Brine fill issue

Users who are viewing this thread

James Herrin

Member
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Texas
My softener is just over a year old. It has never produced nice soft feeling water. I had an older thread- 5800 SXT settings help and got some help from Reach4 with my settings (Thanks again!), but now I have other issues. 3 weeks later the water is feeling really hard and so I decided to do some investigating. I noticed the water level in my brine tank (18x40) is much lower than before. The salt level in the tank has not changed lately even though there were a couple of regens. I decided to check for a salt block and removed most of the salt from the brine tank. I have a support grid in the bottom of the tank. It is about 11" tall. My water level is below the top of the grid so the water is not in contact with the salt. That does not sound right. Next I decided to do a manual regeneration to see if I could figure out what is going on. I increased the brine fill from 27 minutes to 40 minutes to see if that made a difference. I filled my brine tank completely full of water and let it sit overnight so I could hopefully bring my resin back to life. I ran the regen this morning, the brine draw emptied all the brine out leaving about 2" of brine in the bottom. My brine fill ran for 40 minutes and raised the level to about 11" which is not even above my grid. Any ideas on what might be going on?
 

Bannerman

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,747
Reaction score
748
Points
113
Location
Ontario, Canada
My water level is below the top of the grid so the water is not in contact with the salt.
Salt that is within the brine grid's open top support legs will be in contact with the water below the platform. As the salt within the legs is dissolved by the water to create brine, dry salt from above will drop down and contine to replace the salt within the legs.

Each gallon of water that enters the brine tank will dissolve 3 lbs salt. Assuming the 0.25 GPM BLFC flow rate you stated in the other thread is correct, a 27-minute Brine Fill setting should be resulting in 6.75 gallons water entering, which will dissolve 20.25 lbs salt. For a softener containing 2.5 ft3 resin, is normally sufficient to regenerate 60,000 grains of usable capacity.

1st, suggest disconnecting the brine line connector at the top of the brine tank so as to measure the GPM that exits the open tube while the controller is manually advanced to the Brine Fill position. If actually equipped with a 0.25 GPM flow restrictor button, then to fill a 1 gallon jug should require 4-minutes. Perhaps your unit is equipped with a 0.125 GPM restrictor, thereby resulting in 1/2 the water which is resulting in insufficient brine being produced to restore the 60K grains of capacity that is programmed.

Edit to add: Post a low resolution photo showing the softener's flow meter. The flow meter will be located on the backside of the control valve, on the plumbing connection which supplies soft water to the home's fixtures. When facing the controller from the front, the home soft water supply will be the leftmost connection. Although the other thread includes programming for a Turbine flow meter (FM=t0.7), if your unit is actually equipped with a Paddlewheel meter, the amount of soft water that is measured between regeneration cycles will be miscalculated.
 
Last edited:

James Herrin

Member
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Texas
Thanks for the explanation, I did not realize that the salt could interact with the water below the grid. I did test the brine fill. It filled a 1 gallon jug in 3 min and 50 sec. So it does appear to be a .25 GPM flow restrictor. Maybe that level is correct. I was going by my old level which was about 2/3 full in the brine well. I did pull the float and check valve out of the brine well. It all looked clean and appeared to be working correctly. I am still not sure why my water is hard and it is not using any salt. At those settings I should be using a bag of salt after 2 regenerations. Hopefully this picture shows you what you need.
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20231013_175001931.jpg
    PXL_20231013_175001931.jpg
    71.1 KB · Views: 74
Last edited:

Bannerman

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,747
Reaction score
748
Points
113
Location
Ontario, Canada
No, can't see the meter. The meter will be equipped with a wire that exits from the top, which enters the backside of the controller.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
38,632
Reaction score
4,366
Points
113
Location
IL
My brine fill ran for 40 minutes and raised the level to about 11" which is not even above my grid. Any ideas on what might be going on?
That implies that the salt grid is taller than 11". That does not sound right.
 

James Herrin

Member
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Texas
I measured from the top of the tank to the grid and it is an 11" grid. When I was measuring the depth of the water in the brine well, it was at 11" which was not above the grid into the salt. I incorrectly thought the water had to be well above the grid to be able to interact with the salt. Bannerman explained how the grid legs works. So I think the 11" depth is about right because it draws down to 2" which gives me a fill of 9" on a 27 minute BF. However I still don't understand why I was not using any salt for 3 weeks with multiple regenerations. I did back to back manual regenerations yesterday and the water feels somewhat softer than before, but still does not feel as soft as it was. I have a Hach 5-b coming in the next day or two and will be able to test the hardness to see exactly what it is before and after the softener. Perhaps I need to clean my resin. Can you give any suggestions?
 

MaxBlack

Member
Messages
160
Reaction score
21
Points
18
Location
Northern Wisconsin
My softener is just over a year old. It has never produced nice soft feeling water... now I have other issues. 3 weeks later the water is feeling really hard...
I would add that you can't necessarily go by "feel"; you need to get a Hach hardness test kit to verify your gpg of hardness and then whether the output of the system is soft.

EDIT: Somehow I didn't see your recent post. Good on you to get the kit.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
38,632
Reaction score
4,366
Points
113
Location
IL
How much iron is your softener dealing with? Iron would be a usual reason to need resin cleaning.
 

James Herrin

Member
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Texas
How much iron is your softener dealing with? Iron would be a usual reason to need resin cleaning.
Iron- .478ppm.

I do have Res Cleaner dispenser dripping in my brine tank. I was also getting a reddish slick substance in my filters for the first year after I drilled the well. I am pretty sure it was red clay. It eventually cleared up. I have always had a 5 micron big blue filter prior to the softener.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
38,632
Reaction score
4,366
Points
113
Location
IL
You need the water to fill higher than the grid. Or else the water does not turn into saturated brine. You may need to raise your air check valve to compensate. The air check valve determines how low the brine gets sucked down to. Refill adds a fixed volume.
 

James Herrin

Member
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Texas
You need the water to fill higher than the grid. Or else the water does not turn into saturated brine. You may need to raise your air check valve to compensate. The air check valve determines how low the brine gets sucked down to. Refill adds a fixed volume.
So how high above the grid should my water level be? The way it is now, my tank will draw down to 2". I have my BF set at 27 minutes which adds 9" of water to my tank.
 

James Herrin

Member
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Texas
I got my water test kit in today. My water tested at 45gpg before the softener and 8gpg after the softener. Does that sound right. I am using 8lbs salt/cu. ft. of resin.
 

Bannerman

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,747
Reaction score
748
Points
113
Location
Ontario, Canada
So how high above the grid should my water level be?
A brine grid is often utilized with brine tanks that are too small in relation to the softener's capacity.

A larger softener such as your 2.5 ft3 unit, will commonly be programmed to utilize 8 lbs/ft3 salt which will require 6.6 - 6.75 gallons water to enter the brine tank each cycle. Since salt will displace water, the level of water will rise high in a small tank which will cause a large quantity of salt in storage to become prematurely wet, which can lead to salt bridging due to the large amount of salt becoming only partially dissolved and clumping together. Also, the fluid level may rise so high so as to lift the safety float before the full quantity of water necessary has entered.

A brine grid is intended to reduce the amount of fluid displacement since the water will remain below the platform where only a minimal quantity of salt within the legs will be present. Since the legs are equipped with holes to allow fluid to enter and exit, the water will dissolve the salt within the legs, and the resulting brine will exit from the legs to mix with the remaining not yet saturated water below the platform. Once all of the water becomes fully saturated to 3lbs per gallon, no further salt will then be dissolved. Because the fluid will normally remain below the platform, or maybe slightly above if equipped with short legs, that will eliminate the potential for the safety float to be lifted, and the majority of dry salt above the platform will remain dry, thereby reducing the potential for salt bridging to occur.

For further info, see the Brine Capacity chart at this LINK
 

James Herrin

Member
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Texas
After I reduced my BF, which meant the water level was not above the grid, I did not use any salt for 3 weeks and my water felt very hard. There had to be 4 or possible 5 regenerations during that time. I should have used 80-100 lbs of salt, so there is an issue. I have not emptied the brine tank and examined the grid, but for some reason the salt is not being dissolved with the lower water level. What should I try next?
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
38,632
Reaction score
4,366
Points
113
Location
IL
I would raise the air check valve to make sure the water in the brine tank fills to higher than the salt grid top. That way the liquid would for sure meet salt. Also raise the safety float valve if there is any question. That float valve is really to make sure the liquid does not rise so high as to spill out.

Note that the liquid in the brine tank is usually lower than the liquid in the brine tube.

You will want to add some water down the brine tube to compensate for the raise.

index.php
 
Last edited:
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks