Rain Soft Not Softening

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Dave S, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. Dave S

    Dave S New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Sabina, Ohio
    Allow me first to thank you for taking time to help. The Model No. of my 12 year old Rain Soft unit is AMB 744 CT 60HZ and the Serial No. is 144255. Back in June we began noticing our water becoming harder. I called a Rain Soft franchisee on a Thursday or Friday who sent a technician out the next Monday. While waiting I upped the regeneration rate to every day. I was able to be here to observe the tech. He pulled the back cover off and we were able to watch the mechanism of the gears and the clear ball housing. He said everything worked fine and after doing several water tests was able to determine that water was softened. Well since then the water has seemed to become harder again. The toilets especially are showing dark rust like stains. While showering the water feels hard yet the soaps seem to sill be lathering pretty well. Also my brine tank has not emptied out of salt. I reset the system to regenerate every day. I was concerned that there might not be any water in the bottom of it so about 6 weeks ago I poured in about 3 gals. of clean water which cover the salt pellets. Today I took the back cover off and manually ran the softener through its cycle just as I had watched the R/S tech perform. The ball in the housing never dropped as I had previously remembered it doing. The first step there was a loud rushing of water. I felt the slightly larger diameter line leading to my sewage trunk pipe and it was vibrating like the water was flowing through it. Then on at least the brine and rinse steps I noticed a small air pocket at the very top of the ball housing. There was some jiggling of this air pocket and even more when the Well Mate (pressure tank) control switch clicked. After this click and flutter of the air pocket I noticed eddy like waves descending down the larger bowl beneath the ball. These waves also had the appearance of heat waves rolling through the water. Also the ball housing is no longer clear but is coated with a rusty type of film. - - Any suggestions as to how I can fix this? Again thank you!
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    It must not be sucking brine water properly.

    The most common causes are loose brine line fittings allowing the suction of air instead of heavy brine water, blocked injector, injector throat, injector screen or blocked drain line of drain line flow control. Or an internal problem with the old style RS control valve.
  3. Dave S

    Dave S New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Sabina, Ohio
    Sorry I'm very new at this. Gary, I appreciated your quick reply. This is the first I've been able to get back to the water softener. I'm not sure if I'm sending this directly to Gary or posting it to the board. I've blown out the two smallest lines leading to the top of the ball housing and made sure their connections were tight. I saw no type of screen. On this model where is and how do I get to the injector to see if it, the throat, or the screen is blocked?
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Next to none of us here know what control valve a manufacturers' model number etc, refers to so...

    Post a picture of the face of your control valve minus any cover so we can speak to just your brand of control valve.
  5. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    Central Florida
    For a system that old that's not working, with questionable support, why not just replace the valve with a modern-day known quantity?
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Why would you want him to spend a few hundred dollars and a few anxious hours maybe, replacing a control valve and probably changing the plumbing some, when he could spend maybe 15 minutes with a common screw driver and an old tooth brush and a pin or tooth pick and have the thing fixed and working for the next few years?
  7. Dave S

    Dave S New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Sabina, Ohio
    I'm sorry Gary, I thought Rain Soft would have used one specific control valve per model. It's going to be difficult to get a picture of the face of the control valve since the timer and gears cover the head of the resin tank. They have my R/S unit soldered in so close to the wall and between my hot water heater and furnace there are only a few inches between them. You are not speaking of the plate containing the model and serial numbers are you?
  8. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,314
    Location:
    Maine
    I don't service a lot of Rainsoft product but over the years one common problem is the O rings. They wear out and cause the unit not to draw sufficient brine. Where you can get O rings I haven't a clue. Probably have to call your dealer again. I agree with Gary that if you can fix the thing yourself without having to spend a lot of money than thats the econmical way to go, however, Rainsoft like Culligan and Kinetico are a bear to find parts or technical information for.
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    RS has used a number of controls over the years and it doesn't matter what model.

    The gears etc, are what we need to be able to identify what control valve you have. When we do we can tell you where the injector etc. is and what you need to do to clean it. So post the picture and we'll go from there.
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,945
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Many of the RS models used proprietary threads so as to not allow their valve to be replaced with a standardized design. If you are unable to get the valve working, you will likely be replacing the whole unit. Post the best pictures you can, most of their valves were based on common valves, a couple of pictures and we can probably give you a little more guidance.

    I just found this old manual, is this the unit you have? Sorry about the picture quality. If you do have this, I would recommend it is time to update to a modern water softener. 744.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  11. Dave S

    Dave S New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Sabina, Ohio
    Again, thank you all for taking the time to read this and comment. Yes, Dittohead, that is exactly what I have. In the first illistration on the left the ball valve in the back - - those two small lines running to the top of it are the ones I've blown out.
  12. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,945
    Location:
    Ontario California
    I am fairly certain this valve has been discontinued, but check around, dont take my word for it. I would recommend a modern, efficient softener to replace that unit.

    Are you sure it is only 12 years old? When I was working the field regularly, that system had already been replaced for some time. This is a time clock system, not even legal in many states anymore due to their inefficiency.

    Wish I had better news, maybe someone else on this site will have more insite now that we know which valve it is.
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    That looks like the original RS brass valve, you won't get parts for it because it was discontinued many years ago. Today they use a modified Fleck 5600 (IIRC) valve.

    I used to have a supplier for a tank adapter to convert RS's smaller diameter and fine thread green tanks to standard 2.5" by 8thrd/inch but don't know if there are any today.

    So it's time for a new correctly sized softener...

    Plus your softener is a smallish 1/2 cuft (7" x 44" tank) and way too small for a once per week regeneration.
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