Water Softeners For CH Control

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,417
Central California
Just set a bucket out and mark it for evap loss
No need to measure. Simply look up your evapotranspiration zone -

https://cimis.water.ca.gov/App_Themes/images/etozonemap.jpg

You can also look up class A Pan Evaporation data here -

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/oh/hdsc/Technical_reports/TR34.pdf

It should be close enough for estimating.
I like the idea of someone else collecting the average data. But I'll still need to calculate the area of the surface of my pool to get gallons, right? And it's freeform, so I can guessitmate, or use the meter to get a better number. Then I can apply the area to the data. Thanks for that.


Dirk I skimmed your manual, no mention of reserve capacity or just plain old capacity so it won't tell you.
Matt figured out the capacity, and taught me how to, if I later adjust the hardness setting. The reserve will have to remain a mystery. Thanks for tryin'. I appreciate that.

It will work great but knowing you, you will want something better. Mine blinks back and forth from time and gallons remaining.
My main goal throughout this exercise was to determine if my model can keep up with the house and pool, and we've done that. If CH get's by the softener now and then, it'll be such a small amount that splash out will take care of it. It's been six months and my CH actually went down due to my experiment with rain water, so one way or another I've solved my CH-rise issue for good. And now I know it'll be fine through the other six months of the year, too. Thanks to you and Matt.

Gallons remaining would be awesome, but not worth replacing a softener to get it. Maybe for the next one I buy...
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,884
Tucson, AZ
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! ;)
Careful, you live in CA...if you keep testing your pool water, we might have to put a Prop-65 warning on it as it might possibly contain a substance that could someday be shown to possibly cause your risk of developing a totally unrelated cancer to increase by 0.00001% :shock:

Notice the units - ppb or parts per billion. 1000ppb = 1ppm.

At 9ppb you have absolutely nothing to worry about. A bloody nose in your pool will add more iron than that...
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,417
Central California
Careful, you live in CA...if you keep testing your pool water, we might have to put a Prop-65 warning on it as it might possibly contain a substance that could someday be shown to possibly cause your risk of developing a totally unrelated cancer to increase by 0.00001% :shock:

Notice the units - ppb or parts per billion. 1000ppb = 1ppm.

At 9ppb you have absolutely nothing to worry about. A bloody nose in your pool will add more iron than that...
Oh, I'm not fallin' for that! I better take it to Leslie's. They'll know what to do!! I bet they have some D-Bloody-Noser I should add!! ;)
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,381
Hays, Kansas
I like the idea of someone else collecting the average data. But I'll still need to calculate the area of the surface of my pool to get gallons, right? And it's freeform, so I can guessitmate, or use the meter to get a better number. Then I can apply the area to the data. Thanks for that.




Matt figured out the capacity, and taught me how to, if I later adjust the hardness setting. The reserve will have to remain a mystery. Thanks for tryin'. I appreciate that.



My main goal throughout this exercise was to determine if my model can keep up with the house and pool, and we've done that. If CH get's by the softener now and then, it'll be such a small amount that splash out will take care of it. It's been six months and my CH actually went down due to my experiment with rain water, so one way or another I've solved my CH-rise issue for good. And now I know it'll be fine through the other six months of the year, too. Thanks to you and Matt.

Gallons remaining would be awesome, but not worth replacing a softener to get it. Maybe for the next one I buy...
Wow I read that wrong, after I put my softener in I checked the meter nightly to see how much water we were using, I figured you for the same
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,417
Central California
I am checking nightly: as long as there is no calcium ring in my toilet I'm good to go! ;)

I wanted to put a meter on my autofill. And it would be interesting to know what I use in the house. But the bottom line is, as long as I don't see any calcium anywhere, house and pool, including inside my SWG, then the rest is just academic. I have a major pH problem just now, so I have to concentrate on that. (In another thread. Thanks again for letting me borrow yours.)
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,884
Tucson, AZ
Putting a meter on an autofill line would be expensive. Most autofill float valves just dribble water out and so you’d need a flow meter that can sense very low flow rates. They certainly do make them as the water companies know your water usage down to the tiniest droplet but it's a heck of an expense to add to a water line.

Now a flow meter on my irrigation loop....now that would be worth its weight in gold!! But that’s a different thread to hijack....
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,417
Central California
I found city-water-co caliber meters, with the little spinning flow indicator and all, for about $60. +/-1.5% accuracy. I used them to split a water bill on a four-plex. Expensive only in terms of their actual value on an auto fill line. It’d be novel for a season, and then fade into obscurity. I guess it would be a leak detector of sorts, if you kept an eye on it. But I check my auto fill everyday, as I check my skimmer (for gophers, mostly), so I’d spot a leak that way faster...
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,381
Hays, Kansas
It's been about a year with the new softener and I did find a new issue with having a giant water softener.

In the off season I use a bag a salt every one or two months and if you don't stir up the brine tank the salt will get hard as a rock and act like you don't have any salt.

I found this comical.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,884
Tucson, AZ
It's been about a year with the new softener and I did find a new issue with having a giant water softener.

In the off season I use a bag a salt every one or two months and if you don't stir up the brine tank the salt will get hard as a rock and act like you don't have any salt.

I found this comical.
It’s called “bridging”.

What grade of salt do you use - coarse salt or pellets?

Is your brine tank separate from the softener or is an “all-in-one” style system?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,884
Tucson, AZ
Separate

Typically pellets, sometimes I put a block in there
I have the same setup but my brine tank is grey. My manufacturer specifically calls for the use of coarse salt only, no pellets. I checked earlier and my salt is still loose. I haven’t added any in weeks and I plan to let it run out then I’ll pull the tank and clean it. You probably don’t see it as visibly as I do in mine, but the tanks can get very dirty from the small amounts of debris in the salt. My manufacturer calls for a yearly cleaning of the brine tank as preventative maintenance.
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,381
Hays, Kansas
My last softener I cleaned twice, the first time I cleaned it had around 20 lbs of sand in the bottom. Was not a fun day.

I'm pretty low on salt I'm gonna let it get low and then I'll clean it as well.

I coarse salt seems to be where the sand comes from. I check and the manual says not to use coarse salt!

I haven't added salt in around two months I can't even remember
 
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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,884
Tucson, AZ
That’s funny that it says not to use coarse salt while mine says to use ONLY coarse salt and we literally have the same brine tank (even the position and guts of the float valve assembly is exactly the same).

Salt is a natural product so there will always be some form of contamination to it (unless it’s highly refined like table salt). I usually buy Diamond Crystal softener salt from my local Ace Hardware as they usually have it well stocked, it’s close by and they always run a sale or discount on it. I get monthly coupons and so I can usually get a few bags for around $5-6$ per 40lbs. The softener company I used has a drop off service where they’ll leave three 50lbs bags for $8.49 plus tax but that’s a little more expensive than just getting it myself. I could hit them up for a tank cleaning but they’ll charge a service fee so I’ll just do it myself. Soft brush, some dish detergent and little elbow-grease will do just fine...
 

Arizonarob

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
TFP Guide
Mar 25, 2018
2,867
Chandler Arizona
I use the pellets in mine, and only 1 bag at a time. (Some people fill it up with pellets) I’ve never encountered any clumping of the salt in my setup. I did not know about cleaning out the tank, so thanks for the tip. I’ll do it on the next fill time. 👍
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,395
Tucson
I wouldn’t make light of the advantage of having a softener loop put in when the house is built. I had it done and what it included was a separate electrical circuit and water and drain connections in the garage, plumbing the outside hose bibs and irrigation system ahead of the softener, providing taps for both hard water and softened water under the kitchen sink, as well as separate tap that connects to the refrigerator water supply. It made it child’s play to add a water softener and under-sink RO.

Meanwhile, my son bought the house across the street from me, which had no loop put in by the previous owner. His main water supply comes in to the house on the opposite side from the garage and runs across the attic (no access due to flat roof) cold lines are pulled off several places before it arrives at the water heater in the garage. So to install a softener (other than putting it outdoors) a trench had to be dug, and the main line rerouted around the house, under a sidewalk and through the wall into the garage and then back again. Also the under sink RO couldn’t be connect to the refrigerator unless we want to tear up the floor. So I think the loop would have been a worthwhile option.

Both now have our pool auto fill on the water softener. In AZ it really makes sense.
 
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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,884
Tucson, AZ
I properly installed plumbing loop during the build phase of a Home adds about $1,000 to the cost....nothing compared to the convenience. It’s stupid to build a home nowadays without one.
 

Arizonarob

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
TFP Guide
Mar 25, 2018
2,867
Chandler Arizona
Yeah, and if your home comes with gas heat and hot water, it’s another 1k to plumb for a gas stove. And yet people don’t do it. That’s what chaps by butt about my house!! :rant:
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,395
Tucson
I had both the kitchen and laundry set up for both gas and electric. It’s a lot cheaper to plan ahead when building as opposed to adding things later. I even had electrical outlets put in closets for charging things and WiFi routers.