Water Softeners For CH Control

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,865
Tucson, AZ
Yes, you wantbthe municipal report. Total Hardness is the sum of calcium hardness and magnesium hardness. Since a water softener removed both, you need to know the total hardness. In your case it’s 9.44 grains per gallon. It will fluctuate seasonally so let’s be conservative and call it 10 gpg.

33,000 grains / 10 gpg = 3,300 gallons

That’s the theoretical maximum amount of TH that can be removed. Figure you want a days worth of max water use for everyone in your household. Some people say it’s 75 gal/person-day but if you have a more accurate number, then use that. Substract your reserve volume from the theoretical max and that would be your gallons of water processed by your softener between regen cycles. Some folks use an additional safety margin of 80% of theoretical max to account for wear & tear life on the resin.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
Yes, you wantbthe municipal report. Total Hardness is the sum of calcium hardness and magnesium hardness. Since a water softener removed both, you need to know the total hardness. In your case it’s 9.44 grains per gallon. It will fluctuate seasonally so let’s be conservative and call it 10 gpg.

33,000 grains / 10 gpg = 3,300 gallons

That’s the theoretical maximum amount of TH that can be removed. Figure you want a days worth of max water use for everyone in your household. Some people say it’s 75 gal/person-day but if you have a more accurate number, then use that. Substract your reserve volume from the theoretical max and that would be your gallons of water processed by your softener between regen cycles. Some folks use an additional safety margin of 80% of theoretical max to account for wear & tear life on the resin.
Awesome, thanks for that. Does this assume I've set the softener to "10" to match the city's number? What if I, say, theoretically, have the softener crank to, oh, I don't know, let's say, 60. Would I use 10, or would I use 60 in that equation?

More to the point...

The city report gives a range of 7–23.4. Let's call it worst case 24.

Do I set my water softener to 24?

And if I do, is it:

33,000 grains / 24 gpg = 1,375 gallons?

And does that mean my softener will deliver 1,375 gallons of soft water before it regenerates? I think I have more math to do, yes?

And I don't know what "reserve volume" means, or where to get that number. Is there a typical number to use for a generic 33K big-box-store softener?

Can I avail?

Let's say my household use is 75 gallons a day. And my pool evaporates 100 gallons per day. So 175 gallons a day total. Can you show me the money math?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
What is the ch of your unsoftened fill water?
350. That's why I'm all nutty for the softener. I did a complete suite on my city water a couple months ago, see post #20 above.

- - - Updated - - -

I put the softener online on 11-22-2017. Yesterday my CH was 330! I win!!
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,865
Tucson, AZ
7 to 23.4 gpg is the range of values (low to high) that they get from their test wells scattered around your city/town. So if they sample water from 100 sample points, the lowest they recorded in that year was 7gpg and the highest point they recorded all year was 23.4gpg. 9.4gpg is the system-wide average. If your municipal supplier breaks data out by test point location, you can more easily know where in that range you lie, but that would require the help of someone at the water department.

So if you think your water is closer to 24 grains per gallon, then your theoretical maximum volume the softener can process is -

33,000 / 24 = 1,375 gallons

Your reserve volume is your daily use - 175 gallons.

So you would set your softener to regenerate every -

1375 - 175 = 1,200 gallons

That would give you 1200/175 = 6.85 day’s between regeneration cycles.
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,061
Hays, Kansas
350 (ppm) / 17.1 (gr/gal) = 20.5, so your ch gr/gal is 20.5 plus whatever total hardness is in your water. Your softener needs to be set for 21 or more.

33,000 grain capacity / 21 gr/gal hardness is 1571 gallons per Regen. It sounds like Your gonna Regen close to every day.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
OK, just to finish beating this dead horse (and thank you both for allowing me to completely hijack both your threads today!!):

THANK YOU for helping me with this! Yay!

So let me make sure if I have this right.

In my worst month last year (July) I used 32164 gallons of water (again, I think I filled my pool that month). Let's call it 1037 gallons per day (even though that wasn't actually what happened that month). That was pool evaporating and garden being watered etc. Conceivably, I won't ever use that much in a day, ever. And because that was both hard and soft water, my max usage of soft water is waaay less.

If I understood Matt's math, my 33K softener, when set to 24, can deliver up to 1375 gallons of soft water between regen cycles. Which can happen as often as once a night. (I don't set the frequency, my softener regen's when it needs to). So as long as my house and pool don't use more than 1375 gallons a day, I'll never run out of soft water!

So my softener is up to the job of supplying water to my house and pool, no matter what. Because my actual soft water usage will likely be less than 200G a day, I'm more than covered.

Worst case, the only way CH can get into my pool is if:

1. The day before the softener would have regenerated, the house and pool pull the last of the soft water out of the softener, and the softener starts to deliver hard water. This is assuming the house/pool need that day exceeds the reserve, but I can't find that spec, so it's possible if the reserve is less than 175 gallons (or whatever I eventually determine my max use per day is). I can't actually set my softener to regen every 1200 gallons, as Matt calculated, I'm stuck with the factory reserve.

OR

2. If I have a freak of an evaporation day, that coincides with my regen night, and my autofill has to run through the night to catch up, right through the regen cycle, which would run bypass hard water into my autofill.

Because my actual soft water use will be around 200G or less, no where near 1375, I should never be out of soft water. And because I regen at 4am, the chances of my autofill having to run through the night, into that time slot, are pretty much zero (considering it's running all day long too, as the water evaporates).

The wild card is the default reserve, but I think whatever CH gets into the pool due to that, will be accounted for by splash out. So if anything, I may lose CH over time.

Did I miss anything!?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,865
Tucson, AZ
You can’t be using 1000 gal (1.33 CCF) per day for two people (just assuming you and wife). That’s an astronomical amount of water for two people. Are you watering a golf course :scratch: ??
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
You can’t be using 1000 gal (1.33 CCF) per day for two people (just assuming you and wife). That’s an astronomical amount of water for two people. Are you watering a golf course :scratch: ??
No, but my yard is big (30 some-odd trees, four lawns, etc). That was a freak month, and most of the usage was 12300 gallons to fill the pool. I was just using 1000 gallons as a theoretical max-max, to see if my softener could even cover that, which it can. I was just wrapping my head around the fact that my softener is way big enough to take care of my pool.

I was editing while you were typing, I think, so that previous post was revised a bit after you answered, I think.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,865
Tucson, AZ
Ah, ok. I see the thread now. If I used 1000 gallons of water per day not only would I go bankrupt but Tucson Water would send out the Zanjero’s to give me a good beat down
:hammer:
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
Ah, Zanjeros. Cute name. In my town we call them "The Jerks That Drive Around and Fine Us For Forgetting To Water Our Lawns Only When Allowed." Doesn't quite have the same ring to it...

- - - Updated - - -

I think maybe it's time I go out and lay by my pool. There's a novel idea! Instead of working on it, and testing it, and dosing it, and figuring it out any longer today!!

Thanks again for you help!! I really appreciate it.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,865
Tucson, AZ
Yes, we had a Zanjero back in NYC - his name was cousin Tony. Everyone called him Tony “Thumbs” because he always seem to have lots of extra thumbs in his possession. When Tony came knocking he was either there with a cannoli or a carving knife...which one he showed up with was entirely up to you... :shock:
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2012
3,845
Grand Rapids, MI
Hey Dirk, just a suggestion unless I missed it — get your irrigation line off the softener if you can do so easily. Normally, this is the default condition on construction. Normally you have to specifically tie one bib into the softened loop to get outdoor softened water.

Plants, trees, and grass tend to like hard water better, and don’t love the extra sodium. If you get decent amounts of rain it doesn’t really matter.

In terms of evaporation, it’s reasonable to count on a quarter inch a day during hot weather and uncovered. So that’s 1 3/4 “ a week. In a pool your size I’m going to bet that’s under 400 gallons (eg divide 1.75 by average depth times your volume.)

My pool is a bit bigger and is 24k gal and I keep it hot so if not covered I lose more. If my softener taps out mid fill I get iron, so I just upgraded to a dual tank set up. It automatically switches over now, with one regenerating while the other is serving. That simplified things for me ;)
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
Hey Dirk, just a suggestion unless I missed it — get your irrigation line off the softener if you can do so easily. Normally, this is the default condition on construction. Normally you have to specifically tie one bib into the softened loop to get outdoor softened water.

Plants, trees, and grass tend to like hard water better, and don’t love the extra sodium. If you get decent amounts of rain it doesn’t really matter.

In terms of evaporation, it’s reasonable to count on a quarter inch a day during hot weather and uncovered. So that’s 1 3/4 “ a week. In a pool your size I’m going to bet that’s under 400 gallons (eg divide 1.75 by average depth times your volume.)

My pool is a bit bigger and is 24k gal and I keep it hot so if not covered I lose more. If my softener taps out mid fill I get iron, so I just upgraded to a dual tank set up. It automatically switches over now, with one regenerating while the other is serving. That simplified things for me ;)
Thanks SW. There was some confusion because of the way I was explaining my math. All my hose bibs and irrigation lines are hard water. Pool used to be. Now pool can fill from either hard or soft. And everything indoors is soft. I determined that my softener could supply all my water needs, inside and out, not that it does. I figure if it has enough capacity for everything, then it has more than enough for the subset of water that is actually running through it.

I'm going to measure evaporation using my water meter. I'll pick a couple of hot days. I'll mark my pool's water level and turn off autofill. I'll let the pool evaporate for 48 hours, then refill back to the mark, watching my water meter. I'll have a very accurate number. If I pick the hottest days, then I'll know my max evaporation rate.

I can use my water bills in the winter, when I had my irrigation system off for a couple months, to determine my average daily use of soft water in the house. Add the two numbers together, and I'll have my max soft water usage rate.

But I may not bother, because Matt helped me figure out my softener's capacity is more than I could ever use.

I supposed I could test for iron to see if that's an issue in my area. You're on a well, right? Some of our water comes from wells some part of the year. Maybe it's in the water report Matt and I were using to get my local TH number...
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,865
Tucson, AZ
Iron would not be found in a water report because it is not considered to be a contaminant by the EPA. Water suppliers are only required to test for contaminants that are designated by law (federal and state regulations).
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,061
Hays, Kansas
Dirk I skimmed your manual, no mention of reserve capacity or just plain old capacity so it won't tell you. It will work great but knowing you, you will want something better. Mine blinks back and forth from time and gallons remaining.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
Iron would not be found in a water report because it is not considered to be a contaminant by the EPA. Water suppliers are only required to test for contaminants that are designated by law (federal and state regulations).
The same report did contain this:

SUBSTANCE: (UNIT OF MEASURE): Iron (ppb)
YEAR SAMPLED: 2017
SMCL: 300
PHG (MCLG): NS
AMOUNT DETECTED: 9.82
RANGE LOW-HIGH: 0–280
VIOLATION: No
TYPICAL SOURCE: Leaching from natural deposits; industrial wastes

But I realize now that means absolutely nothing to me, plus the range is huge. So now my biggest worry about iron is whether to worry about it or not! ;)
 
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