Salty Water after Regeneration

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Mateck, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. Mateck

    Mateck New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Michigan
    Hello. I have six year old clack softener. According to the manual, it has a WS1CS or WS1.2 head. I lipurchased it from Water Quality Associates over the internet, but he is no longer in business. Every couple of days, perhaps about once a week, I go to take a drink of water and get total salt water. I mean like really salty, not just slightly or trace salt. When this happens, you just let the water run for only about 15 seconds, and you are back to normal water.

    I tend to think it happens after a night time recharge, because it seems like we have noticed it only once in awhile, and it seems like mostly in the morning.

    Any idea what might be causing this?

    Thanks,

    Matt from Michigan
  2. Mateck

    Mateck New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Michigan
    I should add that I have a family of 2 adults, 2 kids & 1 annoying cat on well water. My softener settings are
    User Settings:
    Hardness 15
    regeneration day 8
    Time 2:00am

    Installer Settings:
    Mode: softening
    Regen Fill - PrE
    P13
    Regen Capacity 30.0
    Regen 8.0 lbs
    Regen Auto Gal.
    Regen Normal ON 0
  3. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Location:
    IL
    You are in luck. You can still get support. See http://www.qualitywaterassociates.com/index.htm for a phone number and hours to call. Plus Gary Slusser frequently helps people here.

    I would wonder if one of the rinses should be longer, but Gary is going to know what changed and what to do about it.
  4. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    It sounds to me that the unit is drawing some air during the brining cycle. Check all the brine connections. It may also be a piece of debris caught in the drain flow control or the venturi assembly. A simple cleaning will correct the problem.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    That should be Quality Water Associates, and yes I am out of business and not really wanting calls but...every once in awhile I take a call (it depends on how many cellphone minutes I want to burn). And sometimes I will troubleshoot in email. I get 3-5 emails a week from people wanting to buy softeners or a filter... and I reply with a standard Out of Business statement I Copy/Paste.

    My web site is still up due to some 5000+ new visitors per month looking for information. Plus I like to think it might piss Clack off.

    Anyway.... the usual cause of salty taste is water use at just the right time during a regeneration, including water leaks such as a toilet fill valve leaking allowing water to overflow the overflow tube in the toilet tank. Or a flapper valve to cause a toilet to flush. Or an RO or ice maker unit using water. But.... IF there has not been a regeneration the night before, a salty taste can't be from a softener, it would have to be salt in the incoming water.

    Matt, checking your salt efficiency; 30,000/3333 = 9 lbs, not the 8 you posted, so have you been playing with the settings I told you to use in the email I sent you when you bought the softener?
  6. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,856
    Location:
    Ontario California
    A properly operating modern softener should not allow any salty water to go to service during the regeneration process. Please see the flow path below, the regenerant should not be able to contaminate the service water in any way.

    You have a problem with your system, salty water can be many things. Do you have a soft water test kit?

    flow ws1.jpg
  7. Mateck

    Mateck New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thankyou everyone for your replies.

    Gary- I don't remember playing with the setting.. perhaps I hit the down button when viewing the setting at one time, but I will change it back tonight. What of mialynette2003 notation, that in normal operation, even during a regeneration, water usage should not be a problem?

    DITTOHEAD: Thanks for the drawing. The salty water I am experiencing it only for a couple of seconds. And it is SUPER salty, like someone was playing a joke on you and dumped a couple of teaspoons of salt in your coffee. You spit it out right away. And it only happens once in a while... perhaps once a week. If you run the water for 15 seconds, it is gone.

    mialynette2003 - "It may also be a piece of debris caught in the drain flow control or the venturi assembly" Is the venturi assembly easy to clean? I didn't see that labeled in Dittoheads drawing. I am mechanically inclined, so if I knew where that was, I would tackle it.

    Matt
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Matt, I don't see how sucking some air would allow a salty taste. Sucking air means it is not able to suck brine and that leads to excess water being left in the salt tank and incomplete regeneration; reduced capacity. If that goes on for some time, you eventually get hard water through the softener and, brine overflowing the salt tank. Due to you having Pre brine refill, you can check your salt tank and see if there is more than 2-3" of water in the bottom of the brine well between regenerations. If so, it's sucking air due to loose brine line connections or, you have a blocked injector, injector screen or drain line. You could also have a bad brine piston or seal. That would cause water to flow into the brine tank when it shouldn't. But IMO none of that has to do with salty taste.

    As to A properly operating modern softener should not allow any salty water to go to service during the regeneration process. I say it's fairly obvious that your softener is not operating properly but I don't think testing will show us hard water but if it did, it's more likely due to not getting 30K with only 8 lbs of salt. And I would agree you may have hit the down arrow button by mistake when looking at the settings to be able to answer my questions. Just for grins you could use the test kit I sent you with the softener to see if your water is hard or not.
  9. Mateck

    Mateck New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Michigan
    Gary:

    I did look recently and noted just a little bit of water on the bottom of the salt tank.... a couple of inches. I'll check again tonight.

    Also, I don't know if I can find that test strip kit, but I will look when i get home. But I have NOT had any hard water problems. Well, I should say that perhaps sometimes I can notice a reduces softness at times, but then the next day it will be silky again. But never anything that would be called hard, except for last year when I let it run dry by mistake. I do know what hard water feels like, and smells like, so I am glad that the system is working in that regard.
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yeah, I didn't think you had a hardness problem, or that it would have anything to do with a salty taste after a regeneration or you would have probably said so in your first post.

    BTW, I never sent anyone a test strip type test kit, it was a soap type test kit with a vile of liquid and a capped test tube in a small white box but... ya don't need no stinkin' test if your are satisfied with the water quality the softener produces.

    Have you taken the toilet tank cover off and checked the water level is at the mark on the overflow tube, or not overflowing? Any toilet that has a leaking flapper valve? Do you have an ice maker or RO that may be using water during the night? A water line leak you haven't looked for yet... Any dripping faucets?
  11. Mateck

    Mateck New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Michigan
    I do have two ice machines, and three toilets. I will check the toilets tonight. I do not have any dripping faucets.

    BUT I noticed something really strange yesterday. When I came home, I went to confirm that there was about 2-3 inches of water in the bottom of the salt tank (which there was) and while checking this, I noticed that the softener was flashing "softening". This was about 6pm. I waited a couple of minutes, and saw and heard nothing... everything quite. So I check on it an hour later, and the "softening" message was gone. I then checked my current time, and the set time for regeneration, and they were correct... it should not have soften 'till 2AM. Do you know why it would be showing "softening" at 6 in the evening?
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Softening flashing on the display means something was using water. The meter will not show that if there is no water running through the but, if the water flow is less than .25 gpm the meter will not pick it up.

    Three ice machines.... if any is making ice during the night, you may want to prevent that.
  13. Mateck

    Mateck New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Michigan
    That is two ice machines. How would i prevent them from making ice? It would be a pain to turn them off each night, and on in the morning. Also, this problem was not happening in the first 5 years of having this fridge. The second fridge was added about 6 months ago, but the problem has been going on for about 18 months I would say. We only notice it about once or twice a month.
  14. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Location:
    IL
    Avoid using ice in the late evening?

    Still, I don't think they are saying that using water during regen would cause salty water in the pipes.
  15. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,856
    Location:
    Ontario California
    If the system is operating properly, that is correct. Sounds like a slight tear in a seal or a damaged piston allowing some of the brine to possibly go where it should not go. Could be a number of other problems, but considering the system is over 5 years old, a quick valve rebuild would not be a bad idea. it is cheap and easy enough, no real harm in doing it.
  16. Mateck

    Mateck New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Michigan
    Dittohead: Sounds like I would have a problem getting a rebuilt kit, as Clack is not going to sell to us end users.
    Gary: I still can't find any leak anywhere, and I'm confused as to why a leak (or ice maker usage) would matter, if the softener is supposed to by-pass the water during recharging.
  17. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,856
    Location:
    Ontario California
    I will send you a PM on where to get a new seal and spacer kit.

    You are correct, following the water path, their should be no possibility of salty water getting into the house water during regeneration if the valve is working corrrectly. All softener manufacturers are aware of nightime water usage, or water usage during regeneration and would not allow their system to bypass salty water during regeneration. Here is a flow chart of the 7000, very similar, and no cross connection from the salt cycle and the bypassed water path. flow.jpg
  18. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,224
    Location:
    Maine
    I was going to comment on the ice maker / night time water use thing too but I have been told several times that I do not possess the necessary troubleshooting skills. LOL, LOL, LOL

    However, I would start by inspecting the seal.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  19. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,856
    Location:
    Ontario California
    You know that anyone who has a contractors license and insurance, and training is unqualified. :)
  20. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You could store some ice in a container so as it was replaced by the ice maker before the softener started a regeneration.

    Since you don't have any other complaints about your soft water quality or a problem with too much water in the salt tank etc., etc., I seriously doubt that your valve has a bad piston or seal. You can get parts for the Clack from
    www.softenerparts.com.

    I think finding the cause of Softening flashing when no one was using water is a hint.
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