Water softner flowing backwards.

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by chachie, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,726
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Exactly where in the overall system is the "dump" line from the geo conected?
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yeah, lately whenever you are not able to support your advice, or like in this case not explain the basis of your advice, you and a few other 'regulars' here get into name calling and hollerin' 'bout trolls... and lose all credibility.
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    So far only the OP knows. Hopefully he'll answer some of the questions we need answered to be able to help him. Otherwise he'll apply a band aid and hope.
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,871
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The meter being sensitive is not the same as a meter specification. The design and the way it senses water. Go to a meter training seminar and get back with us afterwards to discuss.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I have explained it more than once. It is YOU that cannot grasp it. Ditttohead has no problem to comprehend what I wrote.

    That's the problem when you are self-taught. You are missing some very basic fundamentals.
  6. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    Where did you come up with 5 GPM? And if the Clack unit registers the flow (forward or backwards), why would it not add to the gallons used?
  7. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,871
    Location:
    Ontario California
    That is why an electronic softener can be plumbed in backwards for years without anyone noticing. The majority of electronic meters are not senitive to a water flows direction, just flow. The mechanical meters (5600 Econominder) will not work when plumbed in backwards. Not sure where he is going with this other than to try to bring up his post count.
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I see we're playing word games now... In this case I'll take accuracy over sensitive.

    The Fleck 5600 SXT, same as the Clack WS-1:
    Meter Information
    Meter Accuracy Range .25 - 15 GPM +/- 5%

    The Fleck 7000 SXT;
    Meter Information
    Meter accuracy +5/-8% (2 - 40 gpm).
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    800 gal/day at .5 gpm = 30 gal/hour for 26.67 hrs.

    Now that is a constant flow for 3 hrs longer than a day and I doubt the geo system is running constantly 24/7. I don't see that happening as some of you do.

    I say there is probably a much higher than .5 gpm flow for a shorter period of time and it isn't caused by expansion backflow of only PEX tubing (that he may not have like he doesn't have an expansion tank).

    Now I may be wrong but I say there is probably another cause and the check valve solution that y'all have come up with isn't the cure.
  10. chachie

    chachie New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Greentown, IL
    I will try and get pics up, but have been extremely busy with work and with moving into the new house and getting it prepped. I am currently at work now so I can't post pics but will try to write more specifics.

    Water line comes in and goes to the pressure tank. There are 3 3/4 water lines that come off the pressure tank line. One is a spigot, 1 goes to the water softener and the 3rd one goes to the geothermal unit. Besides on/off valves, and the taco valve that is right before the inlet of the geo thermal, there isn't anything else.

    There is no thermal expansion tank.

    Most of my plumbing is PVC, but the new stuff that the plumbers put in is PEX.
    If the Geo is off, the meter on the clack does not register any gallons of soft water use. The only time it does is when the Geo is on, or, If i open a valve at the storage tank and dump water into the sump pump pit. This will also cause usage to show up on the clack.

    If I turn the inlet to the water softner on bypass, or turn the valve off to the softener, while the geo is on, no water usuage is measured on the clack.
    While geo is running, the cycle time of my water pump is about 30 seconds. about 13 seconds to discharge and about 17 seconds to charge while geo is running.

    I went from 992 gallons left to recharge, down to 770 gallons, from 5am to 12 pm. The temp was high 30's to low 40's. I have a 3 ton and approximately 2700 sq ft(including the unfinished basement) home. The unit is not running constantly, but it does run a lot.
  11. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,726
    Location:
    Central Florida
    That's my guess now as well. Have you actually watched the pressure gauge at the pressure tank while this is going on? Is there a solenoid valve in the geo lines anywhere to isolate all the geo plumbing from the rest of the world when the geo is off? I wonder if you need a check valve in the geo dump line pointing to the well.
  12. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    That can't be good for the pump.
  13. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,236
    Location:
    Maine
    The Heat pump generally has it's own pump which may be pulling through the softener when it runs and because it pulls a fairly high volume and water always follows the path of least resistance that path may be through the softner outlet.
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Is that the actual order from the pressure tank? Your description sounds like there is no pr. tank tee, just regular tubing. A pic of that would be nice.

    What is a Taco valve?

    What storage tank, and why do you have one, what is it used for?

    Is it a pressurized tank or non pressurized?

    Do you mean you have a stop valve or 3 valve manual by pass AND a Clack by pass valve too? A pic would be helpful.

    When you say discharge do you mean from the time the pump turns off until it comes on again? And the charge is from the time the pump comes on until it shuts off?

    If so that is way too little time for the pump to be off between starts and that is going to kill your pump fairly soon and it runs up your electric bill.

    That is called short cycling and all pump manufacturers want the pump off at least 60 seconds for up to 2hp pumps. For 2hp and larger the time is longer.

    That length of time is controlled by the size of the pressure tank and that and the psi range of the pump pressure switch controls the number of gallons the tank delivers between pump runs; those gallons are called draw down gallons.

    992-770=222. 222gals/7hrs=31.714 gals per hr., or .5 gpm for all of 7 hrs. Since the geo doesn't run constantly the flow through the softener has to be higher than .5 gpm.

    I can not believe or see how others here can believe that that much flow is due to expansion of PEX tubing a few seconds once every 30 seconds. Plus it would mean that the pump is not coming on before the pressure tank empties since there is no restriction to backflow meaning the pressure is always the same in the PEX as it is in the pressure tank. So to me there has to be another cause.

    Plus there is the storage tank being dumped into the sump pump hole causing the same flow through the softener. Which makes me wonder why a storage tank dumping into a sump pump and where the drain line from the softener is going.
  15. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,236
    Location:
    Maine
    Are you thinking that there is perhaps a siphon going on? I'd like to see pictures of the set up but that's a distinct possiblity. If the drain line is in the same hole as the geo, and the sump fills over the softener drain line it could possibly pull through that drain line when the geo is running. raising the drain line so there's an air gap will give him a quick answer.
  16. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,726
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Where is the geo system getting its source water from? Another well, I presume? In any event, why would it dump into the domestic well's pump output line? I could understand using the domestic well as the dump (or the source, for that matter), but I'd rather see a separate dump line to the well, and not pressurize the line the well pump has to pump into.

    Note -- I have no expertise in the area of open-loop geo systems. Maybe it shows.
  17. chachie

    chachie New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Greentown, IL
    Sorry been away from the computer.

    Again, thanks for all the replies and help.

    Problem is fixed, continue reading if you want to know.....

    So, I decided to try and fix the short cycling of my pump. I turned my pump off and emptied my water lines, put in a new pressure gauge, and pressurized my pressure tank to the correct value. This solved 2 problems. My cycling went from about 48 seconds, to 2 minutes and 50 seconds. AND, my water softener quit flowing backwards!

    My best guess is since my pressure tank wasn't working correctly, it was causing my water lines to charge and discharge to fast, causing the meter in my water softener to move.

    Cheers!
  18. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Thanks for the follow up and I'm glad you found the cause and fixed it with more than a misapplied band aid like a check valve.
Similar Threads: Water softner
Forum Title Date
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Kenmore 350 watersoftner board fix for free! Oct 4, 2014
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Kenmore water softner Oct 3, 2014
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Help me finalize water softner system May 8, 2014
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Water Softner Reccomendation Apr 3, 2014
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r water softner keeps running water like it is recharging Feb 24, 2014

Share This Page