This is one of those exceptional products that operates and performs so radically different than everything else it’s difficult to quickly or easily explain. One of the reasons it gets over-looked is because it uses either potassium chloride or sodium chloride; and because of that, it gets lumped together with all the other salt polluting water softerners. But it’s the only GREEN water conditioner that uses salt and exceeds even the most stringent California environmental standards (intended to ban even the most efficient traditional inline injection water softeners). And unlike any other competing GREEN products it can actually clean-up the dirtiest water better than the best traditional salt consuming water softeners (and when I say better I mean by a significant margin).
The small unit shown here stands only about 30″ tall (1/2 the size of a traditional salt consuming water softener) and can completely clean-up 50 grain hard water right down to 0.0 ppm (zero parts per million) of total hardness. It can also remove iron from water so completely and effortlessly it can replace both a dedicated iron removal system and the separate secondary water softener typically accompanying iron removal systems required in areas with the worst possible water. The more experienced you are at shopping and comparing equipment performance the more you’ll realize this product’s performance will surpass anything else currently available to condition your household water. To say the T5000 is an exceptional water conditioner is obviously true; but still seems somewhat of an understatement given its performance lies so far outside the norm and stutus quo of typical water equipment industry standards.
A good way to begin explaining just how different this operates is to first describe a very basic problem ALL OTHER salt consuming water softeners have (and a problem this product doesn’t have). Sodium or potassium ions like to sink the bottom of all salt consuming water softener tanks (including this one) because it takes two sodium or two potassium ions to replace one calcium or one magnesium ion (this 2:1 salt ion ratio means the salt will be heavier and naturally sink to the bottom of the tank). When this happens something very unfortunately and bad eventually happens over time (in all water softeners other than this one). This natural concentration of salt in the bottom of ALL OTHER water softeners eventually becomes literally a ball of “salt slime”; and try as it may, the inline injection technology used by ALL OTHER salt consuming water softeners cannot rinse away this slime that gradually accumulates in the bottom of the tank.
Imagine trying to rinse a heavy ball of slime from the bottom of the tank up to the top of the tank and then out the drain? Unfortunately graviety works against slime rinsing “up hill” so it continues to grow bigger and accumulate in the bottom of the tank day after day. This salt slime might not be such a big problem for water softeners except for the bacteria that eventually starts growing in the slime. This type of bacteria is usually not of a dangerous variety so it’s relatively easy to keep this problem quiet in the US where there are no consumer advocacy groups to represent consumer interests or influence the largest manufacturers to offer bacteria free or slime free products. Eventually the growing concentration of bacteria in the salt slime in the bottom of the tank will cause small fragments of the slime to break loose and flow through your household water supply. Eventually millions of inline injection water softener owners will (and do) experience a slippery problem. A problem you can feel when you touch the water.
This is why some people say they don’t like the slippery feeling of showering or bathing in soft water. Some people mistakenly believe soft water is supposed to feel slippery because that’s their experience. And it’s true, other than the T5000 all other water softeners using salt will eventually deliver slippery water because the “inline injection” conditioning process they ALL rely on cannot rinse away the bacteria laden slime that grows in the bottom of their tanks. Unlike all other water softeners the T5000 fortunately does not use inline injection to regenerate and clean its tanks. The T5000 instead regenerates its resin bed under a vacuum that literally sucks from the bottom of the tank any salt slime quickly away and effortlessly puts it down the drain each time it regenerates. A ball of slime is never given a chance to form and if it did it would be gone within a few short seconds of the T5000’s total eight minute regeneration time. Clean conditioned water does not feel slippery. NO SLIME AND NO SLIPPERY WATER FOUND HERE.
If you’ve been using a water softener for many years that uses salt and then suddenly upgrade to a T5000 you’ll immediately notice a big improvement in your water quality. If you don’t get slime free water right away just wait a month or two. It’s typical that the water piping in your house will become coated inside with the same salt slime your old water softener’s been spewing out the bathroom shower head for years. Upon first installing a new T5000 the salt slime inside the household pipes will continue to break loose and give you slimy water. But it’s only a short amount of time before the clean water provided by the T5000 will wash your pipes clean to leave you SLIME FREE as promised.
The T5000 is the only water softener using salt that does not rely on INLINE INJECTION controllers and valves. Common names of manufacturers of inline injection controllers and valves are Fleck, Autotrol, Clack and others; while the major water softener bands utilizing inline injection are the Who’s Who of the Water Quality Industry including Culligan, Kinetico, GE, Haige as well as other large and small players. Inline injection systems therefore makes up the majority of all water softeners sold in the US market and 100% of the systems that consume salt (other than the ulta high efficiency salt consuming conditiones sold on this website). You can begin to understand just how different the T5000 must really be because it’s the only system not using inline injection that still uses salt. Unfortunately in the rush toward salt free GREEN water conditioning even the best and most popular GREEN PRODUCTS are failing to perform even as well as the old-fashioned outdated traditional inline injection water softener, Most consumers are unaware how much more efficitent the T5000 is compared to all other salt consuming water softeners; or that there’s such a thing as a GREEN water softener that uses salt while exceeding California’s most stringent environmental standards. But that’s all true. The T5000 is definitely GREEN but can clean up the dirtiest hard water way better than any competing green products and even better than an old fashioned inline injection water softener ever could without polluting rivers, lakes, and streams in the process.
What a Difference a Vacuum Makes
Inline injection takes advantage of something called the Venturi effect; and that effect can be simply demonstrated by blowing over the top of a soda straw placed in a glass of water. Air rushing over the top of the straw creates a vacuum that draws water up the straw and out of the glass; and if you blow hard and long enough you’ll blow water right off the end of the straw until the glass is empty. The same thing happens when streaming water across the top of the straw instead of air and a typical garden sprayer attachment to the end of a garden hose demonstrates this. Whatever liquid you put in the garden sprayer will be drawn up a tiny tube and mixed with the larger stream of water spraying out the nozzle of the garden sprayer. This principle is used in all inline injection water softeners; i.e., all water softeners other than ours. It’s how salt solution in the brine tank is delivered to the resin bed in the water softener tank during regeneration. There’s a long tube that runs to the bottom of the brine tank just like the tube in the garden sprayer. When salt is needed to regenerate the resin bed, water is blown over the top of the tube drawing brine up out of the brine tank and into resin bed inside the inline injection water softener. Simple enough.
Thirty five years ago this was a very clever solution to a difficult challenge of inventing and commercializing a self-sustaining automatic regenerating water softener. Prior to the invention of inline injection water softeners you’d have to periodically exchange your water softener tank with a fresh one and send the spent tank to a central location where it was regenerated and later returned to your use again. So when inline injection came along and it was an incredible and great thing because it was easier and cheaper to fill a tank with salt than regenerate exhange tanks at a remote location. But now it’s been over 30 years and the same performance limitations still exist today as they did before. For instance you can’t help but dilute your brine solution with the water used to create the Venturi effect by streaming water over the brine tube. In the case of single tank water softeners the brine is unfortunately diluted with dirty water since the resin bed is unavailable to provide clean water to itself during regeneration. This is an oversimplification of how inline injection water softening works but demonstrates simple limitations and it’s difficult to understand why there has been so little innovation in water softener performance in 30 years. When you consider how much money has been spent manufacturing basically the same system over and over again for the past 30 years it’s hard to find any comparable technologies in other industries with this much stagnation of innovation.
The T5000 on the other hand is the first major improvement on the original idea of inline injection and the invention of an automatic regenerating salt consuming water softener that’s occurred in the last 30 years. It’s goal is the same as inline injection except to better utilize the higher efficiencies of fine mesh resins available today. The T5000 uses a 3 port hydraulic valve known as a Noryl valve. Instead of creating a small localized vacuum to the brine supply (as does inline injection relies on the Venturi effect) the T5000 instead creates a hydraulic vacuum in the tanks themselves where the resin bed is located. The vacuum is so strong it would easily crush the standard duty tanks used by today’s inline injection water softeners (so the T5000 requires a much stronger and heavier duty tanks). This strong vacuum allows the T5000 to easily keep the bottom of it’s tank free of salt slime (and the bacteria that causes slimy bathing water) while also drawing undiluted clean brine directly from its brine tank and depositing it undiluted to the high performance resin bed of its water softening tanks. And because the T5000 is a two tank system there is always clean water available to make new brine and keep it’s tanks and resin beds rinsed completely clean. This is a HUGE DIFFERENCE in how this water softener operates compared to ALL OTHER salt consuming water softeners today. When the Noryl valves are controlled by sophisticated computer logic coupled with clever “pulse water rinsing” the more advanced fine mesh resins can be used to their full potential to easily and significantly outperform ALL OTHER water conditioners. Furthermore, sophisticated computer algorythems can be effectively used to keep track of resin memory and flow rates to protect against channeling common in todays inline injection water softeners.
Be warned that the major manufactures of inline injection water softeners have done something a little sneaky. Most of them offer one model with a tank(s) they fill with high performance fine mesh resin so they can summarize in a brochure (at least one brochure for that one particular model) much higher than usual operating efficiencies. As expected they call this one model their high efficiency unit. The problem is it’s still an inline injection valve(s) and controller that in real life it struggles to keep fine mesh resin clean and operating according to manufacturer specifications. The truth is these novel high efficiency inline injection units don’t perform well in your home particularly if you have even a trace amount of iron. The truth is inline injection water softening is a very old technology that has not kept pace with the ever improving performance of today’s fine mesh resins.
T5000 Performance Numbers:
• Working Capacity Per Tank: 5,000 grains
• Time per Regeneration: 8 minutes
• Water per Regeneration: 9 gallons
• Salt per Regeneration: 1 pound
• Continuous Capacity: 625 grains per minute
Other Uncommon Performance Benefits of T5000 Noryl Valve Vacuum Operation
• De-Gasifies Water to remove serious odors problems commonly found in some water supplies
• De-Gasification Significantly Improves Water Taste
• Less back pressure and much higher instantaneous water conditioning capacity than any other residential water softener
• Output water has 0 ppm hardness (typical inline injection leaves 1% or more of total ppm hardness)
• Built-in BackFlow Regulator
• Saves Space and Cost by Replacing both an Inline Injection Water Softener PLUS a Dedicated Iron Removal System when applicable
• Much Safer for Septic Tank Use (extremely low salt discharge compared to convential water softeners)
• Output water has less sodium than the raw water before treatment when using sodium chloride in the brine tank***
Note *** How is it possible to measure less sodium in the water output of a T5000 than the raw water it conditioned? This is possible because the ion exchange of the T5000 is so close to 100% efficient that the fine mesh resin easily removes all sodium naturally present in the raw water while only adding a very minute amount of sodium required to complete its ion exchange. We realize this is an impossible result from any other salt consuming water conditioner that is typically at best 50% efficient; but we have repeatedly measured this from treating 20 grain hard water with a typical amount of naturally occurring sodium (and also repeatedly measure 0 ppm of total hardness also unheard of by traditional water softener standards).
ANOTHER SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE: The benefits of having two tanks are obvious. For one thing you always have clean water to make fresh brine and clean water to rinse the tanks after regenerating the resin beds. But you would be missing a very significant DIFFERENCE if you thought the Twin Tank T5000 operated like any other two tank systems. IT DOES NOT!
ALL OTHER two tank systems are commonly referred to as Flip Flops because they only use one tank at a time and flip flop back and forth. When the softening capacity of one tank is depleted the system flip flops over to the other fresh tank while the spent tank is regenerated. Later it flip flops back again and it does this back and forth over and over again using only one tank at a time to condition your household water. The T5000 Twin Tank NEVER FLIP FLOPS and is the only two tank system available anywhere that IS NOT A FLIP FLOP SYSTEM. Instead the T5000 Twin Tank uses both tanks simultaneously. This is a very significant DIFFERENCE because using both tanks at the same time cuts the speed in half that your household water travels through the resin beds (and through the carbon overtank if you purchase a T5000 configured and built to remove household chlorine; read about that HERE). For example, the popular Kinetico two tank system is a Flip Flop (it’s also unfortunately an inline injection water softener with all the limitations that implies) and when you run your shower or bath only one tank is used to condition your water. Your household water will run through a Kinetico at twice the velocity it will run through a T5000 because the water flowing through the T5000 is equally split between two tanks simultaneously which causes it to run at 1/2 the speed through each tank. Water flowing at half the speed is exposed to the T5000’s high performance fine mesh resin for twice as long which is only one of many reasons why the T5000 outperforms all other water conditioner sold anywhere at any price.