Incomplete softener flushing

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by dadaddio, May 3, 2010.

  1. dadaddio

    dadaddio New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Indiana
    Well: 120ft deep with 1/2 horse pump
    Softener: new FLECK 5600SXT ERADICATOR 3000 ON-DEMAND WATER SOFTENER/FILTER = high capacity fine mesh resin, .25 ft3 gravel bed, KDF 85 MEDIA GUARD, 64,000 grain, 5600SXT ON-DEMAND CONTROL VALVE can be seen at apluswater.net

    Before I replaced my previous softener with the one above, I had my water tested by two local softener places with readings of 20 and 29 gpg of hardness and 2.5 and 3 ppm iron. We are a family of 5.

    When I replaced the old softener (it was undersized) I noticed iron build up in the incoming pipe to the softener, maybe 1/8inch layer. I believe this represents a 30% reduction in pipe size.

    The new softener does effectively remove the hardness and the iron. The problem I have is that after regeneration, I need to run a faucet close to the softener for about 5 minutes in order to to "flush" out iron that has been "liberated" but remains in the softener. Once the water runs clear, all is well until the next regeneration cycle.

    I tried increasing the backwash time from 10 to 15 minutes and the quick-rinse time from 10-15 minutes, but this has not solved the problem. The Fleck indicates a flow rate of 4.5 to 5.5 gpm with a bunch of fixtures open (basically a trickle at this point). Putting the softener in bypass does not appreciably increase the flow. My fear is that my pump is undersized and can't generate enough flow for proper backwashing.

    Here are the options I've come up with (generally cheapest to most expensive):
    1) Replace 3/4 inch CPCV from pressure tank to softener
    2) Replace 3/4 inch CPCV from pressure tank to softener with 1inch CPVC
    3) Replace the pump with a bigger one.

    Any other thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
    David
  2. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Ocala, Fl
    Do you use a resin cleaner with the salt? If not, you may want to try that first.
  3. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,480
    Location:
    Alaska
    Check the line from the pump to the house and make sure that there is not a leak... that iron build up sounds like a leak of air into the line.
    Also unless the well is next to the house what is a 1/2 horse doing down the well? and not a 3/4 or 1 horse?
  4. dadaddio

    dadaddio New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Indiana
    Skip, I do not currently use resin cleaner. Note, the resin is new as of this past winter if it makes a difference. On the old softener I would occasionally use Super Iron Out, but I don't know if that counts. Any suggestions?

    Akpsdvan, without water running, would I see the leak because of water coming out or is there such thing as "air in" only leak? The builder originally put in a 60 ft well with a 1/2 horse pump. It is within 15 feet of the house where it enters the crawl. Due to iron build it, after about 12 years (a couple years ago) the well could not "refill" quickly enough when running an open outside faucet (pre-softener), like a sprinkler. After hearing the pump cycle a few times, I would hear a loud whoosh as the well finally ran out of water, it couldn't keep up. That was when I had a well company come in and deepen the well to 120 ft, but made no changes to the pump. I can now run a sprinkler again.

    Other options I thought of since posting (fit between options 2 and 3 above pricewise):
    Change the softening equipment:
    i) reconfigure media in current softener (e.g. remove the KDF media guard, maybe it's not getting cleared and the resin is enough)
    ii) use a no regenerative iron filter
    iii) use a no-salt softener

    Thanks,
    David
  5. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Ocala, Fl
    You may find that using the Iron Out may solve your problem.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Shut off the water past the pressure tank and watch the pressure guage, if it falls you have a leak between the shut off valve and the pump.

    Rust build up in the pipe can be because of the iron in the water or iron reducing bacteria. Do you have any slime in the toilet tanks at or below the water line?

    If so you could have IRB blocking the inlet screen to the pump which reduces flow.

    Pumps have two parts, the wet end and it is rated in gpm and then the motor rated in hp. The gpm is much more important than the hp.

    So what gpm pump do you have? A 1/2 hp 10-13 gpm would be a good size unless your elevation is higher than a few thousand feet. The depth the pump is set in the well and the static water level is important too.

    And since by passing the equipment doesn't show much improvement in flow, it's probably not the equipment that is reducing it bt 3/4" CPVC is not a good choice because it has the smallest ID of the choices you could use. One inch PE from the pump to the pressure tank and then 1" PVC to the equipment would be the best choices but 1" CPVC would help.
  7. dadaddio

    dadaddio New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Indiana
    Ran faucet until pump kicked on. Closed valve at pressure tank. Watched tank fill up until pump kicked off. Monitored pressure for over 30 minutes - no change.

    Other info on the pump:
    According to the drilling company report that deepened well: "Deepened well from 60' to 120'. Well now produces 40gpm and has 29' static water level."
    The report doesn't state the make/model of pump, only that it is 1/2hp. I do have installations instructions for McDonald Submersible Pumps (probably left by builder) but it has no model nr/serial nr filled.
    Looking on the aymcdonald website, their current 1/2hp 5gpm pump at 120' is rated to deliver 6.2gpm at 30PSI and 5.2gpm at 50PSI (I know this is 15 years later).
    My system is currently set for about 45-57PSI operation (I set this to increase the pressure at the fixtures in the house). Perhaps, if I reduce the set points I will get enough flow to regenerate properly? But even 6.2gpm may not be enough, not sure.

    Thoughts,
    David
  8. jnormand_99

    jnormand_99 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Southern NH
    I too am having similar issues with my softener. We have had the service tech out three times trying to solve a salty water after a regen.

    I may be one of the luckier ones in that my softener is primarily looking to reduce Arsenic (system is a mixed bed resin), if you call that lucky. My hardness is minimal at 12 grains, which is easily maintained. Off site testing of the water shows the arsenic levels are in check.

    My issues started after we found that the water wasn't reducing hardness. Determined the back wash drain line was clogged. First was we unclogged it (service guy didn't have the correct line on his truck to replace). We also cleaned the valve of all of the crusty stuff. Next regen, same issue. Called service guy back. Found line was clogged again, due to a poor job of unclogging the line. This time the line was replaced. Checked the valve and the controller settings and off he went. Next regen, same issue. Still very heavy salt. Called the service guy back. Now we add another issue. The water level in my brine tank rose to about half way up (probably could have got higher but the float kicked in). Service guy noticed that the draw on the brine tank was a bit week, so he removed the piston and looked for signs of damage, found none. Replaced it anyway and a new seal kit. Turned the system back on and brine draw was much better. Also noticed drain pressure was better as well. Off he went. Next regen, same issue.

    So I have the service guy coming back again on Thursday morning. Any ideas on what he should be looking for???? As you can imagine I am getting a bit nervous of the concentrated brine water constantly entering my water system (copper pipes).
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