Trouble with greensand filter not drawing in Potassium Permanganate

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by rkhanso, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. rkhanso

    rkhanso New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    MN
    I searched the form, but got so many results that weren't relevant - I have to say my search wasn't very good.

    I'm a homeowner, not a plumber. Though, I did successfully install the greensand filter myself.

    I have a greensand filter, have had it a little over 1 year. The tank has a Fleck 2510 on it.

    Cleaning the little potassium permanganate tank was suggested as annual maintenance (what a messy job), but I did clean everything up and scraped the crud out and put it all back together again.

    Recently, I noticed a little of the rotten egg odor, but not very much. I checked the greensand filter and it does not appear to be drawing in any pot/perm. I did a manual start and watched it run for a while, checking every 15 minutes to see if the level in the small tank went down. It didn't change at all.

    I took the top of the injector housing off and took the injector nozzles and screen out and cleaned them. They weren't plugged at all. I scraped a little iron film off of them, but they looked good (to my non-professional eyes).

    I manually rotated the knob to go through the cycles (though I don't know what the cycles are), but didn't really know what to look at.


    I'm not sure what position the blue or black thing should be in to cause the pot/perm to be sucked in.

    Can anyone help?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2011
  2. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    With the Fleck systems, they have both a throat and a nozzle. Most likely the injector throat is clogged. If you look at where you removed the nozzle, the throat is next in line. Stick a screwdriver in the hole and unscrew the throat. Using tape, try to remove the throat. If you can not do this, you will have to remove the housing. Do you have a manual for the valve?
  3. rkhanso

    rkhanso New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    MN
  4. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Alaska
    The first ear on the black cam is the brine draw, and it is the second spot on the blue or on the timer wheel the no pin part.
    If it can fill the pot perm tank but not draw, and the injector set is clean then I would be looking for a nut that is not tight.
    Make sure that there is nothing blocking the drain line.
    If there is water going to the pot perm tank when it should be drawing then there is a main seal that not sealing like it should and letting water pass through that point and the seals will either need to be changed around to find a better one to put in the middle or replace or it could be that the piston has some thing wrong and not letting the seal seal like it should.
  5. rkhanso

    rkhanso New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    MN
    It appears there's no suction during the first ear position on the black cam. I manually advanced the big knob to get the black cam to go to the first ear. I took the small tube going to the small brine tank and there's no suction, but actually a small trickle of water coming out of it. I'm not sure where the seals are Akpsdvan is talking about.

    Here's a video of the filter running in the first cam position on the black cam. (At least I believe it's in the correct position for the brine draw)
    [video=youtube;f-2s7x0Wk-4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-2s7x0Wk-4[/video]

    Where should I look next? Not sure where these seals are located.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  6. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,480
    Location:
    Alaska
    The seals that I am talking about are the seals and spacers around the main piston.


    There is the trouble shooting part of the manual...problem number 8

    Then there is page 34 seal and spacer replacment

    Is there water going to the pot perm tank when there should be water going to the pot perm tank?

    Drain line is clear?
  7. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    Place the unit on bypass for a few minutes. With the brine line disconnected, put the unit back in service and see if you have a draw. If you have a draw then lose it, check the drain flow control for debri. Even if you have flow to the drain, there may be enough back pressure to cause drip during a draw cycle.
  8. rkhanso

    rkhanso New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    MN
    When drain line is mentioned, is that the drain line of the brine tank? I blew that out. It's clear.
    The other drain line from the Fleck head is obviously clear since when put into a manual cycle, water comes shooting out of that.

    I'm not sure what mialynette2003 means when you say put it in bypass. I don't have a bypass valve built in, it's the stainless yoke thingy. I made an array of valves to bypass the iron filter and softener softener. Not sure what a 'drain flow control' is either.

    Akpsdvan, I'm not sure when water should be going to the brine tank. But, I guess it's some time after it draws the pot/perm out of the tank. The water level is about 1/2 way up the brine tank all the time. It's not high enough to go out the overflow.

    This unit is just over 1 year old, in case that makes any difference in diagnosis.

    Sorry to be stupid about this stuff, but it's not in my knowledge bank. Now, ask me about computer networking, routers, switches and such and I can go to town.
  9. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,480
    Location:
    Alaska
    On the timer wheel there are pins and spaces, the first pins are back wash, first spaces are brine draw and slow rinse, then the next pins are for the rapid rinse the the next spaces are for the brine refill then the last 2 pins are the stop or return to service.

    Bypassing the unit and starting a cycle will depressure the system, some times when doing that will get a brine draw.

    What kind of pressure is the pressure tank set for?
    20-40
    30-50
    40-60
    Could be that if the pressure tank is running the 20-40... that is at the low end of what the unit needs to work correctly.
    really the pressure tank should be 40-60 for greensand units to work at peak.

    On the timer wheel, the one with a white label and pins and spaces, what are the times?
  10. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    he drain flow control is located on the right side of the valve as you lokk at it from the front. There is a clip the holds it into place. Remove the clip and pull the flow control housing away from the valve. The drain flow control is located in the housing.
  11. rkhanso

    rkhanso New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    MN
    The pressure is 40/60. I just replaced the pressure tank last week, but was having the no pot/perm drawing problem before that.
    Here's a picture of the wheel with pins:
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2011
  12. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,480
    Location:
    Alaska
    I my self would change the time settings,
    Back wash... first set of pins to 16 minutes
    Brine draw slow rinse ... spaces to 90minutes
    Rapid rinse... second set of pins to 8 minutes
    brine refill .. second set of spaces to 4 minutes

    Now back to the no draw ,,,,
    On the injector block, that black plastic with the brass elbow and silver plate on top.... with the system in brine draw undo the nut holding the gray tube .. see if there is draw there..
    It could be that the challenge is in the brass piston assembly... the piston not opening like it should..
  13. rkhanso

    rkhanso New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    MN
    I think it's working now. I took the gray tube off and checked for suction at the injector nozzle housing. I felt a tiny bit of suction (maybe) with a little bit of pressure. It seemed to pulse about every couple seconds. This got me to look at the injector nozzle and throat thingy again. I took a pulled apart paper clip and was able to scrape a little more crusted on iron deposit off of it....I guess enough to cause it to not work. After putting it back together, I noticed a definite difference in sound during the suction and could actually feel the tube to the brine tank vibrate a little.

    One thing I may have messed up, when the unit was unplugged at the wall outlet, I did turn the manual cycle knob. After doing this I thought that may cause a problem. So below are some pictures of what I think should be the brine drawing cycle. Does everything appear to be lined up correctly for the brine intake cycle?





    Thanks everyone for your help. When I checked the injector and throat thing before, I did clean them with a thin stiff wire and blew them out, but did not scrape enough.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2011
  14. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,480
    Location:
    Alaska
    It would be worth to have a second set of the throat and nozzle to swap out and soak the set coming out.
    If in question on the main piston, cycle the dial in the front to the service and the blue cam will find home again, then start over to the back wash and then the brine draw.
  15. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    I dont like using anything that may scratch the inside of the throat or nozzle. Any kind of turbulance can cause a weak draw. Having an extra troat & nozzle is a good idea as Akpsdvan has advised.
  16. rkhanso

    rkhanso New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    MN
    I purchased 2 sets of injector nozzle and throats and put a brand new set in. The filter is now drawing in the potassium in.
    But, the water still smells bad. When I first installed the filter, the water instantly smelled good, well, no foul smell anyway.
    There's a small odor now. It's not as bad as before the filter was installed.

    Anything else I can check?
  17. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,480
    Location:
    Alaska
    Might run the system through another regen, the greensand might need a few cleanings to get back to like it was new.
  18. rkhanso

    rkhanso New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    MN
    water smells again

    It has been through at least 10 regenerations since the repair. It actually started working when I cleaned the injector/throat on the 9th of July. After it was working, I manually put it through about 3 right away, and it is set to go every 3 days.

    It was just a few days ago that I put in a brand new injector/throat.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  19. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,480
    Location:
    Alaska
    Now that it is pulling the potassium in like it should at the rate that it should, maybe an extra regen, also check to make sure that there is still some extra potassium in the holding tank.
  20. rkhanso

    rkhanso New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    MN
    I've been adding a bunch of Potassium Permanaganate to the tank over the past month. I was usually adding about 4oz per month before. When I cleaned the brine tank a couple months ago, I saved much of the purple water and poured it back into the tank. I took all the hard clumps out.

    I have again added some more potassium permanganate to the tank. I have regenerated the filter again and will report back tomorrow.
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