Aquatell – tagged "water softener"

Aquatell

What Flow Rate Can A Water Softener Handle? January 25, 2018 15:35

​It's a question that we get all the time here at Aquatell - what is the flow rate that a softener can handle? Customers don't know it when they ask it but this is actually two questions in one. Here's why:

  1. There's the flow rate that you can physically push through a softener not worrying about the softness of the water that exits the machine.
  2. Then there's the flow rate that you expect a softener to handle while providing you with soft water.

The reason for much of the confusion around this question is because many (actually most) water softener retailers state the maximum flow rate you can physically push through the softener​ (number 1 above) in the tech specs of their machines.  Why?  Because it's a bigger number and sounds better.

But it's much more accurate and responsible to use the flow rate that can actually be softened by the machine as the specified flow rate. This flow rate is determined by the amount of resin that a softener is built with.  For hardness levels that aren't in excess of 50 grains per gallon (855 mg/L) a softener can produce about 5 U.S gpm of soft water flow for every cubic foot of resin the softener is built with.

That's another reason why here at Aquatell we describe the size of all of our softeners in terms of cubic feet of resin used in the build.


How To Clean the Injector on a Fleck 7000SXT Softener January 9, 2017 08:03

An injector? What gets injected into a water softener? Brine does! The injector is a small part that resides inside your Fleck 7000SXT water softener. The injector is responsible for helping to create the suction that draws the brine solution out of the the brine tank.

If the injector isn't working properly the system can't create a vacuum force, the brine never gets sucked up, and your softener doesn't regenerate. It might seem like it regenerates - you may hear it going through the motions - but because the brine never gets pulled through the resin, nothing useful has really happened and you still have hard water. Another sign is that your brine tank is filled up with a lot of water. You see, if the injector is clogged your softener only has a problem pulling water from the brine tank, but it can add to the brine tank without issue. So over time the brine tank fills up up up.

The injector can get clogged for a number of reasons, and here's how to clean it:

1. Bypass & Depressurize

Do this by first closing the bypass valve (turn the dial on each side of the bypass valve to the bypass position). With the unit in bypass force a regeneration by pressing and holding the Next Cycle button.

Press and hold the Next Cycle button until you hear the valve mechanism start to turn. When you see BW and a countdown not he screen, you’ll know that the unit is depressurized as it will have opened the drain port.

2. Open the Service Hatch and Clean Some Stuff

Located just behind the timer (the electronic part with the buttons on it) is a service hatch that is held in place with a red plastic clip. Remove the red clip, and then pull the service hatch off with a pair of pliers. What you'll then see is this:

First, pull out the filter screen and clean it, then make sure you put it back where it came from. Second, pull out the injector. It has a lip that you can grab with a pair of needle nose pliers but be careful not to damage it. When you pull it out it will look like this:

The injector is comprised of three interlocking parts. You need to pull these apart in order to clean it properly. While still holding the injector as shown above, pull on the yellow part. What you'll end up with in your pliers is this:

See that small hole? If you look at the end of this part, you should be able to see right through that hole. If you can't, use a paperclip or small wire to clean it out, but don't damage it. Set this now cleaned part aside. Now we'll deal with this part:

Holding this part as shown, turn the yellow part a quarter turn and it will detach from the purple piece. There's nothing you need to do with the yellow piece - just set it aside. The purple piece looks like this:

Again, this hole runs right through this piece, and if you look at the hole from the end you should be able to see daylight. If you can't clean this hole out with a paperclip or wire.

Now that the injector parts are clean, put the injector back together, and put it back in the control valve along with the cleaned filter screen. Put the cap on, then secure it with the red clip.

Since you had put the softener in regeneration mode to de-pressurize it, it will likely still be in this mode now that you're done. Before you put the softener back in service mode, press the Next Cycle button to skip from cycle to cycle until you're out of the regeneration.

Now turn the dials on either side of the bypass to put the softener back in service mode, and you're all done!


How To Do a Master Reset of Autotrol Logix 760 or 762 Controller January 6, 2017 16:49

The Logix 760 and 762 controllers are used primarily with the Autotrol 255 and 268 valves. There may come a time in the life of your water softener where you need to do a master reset of the Autotrol Logix controller. If your Autotrol control valve uses the Logix 760 or 762 controller then you can use these instructions to perform a master reset to get it back to the factory defaults. Warning - this reset procedure will erase all stored values including historical data. You'll know if you have a Logix 760 or 762 if yours looks like this:

Autotrol Logix 760 / 762 Controller Reset

Here's how to do the reset:

  • Press and hold SET and DOWN simultaneously for 5 seconds.
  • "H0" and the system’s set resin volume (or "F" mode) will be displayed.
  • If a history value other than "H0" is displayed, use the up arrow to scroll through the settings until "H0" is displayed.
  • To reset the control, press and hold SET for 5 seconds.
  • The control will be reset to an un-programmed state.

The control valve is now reset to factory default values and you can proceed to the following resources for reprogramming instructions.  Look for the section titled "Initial Setup"

The most important step in the initial setup is to make sure that the media volume is set correctly.  Here are the grain capacities for water softeners and corresponding resin volumes:

  • 24,000 grain = 0.75 cubic feet
  • 32,000 grain = 1.0 cubic feet
  • 40,000 grain = 1.25 cubic feet
  • 48,000 grain = 1.5 cubic feet
  • 64,000 grain = 2.0 cubic feet
  • 96,000 grain = 3.0 cubic feet 

If you happened to find this page because you're looking for a new Autotrol softener, you're in luck - we sell them!  And you can find them here.

 


Brantford Ontario Water Hardness November 9, 2016 07:40

Hey - be careful Brantford! If you're looking for your water hardness level online, you may find some flat out incorrect information. Somebody has compiled a list of water hardness values for different cities across Ontario and the number shown for Brantford is incorrect.

brantford ontario sign

The correct hardness value is 310 mg/L (same as ppm) which converts to 18 grains per gallon. This number comes right from the city itself. This water is very hard. In pretty short order, water with this hardness level will scale up faucets, tubs, kettles, dishwashers, and pretty much any water-using device. You can avoid damage to these items and generally make home cleaning and maintenance a lot easier with the use of a water softener.

 


Programming the Fleck 5600SXT softener valve for max efficiency November 8, 2016 11:54

As most Aquatell customers know, a water softener can be programmed a number of different ways, and some ways are much more salt efficient than others. Aquatell customers who buy a Fleck 5600SXT based softener, are shown the way to program the system to minimize salt consumption while still maintaining outstanding softening performance. The problem is that there are lots of folks out there who bought a 5600SXT-based system somewhere else and were never shown the way to make it work efficiently. That is, they were never shown the way to minimize salt consumption. And the difference between a non-efficient and efficient softener can literally mean hundreds of pounds of salt per year. So, no matter where you purchased your Fleck 5600SXT based softener, here are the programming instructions you can use to keep your salt consumption to a minimum. One quick word of warning - if your water has high iron (more than 2.0 mg/L) you may not want to use these settings. First things first - here are the buttons on the 5600SXT controller:

Fleck 5600SXT buttons

First we enter the master programming menu: set time to 12:01 pm (by pressing and holding up or down arrow, and once you see the time you want, press the enter button).

Now use these settings:

DF = GAL
VT= df2b
CT = FD
NT = 1

The next setting that the controller will want you to program, is the Capacity (C) setting. The C setting differs depending on the 'size' of water softener you purchased. This is where things can get a little tricky as the size of a water softener is described differently by different companies. Use this chart to choose the C setting to program into the controller:

Size = 24,000 grain (may also be called 0.75 cubic feet) > Use 15 x 1000 for C setting

Size = 32,000 grain (may also be called 1.0 cubic feet) > Use 20 x 1000 for C setting

Size = 40,000 grain (may also be called 1.25 cubic feet) > Use 25 x 1000 for C setting

Size = 48,000 grain (may also be called 1.5 cubic feet) > Use 30 x 1000 for C setting

Size = 64,000 grain (may also be called 2.0 cubic feet) > Use 40 x 1000 for C setting

The next setting that the controller will want is your hardness setting (H). Use your hardness value in grains per gallon. If you have your hardness value in mg/L (or ppm) simply divide that number by 17.1 to get the hardness expressed in grains per gallon. Important: the hardness value you program is the hardness of your untreated water.  It's not the hardness level you want in your softened water (this will always be very close to zero)

The next settings will be the same no matter the size of your softener:


RS = SF
SF = 5
DO = 7
RT = the time of day you want the softener to regenerate (most people use 2am)
B1 = 10
BD = 60
B2 = 5
RR = 10

The next setting is Brine Fill (BF).  The BF value needs to be matched to the Capacity (C) value from one of the steps above. Here's how to choose the BF value:

If C = 15 x 1000 then BF = 3

If C = 20 x 1000 then BF = 4

If C = 25 x 1000 then BF = 5

If C = 30 x 1000 then BF = 6

If C = 40 x 1000 then BF = 8

Lastly, the meter type must be selected (FM).  There are two main types of meters used with the Fleck 5600SXT.  There is the turbine style, and paddle wheel style.  You know if you have the paddle wheel style as there will be a cable in behind the control valve, that attaches to a dome:

paddle wheel meterIf your Fleck 5600SXT meter looks like the one above, set the FM value to p0.7.  If you have a wire coming out of the back of the Fleck 5600SXT controller that attaches to something that does not look like the photo above, set FM value to t0.7

That should do it!  Now that the programming is done, use the up or down arrows (press and hold) to get the clock to the proper time, then press enter.  You're done!