Help with a water (ph?) filter...

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by abacuslearns, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. abacuslearns

    abacuslearns New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Connecticut
    About 4 years ago we were getting blue stains in our sinks so a company came in and removed our very old culligan water softener (2 skinny tanks, short wide tank) and installed a single tank system. They told us at the time that the old Culligan unit wasn't really functioning and that we didn't really need it anyway because all we had was low ph. They installed a single tank unit and everything was good for awhile... This is the point where I should say they have not been back to 'service' the unit in probably 3 years so I am sure that it is now probably somewhat non-functional because no media has been put in.

    I would like to try to take care of this myself if i could get some help in understanding what to do? The company that put it in seems to no longer be in business. I know I could call someone else, but again. if I could do this myself and save some money (esp this time of year) it would be a home run.

    The problem is, there is no brand or mfg information anywhere on the unit.

    On the bottom side of the timer unit the following numbers appear:
    24598-02001-010C00 on one sticker and on another smaller sticker it says:
    P/N 40278.. neither of which I could cross to anything.

    Can anyone provide any info/ guidance? I would appreciate it much!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You have a filter version Fleck 5600 12 day time clock control valve. I don't see a top dome hole plug in the tank so you would remove the filter from the bypass valve and unscrew the control valve from the tank and add mineral and put things back as they were.

    To know what mineral you would need a water test for pH on the raw (prefiter) water. You can buy the mineral at most local independent dealers or plumbing supply house. You find either in your Yellow pages under the headings Water and Plumbing.
  3. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    Oh Yes the good old 5600 day..... on what looks like a 12x52 tank...

    The challenge is going to be when one goes to take the valve off the tank , in that either the distributor is going to come up with the valve or it will stay in place. Pray that it stays in place and does not come up when the valve is taken off.
  4. abacuslearns

    abacuslearns New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Connecticut
    thanks for that info...with that I was able to find some info on the Fleck 5600.

    Questions:

    1.) I have included a picture of behind the valve. This appears to be the bypass switch. So, to open the tank, I would first move this from 'service' to 'bypass'? How does this lever move? It doesn't seem to move very easily.. do I need to push down and turn or pull up and turn at the same time or something... or are they just a little stiff to move in general?

    2.) Once it is in bypass, then what do I do? Does the control valve turn counter clockwise like a screw top?

    3.)As far as the mineral, I believe I can get it at our local home depot. But what do I get? I know we have high ph and we also have iron ( that is actually what started this ... wife is getting orange streaks in blond hair..)... so would I use a mixture of morton salt and something else? How much?

    4.) Also- in the info I looked at on the fleck 5600, a second smaller brine tank is always shown too... I don't have that, I only have the single tank shown in the first picture. Is that unusual?

    Thanks!

    Attached Files:

  5. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    The bypass valve is usually pretty hard to turn if it's been sitting.

    The problem here is that you (and we) have no clue what media is in that tank, nor the water conditions that you need to deal with. At this point you should have a water test done to see what you have and then get back to us. I seriously doubt Home Depot has the correct media for your application and salt is used in an ion exchange softener which you do not have there so forget that notion.
  6. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    From the last photo I can see a Black end plug(Filter setup), meaning that there is either Calcite, Corsex, or it could even be Carbon.

    Peter is right, that handle when it has been in service for a number of years with out moving is going to be hard.. left hand on the black handle and pull to your body till it is 90 degrees or the little pointer is pointing to the by-pass..

    Peter is also correct in getting the water tested , before and after the unit, Ph test and smell test..
  7. abacuslearns

    abacuslearns New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Is a water test something I can do? A kit or something?
  8. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    Yes you can do it your self on the test.

    There are different test kits out there, Box stores have simple ones, then there are the places like pool shops, hot tub shops a store that sells water treatment equipment might have some simple ones that a home owner can buy and have at home. I know that there is one in Anchorage that sells bottle water and has test kits, ph, iron , chlorine free/total.
    So most likely there is some one in your area that has test kits.
    There are drop tests, paper tests, packet test where a small packet gets put in a 5ml tube to find the ph of the water.. there is even a digital test meter that is out there .. kinda spendy if one is not useing it daily..
  9. abacuslearns

    abacuslearns New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Connecticut
    excellent. I will see what I can find here in Connecticut. Thanks.
  10. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    :D Now go forth and find and test and learn :D
  11. abacuslearns

    abacuslearns New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I picked up one of the ProLab home test kits today. I have no way to test the water before the filter. Therefore should I put the filter in bypass and take a water sample from the downstairs bathroom sink (closest to the filter) and then put the filter back in service and do it again in order to get the before and after readings?
  12. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    You are on the right path.

    Put it in Bypass and then let the water run for about 5 minutes or about 2 pump cycles if you can hear the pump run.

    Take the test, once you have a good test, then go and put the unit back into service and let the water run again for about 5 minutes or 2 pump cycles.

    The run time is to clear the line of either the so called treated or untreated water.
  13. welldriller

    welldriller New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Ummmmm...why don't you just rebed the filter. Screw the testing.The reason why you are getting the staining is because the calcite has dissolved. Obviously it is sized correctly or you would have had staining from day one. So do a re bed and forget about it for one year and then add calcite. The real question is, where is the water softener. A neutralizer will make your water hard...
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I would have collected the 'after' sample first... lol
  15. abacuslearns

    abacuslearns New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I tested the water on bypass and using the enclosed chart (shown below). Everything was in SAFE except for PH which was a 2. That doesn't surprise me because low ph was the reason we had the filter installed. What does surprise me is the iron. I can taste it. We get yellow stain on white laundry. My wife is getting orange streaks in her hair this week? How is that possible that we measure a 0 (MAYBE 0.1) on this test? .... I have the filter in service again and I am going to take the readings again in about 5 min.


    UPDATE: After test was basically the same but I would say PH was 5.

    Confused. I was so sure the iron test would be through the roof... I thought even the test stick might disolve on that one...

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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  16. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    So it looks like you have a Ph filter or a netralizing filter.. and that it might be low on the calcite that it is using.

    Iron in the water with PH correction.. fun. One thing that will happen is that the iron will oxidize and fall out of the water. Now if there is not enough cleaning or a low media bed that will let some of that iron(oxidized) through the media.

    You might be able to take a very strong flash light and back light the media tank to see where the level of media is at.

    I use straight calcite with nothing else, others will use a mix of calcite and magnesium oxide.
    I have found that if the mix is not correct it will harden with in the tank.. So that is why I use the straight calcite.. no harding of media with in the tank, it takes more to get the job done.
  17. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    There are times that I start there, then like the other day I started with the raw water because it was the first time that I was at a customers house in 9 years and he had a different well from the well that I put the system in on.

    The second well was much better than the first one.. Down to 1.0ppm Fe and down to 5 grains from 10grains.. Ph was better up to 7.2 from 6.8

    Then there is the some thing is not right with the system, that gets tested right off to see what the unit is doing in the way of treating the water.. and a test of the raw to see if there where any changes.

    :D
  18. abacuslearns

    abacuslearns New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I don't even know what that means "rebed the filter"
  19. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    Re-bedding the unit means

    Take the tank, empty it of all that is there in to what ever you have handy, put put the distributor back in, put pea gravel in(about 15LBS) and then add the calcite in till there is about a 17" space from top of calcite to top of tank.

    That works when the media needs to be replaced and one Knows what media to use.

    Testing before and after or after and before is a good way of finding out what kind of media there might be in the unit.
  20. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    If the untreated pH is really 2 --or anything less than 6-- it will probably be necessary to use a mix of calcite and corosex for media rather than straight calcite.
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