Culligan Iron Cleer problems.....

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by vnvet, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. vnvet

    vnvet New Member

    Messages:
    22
    I'll try not to be too long winded here, you guys helped me with my well problem last year and gave me all the right answers...

    When I built this house 4 years ago the only problem I had with the water was the sulfur smell, I talked to neighbor up the road and he said Culligan took care of his problem so I called them....the rep came out and said he knew exactly what I needed and sold me this 2 tank Iron Cleer system......he never tested our water, just ran his hand accross the inside of the toilet tank.

    First 2 years it worked ok then I started to have low pressure problems, now it's to to the point where I've had to bypass it to have decent water pressure...I had Culligan come out last month, they charged me $170.00 to look at it, when the tech was there he told my wife I needed a rebed....another $700.00...she called me and put him on the phone, I said you have to be kidding me !!! he said it was plugged with iron....I told him I dodn't even know if I have Iron and only purchased this system to take out the sufur smell...he replies, oh...you don't even have the correct system for that !. I said well that's what you sold me, and that's about as far as that went and he left.....

    I get a call from the manager the next day as to why I'm not happy....he says you need a rebed every 3-4 years, I said ok..your tech says I don't even have the correct system...no reply to that, and just a bunch of one word answers to my questions...

    After a couple of weeks of my wife bitching about the smell I call them and say ok come do the rebed...They make an appointment to come pick up my tank.....the tech shows up, works on it a while and tells the wife I don't need a rebed...he has repaired it and it's no charge...

    Now 2 weeks later I'm back in the same boat, no pressure and I've had to bypass it..

    So my question is what do you think, do I need a rebed?....should I toss this POS and get something else? I don't really want to pay these guys any more money because I don't think they are an honorable bunch.
  2. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    From your description it sounds as if the media tank is not backwashing properly and the media is loading up and restricting flow.

    The system you have injects air as an oxidizing agent and presumably to meet the oxygen requirements for birm to work (the tank with the pump on top) and then filters the water through birm media. Here is a link describing birm media and the conditions necessary for it to work properly: http://www.caitechnologies.com/images/PDFs/specs/birm.pdf. If you in fact have hydrogen sulfide that may be the problem--birm does not work with hydrogen sulfide present.

    Here is a link to the manual for your system and I recomend you read it if you have not.
    http://www.culligan.com/uploadedFiles/Service_and_Maintenance/Customer_Support/Owners_Guides/Whole_House_Filters_Owners_Guides/Iron-Cleer%20Filters%20(Rev%20A4)%2001020479.pdf
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  3. vnvet

    vnvet New Member

    Messages:
    22
    I have that manual and have read it, that isn't exactly the system I have as in mine is mechanical programing, nor do I have any of the shut off valves they refer to...just ball valves in the lines to the system. In trouble shooting for low presssure it lists ( Plugged aeration inlet diffuser or pick up tube)....where is this on the system? Can I check this myself?..lasdt time the tech was here I had my regular pressure when he left after doing something?

    We definately have hydrogen sulfide , this is coal country, Iron I don't think so...no indication from any of the outside water that doesn't run through the system.
  4. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    If there was iron you would know about it.. untreated water in like a dogs water dish and orange build up at the bottum of the dish.

    When you take the system off line, bypass it can you do just one tank or do you have to take both at the same time?
  5. vnvet

    vnvet New Member

    Messages:
    22
    I can only bypass both at the same time, here's some pics of what I have.

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  6. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    So it is either all or none... rats..

    When the unit with the control goes into a cleaning cycle does the backwash sound as strong as it did when it was first put in? ie if when it was new it was backwashing at 6gpm but now it is at 4gpm then the sound would be different and to me that would say that there might be some kind of blockage in the head or dist tube of the lead tank..
  7. vnvet

    vnvet New Member

    Messages:
    22
    It sounds pretty much the same at it always has, it's pretty loud....in fact I was putting it on manual recharge and it worked a couple times, but the last few times I still don't have pressure after the backwash. When it was working correctly during regular water use you would hear the water draining into one of the tanks with pretty good force, now it's just a trickle, and water doesn't seem to be able to get through the system. I have a Grundfos pump ( let's not go there) and it's causing it to stop and start every 5 seconds when it should be running continuously...
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  8. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    The water does not seem to be flowing through the first tank with out any force? like it is trickling through the first tank?

    The well pump runs more or longer when all the treatment system is on line? Does the well pump run normally when the treatment system is off line?
  9. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    The inlet diffuser and the pick up tube are components in the tank in which air is pumped. To get to them you would need to bypass the treatment system and then remove the head from the air tank and pull the components out.

    The system you say you have is listed by Culligan to have Birm media which is used for iron and manganese but not for hydrogen sulfide--do you know for sure what media you have in the second tank?
  10. vnvet

    vnvet New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Yes the pump works correctly when I have the system bypassed, it runs as water is being used and I have great pressure, I have it set to 60 lbs. And yes, the water is just trickling through the first tank (tank on the right in the pic)
  11. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    I myself would make sure that the line going into the first tank was clear from the ball valve to the head, then make sure that the head on that first tank was clear and open , along with the dist tube going down into the tank ..

    One step at a time, remove one possible challenge at a time.
  12. vnvet

    vnvet New Member

    Messages:
    22
    The system I have I posted a pic of.... I have no idea what media it has, I see the manual says Birm.....but the manual also says the systems removes hydrogen sulfide...and Culligan doesn't offer any info when you call them other to say they'll send a tech out and make sure you are aware it's going to cost $170.00 just to get them here....
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  13. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    How strong is this H2S that you talk of?

    light, med, or run you out of not only the house but out of the county?
  14. vnvet

    vnvet New Member

    Messages:
    22
    I can do that, my guess is it's clear though..yesterday I drained it down a little and opened that little balck canister on top of tank one, there was a screen in there and it was clear. When I turned the pump back on and re opened that ball valve I could hear the water just rush right through it into the tank....after a few minutes it was back to the trickle under use and I bypassed the system again...
  15. vnvet

    vnvet New Member

    Messages:
    22
    It's probably medium to bad, you always smell it using water with when the system is off. Just disturbing water in the toilet bowl you smell it....washing clothes stinks up the the whole laundry room.
  16. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I see that the manual says the system will reduce hydrogen sulfide--and air injection will oxidize some of the hydrogen sulfide--but not remove it completely. That is written in the manual-- "Hydrogen Sulfide — Often referred to as rotten egg odor, hydrogen sulfide will be reduced significantly on water supplies containing less than 5 ppm."

    Then when you read the specification sheet for Birm it says that there should be no hydrogen sulfide present when it is used. If you decide to replace the system you should consider a media that does effectively deal with hydrogen sulfide. One possibility would be to replace your existing media with Filox.

    But I am going to step back at this point--Akpsdvan is taking you through a step by step diagnosis so lets see if that will resolve your problem.
  17. vnvet

    vnvet New Member

    Messages:
    22
    One thing I just looked up makes me wonder.....I don't have any iron..just hydrogen sulfide, I don't know why I have an Iron Cleer...this is what Culligan said I needed. When I look at the manual for their Sulfur Cleer system it shows the media as 1.5 cu ft CIM ??
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  18. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    From the photo that you have posted it looks like the second tank, the one with the control on top would handle 1.5 cubic feet of media, be it birm or some other media..

    Why they did what they did I do not know..

    The two tanks that are in the photo look to be of the same size in diameter and height...
  19. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    Check, take things apart carefully and make sure that there is free and clear runs to and from that lead head, that the head is clear that the inlet into the tank is clear that the dist tube is clear and that the outlet is clear.
  20. vnvet

    vnvet New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Ok will do....any idea how to get that lead head off?
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