Softener capacity and salt setting


Hello:
I have a question regarding setting the capacity and salt settings on my water softener, with an Autotrol 460i control unit, and 1 cu ft resin tank. The control unit allows 3 settings: Capacity, Salt, and Hardness. I'm assuming Hardness is compensated hardness (manual doesn't say that, but other posts have mentioned using compensated hardness for the softener setting). The manual has a chart that shows multiple capacity settings in kilograins and the recommended salt setting in pounds for each capacity setting. I don't understand what the capacity setting should be set to. Is this for the total capacity that we need to have (i.e. the capacity that is calculated based on the number of people and usage for each person, etc)??? Also, doesn't the Salt setting need to always be set to 15 lbs for this size resin tank (1 cu ft)? I read a post mentioning it needs 15 lbs to regenerate 1 cu ft of resin. The manual shows different salt values (15, 8, 6) based on the capacity setting used (30, 24, 20), so that confused me a little, too.
The whole reason I'm checking the settings is we are using much more water than we used to (mostly from running the dishwasher and washing machine a lot more, plus adding 2 kids). I have been noticing more and more that we run out of soft water before each regeneration cycle. I checked the brine tank and it seems to be clean and no gunk on the bottom. Next I had our water retested for hardness & iron, and am checking the settings on the softener.
Thank you very much for the help. -- Chris
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I recommend that you take a look at http://qualitywaterassociates.com / web site. It helped me a lot and explains how to resolve most of your questions. The forum is excellant and the company owner is very open to providing setup information.
While I don't have an Autotrol control valve and since I just went through this for my Fleck valve, I'll give a shot at some of your questions. Capacity is the amount of water that can be processed for a certain hardness water for a given amount of resin (plus enough reserve to get you to the evening so the system can regenerate.) Salt setting isn't always the most efficient when set to clean the resin when the resin is 100% utilized. From memory, you use only 1/2 the amount of salt when the resin is 75% utilized.
If you are running out of soft water before you regenerate, the "reserve" is not adequate.
Go to that web site and read up a bit. There is a lot of great information there.
Paul.

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On Feb 6, 2:34 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Thank you for the info... I got the info from www.qualitywaterassociates.com and am good now. I figured I'd post the answers to my questions in this thread in case others find it. Here's what I did:
The Capacity Setting that you put in the softener can be calculated from the formula:
Capacity = (Number of People) * 60 * (Compensated Hardness) * 8
Compensated Hardness = (Raw hardness) + ((Iron ppm) * 4) + ((Manganese ppm) * 2)
I ended up putting the Compensated Hardness number in the softener's control valve (440i), not the Raw Hardness (reading that you get from the water test). I am assuming this is what should be done since the softener doesn't know what the iron and manganese amounts are unless you account for them in the hardness value.
The Salt Setting varies depending on the size of resin tank you have. The softener manual should tell you want Salt Setting to use for the Capacity Setting you use, for your size resin tank.
Then Gary @ qualitywaterassociates.com recommends setting the Calendar Override setting (if your softener supports it) to 8 days. This forces the softener to run after 8 days regardless, as he mentions it is not good to run it longer than that.
If you have 2 ppm of iron or more, you can divide the Capacity Setting and Salt Setting in half, and put those values in to the softener. Then set the Calendar Override setting to 4 days. This forces the softener to regenerate more frequently.
I hope this helps. Check out http://www.qualitywaterassociates.com for further info.
Thanks, -- Chris
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