Rebedding a carbon filter; measuring chlorine

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Mikey, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Today was the day. Got some questions:

    Q1) Is there a special wrench or trick to remove the adapter base (Fleck 2510) from the tank? The pro who installed this didn't intend for it to leak or ever come off the tank. After beating it to break the seal, I used an oil filter strap wrench to turn it off; it didn't give up without a fight. There was evidence of a setting thread sealant on the threads I'll have to chase off somehow.

    Q2) What should you use as a thread sealant/lubricant? Local softener guy said any Teflon thread compound. I used RectorSeal® T Plus 2® pipe thread sealant, a non-setting, multi-purpose compound.

    Q3) Is there a standard kit of O-rings to replace the external ones, or do you have to order them individually? My tank O-ring was flat on the tank side, so I inverted it for now; old trick, sometimes works. What about O-ring lube? I used Dow Corning #4, because I've used it on lots of O-rings in other applications.

    If either of these sounds really wrong to anyone, I'd like to know so I can clean this job up, and do the softener right in a few weeks.

    I had prepared the new tank last week by washing it with a weak bleach solution, setting the distributor tube and basket, dumping in 1/8-1/4 stone (also sterilized) to cover the bottom basket, and finally filling with Centaur carbon (1.5 cu ft of the stuff, according to the box). I then filled the tank with conditioned water and let it sit for 3 days. Today I ran water through the distributor tube for 10 minutes at 1-2 gpm to flush out the fines, and finally moved the valve to the new tank. I'm only left with about 10" freeboard + top dome in a 10x54 tank, so I added an upper basket to the valve. Ran 1 backwash cycle, which on my valve is 10-min backwash @ 5gpm, 8-min pause, plus another 4-min backwash @ 5gpm. I ran this cycle into a bucket so I could see the progress as the water cleared up, and measure the flow.

    Now to the old tank, which will become the new softener tank in 3 weeks. It was only 50% full -- I don't know if the carbon leaked out and I'll find evidence of that in the softener tank, or I got ripped off when the pros rebedded it 9 1/2 years ago, or they were just wanting 50% freeboard. The distributor tube & bottom basket came out easily and seemed OK. The carbon looked fine -- it was loose, not obviously contaminated with anything. Getting it out was pretty simple once I gave up on trying to pour it out, and fell back on using the ShopVac. Somebody at the Bureau of Standards really screwed up, because the standard 2 1/2" ShopVac extension and hose fit nicely into the 2 1/2" opening in the tank. I sucked out all the media and gravel and dumped in into an old brine barrel with a leaky bottom. In a few weeks I'll lay it out to dry on a sheet of plastic, and recover the gravel.

    One last comment. I had always felt that the chlorinator wasn't really doing a proper job of getting the iron out (1.3ppm Fe). I had been using a basic swimming-pool chlorine test kit and trying for 1-2ppm "chlorine", without really knowing what I was measuring, on the advice of the pros that installed the system many years ago. Last week I flushed the contact tank (yuck!), pressure-washed it, and refilled it with the chlorine pump set up a little higher than normal. Today I broke out my shiny new Hach Free and Total Chlorine test kit, and found Total Chlorine of 2.5, Free Chlorine of 1.9, and swimming-pool chlorine off the scale (above 3.5) coming out of the contact tank. I'm not entirely sure what all this means, but I suspect my historic chlorine dose was inadequate, and it might be a little high now. Advice welcome.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    The 2510 adapter should only make contact on top of the tank plus 1/4 turn. Do not overtighten it. It was probably put on by a gorilla many years ago. no thread sealant!, only dow corning 7 release compound should be used. http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com/PentairFiles/Pentair%20Water%20Treatment/Bulletins/529-Lubricants%20on%20Components.pdf

    O-rings are ordered individually.

    10x54 tank should have approximately 15-18" of freeboard depending on media, gravel underbedding depth etc. your tank is slightly over filled.

    For iron removal, and general applications, 10 PPM of chlorine is normal and not a problem, the carbon tank will easily remove the residual chlorine. If your iron levels are excessive, higher chlorine levels may be needed.
  3. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Thanks; given the nice fat O-ring in there, and the mating surfaces, that makes sense. I'll get some O-rings, and when I disassemble everything in 3 weeks, I'll replace these. Would you advise removing some carbon to get the freeboard up? The Dow 4 looks like it's suitable as an O-ring lubricant, but might be a little viscous for threads. I'll pick up some 7 for that and be good to go. Doing some research on the chlorine, looks like I was woefully underdosing in the past. Easy to fix. Thanks again.

    BTW, examining the old bottom basket that came out, there are signs of stress and possible fractures in it -- one of the cheapo 1236-style jobs, didn't even say Made in USA on it.
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    I never re-bed a system without replacing the bottom screen. I only trust the 40922 Pentair bottom screen. It is expensive, but I have never had a failure with one yet.

    The freeboard should be slightly higher, but honestly, it is not overly critical.
  5. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    They're not only expensive (I paid $9 apiece -- was that fair? Update: Answer - no. Half that amount from the vendor mentioned below.), but damned hard to find. One on-line site said there was no such thing, another said they weren't worth it, one vendor on the forum said he'd have them drop-shipped to me, but his supplier shipped the 1236's. Never heard from him when I complained. Finally found them in my backyard at a local well drilling and service company who grudgingly ordered them in for me. Just found WaterSoftener-Parts.Com who were very helpful, and speedy, on the top baskets, so I'll try them first next time. It's only a couple hours' drive :).

    I'll suck out a few inches of media when I disassemble the system to rebed the softener. I'll have the O-rings and Dow Corning 7 by then, so will fix up the controller base properly as well.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  6. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Unfortunately, most water treatment companies that sell softeners don't really understand the parts. When they buy softeners from the assembly companies and main distribution houses, they don't even know that they are probably getting that screen inside their systems. When they order screens separately, they see the price of 75 cents and they don't even look to the "same item" that costs $5.

    They would rather sell the 75 cent piece not knowing the importance of a high quality bottom screen. The majority of commercial companies will only use the 40922, the d180, or the clack screw stacked bottom screens in their systems. One bottom screen failure is all it takes to learn the importance of those couple of dollars.

    After doing 20 years of field service, and dealing with at least 100 failed bottom screens put out by other companies, I have become very good at clearing the plumbing, refrigerator solenoids, dish washers, laundry, and this week... lol! I helped an old friend who had a bottom screen failure. Whoever installed this one fed the backyard sprinklers. I am going over there next week to tear apart all of their sprinkler solenoids to clear them out, and the sprinkler heads. Fortunately it is only about 20 heads. And I get to try to find a way to bypass the backyard sprinklers... I will work with one of my online dealers to make sure they get the 40922 bottom screens on their website next week.
  7. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Great. Would love to know who they are, via PM if need be.
  8. 000utback

    000utback New Member

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    That 40922 bottom screen is so highly recommended it must be the cat's meow. Where can they be purchased?

    working on an Ecowater ETF 2100 PF10. Currently screening the media to see if it's worthwhile to reclaim any gravel. New garnet should arrive next week then I'm ready to re-assemble.
  9. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    It took me forever to find them. One poster on the forum said he could have them drop-shipped to me, but the wrong parts showed up and the poster didn't respond when I complained. Another guy said he'd send me a couple, but they never showed up at all. No online dealer I talked to could (or would) get them, finally went to a local well/treatment dealer and he ordered them from his Fleck distributor (for top dollar). SoftenerParts.com (support@softenerparts.com) might be able to get them -- I just found them recently and they've given me good service for other Fleck parts. Watergroup.com ([FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]877-581-1833)[/FONT] might be able to find you a US distributor that will sell to you. Good luck - let us know how you make out.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013
  10. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Here, FYI, is the response I got from one on-line vendor when I asked about the 40922, slightly edited:

    "Highly Touted? They came out in 2003, the same year that Clack Corporation changed their bottom distributors to the 'high flow' (taller by 1 inch) design. Everyone has used one version or another of 'high flow' bottom distributors for 10 years now.

    The Fleck 40922 is a bit wider in diameter, but unless you are trying to push 20gpm though a 1.05" (or 32mm, using the 40924) distributor pipe, I see no reason for using this design. Also, it costs more (and that is why you'll have trouble finding anyone who actually uses them).

    What we sell is considered 'high flow'. We could special order the 40922 or the 40924 (your cost would be $12.00). It would take about 2 weeks to get. And I am assuming they would sell us just one, and not require we order in case quantity."

    Note: what they sell appears to be the same thing that was drop-shipped to me. There was no manufacturer's name on it; s I recall, it was marked "1236" and "Made in USA", and seems to be available from several on-line vendors for $5-$10. There are no markings at all on the (alleged) 40922. I'll post pictures of both of these when get back home next week.
  11. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    A dealer that does not sell the 40922 and claims the Clack is better... sounds like you called a Chevy dealer looking for a Ford. The 40924 and 40922 are the highest flowing screens on the market in their respctive size, not that it matters since they greatly exceed any flow a system could provide anyway. Call Abundant Flow water, they stock them and sell them for a fair price. Many major assemblers only use these screens. The assemblers are not the same companies that you will find with a google search when you look for parts. Since these screens came out, I have not had a failure. The Clack D1212-04 is also a nearly fail proof design. The only other screens I would recommend is the D-190, but these should be used with a gravel underbedding. FYI, the 40922 and 40924 is made in Italy if that really matters.

    the Clack 1236 is their "budget" version. Those screens are <$2 and I would not recommend using them. They are not comparable to the screens mentioned above.

    hope this clears things up a bit.

    Here is a link to the release bulletin from 2003 for this bottom screen. notice it is very comparable to a fine mesh screen, but with flow rates that greatly exceed even the wide slot traditional design. Of course, the flow rate of any of these screens exceeds the perfomance of the system as a whole, but how much of the screen is blocked especially when these are used without a gravel underbed? There is a lot more to the flow rate than what charts can show. http://www.pentairwatertreatment.co...Bulletins/388-New High Flow Distributors2.pdf
  12. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    It does; thanks. I read the release bulletin when you first mentioned the 40922. The shorter-and-fatter design makes sense to me, and the fact that the 1236 screen I removed when I rebedded my carbon filter showed signs of failure adds to the case for the 40922. I'll reload the softener tank next week, and we'll see how that one (presumably another 1236) looks.
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