Water-Rite Rebuild Remedia help

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by OldSchoolSS, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. OldSchoolSS

    OldSchoolSS New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    WI
    Hey Guys,

    I stumbled upon this forum today at lunch while I was researching options for my house. I'm hoping you guys will be able to help me out here.

    I've been having issues with the water in my first home that I purchased almost 2 years ago. The water test when I bought the place gave the water a thumbs up with only a note that said high iron. After moving in I noticed the toilets and showers would start to stain quickly and the water always had an iron taste to it. The water also would have a red tint to it if you filled the sink or a bucket. About a month ago my clothes started coming out of the washer with rust stains on them. I decided it was time to do something about the problem.

    On Friday I had 3 different water companies come out. Two were water-rite distributors and said the old bypassed AB series unit I have in the basement would work fine with a rebuild. They also offered new system quotes as well. The third offered and iron curtain filter in combination with a dedicated softener. My water tested at 22 grains of hardness with 7 ppm of iron. The water has no smell to it but it does have iron bacteria. I was told by all the guys that came out that it wasn't bad by any means. Although I had shocked the well twice last year which maybe cooled things off a bit.

    After talking to them I'd like to rebuild what I have since money isn't exactly growing on trees here. The unit hasn't ran since i bought the house almost 2 years ago and i bought the place on short sale. The previous owners didn't live here for almost 2 years when I bought it. I have the feeling that the unit was taken out of service even before then. The meter dome has a leak right now if the water is turned onto it. From what I gather I need a new o-ring for the meter dome, new media in the unit, and a new diffusion tube. I was quoted 1700 for this by the one company or 1300 for the parts for me to do it myself which seems astronomical. I have the feeling that the parts are 400 dollars and they still want to make their service margin even if I do the work myself.

    Now I assume the o-ring I can match up at the hardware store or mcmaster carr. The diffuser tube is only a 10 dollar part according to the one guy that came out. That leaves me with finding media. Can I use something like zeobest? Or should I try to find a place that will sell the CR200 to me for a reasonable price? I know I also should put in min +. I'm not sure how much of each product i should put in. I was thinking about cleaning everything up with milkstone remover followed by a baking soda wash to neutralize the acid and bleaching it to make sure it's sanitary.

    Any help with the media would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Scott
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,874
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    A $10.00 part, if you have to buy it from the manufacturer, CAN become a $100.00 part. Some companies have a policy of NOT making it easy or inexpensive to repair their units yourself. You do NOT know why it was taken out of service, so you do NOT know if that is all that is needed. For $1400.00 you should be able to buy a new softener and take the family out for a nice dinner.
  3. chevy427

    chevy427 Banned

    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    "Taken out of service" can mean two things. 1. no salt was put in it and it was left to fill and refill continuously, or just unplugged. 2. it was put on by pass/disconnected. Which one was it? If it was the first one, many problems with the unit could occur.

    I know 'everything is relative, but calling 7.0ppm iron '...not bad by any means' is pretty amazing. Are you sure it wasn't 0.7ppm. That much iron can be exhausting to any softener---some lasting longer than others.

    Have you reconnected and run the valve through its cycles--a test run?

    The system my salvageable with some TLC but consider a whole new replacement as well. Sending good money after bad is frustrating as well as costly. Your equipment has to be more serious than your water, and 7.0ppm iron is very serious.
  4. OldSchoolSS

    OldSchoolSS New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    WI
    The unit was put on bypass, but I doubt that it was backflushed or sanitized when this was done.

    I was referring to the iron bacteria problem not being bad. I know the 7 ppm for iron is high.

    I had a second quote come in on a rebuild and it was much better than the first. This guy not only was cheaper but he gave me the worst case scenario pricing and said it may go down from there depending on what was wrong with the unit.

    I'm still trying to find a source for the media. I have a call into a distributor that I didn't have come out to see what their price comes in at.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Water Right's zeolite, compared to regular resin, is expensive and normally only available from Water Right dealers. In your area 7 ppm of iron is probably common, as is IRB. I'm not sure why you think you need new zeolite but some dealers, mostly national brand types tend to BS their prospective customers into things that are not needed while they charge way more than whatever it is should cost to make them a decent profit. Water Right's Zeolite (their company manufacturers it) per cuft is not that much more expensive than resin and $1400-$1700 is way more than you need to spend or it should cost to replace it.

    With a Turbulator tube and regular resin you can treat your iron if you will use Iron Out to clean the resin each month. You may want to look at using SST-60 resin from Purolite also. And internet dealer can sell that for about $125-150 per cuft and a Turbulator distributor tube kit for like $20. You can get the distributor tube material from any dealer for like $10 or use regular water line 1" sch 40 PVC.

    If you went to resin you need to change the DLFC button to a lower gpm and reduce the backwash time. Zeolite is much heavier than resin and you need more of it than resin so check the size of your mineral tank and buy the cuft for that size tank instead of the same volume of zeolite so you get 50% freeboard.

    Water Right always used Fleck valves until 7-8 years ago when they started using slightly proprietary to them Clack valves. The internal parts may be non proprietary factory standard except for the circuit board (and cover).
  6. rjh2o

    rjh2o Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Michigan
    This Water Right unit is the original version of the Sanitizer series conditioner. It requires Zeolite media (impervious to chlorine) because it has a chlorine generator to help strip the media of iron and kill iron bacteria on the bed during regeneration. Using regular resin with this unit will kill the resin in a short time and you can only use salts with no additives. Using salts with additives can create a dangerous combination which can produce toxic gas. This unit also has KDF media to help kill iron bacteria, sulfate reducing bacteria and H2S.
    With 7ppm iron and iron bacteria it would be beneficial to have an iron filter and the sanitizer after for hardness and bacterial iron removal.
    Shocking the well will not remove the iron bacteria and frequently iron bacteria begins to build a resistance to the chlorine.
    That is quite high for a rebuild of the sanitizer. I would suggest if you purchase an iron filter (air system) to have them do the rebuild at reduced cost. The zeolite media is very expensive. If the PH needs adjusting you may need CR100.
    RJ
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    It's been a long time since I was a Water Right dealer but... he says "On Friday I had 3 different water companies come out. Two were water-rite distributors and said the old bypassed AB series unit I have in the basement would work fine with a rebuild. ". I do not think the AB series is a Sanitizer.
  8. rjh2o

    rjh2o Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Michigan
    I stand corrected. The AB series is actually either the fleck 2500 (brass) or 2510 (nylon) valve. All valve parts and meter parts are available on-line. The mention of zeolite is what threw me off. Zeolite is only used in the sanitizer series conditioners. Regular 8% crosslink resin is what is used in their softeners.
    With 7 ppm iron I would recommend and iron filter. The Water-Right impression series air iron filter is a better choice then an iron curtain and less maintenance.
    You should be able to rebuild the softener and meter for less than $700.
    RJ
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    As far as I know there are no nylon valves, there are Noryl (fiber reinforced plastic) and big box brands use cheap ABS plastic.

    If I recall correctly, they used to have 2 or 3 types of zeolite.
  10. OldSchoolSS

    OldSchoolSS New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    WI
    The AB series I have will perform similar to a sanitizer though but it won't have the self generating chlorine properties. I can dump chlorine pellets in the brine tank and then have a manual sanitizer correct? The valve that's on there looks to be brass not nylon.

    Gary,

    I'm not sure if new zeolite is needed. Do you think I should just replace the o-ring in the metering dome, clean the brine tank and put the unit back online to see what happens?

    One thing i didn't mention is that the back flush drain line was way undersized when the plumber who did the addition on the house re-routed it. The one guy that came and looked at it said that improper back flushing would kill the media. Is that true?

    I just want something to take the iron out of the water and I'd like to find a good solution that doesn't break the bank. If what I have in the house will work I'd like to use it.

    Thanks!
  11. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    I'm selling a sanitizer valve on e b a y for $200.00 if you are interested.
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I think you should not add chlorine pellets, they are very strong chlorine and you don't need chlorine in a softener. Mix up 2-3 cap fulls of non scented bleach to a gallon of water and pour it into the water in the salt tank and do a manual regeneration to disinfect it if needed.

    Then repair whatever and get the right size drain line installed and see how it goes.
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I don't think using chlorine in the brine tank is the way to take iron out of suspension. While softeners can and do remove iron, IMHO they do so at the expense of fouling the resin. I use an iron filter before the softener to get the worst of it but still have some fouling of the resin on which I use Super Iron Out periodically added to the brine tank.
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I have customers that have up to 13 ppm of iron and use a softener with a couple of special additions but, most any quality softener will remove up to 5 ppm with the help of Iron Out.

    Since you still have iron after the iron filter, the filter is not working correctly or is undersized.
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