems that while they might be mostly Fleck... there are a number of items that only They have..

freeclimbmtb 10-12-2012 03:31 PM


Originally Posted by Akpsdvan (Post 1029466)
...As for most of Watersoft... I would stay away from mainly because they have changed just enough of their systems that while they might be mostly Fleck... there are a number of items that only They have..

Well put. As it happens when I was in the local distributor my father even mentioned looking at other brands that might be more widely available..

I figure as long as I build in isolators with a bypass (external to the softening system) I can always run with what I have right now should the unit fail..

Ill do a little more research and some asking around and Ill probably end up going with the unit above.

Akpsdvan 10-12-2012 03:46 PM

If you build a 3 ball valve bypass into the house plumbing then from 2 of the ball valves use the flex stainless any and I mean any system could be hooked up and removed no matter the bypass that the system is using.

There is nothing really wrong in going with a company on line if and only if you can handle most of the trouble shooting and part replacement when needed as they will most likely not be handy for the challenges.

Some of the people that I deal with would rather have me deal with any challenges that might show up, not they do not under stand the system, they would just rather have some one that does it for a living deal with it.

freeclimbmtb 10-13-2012 09:37 AM

Thats exactly the kind of setup I was thinking...except I hadnt thought of the flex hoses, great idea! (I was trying to think of how to install the system without having to sweat/unsweat pipes to remove it, I was thinking unions, but that would be so much easier.)

What I should really do is take a picture of whats there, and post it to gett you guys' input on how to route the piping (and what size to use where...ive got a bottleneck of 3/4 down to 1/2 before the hot water maker)

Akpsdvan 10-13-2012 10:17 AM

Yes it would be nice to have 3/4 all the way to the Water Heater.. but it is not a killer with the size of place that you have.

A photo of the lay out would help.

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