Merry Christmas, everyone, it’s a cold day in Wyoming today where I’m on a working vacation with my family in Jackson Hole.

On the way up here, I trained a few dealers in Idaho and then looked at a really interesting commercial/industrial project in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

For those who have been demanding it, we are putting the finishing touches on our 2008 Product Selection guide, which will be available in print as well as on CD and direct-download by Adobe Acrobat .pdf file. The new catalog includes our new wellwater product line as well as the handheld-programmer that I designed.

One of the exciting things I’m working on right now is revision 2.0 of my Fractional Brining software for Erie control valves. Since I became General Manager of Intermountain in 2005, I’ve been unable to spend as much time on engineering as I like to, but at least I’m able to carve out the time here and there to work on my favorite personal projects, like Fractional Brining.

Valve manufacturers try to make a control valve that work for as many applications as possible, and for as many OEM’s as possible – catering to the the Lowest Common Denominator. That’s OK if you’re a regular water dealer and don’t want to maximize salt efficiency or squeeze every ounce of performance out of your resin. Intermountain isn’t a regular OEM and I DO want to maximize salt efficiency and resin performance!

My philosophy for Fractional Brining is pretty simple – only use as much salt as you actually need, while periodically cleaning the resin media with a high salt dosage and also flushing aggressively with Intermountain’s proprietary Vortex riser assembly.

I started working with the Fractional Brining Concept back in 1996 on Fleck valves with really kludgey bolt-on timers and off-board access to the EEPROM on the Fleck motherboard. Although this process was awkward, it gave me the freedom to start operating a water softener properly, not just the way a valve manufacturer wants you to. Thankfully once Intermountain entered into a strategic relationship with Erie Controls, I was able to write my software directly into their existing Atmel processor so that I could control the main board directly without cumbersome and expensive bolt-ons.

Fleck/Pentair is now also working directly with me so that I can program the SXT, XTR, and NXT platforms with my software. A special thank you to Andy Tischendorf, Pentair’s Director of Engineering who has been very helpful in ironing out the bugs. On Pentair platforms, they will be using the “i” suffix to differentiate between generic Pentair software, and enhanced fractional brining versions. In case you were wondering…”i” means Innovative, not Intermountain since this software is my own invention that I allow currently Intermountain to use. The hardware platform behind fractional brining is what I’ve chosen to call “Evertech” – which implies “Technology that lasts Forever”.

Once of these days, I’ll put up a website that describes more about the Evertech platform and how fractional brining works in more detail without divulging too many trade secrets 🙂

If you have an Erie-based Intermountain softener manufactured after March of 2002 (2-line Blue Display), your local service agent can burn the upgraded fractional brining firmware right into your softener for you at a nominal cost.

Other fun things on the Horizon for 2008 – New RO controls, New Ultrafilter software, and an improved version of the popular resin cleaner known as Pur-Gard and the Commercial Pur-Gard Plus version. Pur-Gard has replaced Resin Protector, and  HydroClear. Lots of fun things coming up next year; stay tuned!

Here’s to you and yours, hoping that your 2008 is safe and prosperous.