Repair, Replace, or Make Do? Whirlpool WHES30

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by SAS, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. SAS

    SAS Member

    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Connecticut
    In our new house we have a Whirlpool WHES30 that is not working properly. I noticed that it wasn't softening the water, and my first job was to remove a salt bridge. I chopped through and removed all of the old salt, cleaned the venturi, and performed a manual regeneration. Voila! Soft water! Unfortunately, it didn't last long. I discovered that it does not automatically regenerate. The flow meter does not register at all. So that leads to my first question: if I want to operate in calendar mode, how frequently should I regenerate? My hardness is 25, and there are 4 of us in a house with 4 bathrooms.

    The next question is whether I should just keep going in that mode or whether I should fix the flow meter, or replace the softener. The rationale for replacing the softener is that from what I've read it seems undersized at a rating of 30,100. If I do replace it, what would you recommend?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,068
    Location:
    Maine
    You need a new softener.
  3. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    I second that emotion. LOL It will give you a lot of problems.
  4. SAS

    SAS Member

    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Any recommendations? I was looking at the Fleck 5600 SXT 64000 grain. Does that seem right? Can I locate the brine tank 10 feet or so from the softener? The Whirlpool is a one piece unit and there is no room where it is currently positioned for both a softener and tank. With basic plumbing skills, is this something I should tackle myself? I see a site where I can buy the unit delivered for $600. I have a quote from a very reputable local water quality compay for a Clack system for $1600 installed. Advice?
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  5. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    The 5600 is a great valve, can't go wrong there.
  6. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    Yes you can remote the brine tank. They also make a tank in tank Fleck 5600 system. The Clack system would give you more options as far as regen override, adjustable backwash cycles and a 2nd backwash feature. You can find a Clack system cheaper than what you were quoted.
  7. SAS

    SAS Member

    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Given all of the expenses associated with moving into a new house, I wanted to take one more crack at seeing what was wrong with the WHES30. I started following the troubleshooting guide in the manual for the flow meter. It has you pull the sensor and run a magnet past it to see if you get a reading ... nothing doing there. I was checking the connections to see if maybe something was loose when I noticed something odd. According to the wiring diagram, the connector the main board was put in backwards! I took it off, reversed it and now everything is working as it should. I'm still not sure it will have sufficient capacity, but it does now work. I've seen some funny things in the house; the previous owner did some "interesting" plumbing and electrical modifications.
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,909
    Location:
    IL
    Nicely done with your troubleshooting and fix. You would expect to regen about every 5 days if you use a lot of salt, and maybe every 3 or 4 days if you can turn the salt down to only using 6 pounds of salt per ft[sup]3[/sup] of resin. You probably have almost 1 ft[sup]3[/sup] of resin.

    Do you have red discoloration (iron) in your toilet tanks? That could affect settings.
  9. Bannerman

    Bannerman New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Since the entire capacity of your softener had been utilized, you now need to complete 2 regenerations - back to back, to restore the full capacity of the softener resin. Both regenerations should utilize 15 lbs salt (ie: 5 gals water in brine tank) per cu foot resin. You can manually pour additional water into the brine tank. Allow 3 hours after adding additional water before starting each regen to allow proper brine strength.
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  10. SAS

    SAS Member

    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Connecticut
    So now that my softener is working as intended, I see that my guess about 4 days between regeneration cycles is confirmed by the flow meter. My wife is concerned that this wastes too much water. According to the owner's manual, it uses 35.2 gallons per regeneration. With regeneration every 4 days, that is 8.8 gallons per day. I've tried unsuccessfully to determine how much water a Fleck 5600 SXT 48000 grain unit would use for regeneration. I'm guessing that it would regenerate about every 8 days (1.5 cu.ft. vs 0.82 cu. ft. of resin), but that it may use significantly more water in each regeneration. Does anyone know how much water it actually does use?
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