Modern Water Conditioning Controls

Jan. 3, 2007

About the author: Thomas Leunig, CWS-IV, is marketing programs manager for the Residential & Commercial Group of GE Water & Process Technologies, Milwaukee, Wis. He can be reached at 262.518.4285, or by e-mail at [email protected].

Modern water conditioning controls provide consumers with conditioning and filtration systems that provide maximum efficiency, economical operation and easy-to-use electronic displays. The newest generation of controls has been engineered to achieve efficiencies over 4,500 grains of capacity per pound of regenerant used; plus, it allows water usage to be adjusted to the application, saving considerably on resources used to achieve regeneration.

Many of today’s controls operate at 36% greater efficiency than they did just five years ago. This reality can be compared to a modern automobile, which uses many mini computers to control fuel efficiency, braking and traction. Consumers take these features for granted, and they are offered at price points available to every consumer. Dealers who can apply the technology of modern water treatment controls and convey this to consumers will see their sales and profitability grow exponentially.

Let’s take a look at some of the features offered by a modern control. The displays are easy to read and provide lots of information to consumers and dealers with the simple touch of a button.

New Features

Day-of-week tracking. The day of the week is monitored and allows the control to adjust automatically to heavy usage days based on a 28-day average. This feature assures that the consumer has enough capacity to run on heavy water usage days. If a homeowner has heavy usage on Tuesdays, for example, the smart control will recognize this and regenerate if necessary to have the full-anticipated capacity every Tuesday. Homeowners are virtually assured of conditioned water at all times.

Back-to-back regenerations. The control display features a recycle button and symbol to indicate that the control is set to regenerate at the next preprogrammed time. This feature allows the consumer or dealer to initiate back-to-back regenerations. If a consumer forgets to add regenerant and runs the system capacity down, the back-to-back regeneration feature quickly recovers the system’s full capacity.

Regeneration time remaining. Using an hourglass icon much like a PC, the control will indicate that it is performing a function and timing out. The control will also indicate which cycle of regeneration the system is in and how much time is remaining until it returns to normal operation.

Lockout feature. This is indicated on the display by a padlock symbol. When activated by the dealer, this feature allows the regenerant amount, capacity and hardness settings to be locked out so unauthorized individuals cannot change them. An example of how this feature could be used is for a dealer to lock in a high efficiency setting in order to meet California standards of 4,200 grains of exchange capacity for every pound of regenerant used.

Flow rate indicator. A faucet symbol will illuminate when water is flowing through the meter, and a flow rate can be displayed. If the symbol is illuminated and the number 5 is displayed, the system meter is registering 5 gal per minute of flow rate. Maintenance interval. This feature is indicated by a hand-and-wrench icon. The dealer can preprogram a time interval in 30-day increments that will activate this icon, indicating the need for the homeowner to call for scheduled maintenance on the water conditioner or filter, or even for a point-of-use system check. This feature is especially popular with dealers who provide maintenance contracts as part of their services.

More for the Money

These are just a few features of a modern control that will assist consumers in understanding their water treatment systems and allow dealers to sell an attractive package of features. The best part of this control offering is that all of these features are available at a price point that is the same as lesser-technology controls offered in the past. Consumers have come to expect increased value and features for their money, and the modern water treatment controls can provide this.

About the Author

Thomas Leunig

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