General Ionics IQ0820B won't draw brine

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by bmaker, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. bmaker

    bmaker New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Ohio
    I have a 20 year-old GI unit that worked well until last month. During the regen cycle, when it gets to the brine draw step there is no vacuum on the brine draw tube. In fact, it actually leaks a little water out of the tube when I disconnect it from the float valve in the salt tank. However, if I move the bypass valve into Bypass position and then slowly return it to Service position, the vacuum is established and it draws fine. I have disassembled the brine valve and cleaned all the nozzles, jets, and screen (several times!). What gives?
  2. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

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    Sounds like the main piston along seal spacer kit might need to be replaced.

    When in the cleaning or regen cycle the main piston goes to a spot, if the seals are leaking then the brine draw will not take place even if the injector and screen are clear.

    It could be that by changing the middle seals with the seals that are at the ends correct the challenge for now .
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  3. bmaker

    bmaker New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Ohio
    Where can I get a set of seals and, more importantly, the special tools (seal hook, puller, and stuffer) needed to remove and re-install them (which I will need even if I just swap them out as you suggest)? I found these in a Fleck 2500 service manual on line, and the whole shebang looks exactly the same. Thanks for the prompt reply above, by the way!
  4. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

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    I know that there are a number of items that yours and the 2500 have as the same, but if I remember correctly the seals spacers and piston are not the same.

    The stuffer and puller are nice to have, just used them on older 2500 yesterday, but will not break the bank if you do not have them, just takes a little longer with the valve off the tank and in ones lap.

    A few years back I ended up with some seal kits in a lot sale, trick is remembering where they are right now.. PM me if you would like.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    IIRC General Ionics used stock 2500 piston, seals,spacers and brine valve but, if not the stock parts still fit. You may have to ream (fine sand paper works) the brass to get any corrosion out before installing the new seals and spacers.
  6. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

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    Location:
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    Ok, then is this all wet?

    "NOTE: While the Valve may resemble the Fleck 2500 or 2510 ( front power head controls ), the "bore" size is LARGER, and that is why Fleck Pistons and / or Seals Kits will NOT fit.
    You will need to get those parts from a Puronics Dealer in your area ( or upgrade your complete Valve Head and TANK to "standard" sizes used with most other valves / brands )."
    http://www.softenerparts.com/kb_results.asp?ID=51
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Twenty +/- ago I rebuilt a lot of General Ionics 2500 based control valves.

    They didn't look like the picture on the link you referred to. They all had regular steel back plates, the type that rusted; just like to old Culligans... Then some started to show up with stainless steel back plates.

    If you look at the picture, take note of how large the tank it's on is. It must be 20" or larger. A 25x0 will not service that size tank. The back end of teh valve looks like 1.5" or 2".

    We'll see if the OP says he has that valve or not.

    Also, obviously softenrparts doesn't know about the tank adapter to adapt a regular industry standard 2.5' 8 third/inch valve to a tank with 2" fine thread. I used to carry one in the van at all times. Rainsoft's green tanks used the smaller hole too.
  8. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    3,167
    Location:
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    It's 20 years old, so spend the money and time to fix the leaking piston and a week later something else goes or the resin finally craps out. replace it
  9. bmaker

    bmaker New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Ohio
    Here are a few photos of my valve. Can you tell which one it is?
    Softener3.jpg
    Softener1.jpg
    Softener2.jpg
  10. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

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    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    There is an idea... if you could measure from side to side the part of the valve body that is flush with the metal back plate.. there are the two screws, one top and one bottom.. the Fleck 2500 body that I have my hands on has a left to right out side measurement of 45cm or 1 3/4.... now it is possible if yours is the same size then it might still use the 2510's piston and seal pack kit.. if not............. then it is looking for them from a dealer only.
  11. bmaker

    bmaker New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Ohio
    I measured as you suggested. Not exact due to the difficulties of getting my calipers in there, but I would say it's pretty close to 1 3/4". Perhaps a hair or two larger. This is at the flared out "flange" in contact with the back plate.

    Softener2a.jpg
  12. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    This one just might be the 2500 body with some changes..

    I measured out side to out side of the 2500 body that I have and came up with the 1 3/4"

    It would be worth it to find a rebuild kit for the 2510 or 2500 and see if a local dealer will rent you the stuffer puller to work on your valve.

    did you get a photo from looking straight into the front of the control? you have from the brine piston side..
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    It certainly isn't the same valve as pictured in the link.

    It uses the old standard brass by pass valve and meter although mounted 90* to the left instead of flat and the timer etc. looks the same. The injector body just behind the brine line connection, comes off the side instead of the top and is larger than a 25x0. I say the piston, seals and spacers probably are the same as for the present 2510 but... I was rebuilding day timer versions and not metered versions.

    If needed and you can get parts for yours, and you clean up any corrosion inside where the seals and spacers go, the valve body will last forever so I wouldn't get rid of this one simply because of its age.
  14. bmaker

    bmaker New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Ohio
    Didn't want to tear the front controller off to get this pic. Have done it before and I know the valve piston is a light green color. I'll see what I can find at a local dealer for the Fleck 25x0. Thanks!
  15. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    Let us know if there is any thing else that we can help with.
  16. bmaker

    bmaker New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Ohio
    Well, I bought a set of seals for a Fleck 25x0 and they are too small. The GI seals are 1 3/8" OD and 1 1/8" ID; the Flecks are 1 1/4" OD and 1" ID. The opening in the valve body after taking off the controller is 1 3/8" ID.

    So, since I had it all apart I went ahead and pulled out all the seals and spacers to inspect them and clean them up. Some of the spacers had tiny nicks on them but they were basically sound. I sanded down the rough spots with 400 emery paper. The seals were like new--soft, pliable, and clean with no imperfections at all. I put everything back together, using a "D" dry cell battery as my stuffer tool. It was a hair small but it seemed to work OK.

    I decided to replace the resin too so have to go pick that up tomorrow. Will let you know how it all turns out.
  17. bmaker

    bmaker New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Ohio
    Got the resin installed, put everything back together, flushed out the whole system (took about 10 minutes at about 3-4 gpm), then did a regen for good measure. Unfortunately, the brine still will not draw so I am back to the manual process of closing the bypass valve and then slowly opening it back up to get the suction to start. Frustrating! Water is nice and soft, though, with the new resin.
  18. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,167
    Location:
    Maine
    Have you checked all the fittings on the brine line as well as the float assembly for suction leaks?
  19. bmaker

    bmaker New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Ohio
    Here's what I did on that. I removed the float and suction tube assembly from the sleeve in the salt tank. I then took it up to the kitchen when my wife wasn't around and dipped it into a pitcher of tap water. I sucked on the brine connection with the tube fully submerged and got a mouthful of water. I then raised the tube out of the water and the check valve in the gooseneck at the bottom of the tube did it's thing and stopped the water flow. I tried to suck real hard and could detect no leakage through the check valve, so deemed that to be OK. Then I blew into the brine connection with the float pushed all the way down (simulating a low brine level in the tank) and the air flowed freely into the pitcher. Finally, I blew into the conection with the float lifted up all the way (simulating a full brine tank) and the flow stopped. Seems like everything was working as intended.

    By the way, I never seriously thought there was a problem with the brine tube/float because it all works OK when I do the thing with the bypass valve as described above.
  20. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    Awhile back there was a system that had the same problem... the reason for the challenge was found to be a plug at the base of the injector.
    So on yours check to make sure that under the injector block , there should be 2 holes .. one for the injector throat and the other for the screen... make sure that there is nothing pluging either hole or covering the hole. The lower seal should not cover the holes on the body.
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