Clack softener service in Houston

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by jhruzek, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. jhruzek

    jhruzek New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Houston
    I am looking for a reference to someone in Houston that services softener systems. The company that installed it, came out and looked at the system and just wanted to completely replace the valve for $800 rather than trying to repair it. The valve seems to be working, but the brine tank is full up to the float limit and does not go down after a regen. I pulled the injector and checked to see if it or the screen was clogged, but they were clear (more than the installer company's service man did). I also made sure the drain line was clear (it was).
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,862
    Location:
    Ontario California
    You should simply rebuild the valve. It is an easy process and almost always corrects the problems with the Clack Valve. The Clack valves should last between 5-15 years between rebuilds, and can be rebuilt many times before the valve would need to be completely replaced. Complete valve replacement should only need to be done if the valve gets physically damaged due to an impact or if the board, valve internals, and meter all need replacing at the same time, then it would be cheaper to simply replace the valve.
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    jhruzek, you should troubleshoot to find the problem before calling anyone else out or replacing any parts... or a new valve.

    You need to determine if there is suction on the brine line or if there is water going into the brine tank instead, or if there is water flow into the brine tank in the service position or, if it is during backwash etc..


    Remove the brine line connection fitting (elbow) on the left side of the control valve as you face it. Some water will drain out of the hole the elbow came out of, sop it up with a rag/towel. Then for maybe a minute watch for water to start flowing out of the hole, and if it does, you need a new complete piston (main and brine) and stack (seals/spacers) assembly.
    www.softenerparts.com has them.

    If no water flows out the hole... the most common causes of too much brine in the salt tank and no suction, is loose brine line connections, a blocked injector, injector screen, or drain line kinked etc.. There is a connection under the valve that has the float hanging on it in the brine well in the brine tank. It holds the brine pickup tube up into the float valve, then there is one on top that valve and one up on the elbow on the control valve. Hand tight plus a half turn with a wrench or pliers and stop.

    Here is the link to a manual you'll need to do the replacement. Download the V3115-99 WS1_1.25_Drawings_Service_Manual and follow the instructions under the Drive endcap section.
    http://www.clackcorp.com/techsupport/controlvalvemanuals.html
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,862
    Location:
    Ontario California
    I agree with Gary, troubleshooting before buying parts thaty arent needed is advisable. I jumped the gun on that one. :)
  5. jhruzek

    jhruzek New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Houston
    Ok, I have downloaded the service manual. I see the instructions for removal of the various components. But to check whether there is suction or water going into the brine tank, what steps do I take? Do I start a manual regen? If so, in which stage should I test it?
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,423
    Location:
    IL
    Just trying to interpret here -- I may get it wrong. "Remove the brine line connection fitting (elbow) on the left side of the control valve as you face it. " test would be with no cycle going on, and the unit in service.

    "You need to determine if there is suction on the brine line" would be during the brine draw/slow rinse cycle. If you know how to go right to that cycle, the brine level should be being sucked down during that cycle. Otherwise wait around until that cycle in a manual regen.

    I would think "loose brine line connections" could be tested for by sucking on the brine tube that you loosened from the "Remove the brine line connection fitting" before you connect that tube back up. You suck brine, you suck nothing, or you suck air.... the symptom would help point the way. Have clean water to rinse the brine out of your mouth.

    Again, just my reading...
  7. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,862
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Correct, during service the brine line can be removed by removing the red clip and pulling the brine line off. There should be no flow to this fitting during service. You can also unthread the "Jaco" style nut on the brine elbow. Put the system into backwash, then brine/rinse, and you should get a noticable strong suction to the brine system. Reconnect the brine fitting and you should notice the brine water going down in the brine tank. If it does not draw water out of the brine tank, but you have good suction, that would inidicate a problem in your brine line, float, somewhere. Check all the fittings etc. tighten and retest. If you do not get good suction, then you need to investigate why. Back pressure on the drain line, plugged DLFC button, worn piston, etc. Let us know what you find on your intitial investigation.
  8. jhruzek

    jhruzek New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Houston
    As opposed to sucking on the brine line, if I blow on it, won't I see bubbles in the tank?
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,423
    Location:
    IL
    Blowing could be informative. If you blow air but get no bubbles, it could be a significant leak. If you blow pressure but no volume, but the tank is full, it could be the safety float valve blocking the air. Hmmm... I have been presuming that some one way-feature would let you draw brine by sucking, even thought the safety float was blocking new brine. I hope that is how it works.

    Blowing has the advantage of not getting so much brine in your mouth.

    Often the salt level is higher than the normal water level. That would hide bubbles.
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,862
    Location:
    Ontario California
    No need to suck on the brine line yet. It sounds like the system is not drawing brine, usually backpressure on the drain, leak in the brine line or a problem with the valve internally. Put the system into brine and rinse and see if the water in the brine tank drops. If it does not, remove the brine line and see if it is sucking. Start with that and let ue know what you find.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  11. jhruzek

    jhruzek New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Houston
    Not to be a total dunce, but how do you put the system into brine and rinse?
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,423
    Location:
    IL
  13. jhruzek

    jhruzek New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Houston
    Well, I sucked and got plenty of salt water. I put the valve through the brine cycle and had no suction.
  14. jhruzek

    jhruzek New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Houston
    As to the drain line, I was able to connect a hose to the drain line and run water through it. It is not clogged.
  15. jhruzek

    jhruzek New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Houston
    If I disconnect the brine line and go through each of the phases, which phase will water come out of the brine line opening.
  16. jhruzek

    jhruzek New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Houston
    What is the warranty on a Clack WS1? We bought the system in the summer of 2009. If five years, can the warranty be honored without going through the original installer?
  17. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,423
    Location:
    IL
    The first cycle is going to be Backwash, but I don't know what the display will say. Then Regenerate/brine draw... again, I don't know what the display will say, but that cycle sucks in the brine from the brine tank. Then maybe a second backwash. Maybe not. Then rinse. Finally the Brine Fill, which is the one that refills the brine which was pretty much all sucked out during brine draw. Then back into regular service.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  18. jhruzek

    jhruzek New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Houston
    Given that the piston and stack are a total of about $50, it seems like that is a relatively inexpensive approach to try to fix the valve, assuming that I have the right parts chosen (Regenerate piston, V3174, and spacer stack assembly, V3005).
  19. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,423
    Location:
    IL
    Before ordering the pistons, I suggest that you re-read reply #3.
  20. jhruzek

    jhruzek New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Houston
    I fully agree. I believe I have taken the steps outlined in that post and have indicated what I found. I am not sure what step to take next.
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