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Water Softener ( Conditioner ) Sizing

The average residential application ( your single family residence ) will get good flow through any commonly sold size tank ( 8" , 9" , or 10" diameter ). So, the most important consideration is always the quality of the water to be treated.

What is the Hardness ( in grains or 17.1 ppm equals one grain )?

What is the Iron level in ppm ( if there is any in your source )?

Each ppm of Iron should be added to the hardness total as 5 grains of hardness when calculating the amount of resin ( size of tank ) needed, or when calculating the total "working capacity" of your tank before it will need to be regenerated ( critical to know when "setting" the metered demand regeneration valves common today ).
For example:
18 grains hardness plus 2 ppm Iron would give you 28 grains when deciding how large of a system you would need.

Here is a basic guide to which common size to choose:

Between 5 - 15 grains, use a 24,000 grain ( 3/4 cu.ft. ) tank ( typically 8 x 44 inches ).

Between 16 - 35 grains, use a 32,000 grain ( 1.0 cu.ft. ) tank ( typically 9 x 48 inches ).

Between 36 - 50 grains, use a 48,000 grain ( 1.5 cu.ft. ) tank ( typically 10 x 54 inches ).

Between 50 - 65 grains, use a 64,000 grain ( 2.0 cu.ft. ) tank ( typically 12 x 52 inches ).

Between 66 - 100 grains, use a 80,000 grain ( 2.5 cu.ft. ) tank ( typically 13 x 54 inches ).

NOTE: Oxidized iron, Tannin color, low pH acid water, and Hydrogen Sulfide Odor all require additional media or filtration equipment.
Please e-mail us if you have questions about your equipment needs.

Please provide the answers to the following questions when you contact us.

How many people use the water in your home?
What is the hardness level of your water before any filters? ( grains per gallon or ppm )
What is the iron level ( if any ) of your water before any filters? ( ppm = Parts Per Million )
What is the pH level of your water from the source ( before any filters )?

* Additionally ( though Not necessary for the "sizing" of the Resin Tank ):

If there is "Odor" in the water,
What is the level of Hydrogen Sulfide ( ppm )?
This would be needed before we could recommend a separate filter for that,
since a water softener ( and resins ) do nothing to remove H2S gas from the water.

Or if source is chlorinated "city" water,
What is the level of chlorine ( ppm )?
Carbon filtration is commonly used to Remove Chlorine from the water.

* What "color" is the water when first drawn ( before any iron oxidizes )?
Some Well Water Sources have "Tannins" = Reference the Tannin Removal Resin for more details.
Feel free to send photos if you have questions about color removal.



I am looking to invest in a complete water softener system. I know that I want the Fleck 5600 valve however I was looking at the SXT and you seem to not carry that. Any particular reason for that?I am confused on what size I need. A water company salesperson wanted to sell me of course their best and most expensive system but never gave me grain, etc. He listed my hardness at 26 with1200 TDS No flow rates or anything. That is all he left me with. This is a 1900 sq' home in North Port 2 bathrooms and 2 persons (working, not using much water besides showers and weekends with wash. ) Not much company to plan for excess water usage. Do you carry the units in stock in Venice? Pickup would be available as we live so near.

REPLY The SXT is electronic, and has many weakness... circuit board and transformer can fail due to power surges or near by lightning strikes. The micro switch can fail. The meter turbine assembly is known to crack and leak ( $ 140 replacement part ). They are difficult to program and very difficult to trouble shoot.
The mechanical meter of the Fleck 5600 Econominder is much simpler, and less prone to failure, easy to trouble shoot, and has been the # 1 selling residential valve in the world for almost 30 years now.
* SEE:
Fleck 5600 Econominder Valve

And note.. It's the RESIN that do the "work".
* SEE:
How A Water Softener Works

All control valves do is backwash, and suck in the salt water, rinse it out, and add some water to the salt tank for next time. There are really only two "types" of control valves. Ones that "regenerate" on a set DAY ( 12 day timer ), or the more popular metered demand type ( counts your water and waits until is NEEDS to recharge your resin ).

All residential unit provide at least 8 gpm flow rate, which is more than you normally would use in your home.

For residential units, Sizing depends on the Hardness, and Iron Levels as NOTE ABOVE.
Only in commercial or multi-family applications, that require flow rates above 10 gpm, does other factors come into play.
Namely the Tank diameter needs to be larger, and the actual control valve used to allow the increased flow requirement.

In this Example >
Based on your hardness, and TDS ( slightly salty tasting water ) you would want at least the 32,000 grain system ( would be set to regenerate after 650 gallons of water used, and use 9 lbs. of salt per regeneration ).
32,000 grains Softener with metered Fleck 5600 Valve

But if you like an extra 50% capacity, for another $ 100, you can use the 48,000 grain unit ( 10 x 54 tank ), ( would be set to regenerate after 1,050 gallons of water used and use 12 lbs. of salt per regeneration ).
48,000 grains Softener with metered Fleck 5600 Valve


What is the color of your water?

Clear or "tinted".

Deeper wells will be clear, but have hydrogen sulfide odor ( which requires additional equipment to remove, as the water softener does not remove this gas ).
Hydrogen Sulfide Odor Treatment

Shallower wells will have some Iron, but may be free of hydrogen sulfide ( or have only a trance amount ), BUT the shallower wells may also have "color" from tannic acid ( the same as color in TEA ), and REQUIRE the Addition of special "tannin" or "color removal" resins to the water softener ( an additional $ 120.00 ).
White - Tannin - Resins

To drink the water, you will need a Reverse Osmosis drinking water system,
RO Membrane Operation and Units

And the best one for high TDS ( 1200 ppm ) water like yours is this one, as it produces water much faster, and has higher "delivery" pressure from the faucet also,
Big Pump Water Shield RO

If the TDS was not 1200, and you were not on well water ( which averages only 30 - 50 psi ) a lower cost model would be adequate,
3 Stage Watershield RO system

Question: What is the difference between "Upflow" and "Downflow" systems?

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