Do I need a salt tank grid for my softener system (and other fascinating questions)?


I recently bought a DIY Fleck 5600 valve with a resin tank and 1 cu ft. of resin (with turbulator) and a smaller brine tank than my old system. I have 3 questions. When I ask 3 questions of the guy I bought the sys from he usually answers only the first. Either he doesn't know the answers or he's ADD..lol. Relax Gary, it's not you, you have the opposite problem ;-). Since the valve is the same as the one I replaced, I changed the default setting for #'s of salt from 15 to 8. That setting is next to the lowest 6# setting. Has anything changed in the 20 yrs since i bought the Fleck? The thing looks the same, except this came all plastic with a plastic bypass. I removed the new plastic bypass and used the original metal bypass with new washers from the new valve. The thing lined up perfectly with my old system so I didn't have to do any plumbing which I was dreading (I would've used ss couplings anyway). Nothing leaks and it seems to be working. The tank came w/o a salt grid and I was tempted to use my old tank, but I was lazy. Do I need a grid? Where can I buy one if I do? I use Morton pellets in the yellow bag and add a 1/4 cup of Iron Out for every 40#'s of salt. Is there a better economical/efficient choice? That may be 4 questions, but there are 3 kinds of people in the world, those that can count, and those that can't.
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My GE softener, which failed after three years because of faulty valve design, did not have a salt grid. My new Fleck 5600 came with one. I can't see that the grid is essential, but it may help keep dirt out of the float well. I did note that the presence of the salt grid, which is higher than the minimum brine level when recharging, will prevent setting for very low salt recharge rates. Any setting below six pounds of salt would not work as I recall my analysis. That reflects that my salt grid is 1-1/2 inches above the minimum brine level. I have mine set at 8# which is probably as efficient as one is likely to get.
SJF
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Correction -- Positioning of the grid above the minimum brine level does not "prevent" low recharge settings. Low settings simply would not permit the salt to dissolve because the water for brining would not rise into the salt pellets. Hence you would be flushing the zeolite with clear water rather than brine and it would not be recharged..
SJF
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