Clack WS1 not softening very long

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by joshaj84, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. joshaj84

    joshaj84 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Texas
    Hello, I have a 6 year old Clack WS1 32k grain system, that seems to not be softening correctly. It is only me and my wife, couple of showers a day, and maybe 5 loads of laundry a week on an HE washer. I am on city water with 20 gpg. The issue is that it seems over the last 3 months it has only been softening for about 3 days worth of water, then the water goes really hard again. It should be regenerating every 8 days with around 1100 gallons, but I am having to manually regen after 3 days or so. I have tried using some Pro Products Res Care to clean the resin, but it has not done much. There isn't any standing water in the brine tank, other than maybe .5 inch of remnants at the bottom, and salt is being used normally. My first guess is that the resin is fouled. I just don't know enough about repairs to figure out if a valve is bad or not? Any help would be appreciated
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,423
    Location:
    IL
    How much water does your water bill say you use?

    How much iron is in your water?
  3. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,862
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Do you have a water softener test kit? A Hach 5B is ideal. A few things to look at. Refill rate, does the system refill a proper amount of water? A 1 Cu. Ft. system should put enough water in the brine tank to dissolve 1.3 - 2.6 gallons of water into the brine tank during the refill depending on your systems settings. You can also remove the valve easily from the tank and check the resin level. Depending on several factors, resin can lose capacity over time, and some resin can be lost during the backwash cycles.
    Programming, you can go through the programming to make sure all the settings are correct. Check the manual for details or I can post a programming guide later if you need it.

    Check for slow leaks that the meter wont see. Leaking toilets, bad ASOV on the undersink RO, leaking faucets etc can cause a considerable amount of water to go through the system that is not seen by the meter.
  4. joshaj84

    joshaj84 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Texas
    Reach: I'm not sure how much iron, our city water quality report is pretty brief, but we do have a lot of red rings in the toilet and bathtub. Our water bill is pretty constant, nothing has really jumped over the past few months.

    Dittohead: I don't have a test kit, not sure where to pick one up? I have not removed the valve to check. As far as programming, I used Gary Slusser's calculator on his website to program it for our usage.

    I did have a question though about the programming, what is the "P#" in the programming after setting the auto fill, etc?
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,423
    Location:
    IL
    Iron can have a big effect both on the need for regeneration and requiring treatment or replacement of resin. Maybe call the water department and ask about the iron. For now, I expect you could program the softener to soften at least every 3 days. You could set the hardness grains (if that applies to your softener, to 40 grains or so.

    http://www.hach.com/total-hardness-test-kit-model-5-b/search-product?id=7640219508 is the hardness test. Shipping is significant. If you ordered more at the same time, shipping becomes less significant.

    If you order the Hach test, maybe you could also order the kit that also does iron. http://www.hach.com/iron-color-cube-test-kit-1-5-mg-l/product?id=7640216691&callback=qs looks good to me, but I have not used one. I bought the Seachem multitest iron test. I like it.

    Hach used to have the "HA-95A" which combined both iron and hardness tests, but I cannot find it now.


    Regarding the water bill, was referring to gallons or cubic meters or whatever.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    joshaj84, it sounds as if you ran out of salt or ran it low and need to change the salt lbs to 15lbs and then do 2 manual regenerations one after the other with no water use during or between them.

    That regenerates the resin back to 30K. If you do the first manual regeneration at say 7 PM, it will be done in 1.5 to 3.5 hrs depending on if you have Pre or Post refill. Pre does Refill and then pauses for 2 hrs and Post Refilled the last regeneration so it starts immediately but, then you have to wait 2 hrs to start the 2nd regeneration. So... start at like 7pm and when done, push the Regen button and let go and Regen Today will flash on the screen and start at either midnight (Pre refill and pause for 2 hrsl, then start) or 2am (for Post refill).

    Then in the morning change the salt lbs back to what they were.

    IIRC I used a P# 7 for a 1.0 cuft. Did you buy from me?
  7. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,718
    Location:
    Central Florida
  8. joshaj84

    joshaj84 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Texas
    Gary I will try the 2 regens. I bought the setup from someone in Houston.

    Thanks for the input, I will report back after trying to regen twice.

    Has anyone used the res care stuff? Just want to see if it's worth continuing to use.
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You shouldn't need any type resin cleaner since you are on city water. Resin cleaning is needed with water that has iron in it and any water that is chlorinated won't have iron in it.
  10. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,718
    Location:
    Central Florida
    The water coming out of my contact tank has from 1 to 3 ppm free chlorine, and I get a lot of ferric iron deposited in a downstream spun filter.
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yes, chlorine oxidizes clear water/soluble/ferrous into ferric iron. That would also happen if a glass lining was cracked or there is galvanized pipe/nipples or by using a galvanized tank. Chlorine and steel don't do well together and the result is rust/ferric iron, which is usually caught by a filter cartridge and over time it builds up and you can see it on the cartridge.

    Otherwise you might be able to reduce the volume or strength of the total chlorine to get the free chlorine down to where it should be at .2-.5 ppm.
  12. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,718
    Location:
    Central Florida
    That's the first definitive advice I've had for the value to shoot for. I can do that; thanks.
  13. joshaj84

    joshaj84 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Texas
    Sorry it's a super late response. I did the two regens back to back, the water stayed soft for maybe 5 days but returned to the same result of hardness in between regens. I put the same old settings back but to regen every 3 days. It is still getting hard in between the 3 day regen. Anything else to try before I buy new resin?
  14. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,487
    Location:
    Alaska
    I am going to bet on Black or that the resin bed is shot because of the city water and its chlorine.... the resin is not holding a charge and thus hard water after a day or so.
    Just like a battery for the car or truck, after awhile it needs to be replaced and chlorine is Hard on resin.

    While a city should be running under .3 or is it .03ppm of chlorine and number of times around here and most likely across the country they have gone over 1.0ppm of chlorine.
  15. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    Unless the system is set to fill first, there should be about 12-15" of water in the brine tank. If it is set for a post fill, the BLFC may have debris stuck in it.
  16. joshaj84

    joshaj84 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Texas
    It is set to pre fill, and I don't see standing water after it has regenerated
  17. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    For 2 people (120 gals/day) with 20 gpg hardness you should be fine with 20K capacity requiring 6lbs of salt in a 1.0 cuft softener. What is your programing?

    It sounds as if you may be running more than the constant SFR of 9 gpm for a 1.0 cuft softener. I suggest doing the 2 manual regenerations again, with no water use during or between them and then testing both the hot and cold water daily until the next regeneration. You may have hardness scale in the water heater because hardness has gotten through the softener and it is being dissolved back into the hot water and you feel the hardness. Is laundry being done while other water is being used? HE clothes washers fill at the same gpm as other washers, they fill for a shorter period of time so they use less water but, that doesn't count when looking at SFR.

    You can get into the history and diagnosis parts of your control valve to see gpm flow rates etc.. You think the resin is fouled.... by what? Six years is rather short for chlorine to ruin resin so do you know how much chlorine is in your water?

    Red/pink rings at the water line in pet water bowls, toilet bowls etc. are an indicator of a harmless airborne bacteria, not ferrous iron in the water getting through a softener.

    What type of salt are you using? Have you checked the salt tank for a salt bridge?
  18. joshaj84

    joshaj84 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Texas
    Gary, I used your calculator tool to setup the softener, and I'm using those same numbers you posted. I'm not sure of the chlorine the city records really suck and, pretty much see that they max everything they can add into the water. Yes, we do have laundry being done while, dishwasher or shower is being used. I tell my wife not to, but you know how that goes. The water heater is only about 2 years old, and the hardness issue has only been a few months, so I'm not sure that much scaling could be built up yet?
  19. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yes I know how that goes. I also know it doesn't take much hard water to scale up a water heater and 2 years is way longer than it takes. So test the hot and cold between regens and see what you find.
  20. joshaj84

    joshaj84 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Texas
    Just drained the water heater this weekend, very little scale came out. Cold water was hard during refill. Something has to be wrong with the resin.
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