1. MiddleAgeSoftie

    MiddleAgeSoftie Computer systems technologist for Geologists & Pet

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Ok. I've done it. I've disassembled my water softener (cabinet model - see previous post here) cleaned it all out and removed the resin from the tank. It's a lovely orange colour (I don't think it's supposed to be that colour...is it?). Now I'm committed - I need new resin. What do I need to know? The size of my tank is 10"X35" I live in Calgary. Information regarding the nature of the water in our area is here and here - My water comes from the Glenmore water treatment plant. There are six people in my house... If there's anything else you need to know in order to help me find the right resin for my softener just ask

    So, basically I need to know everything about resin and replacing it. How much do I need? What kind? Are there any tricks to replacing it? Any details I need to know about putting the softener back into service once I've got it all put back together.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you may be able to provide.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  2. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    Did you keep the old resin? ( orange-ish is about right for the color BTW )
    What made you think you needed to replace it?
    How big is the tank ( diameter and height)
    Was there a gravel under bed?
    Is the distributor tube still in working order?

    You need more information than you have provided here.
  3. MiddleAgeSoftie

    MiddleAgeSoftie Computer systems technologist for Geologists & Pet

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Hi Wally. The softener was out of service when I bought the house. I plugged it in opened the valves and let 'er rip. The unit it's self appears to be about 25 years old. As near as I can determine it's all original. Nothing has ever been changed. You can see some photos of the unit from a previous post which I've linked above. There was a lot of "goop" in the bottom of the cabinet when I disassembled it.

    I do still have the resin although it's in a couple of old pails that weren't that clean to begin with so I would be concerned about putting it back in. The tank size is 10"X35". There was no gravel under the resin. If by distributor tube you mean the one that runs from the control valve down the centre of the tank, then yes it appears to be in working order although the screen/slots in the bottom were clogged with resin beads which I picked out with a tiny jewelers screwdriver.

    Again, thanks for any advice you can provide.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  4. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Ocala, Fl
    The color is determined by the manufactor not if it's bad or not. You have a 1 cu ft tank so 1 cu ft of resin is in the tank. Your resin may not be bad at all, but if you really want to replace it, you should replace the distributor as well. Think of the time and cost to replace the resin. If the distributor tube breaks in 2 months because of age, you may lose all the new resin. An under bedding of #20 flint (about 15 lbs) should be used to protect the distributor. Ask for a funnel when you buy the resin. The cost is about $3.00. Tape the top of the distributor tube to prevent resin from getting it and place in tank. Pour gavel in then resin. Rinse, remove tape anmd replace valve.
  5. MiddleAgeSoftie

    MiddleAgeSoftie Computer systems technologist for Geologists & Pet

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Hi Skip. Thanks for the tip about he distributor tube. I'll do that. I'm sure I can get this all together if I can just get the right materials. My first problems are; where do I get this stuff and what stuff do I get. I don't really know where to get started. Any advice?
  6. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,494
    Location:
    Alaska
    There is a stress test that I was thought for the distributor tube,
    Hold one end in each hand and try to make a bow, one does not have to go far with this, but if the tube is about to go it will change some color or not bend at all with out breaking.

    The size of distributor is based on the size that the valve is going to need, there is the 3/4 and the 1". then there is the bell or bottum distributor basket that will be 3/4 or 1" .. some call it 13/16 or 1.050.... the the about of tube needed depending on the distance from the distributor to the top of the tank.

    If there was no gravel in the tank, then you could go that way again and not put gravel at the bottom of the tank.

    Next?
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,237
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    By the time you get done, you could have a new softener installed, for a lot less labor, and maybe about the same dollars.
  8. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    I was thinking the same thing.
  9. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,494
    Location:
    Alaska
    And what goes to the land fill?
  10. MiddleAgeSoftie

    MiddleAgeSoftie Computer systems technologist for Geologists & Pet

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Now you tell me... ;-) This is more of a voyage of discovery exercise than a "how can I replace my softener as inexpensively as possible."

    I have done the flex test with the distributor tube. I believe that it is sufficiently durable to go back in without being replaced. I have a funnel. I've been doing some reading about how to replace the resin. It seems pretty straight forward if I can only find out were to get it. I've contacted some web retailers to see if they ship to Canada. So far I've gotten one "...Sorry we don't ship to Canada..." and one "...Yes we ship to Canada but it'll cost you between $30 to $60 for shipping plus brokerage...". I'm awaiting a few other responses. I also found something on E-BAY - Item # 400063246570. Is this what I'm looking for?
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  11. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Ocala, Fl
    Why do you feel the resin needs to be replaced? Get some in you hand and pinch it. If it smaches up, it's bad. If it stays hard, it could have years of life left.
  12. MiddleAgeSoftie

    MiddleAgeSoftie Computer systems technologist for Geologists & Pet

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    I presumed that after all this time it was probably tired - used up, and needed to be replaced. I thought that because it was a salmon-egg orange colour that that was an indication that it was worn out (Iron). As I've mentioned above I do still have it but the buckets I put it in weren't particularly clean. I don't suppose it's a good thing to get contaminants in with the resin. Can this stuff be washed with normal tab water? I did as Skip suggested. It does seem to stay hard - it doesn't smear into a paste or anything like that. I'd post some photos but I don't presently have a cable to connect my camera to my computer. I'd rather not spend money if I don't have to but at the same time I want to make sure that this thing is going to work when I put it back together.

    Again, any sage advice is appreciated.
  13. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    Put it back in along with a couple tablespoons of iron out, re-connect everything and run it through back to back re-gens.
  14. MiddleAgeSoftie

    MiddleAgeSoftie Computer systems technologist for Geologists & Pet

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Ok. So do I need to worry about the resin that is "contaminated" (got bits of other stuff - tile grout, dirt etc.)? Should I just try to avoid that stuff?
  15. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    get rid of any large pieces you see the rest should flush out
  16. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Resin is any color from white to black. Twenty 5 years was it old? I'd replace it because you don't have all of it that came with the softener when new due to attrition from broken beads (due to osmonic shock over time) being backwashed out of the tank. Delivered cost maybe $125US per cuft.

    Find Aquatel.com IIRC, they are in Canada. Tell them/Reid I sent you.

    Since the softener was not working when you moved in, there may be a problem with the control valve instead of the resin; that's much more likely than bad resin BTW but, changing resin takes like 30 minutes and 20+ yr old resin needs to be replaced.

    You can disinfect your resin if you want to, a cap full or two of non scented bleach for 15-20 minutes mixed into like 10 gals of water and stir the resin up every 5 minutes or so and then rinse well with fresh water. As you rinse the new water out of a hose at the bottom of the container will over flow the water and resin out the top leaving the grout chunks in the bottom of the container. That stuff won't be flushed out of the softener during backwash, especially if you have a top basket or the chunk stuff is heavier than resin beads.

    Once you get new or old resin back in the tank and everything put back together, put the control in backwash and let the drain water run until clear. Unplug the control valve if you need more time than your control valve's backwash time. Watch for resin going out the drain line and control that with the water main stop valve if needed.
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