Aqualux ProSoftᵀᴹ Water Softener Installation, Programming and Startup Instructions
A most sincere thank-you for your purchase of the Aqualux ProSoftᵀᴹ water softener! We look forward to helping make this experience an excellent one for you.
This page contains everything you need to know about the preparation, installation and programming of your new purchase! Here's what you'll learn below:
- Tools Needed & Pre-Installation Shopping List
- Installation Overview: The Big Picture
- Installation Specifics: What Connects To What
- Control Valve Programming
- Commissioning (a fancy word for firing things up!)
HERE WE GO!
Tools & Shopping List
Every successful project begins with the right tools and supplies. Below is a list of what you'll need to purchase, and the tools you'll need to complete the task. Please note - this section does not address the supplies or tools you'll need for plumbing the softener to your existing pipes. Every plumbing situation is different, and we just can't cover all of the possible scenarios. We ship our softeners pretty much fully assembled, but there are a few things you'll need to put together.
- Flat head screwdriver
- Adjustable wrench
- 1/4" nut driver (optional - can use flat head screwdriver instead)
- Water Softener Salt - at least one bag, but should probably buy 4 or 5 (read this article about salt if you're not sure what to buy)
- 1/2" inner diameter drain line tubing (long enough to comfortably run from the softener control valve to where the softener will drain). Most installers use clear vinyl tubing available at every hardware store
- Gear clamp - image below - for securing the drain line to the drain line barb
This section gives you a broad-level picture of what the installation of your softener involves. It also helps to create some context for the more detailed sections that follow. Here's a picture that shows the major components:
Your water softener installation involves the following steps:
- collecting the tools and supplies for the job
- determining the best spot to put your softener
- connecting some components to the softener
- connecting the softener to your plumbing
- programming the control valve for your water conditions
- adding salt and doing the first regeneration
Where To Put Your Softener
Find a spot for the softener where you have easy access to the pipe that the softener will be installed on. Your softener will have a drain line used to discharge waste water when the softener regenerates. If your water pressure is good, a drain line can be run horizontally for 45 feet without issue. If your pressure is poor, limit this to 25 feet. During the regeneration, the softener will expel between 30 and 75 gallons of water and brine solution (depending on the size and model). So make sure your drain receptacle can receive this volume. Also make sure the drain line is secured so it can't move around or become dislodged.
Make sure the softener is placed on a level surface - you don't want to have to move the softener after it's full of water, so choose the location carefully. The softener also needs to be placed where it will not be exposed to freezing temperatures, rain, or snow.
There are a few components of the softener that you'll need to connect to the softener on site. These include the connection of the drain line, the connection of the brine line to both the control valve and the brine tank, and the connection of the bypass valve.
Plumbing Your Softener
Plumbing your softener is one of the most important steps in the proper installation of your machine. Unfortunately almost every plumbing job is different - the location, proximity to drain, materials, diameters, and plumbing codes are all specific to the job. It makes it virtually impossible for us to provide detailed plumbing instructions. However, in a section below, we provide you with many general guidelines that will coach you through this important step.
Programming The Control Valve
The control valve needs to be programmed so that it matches the size of the softener, and the local conditions of your water. The programming also has major implications to the salt efficiency. We show you how to program your machine for max efficiency!
Adding Salt & Startup
Your softener regenerates with salt, so you'll need to have some in the brine tank when you're ready to put the softener in service. The startup involves filling the softening tank with water, adding some salt and water to the brine tank, and initiating the first regeneration so you can make sure everything is doing what it's supposed to do!
Installation Specifics - Connecting The Components
The first step is to connect the brine line to the control valve. The brine line can be found by taking the lid off the brine well (the brine well is a 4" diameter white tube that can be found in the brine tank). The brine line is a 3/8" black plastic tube that connects the control valve to the brine tank. At different stages of the regeneration process, fresh water is pumped into the brine tank, and salt water brine is sucked out of the brine tank. Here's how the brine line is attached:
At different stages of the regeneration of your softener, water will be sent to drain. We need to connect a drain line to the Fleck 5600SXT control valve for this purpose. The open end of the drain line can be discharged to a few different places (depending on climate and local plumbing code):
- discharge the drain line outdoors to a pit, swale, or lawn
- discharge to a floor drain
- attach the drain line directly to a household drain pipe
Many water softeners are installed on rural water systems that also have a septic system. Water softener drain water is safe to discharge to your septic system. Keep the following in mind for your drain line:
- make sure the drain line isn't kinked, bent, or twisted
- make sure the drain line cannot ever freeze
- the open end of the drain line must be secured or else the force of discharging water may cause it to move
- if discharging to a floor drain or other drain, make sure you leave an air gap (a separation between the end of the drain tube and the standing level of the water)
- the drain line can be elevated a few feet above the height of the softener without impairing performance
- if your water pressure is good a 45' horizontal drain line run is fine. If water pressure is poor, try and limit this to 25'
- for poor water pressure, you can increase the diameter of the drain line to limit the back-pressure created
Now connect the bypass valve and plumbing connectors. The inlet and outlet of the bypass valve are each controlled with their own handle on the bypass. Each handle is labelled. The softener is in 'bypass' mode when both handles are turned to 'bypass' which puts the handles at a 90 degree angle to the flow of water. The softener is in service mode when both handles are turned parallel to the incoming and outgoing water. Once the bypass and plumbing connectors have been connected to the control valve, put the bypass in bypass mode.
You Aqualux ProSoft softener comes with two sets of connectors that you can connect to your existing plumbing. One set of connectors terminates in 1" male thread, and you can use standard plumbing fittings to connect this to your pipes. We also include a set of John Guest SeaTech Push-To-Connect fittings that will receive a 3/4" copper, pex, or PVC pipe. These connectors are extremely easy to use:
- Prepare the pipe that you will be inserting into the push-to-connect fitting by cutting it so that it's square, and removing any sharp edges and burrs from the cut surface of the pipe
- Push the pipe firmly into the push-to-connect end of the connector
- Turn the connector collar 1/8 of a turn to click it into place (this secures the fitting)
Since every installation is different it's difficult to provide step by step instruction on how to plumb your softener to your existing lines. But here are some important points to keep in mind:
- use a small amount of teflon tape on threaded fittings
- if using braided connectors or other plumbing aids, make sure the inner diameter is the same as your native plumbing material otherwise you may create a bottleneck
- make sure the weight of your plumbing is not being supported by the softener bypass (secure plumbing lines to the wall or ceiling to support their weight)
- make sure your plumbing is aligned well - you don't want the plumbing to exert much side-to-side force on the bypass assembly - this can open up small gaps between o-rings and cause leaking
- arrows on the bypass show which side the raw water enters and which side the soft water exits - very important to get this right!
Now we need to program the Aqualux ProSoft control valve. Plug the power adapter into a wall outlet. The other end of the power adapter needs to plug into the control valve. On the Aqualux ProSoft this connection point is located on the underside of the controller on the right hand side:
When programming the softener, there are two programming steps that are important in determining the salt efficiency of the softener - the Capacity (C) and Brine Fill (BF). Different sized softeners will require different values for these settings. Use the following settings to operate your Aqualux ProSoft in a highly efficient manner:
|Softener Size||Capacity (C) Setting||Brine Fill (BF) Setting|
|0.75 cubic feet||15 x 1000||12|
|1.0 cubic foot||20 x 1000||16|
|1.5 cubic feet||30 x 1000||24|
|2.0 cubic feet||40 x 1000||16|
|2.5 cubic feet||50 x 1000||20|
|3.0 cubic feet||60 x 1000||24|
The video above takes you through the programming of the Aqualux ProSoft unit, but here's a quick breakdown of the steps, what they mean, and what they should be set at:
To begin the programming process you need to set the time on the system to 12:01 PM. Do this by pressing and holding the up or down arrow until the clock starts to move. PM is shown on the screen but AM is not. Once you hit 12:01 PM press the enter button (also known as the 'next cycle' button).
Once the time is set to 12:01PM press and hold the UP and DOWN buttons at exactly the same time. Hold them down until the screen changes to show 'DF" and 'Gal'.
At each stage of the softener programming, the UP and DOWN buttons are used to scroll through the options, and the enter button is used to select the value. Here are the settings that you need to use:
DF = GAL
RF = df2b
CT = FD
NT = 1
C = Use the capacity chart above to choose the C value for the size of softener you've got
H = Set this value to the hardness of your water expressed as grains per gallon. If you know your water hardness in mg/L you can divide this value by 17.1 to get the grains per gallon
RS = SF
SF = 5
DO = 10
RT = Choose the time of day you'd like the softener to regenerate. 2:00 AM is commonly chosen.
B1 = 10
BD = 60
B2 = 5
RR = 10
BF = Use the chart above to set the BF (brine fill time) for the size of softener you've got
FM = t1.2
RE = OFF
VR = OFF
- rinses any residue off the water softener resin
- provides an opportunity to check all water connections (plumbing, drain line, brine line) for leaks
- allows visual confirmation that water is being pulled out of the brine tank
- softener automatically adds the correct amount of water to the brine tank
- BW (backwash): water flows from the bottom of the tank, to the top to dislodge trapped sediment
- BD (brine draw): brine solution is drawn out of the brine tank and is slowly pushed through the resin bed in the softener
- the brine draw is 60 minutes long, but it's completely normal for all brine to be gone after 20 minutes
- during the first regeneration be sure to check the brine draw cycle after 30 minutes to make sure the brine has been drawn out. This confirms that the brine connection at the control valve and brine tank have been made correctly.
- RR (rapid rinse): any residual brine solution is rinsed off the resin
- BF (brine fill): the softener adds a measured amount of water back to the brine tank
Your installation is now complete - way to go! Your water softener will now soften any water that is passed through it. Cold water will be soft instantly, but remember that your hot water tank still contains hard water and it can take a while for this to be flushed through.
It can be hard to judge when to fill the brine tank. Once you're sure that everything is working well (water being added to brine tank, and brine being drawn out) we suggest that you fill the brine tank full with salt. It will hold just over 200 pounds. Check on the brine tank after a month and see how much the salt level has dropped - this will give you an idea of how often it will need to be filled.
The performance of the softener is not dependent on how much salt is in the brine tank. As long as there is any undissolved salt in it, it will perform perfectly well. For questions about which salt to use, please read this article.