softener introducting air into my water lines

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by hunch1784, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. hunch1784

    hunch1784 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I have a GE whole house water softener and every morning my water lines would have alot of air in them. I was suspicious that it was the softener allow air to get in my lines because there are no leaks. I bypassed the softener via the bypass valve on the unit itself and I have not had any air in my lines since I did this 4 days ago. Does anyone have any suggestions on what my problem could be and how I could fix it?
  2. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

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    Location:
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    Make sure that the brine line nut is tight and that there are no leaks in the 3/8 tubing going into the brine tank.

    The brine line would be the only place that air could get into the system. The other thing that could be going on is the float assembly is not closing when there is no more water.. make sure that the brine pick up end is clear and seating correctly.
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    If it was possible that air sucked in through the brine line could get out into the plumbing, and I don't think it can with a downflow softener, then this softener is up flow or would have to have regenerated every night to have air in the lines every morning. I doubt the softener is regenerating every night but a small GE might. Do they make an up flow?

    I think it may be the hot side that has air in it and it may be coming from the water heater. Why bypassing the softener would prevent the air is beyond me.
  4. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Ocala, Fl
    To check and see if the unit is causing the problem, advance the unit into a brine draw cycle. Slowly pull the float assembly out of the brine tank. On the bottom of the styrofoam float is a rubber that seals when the water is drawn out. So with the unit in a draw and you pull the float out, the rod that the float rides on should not move. If you are able to move it up and down, the seal is bad allowing air to be drawn into the unit.
  5. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Very good lay out of how to... sorry that I was not more clear, but you have made it clearer..

    What one puts in , one gets out.

    ie iron free water into water heater, iron free water out of water heater.. if there is iron in the hot water but not the cold then the water heater is in need of replacement.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I use semi transparent (opaque) brine line so you can see air bubbles in it just by looking at the brine line during slow rinse/brine draw.

    But if air is sucked into the resin tank during slow rinse/brine draw (the brining cycle position) that goes through the tank and out the drain line with the slow rinse water, how does the air get trapped and out into the house plumbing?

    If there is a private well, it's more likely that the air is from the pump sucking air or the water level in the well falling to the inlet to the pump.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  7. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    With a downflow softener the slow rinse/brining flow is down through the tank and back up through the distribution tube to the head and out the drain. It is easy for air to be trapped in the top of the tank if it is introduced during the slow rinse/brine cycle. If there is a lot of air in the tank then a high service flow can carry the air down through the bed and out with the supply water.
  8. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    What He said...............................

    The Home owner said that the air was not there when the unit was put into bypass............. but there when the unit was in service.... where else is the air going to get in if there is no leak around the valve?????
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The problem with that is after slow rinse/brine draw, most softeners have an upflow backwash that would flush the air out the drain line.

    Why the air problem stopped when the unit was put into by pass may be due to an air leak in the bypass valve when it is in the service position. Or the volume of water used for a regeneration is causing the pump to suck air; or if there is a jet pump which can suck air but not leak water at a loose fitting.
  10. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Ocala, Fl
    Your wrong about the air not staying in the tank. I recently went on a svc call where the valve was in a brine cycle for over 2 days. It took me 3 complete revolutions of the valve to get all the air out. And changing the line would be ok but, you are only isolating the valve and not the brine line. Whenever possible, I keep everything the same. I just pull the float assembly out of the brine tank to get it to "check" and see if it is sucking air.
  11. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    You are correct that IF he has a softener with an upflow backwash after the brine/slow rinse that the air would be flushed out. Don't know where you get statistics that most softeners have that feature if you are talking about installed softeners. Most older softeners don't have a backwash after the brine/slow rinse and the poster told us nothing about the age of the softener.
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Can you name me a brand of softener that does not have a rinse cycle after the slow rinse/brine draw cycle. And if it does, the trapped air goes out the drain line during that cycle right?

    I'm not saying change existing brine lines. Since 1987 I have always used/ordered softeners with an opaque brine line. That type brine line allows anyone to check the brine system for air suction leaks except at the control valve end of the brine line.

    I don't know how without a brine line that will allow seeing air bubbles that you know it is sucking air when you remove the air check from the salt tank and stick it in a bucket of water. How do you see evidence of air bubbles or know it's sucking air? If it isn't sucking brine water, it doesn't mean it's sucking air, there are a number of different causes of not sucking brine water.
  13. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Ocala, Fl
    1> The OP was talking about a GE softener. I've never seen an opaque brine line on one.
    2. I never said the unit didn't have a rinse cycle after the brine.
    3. If all the brine is dranw out and the air check does not seat, the unit is drawing air. If it's drawing air, it's not good.
  14. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Fleck 9000
    Fleck 2510
    Autotrol® 255 Valve / 400 Series Controls
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You're wrong about the 9000 and 2510.

    Look at the spec sheets for them and you'll see Rapid Rinse listed after brine draw, that is an upflow backwash and Fleck valves have had that for decades:

    Product Features
    • Fully adjustable 5-cycle top mount control delivers
    controlled upflow backwash, downflow brining and slow
    rinse, rapid rinse, brine refill and downflow service

    Looking it up, yes you're right about Autotrol.

    So you're wrong on 2 out of 3 that you listed.
  16. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania

    I think you are the one that is mistaken. Rapid rinse is NOT a backwash--rapid rinse is down flow while backwash is upflow. A 5 cycle valve provides 1. Backwash; 2. brining/slow rinse; 3. Rapid rinse; 4. brine refill; 5. Service

    If you go to page 44 of the manual for the 9000 valve you will see that rapid rinse (also known as settling rinse) is downflow. http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com/PentairFiles/Pentair%20Water%20Treatment/Manuals/9000%20Service%20Manual%2040944.pdf

    I expect an apology for your incorrect statement that my post was incorrect.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  17. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    If the bypass or the valve is the reason for the air.. that means that there would be water coming out.. if there is a leak for air to get in , then water can get out of that same leak.

    Air will find a way of working past the media that is in the tank. When there is a large amount of air it is more likely to happen, if there is only an inch or so of air at the top of the tank then it will most likely stay there til the next backwash, but if there is more air, say 17 inches of it, then it is more likely to work its way through the media and into the house.
  18. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    Class will be in order..
    White cam for 1500,2500,2750 was for a combo of the rapid rinse and brine tank refill
    Black cam for the same valves was for a rapid rinse and then a brine tank refill.
    The pistons for the 5600 are different.. black end plug is for filter valve, white is for softener , green is for the 6700 valve and the orange one is for the WaterSoft 5600 wana be.
  19. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    But the owner did not have the air problem with the softener off line, only on did the owner have the problem with the air..

    If it is the well pump, be it in the well or a jet pump that is bring the air in it is going to do so with or with out the system in service.
  20. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Yep, that be true now that I go back and read the OP. So.... guess we're back to that durn ole brine line :)
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