Water not Softening

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by sleepgsr, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. sleepgsr

    sleepgsr New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Hamilton Ontario
    Hello All,
    After looking through tihs forum i could not find a similar problem so I'm posting to see is anyone can point me in the right direction.

    We've recently move to the country and have a well. the house came with a softener and one bb filter.
    I have since changed to a 3 big blue filter as well as uv light setup all pre softener.

    At one point the water level in the salt tank was way to high and I replaced the venturi assembly and that fixed it (the gaskets were disintegrating)

    The problem is that our water is not getting totally soft. before the softener is is about 36 gpg, and after it goes down to about 8-10 gpg.

    Iron level is at 2 and ph is around 7

    It is a NorthStar softener.

    I've just replaced the resin thinking that the iron on the past 10 year may have fouled it and it. It was stained dark brown and perhaps seemed to be somewhat disintegrating although we were not getting any resin through our taps.

    After changing the resin it stayed in the 8-10 gpg range.
    I then suspected that the bypass valve was leaking and mixing hard and soft water but it is fine - all seals good etc.
    The salt is slowly being used up but I'm still confused because the new resin should give me soft water (0-1 gpg?) right away without recharging - correct?

    Could it be the something in the valve assembly?
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,615
    Location:
    IL
    I presume you are on a well.

    You want more salt, which means you want more brine refill. You may also need more frequent regen. How often do you regen?

    You want to identify the controller or post a picture so that somebody can identify the controller.

    You want to say what the diameter and height of your tank is, and identify what part of the tank you are measuring up to. How much resin did you put in?

    You want to give clues as how much water you use by identifying the number of people and number of bathrooms.

    You will want to treat your system periodically with Super Iron-Out or special treatment solution.

    Is there anything about the water that bothers you besides hardness?
  3. sleepgsr

    sleepgsr New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Hamilton Ontario
    Thanks for the response reach

    Yes we are on a well

    The hardness setting on the softener is set on 80 and it does the brine refill and regens automatically - about every 3-4 days.

    Here is a link to the the manual - http://www.northstarconditioning.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/NSC25EDSS_30ED_40ED_7200570_2001.pdf
    Model 30 (NSC30ED) with the electronic demand timer

    The tank is 37" high and 11" diameter. I replace the same about of resin that was in it - .9 cubic ft

    We have 2 adults and 5 young children so there is a fair bit of laundry but not many showers etc (yet)

    I do use iron out but not religiously. I did add a solution of it to the brine as described on some post to "unfoul" the resin but that did not make a difference so that is why i replaced the resin thinking it was bad.

    The water does not taste good so we don't drink it. Oh and the tds is 1400-1500 ish - we plan on getting a RO sytem for drinking water.

    I guess my main question is why did i not get soft water right after replacing the resin. I'm pretty sure that the resin should be good to go after replacing and not need a regen cycle. If so, then even if the regen cycles and brine content were not enough, i should have been getting softer water (0-1 gpg).

    Something is working because it is softening it a bit, just not enough - 36 gpg down to 10 gpg.
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,615
    Location:
    IL
    There are others here very knowledgeable who will have good suggestions for you. However I am almost certain they will say that you should have a tank with 2 or more CF of resin. Given your surprising 11 inch tank diameter, maybe they will suggest that you add more resin to that same tank if you don't want to buy a bigger tank. Are you confident that the circumference of the tank is bigger than 33 inches?

    I added a Centaur Carbon media backwashing filter before everything. That dealt with iron and sulfur. Having such a filter, or other appropriate backwashing filter, would decrease the load on your softener some and would deal with sulfur too. I am drinking my tap water now.

    So without big changes, you would want to make sure your salt dose is enough. Are you going through 13.5 pounds of salt for each regen? Track how long a 40 or 50 pound bag lasts. If you are using less, there is probably a setting to increase the brine fill time. Also, you may want to regen more frequently. To help determine that, I would check the hardness the day after regen and the day before. If they are much different, look to change the programming.

    So how do you program? Somebody may be able to identify the controller and that will probably let you find a manual for setting up the salt usage and the regen frequency. A photo of the controller with the cover removed could make it more likely that somebody will recognize your controller. It won't hurt.

    In the mean time, try to minimize peak flow. Draw the kids bath more slowly. Use low-flow shower heads. Stagger water use. It is probably not a good idea to partially close the valves on the toilet fill water; that might be bad for the valve. Save up for that 2.5 CF system.

    As to the "why", consider the SFR thing. http://www.qualitywaterassociates.com/softeners/sizingchart.htm
  5. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,897
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Can you budget for a properly sized softener? I am not a fan of your particular system. It is considerably undersized for your application. Considering your near future water usage, I would recommend a 9100SXT system. If your budget allows, an iron removal system would also be a good idea. What softeness test kit are you using? Do you have your well tested every year or so? Do you have a recent test you can post for us?
  6. sleepgsr

    sleepgsr New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Hamilton Ontario
    Thanks
    I'll post pictures of the unit when i get home later today.

    I am using this kit for testing

    http://www.uswatersystems.com/resid...hlorine-tds-field-analysis-test-kit-2404.html

    We just moved in a few months ago s

    Does anyone have an answer to my main question

    Why or what could be some reasons i did not get soft water right after replacing the resin? (0-1 gpg).


    I'm really not too keen on getting a new system unless necessary. If i can figure out what the problem is with this one and then see if it can handle our water usage and upgrade in the future if nessessary.

    Thanks again.
  7. sleepgsr

    sleepgsr New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Hamilton Ontario
    AS per the manual http://www.northstarconditioning.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/NSC25EDSS_30ED_40ED_7200570_2001.pdf on page 4 its ii" diameter. It is about 2/3 full of resin.

    We do not have sulfur - it is a dug well.
    I just ran another hardness test and its at 10gpg - its set to regen tonight so I'll run test another tomorrow.
    I also did an iron test. Its actually 1.5 before the 3 big blue filters and 0 after them so the softener currently is not getting much if any iron.
    I am using this testing kit - http://www.uswatersystems.com/resid...hlorine-tds-field-analysis-test-kit-2404.html

    We are not really keen on getting a new system unless necessary. I would rather try getting this system working properly and then see if it will work with our water usage for the next while.

    I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas why I was not getting soft water 0-1 gpg after adding the new resin.

    Attached are pictures of the softener
    DSC_6220.jpg DSC_6221.jpg DSC_6222.jpg DSC_6223.jpg DSC_6224.jpg
  8. sleepgsr

    sleepgsr New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Hamilton Ontario
    I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas why I was not getting soft water 0-1 gpg after adding the new resin.
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,615
    Location:
    IL
    Do you have a bypass? huge3.png
    If not as shown in the picture, is there a bypass in your plumbing above what you show in the picture?
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  10. sleepgsr

    sleepgsr New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Hamilton Ontario
    Yes, I thought that could be the problem with it mixing the water so I did check it and the seals etc are good.
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,615
    Location:
    IL
    It looks like you have your system in bypass. Try sliding the bypass to the right, as viewed from the front. huge4.jpg
  12. sleepgsr

    sleepgsr New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Hamilton Ontario
    No its not in bypass - the bypass valve says push for bypass.
  13. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,615
    Location:
    IL
    Look at the manual snip where it says push for bypass on the right, and pull for service. Your photo shows the left side, if I interpret it correctly, pulled, which would correspond to the right side being pushed.

    Maybe you could add a photo of the side of the valve as shown in the picture on page 6 of the manual you posted the link to.
  14. sleepgsr

    sleepgsr New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Hamilton Ontario
    I know that it is not in bypass mode. When I took it apart to check the o-rings I made sure. Also the label on the bypass valve is on the left side saying push for bypass.
  15. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    739
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    Have you checked the distributor tube oring? If it is out of place, then the water will not pass through the resin and you will get hard water.
  16. sleepgsr

    sleepgsr New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Hamilton Ontario
    I'm pretty sure that it is fine. I did have to reseat or put back the top and bottom orings when I replaced the resin - I'll check again. Also it is partially softening the water - just seems like it getting diluted up to 10 gpg. Softened water should be 100% soft correct?
  17. sleepgsr

    sleepgsr New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Hamilton Ontario
    "Have you checked the distributor tube oring?"

    THIS WAS IT!!

    I finally got around (In the middle of house renovations) to taking it apart and checking the orings. The top one was too far down and therfore was mixing the hard and softened water. I adjusted it and tested the water again and we now have fully soft water. Thanks mialynette2003! And thanks to others for their input.
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