Thanks to everyone who responded so far. Lightning fast at that, I LOVE IT!
Thank you for welcoming me! Looks like North Star is in Ontario. I'm in Volo, Illinois (~45 miles NW of Chicago). I haven't called North Star yet to see if someone local is an authorized distributor, but their web didn't mention anything besides having a "Contact Us" web form and phone#. I'll give them a ring later today and see what they have to say.
5240 Bradco Blvd
Tel: 1-800-796-6784, Fax: 1-800-280-5775
So a Fleck 5600SE you say? Google fetches me a variety of places I can purchase Fleck. Does anyone have a particular Fleck distributor that is tried and true. So far didn't see anything in Illinois, but Ohiopurewaterco.com looks interesting. The 40,000 grain capacity seems like a good choice based on 2-3 occupants, 24 gpg hardness and assumed worst-case scenario 3 ppm iron (iron not tested but water shows no signs of discoloration or taste). Seems like everyone loves Fleck. I can install it myself (or more importantly, get help if I need it). Should I just start deciding which Fleck to get, not which brand?
Regarding RO, I was planning on an under-the-sink unit with sink spigot. My fridge is across the room with it's water line coming right through the back wall which is where the water meter is and where the lucky softener will be. Without really getting into it, would I not need two RO units, one for under the sink and one for the fridge's water line? I don't think the plumbing can allow me the just send the source through the RO on to the fridge and sink. It's new construction and I don't own it yet until next week. I'll start a separate post for my RO issues if I need to.
Mr. Slusser I presume?
Leave it to me wake the giants by claiming some level of knowledge regarding the subject that runs through their veins. Now I have homework to do....
But seriously, I appreciate EVERYONE's posts. Since I don't recall all my sources, rest assured they were probably slanted in every way, shape, and form in hopes that I buy their respective product.
So pH is of no concern, great.
Well if you must: (pardon my inability to use the forum's quoting feature)
-20K grains/regen for 1.0 cubic foot of regular mesh resin with salt dose setting of 6 lbs.
-To use KCl rather than NaCl, you'd have to increase the salt dose by about 20%, making it ~7.2 lbs of KCl if your softener salt dose is set for high salt efficiency.
-Since both the capacity and cubic feet of resin was increased by 150%, and assuming that the NaCl load was also increased 150% to 9 lbs, the salt efficiency will remain unchanged at ~0.29 lb salt/kgrn.
-If KCl is used here, again assuming that the salt load was upped 150%, you'd need 20% more KCl than NaCl, so if 9 lbs of NaCl was used in the previous example, ~10.8 lbs of KCl would be required.
-SFR's are service flow ratings a.k.a. peak and continuous flow in gpm. You want to pay strict attention to the continuous flow gpm. Most softeners do not tell you the continuous flow rate, only the peak gpm. If your flow rate exceeds either figure, the softener will not be able to remove all the hardness in your water. Continuous means as long as you use that gpm flow rate. Peak is usually for a 2-3 minute period at best and as a softener ages, that figure can decrease.
As mentioned, I'm moving into new construction so I haven't measured my peak demand flow. All I can say is that it'll be two of us. Worst case may be showering or running a bath, watering the lawn, washing machine, and dishwasher all running at once but as you can imagine that'd be very unlikely.
As for trying to oversize slightly, I see your point regarding peak demand. I was just thinking that I'd hate to buy a softener only to replace it in a year or two if living arrangements change and the home housed a couple more people.
I hope I've conveyed my sincerity in finding the best softener for my home. I appreciate any and all help any of you in this forum may provide.
P.S. No one is even close...