Resin found in the drain discharge

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by akula1488, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. akula1488

    akula1488 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    California
    Hi,
    My first post here and I am completely new to water softener systems. So please forgive me if I am asking stupid questions.
    I have just installed a Fleck 7000SXT, 1.5 cu ft resin tank system. There is gravel under bed but the top basket is not installed (it is not in the installation procedure..).
    After the first regeneration a couple days ago, I noticed there is some resin residues in the drain discharge.

    I read it somewhere this is normal for the first regeneration, for softeners with gravel under bed but no top basket and eventually I will not lose more resins. Can any one confirm this?

    Also is it risky to take apart the valve and the resin tank and insert back the top basket? I also read it somewhere that if the distributor is raised up during the process and not put it back to the normal position, when the valve is attached again the distributor can break at the bottom and causes resin and gravel leaks into the plumbing system. Is that the case? If I want to do that, the only way is to dump the resin and gravel such that the distributor can be reset properly?

    I am quite nervous since this is the first time using softener and the first regeneration does not appear normal.
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,861
    Location:
    Ontario California
    A small amount of resin is normal for the first couple of regenerations, it should stop after that. You should check the dlfc button is installed correctly, and that the right button is included with your system. Also, take the temperature of the water. If it is below 65 degrees, you may want to look at dropping the DLFC size slightly since you dont have a top screen, or add the top screen.

    When removing the valve, kepp turning the valve back and forth, do not just pull it straight up. This will minimize dthe risk of the manifold coming out of the gravel bed. Also, do not put the system into backwash before removing the valve, this will keep the resin and gravel packed down which will also help to keep the manifold in place.

    A 10" diameter tank should have a 2.4 gpm button, a 12" tank should have a 3.5 button assuming your water temperature is not too low. Can you give us more information on your system?
  3. akula1488

    akula1488 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    California
    Thanks for the reply. I am at work and cannot measure the diameter to be sure. I think it is a standard resin tank for 1.5 cu. ft of resin. The drain speed is 3.5 gpm as I recall from the installation instructions. The drain line is 5/8' and about 10 ft long. I live in Southern California and I am not sure if the temperature gets that low at 2 AM.

    What do you mean by dropping the DLFC size? how do I do that?

    Can the loss of resin due to the drain line being clogged?
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,861
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The drain line being plugged would not cause resin to come out of the drain. If your system is a standard softener without the turbulator and a 10" diameter tank, you should have a 2.4 GPM DLFC button assuming your water temperature is "normal". Southern California rarely has cold water except for some wells in the Universal Studios area, I have seen a couple of wells come out at 40-45 degrees. Very rare.

    The DLFC is in the 90 degree elbow at the valve head, you would remove the grey clip, pull up on the 90 degree fitting, it should remove easily. Inside of that elbow is the rubber button, it will have the flow rate molded into it. 2.0, 2.4, and 3.5 are the most common. If you have a 10" tank, no turbulator, you need a 2.4 button, not a 3.5.
  5. akula1488

    akula1488 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    California
    Thanks for the reply again. what's the reasoning to have the proper size for the DLFC? Is it because higher than required backwash rate with respective to the resin tank size, can cause the resin to float up and escape to the drain line?
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,057
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I find it odd that the pressure is never mentioned but that a lot of attention is given to temperature. If the system pressure is higher, would not the flow increase across the DLFC? It sure does on my systems.
  7. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,861
    Location:
    Ontario California
    In theory yes, but modern DLFC's are designed to accomodate the varying pressure changes. We test several different manufacturers flow controllers, and for the most part, they are very accurate from 35-100 psi. Some of the import systems have a hard button and the flow varies wildly with pressure. The flow restrictor will close up under higher pressure thus allowing a very constant flow regardless of pressure (to a limit of course). Temperature on the other hand will change a fluids viscosity. Colder water is much more dense and therefore will lift the resin higher with the same amount of water.

    We regularly test Fleck, Clack, Dole, and a couple others. The import softener control valves that include their own DLFC button tend to be acurate at about 50 PSI, so some changes may need to be made depending on pressure.

    As the pressure increases, the hole size decreases. This will increase the sound dramatically without affecting flow rate. You may be hearing the higher pressure, this is normal, but the flow will only slightly increase if at all.

    Hope this explains it.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  8. akula1488

    akula1488 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    California
    looks like I am still losing resin. The 10' diameter tank is about 2/3 full of resin (which I think it is borderline normal). There is actually top basket installed.

    I have checked the DLFC and it is 2.4 gpm and I did a flow test by putting the unit into backwash. It fills half of a 5 gallon container in 1 minute. So DLFC and pressure should be OK. no resin found in this experiment as well.

    No resins has been found inside the home plumbing system. So this should rule out the distributor cracks.

    Next thing to check is if there's any air get into the resin tank. I plan to do a full regeneration tonight to see if any resin loss and check for air leakage. I assume if there's air leakage it would occur during the brine draw stage. For Fleck 7000, I read that the brine draw lasts about 1 hour and it would draw salt water initially until the salt water gone. Then the air check will stop any air intake and for the remaining of brine draw stage it would be doing slow rinse.

    Is my understanding correct? and how do I check for air during the regeneration process? what are the things to look for?
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,057
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    A faulty AVC on a hydro-pneumatic tank can cause "burps" of air to enter the stream at the bottom of each pump cycle. When air combines with water, it can accelerate the flow and percolate the media up but your top basket should keep it from leaving the cylinder. I have had that happen with my iron filter which has no top basket and the media got up into the valves and journals.
  10. akula1488

    akula1488 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    California
    thank you for your reply. I am on city water not on well water so I am not sure the pump is the cause.
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    City waters usually have a much higher water pressure during the night than during the day and evening hours. That would be enough to lift the bed sooner and higher than lower pressure, regardless of what has been said above about pressure.
  12. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,861
    Location:
    Ontario California
    City pressure can sometimes have higher pressure at night, depending on the municipalities system designs, pump systems etc. but regardless, if your pressure rises even up to 120 PSI, the flow will still be very close to the stated 2.4 GPM. The lack of a top screen should be corrected. They are cheap and easy to install.

    The actual problem is unlikely pressure. I would put a pressure gauge on your main line, home depot sells ones that go on your hose bib. Probably $10. According to code, your presure should not exceed 80 PSI. If it does, a regulator needs to be installed.

    I would also check your water temperature. Low temperature is the most common cause for your issue, not pressure. That is why the resin manufacturers make temperature/resin expansion charts. The flow control button can be replaced with a smaller one if the water temperature is low. The next size down is 2.0 GPM.

    Hope this helps.
  13. akula1488

    akula1488 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    California
    Thanks a lot for both replies. I do have a regulator right before the softener, so the pressure into the system should be constant. I do also have a top basket installed (2 were shipped so there is 1 extra and I initially thought the top screen was not installed, as I did not put the system together).

    I observed the entire regeneration process last night and did not observe anything very suspicious and no major change in resin levels (resin raised about 10 inches during BW, leaving about 8 inch to the top of the tank; so temperature should be OK I think). Only thing worth noting is that during the 2nd BW cycle(after brine draw), every few seconds I could here a faint whooshing sound in the drain pipe, that I did not hear at the 1st BW cycle. Could that indicate there is some air introduced during the BD cycle?

    I will keep monitor the resin level and if it starts to go down, I will drop the size of DLFC to 2.0 GPM to see if that would help.
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yes that would indicate air in the tank and it can be the cause of the problem.

    Those two top baskets may be for two different mesh resins; regular and fine mesh. Maybe you have fine mesh resin and a regular mesh top basket installed. You should ask the guy you bought the unit from why two top baskets.
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