Clack WS1 type softener-no suction-have tried "everything"

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by DOCSCANTLIN, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. DOCSCANTLIN

    DOCSCANTLIN New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    Gentlemen: I have a Clack WS1 type (ProMate1-Hellenbrand) softener. 10 years old. It has been disconected for the last 5 years. When I reconnected it, it worked for a week then I noticed the brine tank full of water and hard water. On the brine cycle, I get pressure, no suction at the end of the brine hose, just a nice strong stream of water...pressure! The drain flow is slow but works. The injector screen was clogged. I cleaned it. No change. I have replaced the pistons and stack assembly and injector. There was a small sharp stone like, black particle (resin?) stuck in the drain button. I removed it...still no suction. I have moved the valve stack through it's entire travel by hand and at no point do I get suction. But lots of pressure. Is it possible I have a resin problem (dried out)? Thank you so much and happy labor day. Doc Scantlin
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,856
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The first thing you should check when you have brine push is a blocked drain line. Do you get adequate flow to the drain line?

    I doubt this is your problem but an excessively high drain line, or low water pressure and a raised drain line can combine to create the problem you are describing. You didnt mention drain flow, so I thought I would start there.

    If you have water flow to the house with the softener in service, you should not have a problem with the tank, bad resin would typically manifest itself as no water pressure to the house.

    Keep posting information, we will get it fxed. The Clack valve is fairly bulletproof, and a proper rebuild will usually get it working as good as new.
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The slow drain line flow has to be fixed before you'll get much suction. Make sure the DLFC button is in in the correct direction, the rounded shoulder (of the hole) in the button has to be facing toward the control valve.

    If the stack is not indexed correctly in its hole in the valve body it will cause water to go into the salt tank when it should not be. You remove the drain line elbow and look down in the drain line elbow fitting hole as you install the stack. Directions should be in your service manual but... you tighten it until the seal disappears and then stop. If you still have water going into the salt tank, you need a new stack and pistons.
  4. DOCSCANTLIN

    DOCSCANTLIN New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    Thank you, Mr. Slusser for your reply. I will post some photos. When I installed the new stack/pistons, I tightened the assembly to "quite tight" with the plastic wrench. Is that correct? As you get tighter there is essently no movement...? The white gear, I turned clockwise all the way (see coming photo) before attaching the motor bracket. That is the only way you get movement to the stack ass., correct (the white gear)?. The DLFC is correctly orientated (funny how that would make a difference). Three photos coming (if I can drive this...ha). Thanks again!!!
  5. DOCSCANTLIN

    DOCSCANTLIN New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
  6. DOCSCANTLIN

    DOCSCANTLIN New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    Mr. Dittohead, I will get a drain flow volume number later today as now I have the dreaded 1002 Error which happens sometimes when I remove the front cover drive ass. It usually takes a couple of hoirs, unplugged, for it to work again. Please stand by.
  7. DOCSCANTLIN

    DOCSCANTLIN New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    Dear Mr. Slusser, waiting for my 1002 error code to go away do I can check drain flow. Just a quick note about replacing the stack/pistons. My proceedure was: Tigten the black circular round "nut" with the plastic wrench to "pretty tight". Then manully turn the white gear clockwise until "just barely tight". Then install the front cover assembly. Thanks again, Doc
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    NO... you rotate the black part with the notches in it until a seal disappears out of sight in the drain line fitting hole and stop.

    The white gear moves the pistons in or out of the seals.

    The stack does not move from it's position but, rotating the white gear moves the pistons inside the stack (seals and spacers) and with the stack positioned incorrectly, the pistons will not seal in the right position of the individual seals. A leaking seal on the brine piston and you get water going into the salt tank when it shouldn't be. Actually that is in all positions including service.

    You had the right part but over tightened it and probably ruined the stack and/or pistons.

    There are explicit instructions in the Clack WS-1service manual about how to replace the stack and pistons.
  9. DOCSCANTLIN

    DOCSCANTLIN New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    Mr. Slusser, Thank you for your reply. I loosened the stack until it started leaking and re tightened it clockwise (black piece) until the seal just disappeared. The seal actually looks to be in about the same place as it was when I "over tightened" it. I turned The white gear clockwise until it was snug and the installed the front cover. No error code this time. I removed the brine tube from the brine tank and put the regeneration to "brine". Still water pressure coming through the brine tube. I can stop the flow with my finger but it is pretty strong. The instructions which came with the softener says nothing about indexing the stack. Is there a way of examining the stack to tell if it is damaged? What does over tightening actually do to ruin it? Should I bother doing a volume test on the drain line at this point. Thanks for your information so far. Sincerely, Doc
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Over tightening the stack compresses it more than it is supposed to be and that damages it. It also changes the spot the pistons should be in on the seals. It really doesn't matter, over tightening takes all the reliability out of the stack.

    Your error may be due to the over tightening.
  11. DOCSCANTLIN

    DOCSCANTLIN New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    Mr. Susser, Thanks. I am not getting the error now. I have downloaded the manual. Much more information than mine. It talks about number of threads to index the stack (unless I misunderstood). On my brine setting the piston rod is 3 1/2 steps down so that looks to be in the correct position. At this point, what would you duggest? If I have to buy a new stack/pistons assembly I will but, any other suggestions just in case it could be something else? Regards, Doc
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Then you have a newer manual than I am aware of but... you need one for your 10 yr old valve or one that is for a valve as old as yours is. Or, call Hellenbrand with your/their model number and ask them how to index the stack.

    You're welcome Doc.
  13. DOCSCANTLIN

    DOCSCANTLIN New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    Thanks. Is it time to order a new assembly? I really don't think I tightened it that much. Just "good and snug"...Do you really think it is ruined? Let me know if you have any more suggestions before I purchase another assembly. I have the manual that came with the softener and no indexing directions. The online manual says:

    Reinsert the drive cap assembly and piston into the spacer stack assembly and hand tighten the drive cap assembly. Continue to tighten the drive cap assembly using a screwdriver as a ratchet until the black o-ring on the spacer stack assembly is no longer visible through the drain port. Excessive force can break the notches molded into the drive back plate. Make certain that the main drive gear still turns freely. The exact position of the piston is not important as long as the main drive gear turns freely.

    also:

    The spacer stack assembly can be pushed in to the control valve body bore by hand. Since the spacer stack assembly can be
    compressed it is easier to use a blunt object (5/8” to 1-1/8” in diameter) to push the center of the assembly into the control valve
    body. The assembly is properly seated when at least four threads are exposed (approximately 5/8”). Do not force the spacer stack
    assembly in.

    Thank you for your time.
    Sincerely,
    Doc
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Good'n snug doesn't sound like it was positioned correctly to me unless the instructions say good'n snug. :)

    And if you look at your 3rd picture, down the drain line fitting hole, you can see about 1/3rd of the hole is blocked by a part of the stack, at least I think it is, and you said you have a low drain line flow... no wonder. lol

    That's the instructions I referred you to.

    Sorry, now I remember that part, I didn't use it because a customer might measure 5/8" or visualize 5/8" a bit differently than I would if I were there looking at it or doing it. Or miss count the number of threads. They couldn't miss an o-ring disappearing from the drain line fitting hole.

    For 8 years now I've had maybe 3 dozen customers that had to replace their stack and pistons. The last one was last month. Telling them to look down the hole as they tightened the nut has cured their too much water in their salt tank problem every time.
  15. DOCSCANTLIN

    DOCSCANTLIN New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
  16. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Those white parts in the picture are spacers between o-rings or seals, whichever way we say it.

    Looking at the left side of the hole, and assuming that is toward the back of the valve, it looks to me as if there is like a shelf in the bottom of the hole on the left side of the hole. There seems to be some dirt on it with some of it wiped off.

    I don't recall seeing anything like a shelf in a Clack WS-1 but it may be your Hlllenbrand valve is a bit different than a stock Clack WS-1. If that were the case a stock stack may not have been used and you need the stack and pistons from Hillenbrand. I can't see the ends of the spacers on the left side.

    Are you getting the stack etc. from Hillenbrand and if not then who?
  17. DOCSCANTLIN

    DOCSCANTLIN New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    Good point. I am going to remove the new stack I installed and check it against the original stack. You are correct. The clack diagragm cut away view does not show those "ledges". However the part numbers from the original Hillenbrand manual (which has no cut away diagragm) match the part numbers from my source, http://www.softenerparts.com/Clack_WS1_Valve_Parts_s/45.htm
  18. DOCSCANTLIN

    DOCSCANTLIN New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    Mr. Susser, I received the 2nd new stack assembly. It has the same number embossed on the part as the original part which came with the softener. They must be the same. Any suggestions before I try and install this? Thank you kindly, Doc Scantlin
  19. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Since you have the ledge/shelf inside the drain line fitting hole, I'd be left with counting threads on the shaft that tightening exposes.

    Now just yet I don't know if I'd count thread valleys or peaks. :) I would want to stop short as opposed to going too far/tight though and test it to see what suction I have and adjust if not a strong suction.

    Of course that assumes there is no other causes of weak or no brine suction. I'd look for no water flow out the brine line fitting hole or the brine line itself when the pistons are in the service or other cycle positions except for Refill.

    I'd count thread peaks and keep my lucky charm close by while silently repeating - Please God help me get this right....
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  20. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    Is it that the seal pack is not seating all the way in because of some debris in the back of the valve? I haven't come across this myself, but I have heard of this happening.
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