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
    Mr. Slusser, what shaft? The threads on the cap drive assy. are internal and the piston rod shaft has nothing to do with the spacer stack position...?

    ...another wrinkle...When I get a 1002 error, I cannot get a rest by pushing reg. and next. I have to unplug for over an hour to get a reset...????

    The brine line never leaks, by the way...
  2. DOCSCANTLIN

    DOCSCANTLIN New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    Sir, Thanks for the question. The "casing" is clean as a whistle. I cleaned the "bore" with a rag and vinegar. Everything is clean. Interestingly, when you insert the stack there is a lot of play between the round seals and the bore. It seems when the stack is completely inserted ant tightened it must expand to form effectively seal.
    Thanks again, good thing to check.
    Doc
  3. DOCSCANTLIN

    DOCSCANTLIN New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    Just took a look at the clack patent papers online and a closer look at the manual. As I see it now, the best way to install the stack is to use a dowell and push the rear of the stack against the back of the bore. I believe this is where you count threads, as you cannot see threads (at least 4) when you are tightening the drive cap (would be much less than 4 anyway). This eliminates the seals from expanding before the stack bottoms out as the seals expand as the stack is compressed (when you are pushing it into the bore). After the stack is bottomed and 4 threads are visible, then you install the cap and pistons. As you tighten, watch the seal (looking into the drain hole) dissapear. Now the manual states the exact location of the seal is not important. However, when you tighten the cap the seals expand against the bore and the pistons. Where, exactly is the "perfect" point to stop turning so you get a seal but not too tight and risk damaging the stack/pistons? An obvious answer would be "fully tight (cap assembly touching outside of casing/bore)" if the tolerances are that close (to expand the seals to a perfect seal). If not, I assume you would gradually tighten and run through the cycles and tighten again until you get your water flows from the correct hoses (and suction during brine) at the correct place in the cycles. So, it seems to me that this seal pressure could be quite critical. Any comments before I try this? Thank you so much in advance. Doc
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    OK, "shaft" was a bad choice of words....

    I've never had anyone have the problems you're having.

    The original stack, did it have the same part number on it that your replacements have?

    I take it you have had the error with this new stack installed? Or are you talking about before? In the back of the manual there should be an explanation of the error code number, what does it say?

    I don't like the theory of the stack being enlarged in diameter as you compress it. It doesn't sound possible to me.
  5. DOCSCANTLIN

    DOCSCANTLIN New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    Dear Mr. Slusser, The part #s are identical (embossed on the part).
    No more errors. It seems odd, though, that I have to unplug it for so long to get it to reset. But it does finally reset and all regeneration positions are as per the manual as far as which step the shaft is next to (it was a 1002 error. OK now)

    Here is the patent link: http://www.patentinformationsearch.com/water_softener/water_softener-11.php

    Where I am currently is, I have installed the 2nd new stack/pistons and tightened to have the seal just hitting the edge of the oblong hole visable through the drain hole. I know this is not far enough but I am skittish about "too tight". Going through the cycles, incorrect flows on several positions plus flow through brine line on brine position. I guess I will tighten the stack to get the seal JUST invisible. That can't possibly be too tight...?...and go from there.

    P.S. The patent information is logical to me in the sense that if you can easily insert and remove the stack (one of it's features), how do you then get the seals to to form a water tight fitting to the bore and to the pistons? When you insert the stack with no compression there is a LOT of play between the seals and the bore. Take a look and tell me what you think. I will stand by. Thanks so much for your time!!! Doc
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    If you put side force/compression on an o-ring the o-ring will change cross section shape from round to oval and that will cause the circumference to 'grow' slightly.

    Tightened to where the o-ring is just out of sight in the drain elbow hole is in the instructions...

    I'd count threads (too) and try it and if no joy, tighten it a bit more and try it etc..

    Other than that I don't think I can help anymore other than to again suggest calling Hellenbrand.
  7. DOCSCANTLIN

    DOCSCANTLIN New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    Dear Mr. Slusser, I just got off the phone with Hellenbrand. He did agree the stack needed to be compressed (front to back as it tightens (not side force). He recommended tightening it further and didn't think you could over tighten it unless you put obscene leverage on it. I think we have our problem, though (what I should have done in the beginning). I only have a little over 1 PINT of volume per minute from the drain line. My water pressure gauge is inoperative. I do know the pressure doesn't change when I bypass the softener but I don't know if I am getting over the 30# minimum from the pressure tank. Perhaps that is my problem...low initial water pressure.
    Thanks, Doc
    I think ascertaining water pressure is my next step. Any idea what 30# of water pressure looks like out of a 1/2" pipe?
  8. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,175
    Location:
    Maine
    It looks like not enough pressure or volume.
  9. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,837
    Location:
    Ontario California
    A 10" diameter tank Clack system should be flowing approximately 2.7 GPM down the drain during backwash or fast rinse. Even a low pressure of 30 PSI should get you close to that, but you should get your pressure up to 40 PSI or more.

    The Clack stack s a compression seal stack design. It compreses and expands upon installation. In my field experience with rebuilding clack valves, we simply replace the stack, piston, front seal assembly, and you give a good tightening. Not gorilla tight, but not girly tight. (technical terms have been banned from this site so I will try to keep it simple) :)
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    A new gauge is about $5 and it takes maybe 15 minutes to change one... I told you the low drain flow had to be fixed before you did anything else.

    You get the new gauge in and then check and adjust the air pressure in the tank with no water in it to 29 psi. Then set the pressure switch to on at 30 and off at 50.

    If your switch is say 10 years old or more, or you've been foolin' with adjusting it with no gauge, buy a new 30/50 switch and install it when installing the new gauge. And check the air pressure is 29 psi with no water in the tank before you turn the pump on.
  11. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,837
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Agreed, look at the first reply to the OP question, the first sentence was to check the drain line flow control rate.

    No brine draw, check the water going to drain... troubleshooting 101.

    Let us know what you find

    .
  12. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,175
    Location:
    Maine
    Perhaps all of his troubles from the beginning was low pressure. But at least if it was he has enough rebuild parts to keep that valve going until the next century
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yep we both told him about the low drain flow having to be fixed in the first sentence of our replies and we were the first two to reply to his problem. I'll bet there is a lesson learned.
  14. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    Gary, Why would you recommend he set the well up for a 30/50 instead of a 40/60? I've always bought a 40/60 pressure switch. Is there any advantage or disadvantage by setting it on a 30/50?
  15. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,837
    Location:
    Ontario California


    I prefer the 40-60 setting, or even the 50-70, but.. good question. Is there an advantage to the lower or higher settings. The obvious differences would be electircal consumption, higher pressure equals more electricity. What about pump life or other issus. The additional energy consumption is definetly a legitimate issue, but for most people, the difference would not be a major one.

    Nothing meant by this question, just a query so as to have a greater understanding.
  16. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,175
    Location:
    Maine
    30/50 seems to be pretty standard for some reason. Standard pressure switches come set at 20/40, 30/50 and 40/60. 30/50 is right in the middle. we buy a couple of cases of pressure switches a year and both cases are 30/50's
  17. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    It looks like a lot more water than you thought it would. The formula for calculating it precisely is complex, and depends on the type of pipe, but for government work it's pretty close to 15 GPM.
  18. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The unwritten 'norm' used to be 20/40 and that started to change 25 years ago when houses started to be built with more than 1.5 bathrooms.

    The higher the water pressure the pump is run at, the more water that will be used. Some wells may not be able to handle that extra water use very well.

    Most people have a nominal 20 gal pressure tank and higher switch settings causes the pump to turn on more frequently because the higher pressure causes a reduction in draw down gals from the pressure tank. That runs up the electric bill but more importantly. it can burn up pumps and pressure switches.

    Higher pressure also increases the velocity of the water and that isn't good for the plumbing or appliances and can cause water hammer and all its damage.

    30/50 is an average 40 psi and really, all most households need in the vast majority of houses in the US.

    Raising the psi without properly sizing the pressure tank and setting the precharge air pressure correctly for whatever switch setting you propose, is a large disservice to your customer because it can cause them serious expensive problems.

    So let me ask yous guys, why do you propose raising the water pressure on a private well water system higher than 30/50, what is the advantage(s) to doing that? Personally my guess is that it has something to do with not wanting loss of water pressure complaints. Properly sized equipment has no noticeable pressure loss at 30/50.

    BTW, the Clack WS-1 and most Fleck valves work just fine on 20/40.
  19. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,175
    Location:
    Maine
    Most often the reason is because the water distribution piping in the home is undersized in the first place and then when folks remodel and update fixtures ( rain,showers, roman tubs etc) the undersized piping becomes a problem with raising the pressure being the quick and inexpensive "fix" If the distribution piping is properly sized and installed there is no reason gor higher pressures unless you have a customer that likes being slammed against the shower wall. Remember folks, this is America where some's good, more's better :cool:
  20. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    ummm ... LOL The reason for them being 30/50 is due to whoever is in charge of ordering more switches, he/she orders 30/50 switches. You could ask your brother who he put in charge of that task after you 'retired'.
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