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RE: Water Softener: Kinetico vs. Ecowater vs Culligan and other ? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: aliceinwonderland_id on 10.11.2007 at 05:13 pm in Plumbing Forum

While I'm not a huge Kinetico fan, I would also wouldn't generally recommend staying away from them. HOWEVER, in this instance, I would avoid your particular Kinetico dealer as he quite simply does not know what he is talking about. He may have a fine product, but he cannot be trusted to set it up correctly or to assist you if you have any problems down the road.

Yes, you absolutely have to bypass the exterior faucets if you use sodium choloride for regeneration and intend to water plants from those faucets. The sodium will kill your plants, both interior and exterior. Even with potassium chloride regeneration, it is recommended that you periodically water with other water, so bypassing exterior
faucets is a good idea regardless. RO water is fine for interior plants - just be sure to fertilize regularly.

If you go with Ecowater, avoid any softener that includes carbon in with the resin. I don't see a 2500 on their website, but do see a 2502 that looks fine. The 3500 appears to have carbon included. There are many reasons why carbon should not be mixed in with softening resin: 1) Carbon depletes faster than resin ages. Good softening resin should last 15 - 20 years. Carbon will not. If you are actually relying on the carbon in the softener to remove chlorine, you will, after 1 - 5 years, have to have the carbon and resin replaced (carbon is cheap, resin is expensive) or install a separate carbon filter. Good $$$ for the vendors, bad for your wallet. 2) GAC (granular activated carbon) is abrasive and will damage your resin, reducing resin life. 3) If the GAC mixes with the resin rather than staying in a layer on top (and it will mix - their specific gravity is pretty close), it is no longer protecting your resin from chlorine attack.

If you decide you don't want the extra expense of an RO, and honestly they are rarely necessary for city water, you could also have a small bypass line installed to an extra faucet for drinking water and plant watering. It depends on what you prefer, taste-wise. Some don't like the taste of hard water/some don't like the tastelessness of RO water.

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clipped on: 07.11.2011 at 02:05 pm    last updated on: 07.11.2011 at 02:05 pm

RE: kitchen lighting (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: jon1270 on 10.20.2006 at 07:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

dmlove, to compute footcandles you need to know the candlepower of the lamp and the distance betweem the lamp and the surface being lit. With these reflector lamps, the beam is brightest in the middle and dims as you go out, so you use a figure called the "center beam candle power" or CBCP to calculate the brightness in the center of the pool of light. You then position the fixtures such that the area between any two of them gets light from both, evening out the illumination.

Anyhow, the formula is CBCP/distance, in feet, squared.

For example, I used 50PAR20/CAP/SPL/WFL40 lamps, which have a CBCP of 900. My ceiling is 8' so there is 5' between the light fixtures and the counter. So, the middle of the pool of light one of these puts onto my counter top is 900/25, or 36, footcandles.

I wish I could help with the varying recommended light levels; those quotes are making me feel like a man with two watches. I've been thinking it would be neat to do a survey of different people's feeling about the light in their kitchens and correlate such impressions with data about the number and type of bulbs they are using.

Assuming 8' ceilings, 50PAR30/NFL25 lamps spaced every 27" would give you 92 footcandles on the counters. 50PAR38/FL30 lamps spaced every 32" would give you 74 footcandles. I don't think I've ever been in a kitchen with that much artificial light.

Lynn, you should have plenty of light on your counters. I ran the numbers using the stats for 50PAR20/HAL/SPL/NFL30 bulbs, and they come out to 77 footcandles with 19" spacing, and 59 with 25" spacing. By that measure, you're well ahead of the game.

However...

These calculations of footcandles on work surfaces don't tell the whole story. They tell you about the brightness of a particular surface directly in the path of the beam, but they don't tell you the gross amount of light that is being dumped into the room, bouncing around off the walls, ceiling and cabinets as ambient light. That amount is more appropriately measured in lumens, which is a unit of measure I have a less-firm grasp of. However, if I were to take a stab at it, I might do it by calculating the area of your walls, floor and ceiling (1011 square feet) and comparing it to the amount of light you're putting into the room (550 lumens x 15 bulbs = 8250 lumens) to get a figure of just over 8 lumens per square foot of surface area. The equivalent measure in my kitchen, which I think of as bright enough but not brilliant, is 7.3 lumens per square foot of surface. This figure is only meaningful to the extent that your kitchen is similarly colored to mine (light walls, medium wood cabinets, dark counters), or that my eyesight is as good (or not good) as yours. I'm 35 years old, and I know my vision is only getting worse.

I want to declare that I'm really winging it here, throwing all these numbers around. I am good at math, but I'm not a lighting designer; the more I learn, the more factors I see coming into play that could make any given calculation irrelevant.

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clipped on: 12.18.2006 at 08:06 pm    last updated on: 12.18.2006 at 08:06 pm

RE:footcandles (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: dmlove on 10.20.2006 at 04:39 pm in Kitchens Forum

I just read this, too, and another that said footcandles for task lighting should be 75 (this one says 100, and you said catluvr said 35-50). Is there no general concensus?

"Footcandles measure the overall "brightness" of light on the work plane. "In the kitchen, general lighting needs to be about 40 footcandles and task lighting should be 100 footcandles," De Luca says. "In the bath, the footcandle level should be about 40."

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clipped on: 12.18.2006 at 08:01 pm    last updated on: 12.18.2006 at 08:01 pm

RE: Spencer_electrician- what do you think about dimmers? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: spencer_electrician on 12.01.2006 at 10:00 pm in Lighting Forum

Yes, Yes

It is very important to size dimmers correctly, they also must be de-rated if muliple dimmers are in one box. A common dimmer is 600 watts, have up to 600 and your fine. Have 2 600 watt dimmers in one box you now can only put 450 watts on each dimmer.

Have a 1000 watt dimmer, 1000 watts of light, put in 2 1000 watt dimmers and you're down to say 800 watts for each (Guessing at the 800, don't have any instructions near by. The wattage coninues to decrease as you put more dimmers in a box.

I always wondered when occasionally I would see at a building, a fancy office with six seperate switch boxes at the door each with a dimmer. Thinking "Hah what a bonehead electrician, must not of known there are multigang boxes out there" Truth is they were purpously put in that way so 1000 watts could be used on each one.

Also make sure if you dim low voltage lighting, figure out if it is a magnetic or a electronic transformer and buy the appropriate dimmer for it.

Dimmers are great! Hah I dim everything, just have to plan them correctly.

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clipped on: 12.18.2006 at 07:46 pm    last updated on: 12.18.2006 at 07:47 pm