1. Why did I try this?

    Why did I try this? New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Hi,
    My water softener tank fills up more than what goes out. I have no float in the brine tank. I cleaned the screen,jet,ball etc.Put in a new dial that regulates the amount of salt used, but nothing has changed. The water does taste like salt quite strongly after a cycle for awhile. Is it possible replacing the paddle gaskets would help? O, the thing is like 36 years old.
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    Ontario California
    LOL, I can assume this is an old Autotrol model 155. You can still but the upper module, but if it is 36 years old, it may be time to upgrade. Please post a picture of it. What color is the plastic? I assume the body plastic is either grey or yellow. If it is the transluscent yellow, I want it for my museum. :)
  3. Why did I try this?

    Why did I try this? New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    The control is a 1550-TC black. There was another sticker that said Marlo DUA-940
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    Ontario California
    If the valve body is black, it should be considerably younger than 36. Since it is black, a rebuild kit would be a good idea. The flappers are good for 5-20 years typically. They are fairly easy to rebuild. Do not use power tools to remove the #2 screws, use only a hand held screwdriver and do not overtighten the series of screws.

    Good luck!
  5. Why did I try this?

    Why did I try this? New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I was guessing at the age since everything else in the house seems to be original:rolleyes: Would worn flappers cause the brine tank to fill-up? Or should the tank have a float?

    Thank you much
  6. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    Ontario California
    That system doesnt even have an aircheck in the brine tank. It uses the clear canister with the float to act as its aircheck. No float is needed in the brine tank as long as if a failure were to occur, no water damage will happen.

    An overflowing brine tank can definitely be caused by a bad flapper disc set, replace them and you will probably be good.

    IIRC, the date code is stamped on the valve base in white. If you notice, the upper module can be removed by removing the red clip (dont do this) the date code should be down low. Autotrol used a 5 digit date code, the day of manufactuing followed by the year (I think) so 01388 would be the 13 day of 1988.

    See if you can find the date.

    Good luck!
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Loose brine line connections that suck air instead of heavy salt water brine, are the most common cause of too much water. Over tightening the compression nuts causes the tubing to deform and eventually leak air when drawing brine water. Cut off a 1/2" of the brine line and reinstall tightening snug with your fingers and then a half turn more with pliers or a wrench and stop.

    A blocked injector, the passage way from the injector screen to the injector, or the screen itself can also cause too much water. So can a blocked drain line.

    A bad flapper valve will allow water to flow into the salt tank when it shouldn't, the other things I mentioned cause water that should be drawn out of the salt tank to stay in the tank and refill water is added to that causing an ever increasing volume of water in the salt tank.
  8. Why did I try this?

    Why did I try this? New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    One more question: When the cycle starts with Backwash, what is suppose to happen right after that? With mine water flows into the brine tank for a few minutes after Backwash and then reverses and starts to suck the brine out. I was wondering if the flow into the tank is normal (not including the refill at cycle end)

    OK one more... My waste line goes up to the ceiling(~4') and then down, is this acceptable?


    I found a sticker that has 17A83 on it thats about it.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  9. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The intial brine push is normal as the injector creates a proper venturi and full flow is acheived. I assume you have the clear aircheck on your system. You can check for brine leaks with that. If there is any loose fittings or connections, you will see that the air check drops before the brine solution has been removed from the brine tank.

    The waste line can go up, no problem assuming you have acceptable water pressure. Drain lines can go up 15-20 feet (not recommended) as long as there is adequate pressure to overcome the head pressure... it is a long equation that has no meaning, but.. you are fine as long as your system has 40 PSI.

    Less than 40 PSI, I recommend drain lines only run down.

    Sounds like you ave a leaking flapper kit. (old trick, not recommended... remove the brine flapper, cut the little indexing tab off, and reverse it, this will get you by for a while.)
  10. Why did I try this?

    Why did I try this? New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Thank you for the replies. I'll try the flapper reverse thing for a quick fix. Softenerparts.com has a repair kit for ~$90, $40 for just the flappers.
  11. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    Ontario California
    you should notice a considerable indent in the small flapper where it seats onto the plastic body. As long as the flapper isnt to degraded, flipping it is a quick fix. Of course we recommend rebuilding the valve, but... good luck, you should do fine.
  12. Why did I try this?

    Why did I try this? New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Flipped the flappers. Testing right now...
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  13. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    Ontario California
    I do not condone, recommend, or promote this practice. :)

    Its an old trick, and amazingly, it will work most of the time. Good luck and keep us posted.
  14. Why did I try this?

    Why did I try this? New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    The suction seemed stronger and the tank went down 3.25"inches for the brine suck. Cool, the tank actually went down for the whole cycle.

    Thank you much!
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  15. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,311
    Location:
    Maine
    I did the flapper flip trick on my own unit and the darn thing went another 5 years before I finally replaced the whole unit and not because the valve was not working either.
  16. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    Ontario California
    We are the kings of cheap! :)

    I have done that trick on many homeowners who complained that they couldnt afford to fix their unit, never had to go back on one after doing that for at least a few years.

    Congrats on the quick fix, now start budgeting to replace your unit in the next few years.
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