Cleaning/Replacing aeration tank strainer screen

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by sbarre, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. sbarre

    sbarre New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Toms Brook, Virginia
    I've been trying to troubleshoot a problem with my Culligan Iron-Cleer filter. The water flow from my household fixtures has been getting progressively slower and slower over a few weeks. From reading other posts here, I came to suspect that something related to the aeration tank might be clogged. To verify that the filtering system may be involved in the flow problem, I put it in bypass mode and the water flow from the faucets was much better.

    As a first step in trying to resolve the problem, I decided to check the screen located inside the strainer housing. To prepare for this I unplugged the electrical connection to the compressor, shutoff the water supply, and placed the filter in bypass mode. When I started unscrewing the strainer housing, water began forcefully gushing from around the housing. I tightened the housing back down to stop the water from gushing out. I didn't want to proceed for fear of causing additional problems.

    Can someone tell me if there is a way to remove and clean the screen without flooding my basement in the process?

    This is a link to the user's guide for my unit. The strainer is pictured on pages 15 and 31.
    http://cassidywater.com/service/FeCleer_IO_Fr2005.pdf

    Thank you for any assistance,
    Steve
  2. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    You almost had it right,
    Bypass the unit.
    Start cleaning cycle.
    System will depressurize ie no more water to drain.
    Then unplug unit
    Now start unscrewing the strainer housing.

    If you can not bypass, then find a ball or gate valve before the system and close it and then open the cold side of any sink and that will depressurize the system that you will need to work on.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,989
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The manual shows two different bypass systems. One is the spool valve on the head and the other optional bypass is a series of three valves in the external plumbing. If the spool valve was used to put it in bypass, I don't see that taking the aeration tank out of the circuit.
  4. sbarre

    sbarre New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Toms Brook, Virginia
    I'll try this after the family is out of the house.


    I don't seem to have this external bypass. I only have shutoff valves on the influent and effluent lines. I guess the installer didn't exactly follow the plumbing specs.


    This morning I found water puddling in the basement around the filter unit. I'm hoping I didn't damage something (o-ring/gasket) when I loosened the strainer housing yesterday. Maybe a little plumber's putty on the housing threads will take care of it.

    Questions - Are there any precautions I should take when bring it back online, or do I just generally reverse the procedure? I guess what I'm most concerned about is somehow disturbing the filter layers. Should I restore the water flow gradually until the tank is filled?

    Anyway, I appreciate the assistance and I will let you know how it goes.
  5. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    Plumbers putty on either the male or female end of the union that you are talking about but not the threads is you wish to un do that union down the road.
  6. sbarre

    sbarre New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Toms Brook, Virginia
    Point taken.
  7. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    The filter layers within the tank will find their spots after 2 back washes.

    The only thing that I can think of is that if you end up with a large amount of air in the media tank, to not turn the water on full with the system coming out of bypass but rather put the bypass about half way open then start the back washing.. to let the air out under a more controlled or slower way .. and not end up with media in the valve body.
  8. sbarre

    sbarre New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Toms Brook, Virginia
    Well, I got it done and the flow seems much better. I can't say exactly how I did it. The procedure I originally followed didn't seem to work, but I don't think it was due to any flaw in the procedure. When I moved the manual recharge lever to start the process, it made some little sound for just an instant and then nothing. I waited for maybe 15 minutes, but never heard anything going through the drain tube.

    At this point I don't remember exactly what order I did anything. I do remember that I took it out of bypass and shutoff the main intake valve. At some point I plugged in the electrical service.

    Somewhere in the middle of all this I was able to remove and clean the strainer screen. It was pretty messed up. The leak I mentioned in a previous post was due to the rubber seal ring being unseated from the housing. After reseating the seal and putting everything back together, I think it was at this point that I plugged in the electrical service. It immediately went into recharge mode with water flowing freely through the drain tubing.

    Finally after it finished the cycle, I slowly returned the intake flow over a period of maybe 10 minutes. At some point the compressor kicked on for a few seconds and things seemed to be normal. There was a lot of muddy, gritty crap in the lines, but that cleared up after running the faucets for awhile. The flow is much better now.

    Sorry, I can't nail down exactly what happened. These things are a little out of my league. However, I WILL be cleaning that strainer on a regular basis from now on.

    I greatly appreciate the help I got here. Thank you all very much.

    Steve
  9. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    Could be that the lack of flow was from the plug at the strainer... getting that cleared out of the way was most likely the reason you got water flow again...
    Either way sounds like you have more of a handle on your system for trouble shooting in the future..

    Ask questions any time you would like.
  10. sbarre

    sbarre New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Toms Brook, Virginia
    Thanks, I'm sure I will.

    Thanks again,
    Steve
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