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Old 09-05-2011, 07:23 AM   #1
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UPDATE! Water Softener Questions:

Ok, for those of you who remember me, youll recall that I was not the sharpest tool in the shed when it came to my 22+ y.o. softener. Well its been a few weeks and I need to bring everyone up to date. I searched everywhere for parts that I needed to repair my softener and I also searched for the price of a new system. I went ahead and completely took my system apart and inspected everything. Once I realized that the tanks were fine, I then knew what parts I needed (5600SXT, resin, distributor, brine tank valve). Bottom line, I saved just a lil over $200 and I feel that I do have a "new system". The greatest deal of this adventure is that I learned a lot about something that I had no clue about.

I still have a question or two. This house of 3 uses less than 100 gallons a day consistently. Does the amount of brine used during regeneration have any effects on how well the resin is cleaned? Setup manuals arent much help because they all say something different. The settings are: 1.5 cu ft resin which = 48K grain capacity. 20 grains hardness. Backwash=10mins. Brine Draw=60mins. Rapid Rinse=10. Brine Fill=12 mins which = 6 gals = 18 lbs salt. The 5600 is telling me that it can only produce 2040 gals between cycles. It sure seems that I have to use a lot of salt for just 2040 gals. Does this sound correct?

Next, I noticed that just about every setup manual for the 5600SXT is saying to leave the "Brine Draw" at the default 60 mins. I just watched my softener regenerate this early a.m. and it only took about 10 mins to drain the brine tank. Question: I understand that the brine needs time to circulate and do its job but wouldnt the 10 mins + another 10 mins be sufficient? I have a mineral tank that is almost 2.5 cu ft and I feel that there is plenty of room inside for stuff to move around and work efficiently.

Thank you in advance for any light you may shed on my questions


Einzee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2011, 09:12 AM   #2
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The capacity of the system is adjustable--up to a max of 48K--by varying the amount of salt used for regeneration.

The amount of brine used determines the amount of capacity restored during regeneration and the ideal is to exactly regenerate the amount used since the last regeneration. But the regeneration value is not linear and regenerating a unit to attain the maximum capacity is very salt inefficient. For example--to full regenerate 1 cubic foot of resin (32K) takes about 18 lbs of salt. But 1 cubic foot regenerated with 6 lbs of salt will have 20K of capacity restored.

Ideally the unit will have capacity set so that regeneration occurs every 7 days. So for your situation--100 gpd x 20 grains hardness = 2000 grains/day x 7 days plus 1 day reserve = 16,000 grains capacity.

To get 16K capacity with 1.5 cubic foot of resin program for a salt dose of 5 lbs. ( 3 lbs/cubic foot rounded up). For your unit this is a brine fill of 3.33 minutes.

The brine draw time is actually brine draw plus slow rinse and 60 minutes is a good typical value. An extended slow rinse is necessary to remove the excess salt before the softener returns to service.

If you are looking to save a bit of water during regeneraation you could cut the backwash back a bit --say 6-8 minutes-- with city water and a prefilter.


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Old 09-05-2011, 09:45 PM   #3
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Makes sense. Thank you!
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