Old vs New Water Softener Bypass Valves

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by SuperAcer99, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. SuperAcer99

    SuperAcer99 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Arizona
    I have an old two part water softener (separate brine tank and resin tank) with a Fleck 5600 valve and a relatively new (two years old) copper 3/4" bypass valve. My new Whirlpool WEHS33 water softener that's all one unit comes with a PVC 1" bypass valve. I would prefer to use my newer existing 3/4" bypass valve instead of the new 1" PVC one. How can I connect the new water softener to the old 3/4" copper bypass valve? What is the name of the adapter fitting(s) or part that I need?

    If this can't be done or isn't recommended, how can I connect the new 1" pvc bypass valve to the existing 3/4" pipes?
  2. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    You can not connect a 5600 bypass to the Whirlpool softener. I don't know what the main pipe is so I can not recommend how to proceed.
  3. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,928
    Location:
    IL
    Did you already unpack the Whirlpool WEHS33?
  4. SuperAcer99

    SuperAcer99 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Arizona
    No, it's on order. My main plumbing in/out water lines are 3/4" copper piping.

    Someone out in cyberspace wrote "you need 3/4 male or female threaded copper adapter then a pvc male or female but opposite of copper adapter that reduces or a hex bushing will work as well if you have trouble finding a 1 to 3/4 pvc threaded adapter but they are available. I would use male copper and female pvc. but whatever combination you find available will work."

    Would that work?
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,928
    Location:
    IL
    It's not too late to go to a 2-piece unit as the posters here all prefer.
  6. SuperAcer99

    SuperAcer99 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Arizona

    Not going to spend $$ on a new two piece 33k unit installed. I've had trouble with my existing two piece unit (new timer motor, new resin tank) and don't want to spend more money getting a salt bridge repaired. The Whirlpool unit is very affordable and gets good reviews.
  7. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    You can buy a 1" female thread x 3/4" slip PVC adaptor from Lowes or Home Depot that will convert the threaded adaptor provided with the Whirlpool softener. If you can not find them, simply buy 2 1" female adaptor and 2 1"x3/4" bushings.
  8. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,791
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Good luck, Whirlpool units are not highly reviewed by anyone here. Most of the guys on this site work on the units, I for one stopped touching the Whirpool units, too many problems, If your system was an original Fleck, then it should last20+ years, if it was one of the many fake knockoffs, then no telling how many months it will last. If the resin tank was a Structural or other high end tank, it should have a 10 year warranty, and typically last 20+ years. If your water conditions damaged a true Pentair unit in a couple years, then best of luck on your Whirlpool, honestly, I think you are throwing money away. What is your water pressure? What area of AZ? I do training seminars all over AZ, and several areas are prone to excessive pressure, often exceeding 175 PSI. This is a major cause of equipment failure.
  9. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,075
    Location:
    Maine
    I have a whirlpool unit in the lab. I use it to show students what garbage looks like.
  10. SuperAcer99

    SuperAcer99 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Arizona
    I am in the Phoenix metro area. My water pressure is fine. I had my resin tank rebuilt two years ago for $300 and also had a new bypass valve and pressure relief valve installed, so my water pressure is fine. I think it's between 60-70. Why continue to pour money into a 20 year old unit when it will cost over $200 for someone to come out and fix my salt bridge problem. Buying a new Whirlpool unit that gets good reviews for $320 seems like a great deal to me.
  11. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,791
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Yugo for $6000 also seemed like a good deal. :)

    Most water softener dealers wont even touch those units. They are built to be the cheapest possible price, that is all. I also have one in my training room to show technicians during training seminars why they should never touch one, once they attempt a repair, they become responsible for the system, it is better to simply turn down the work. At least with a Clack, Autotrol, or Fleck valve, they are easily repaired, work for decades, and can last for 20-40 years without much service. The Home Depot and other low end Big Box store units systems are simply disposable. It is also a lowest bidder system, so these companies manufacturing them will cut every corner possible to make the systems as cheap as possible.
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,928
    Location:
    IL
    I think a salt bridge fix is a fairly minor DIY thing if you feel like it. It does take time and effort. Remove salt that is above the water line as best as you can. Use hammer, chisel(or equiv), and take out hardened salt. Whether you want to try to re-use the removed salt is up to you. It may be dirty. Once you are down to the water level, you might want to keep going and remove all old impacted salt and start with clean salt.

    A brine tank with a lot of salt in it is very heavy.
  13. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    It cracks me up to hear of someone spending $100,000+ to buy a home and to protect their investment from the elements in the water, spend as least as possible. It just does not make sence to me. Recently, I went on a service call for a Whirlpool softener. The electronics were shot so I recommended replacing it. I was told it was only 6 months old. When I called back today, he told me he bought another Whirlpool. Some people just won't learn.
  14. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,791
    Location:
    Ontario California
    LOL, my grandma had a whirlpool, with over 30 service calls in 3 years, the whirlpool techs (multiple) could not figure it out. I happened to be travelling nearby so I dropped by to see what was wrong. They had replaced the board 3 times, the resin twice, the tank twice, rebuilt the valve multiple times, I knew what the problem was when I drove up, You could still see where the city replaced the main line and relocated it, the lawn was still showing the dip 3 years later. The Whirlpool system was feeding nothing, the technicians were unable to determine that, and with their vast knowledge and expertise decided to throw parts at it.
  15. SuperAcer99

    SuperAcer99 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Arizona

    In 10 years of light duty service, I had to repair/rebuild the Fleck 5600 timer, rebuild the resin tank (had "caviar" all throughout the pipes in my house) and now have a salt bridge (salt hasn't gone down very much in one year and water level is above salt). So not good luck in 10 years. Not worth the $850+ for a new 32k grain unit with a Fleck 5600 valve in my opinion.
  16. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,928
    Location:
    IL
    I don't think you can have a salt bridge that is under water. I believe there is a problem, but it is no a salt bridge. But I am no pro.

    I am sending a PM.
  17. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,075
    Location:
    Maine
    Makes no sense unless the unit was improperly installed and set up in the first place. A 5600 normally runs for many years with no issues at all. Go ahead and buy the whirlpool though, you might get lucky and buy the one unit that isn't a piece of crap.
  18. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,815
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I don't see much working better than a 5600.

    It does depend on water quality, and if the 5600 gave problems you can bet any unit will.

    My 5600 has been in service for about 25 years. I only had to repair the Timer Motor. 2 hours of my labor.

    The only reason people buy those whirlpool POS cabinet models, is because people like pretty.

    I like working, could care less about looks.


    Good Luck, Get the Extended - Extended Warranty.
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