DIYer can not solve softener problem

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by bkwood, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. bkwood

    bkwood New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    West Virginia, USA
    I have an Aqua America, Nelson Corp. softener with I believe a Fleck 2510 control valve. Installed 2000, new seals 2006. The control valve appears to be working correctly. All the positions for the drive shaft as it goes through backwash, brine-slow rinse, rapid rinse, and brine tank fill are OK. I can observe the drain flow and the brine draw down and the fill up of the brine tank and all appear OK. The problem: when observing the backwash I do not see the rusty water that I have seen before and when regeneration is complete at first I get a nasty flow of very rusty water from my cold water faucets which clears gradually. Wait a couple of minutes turn faucet back on and another flow of rusty water. After many flushings I finally can get good water again. What do I do not understand about the operation of my softener for this to occur???
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Are you using the softener for iron removal? If so, a serious cleaining of the resin bed, or replacing the resin may be in order. Water softeners can remove iron, but it fouls the resin and proper and regualr chemical cleaning of the resin should be performed. Again, there is a lot more to it than that, but without knowing your water conditions, i can only guide you in the general direction. Do you have a softness, iron, tds test kit? Are you on your own well? how often do you have your water tested?
  3. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,494
    Location:
    Alaska
    If it is the meter style, what is the gallons set for?
    What was the iron and hardness level?
    How many people in the home?
    Size of system in max capacity?
    Salt setting?
    Could be that it has been slowly getting loaded past the point of good cleaning and now the resin bed is loaded with the iron.
    Was there an upper basket with the system?
  4. bkwood

    bkwood New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    West Virginia, USA
    Yes., the softener is used for iron removal. The system worked fine for 12+ yrs. The original water test showed 3 ppm iron, but I am not sure which type of iron. After reading many posts on the forum I have learned that I need to have a good water test done. That would be step one in going with a new system. I am trying to get by with the existing system for awhile. I believe the resin bed is fouled again, as I had to do a complete cleaning 1 yr. ago. I realize I need to have more info than I know right now. What I do know is: well water, 2 people, 7" x 42" resin tank. The biggest question I have is why at the start of the backwash cycle am I not seeing the flush of irony water out of the drain pipe? When the system was working OK I would observe this flush of iron water.
  5. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,311
    Location:
    Maine
    If you use the softener for iron removal, you have to maintain the bed with iron out or a similar product and you have to do it more than once a year. Mix it with water and add it to the brine tank. Don't just sprinkle it on the salt. You will probably have to do it a couple of times back to back.
  6. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    Ontario California
    7x42? Wow, that is a bit too small for any residential application. Lets start with a water test.
  7. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,311
    Location:
    Maine
    Missed that. 7 x 42 ? He has to have measured wrong.
  8. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    Ontario California
    LOL, 7x35 and 7x44 are common tank sizes, but it is just a little small for... well, just about any application except maybor for feeding a single piece of equipment. A steamer, espresso machine maybe. :)
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,796
    Location:
    IL
    I have told you a million times, don't exaggerate! :) A 7x44 tank with 0.5 cf of resin would be nice for regenerating maybe every 3 days to 6 days. That accelerated regen would be good for iron etc removal in addition to softening, based on prior discussions.Now it would not be good for the multi-head showers or big simultaneous loads, but it can be a really effective softener.

    Picture a different house using Lake Michigan water
    with 8 grains of hardness... No iron or manganese. Most such houses have no softener. Yet at least one on-demand water heater maker says that using such water would void the warranty. Without bothering to do the math, I expect that at 100 gallons per day and 8 grains, the salt for a 0.5 cf softener would last a good while between regens.
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    Ontario California
    .5 Cu. Ft. is not that uncommon, but for a residential application the high flow rate and the large amount of iron would make it struggle to effectively work. We sell a lot of 6x18 tanks, and we even have a customer that special orders pallets of 5x17 tanks for shower applications. yes it will work, but it is not recommended for a multitude of reasons.


    High velocity through resin can cause it to break down, but in all reality, if a good quality resin were used it could last for many years. SFR is an important calculation, but exceeding that will have no real negative affecton the resin. Constantly exceeding the resins design parameters will cause damage. it is very similar to chlorine, it is more of a cumulative issue rather than a one time issue. If you run water through a 1 cu.ft. resin bed at 25 gpm for a few minutes on a rare occeassion, it is not good, but it is also unlikely to do any real damage. You will also not get very soft water.

    7x42, time to get a larger system. :)
  11. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    I don't honestly think I have ever seen a 7 x 42 used on a softener.
  12. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    Ontario California
    It is not common but in commercial applications it makes sense. A proofer may only use 10-20 GPD, and the flow rate would be very low. Same goes for a humidifier, ice tea maker, espresso machine and many other small applications. A small softener is ideal for these applications. Many of them only regenerate once a month on a timeclock basis. It is one of the rare times that a timeclock makes sense. An espresso machine may only use a gallon or 2 per day, so regeneration off the meter may take a few months, so the over-ride (electronic units only) is set at 30 days.
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