General Ionics Water Softener, 8 X 44, Leak at the bypass

Users who are viewing this thread

Byron Willis

New Member
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Maine
Hello there!
I just did some maintenance on my water softener (General Ionics EE0824, 8" X 44" tank, .75 cu ft resin). I cleaned, lubed, and reassembled the brine valve assembly, I replaced the resin, I cleaned the tank and the distributor, and I cleaned and lubed the bypass valve fittings.

After putting it back together, I found that there is a significant leak from the bypass assembly. My bypass valve body is all brass and then the head on my unit is all brass. There is a plastic fitting that has some O rings on it that goes between the brass (snugly inserts) and then there is a small metal clip that screws into the plastic and keeps the brass assemblies from separating (but doesn't exert any clamping force on the joint). I have a bad leak from where this plastic insert goes.

I have read that alignment is sometimes an issue, and I will try and modify my piping so that there is no excess force in any direction, but even still I suspect I will still have a leak. I suspect it's out of tolerance (either brass is out of round, O rings have lost their loft, hairline crack in plastic, etc).

I have looked into buying some other parts for my unit and discovered that they are very expensive and hard to locate. Anyone have some ideas on how to join these two fittings assuming I'm not able to replace the plastic doohicky? I'll probably start with replacement O rings, but I suspect I will still have an issue.

Cheers,
Byron
 

Attachments

  • 1.jpg
    1.jpg
    122.5 KB · Views: 410
  • 2.jpg
    2.jpg
    84.6 KB · Views: 324
  • 3.jpg
    3.jpg
    92.8 KB · Views: 261
  • 4.jpg
    4.jpg
    88.2 KB · Views: 314

Bannerman

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,822
Reaction score
782
Points
113
Location
Ontario, Canada
While GI is typically proprietary equipment some of which was produced by Fleck, your bypass valve appears similar to an older Fleck brass bypass. The metal clip fasteners appear identical to those which Fleck continue to use.

Fleck relies on O-rings to provide watertight connections and the clips only ensure the components will not separate because of water pressure or mechanical tension. Unless any of the parts are cracked, replacing the O-rings will likely remedy your leakage issue.

Hardware stores and plumbing outlets will often stock a variety of O-ring diameters and thicknesses that may not be displayed (you will need to ask). Another option will be to take an O-ring sample to a generic water treatment equipment dealer to determine if they can supply a match.
 

Byron Willis

New Member
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Maine
Thank you, Bannerman! Great insight. Here's an update on my issue:

1.) Alignment. I had some lateral pressure from the plumbing fittings that may have been putting some extra stress on what I consider to be a fairly light duty connection. I have modified the plumbing lines and the tank using shims and pipe hangers to make the connection alignment better.
2.) O ring replacement. If anyone happens to need to replace these O rings, I thought I would share what I learned about the sizing. The closest standard ASTM size is 120 (.103 diameter cross section, .987 ID, 1.193 OD). I would also consider size 913 (.116 diameter cross section, .986 ID, 1.218 OD). I tried size 214 which has a .139 diameter cross section and it wouldn't fit into the brass fittings because it's too fat. An online supplier that I found who has an extensive selection in both sizes and materials is theoringstore.com. I would recommend low cost EPDM rubber (70 durometer) for O ring material.
3.) Plastic glue. This plastic doohicky has round plastic insert pieces at the ends that create the other wall of the groove that hold the O ring. On the tank size of the connection there is a stop that holds this piece together with the rest of the plastic body. On the bypass side there is no stop. I think that on my initial install it's possible that it may have come loose which meant that the O ring groove only had two sides and could have come dislodged allowing for a substantial leak. I'm going to glue these guys in place with some plastic glue. I can see no reason why they should be removable. I'm not great at ID'ing plastic but I think that these parts are polypropylene, and the glue I'm planning to use is Loctite "Plastics".
4.) Replacement parts. I got a private message from a member here offering to replace the plastic piece (including new O-rings) for $30. A little pricy, but within reason and not a bad option. After all I do have a small crack that may not get solved with glue.
5.) Plan B - Sweat some copper. The ID of the brass on both sides of the connection is just over .125 which happens to be the OD of 1" copper piping. The copper should fit snugly - similar to any other copper sweat fitting. And although it would take some serious heat to bring these heavy brass fittings up to temp, I think I could probably sweat in a short length of 1" copper piping with a 1" male adapter on it, and then use some flex lines to connect the two sides. I could also do a couple of unions, but unions are pretty bulky and the inlet and outlet are pretty close to each other so I might have clearance issues.

Anyways I figure something in the above list should solve my problem, but if not, I'll be back looking for more support!

P.S. I would welcome any ideas on ID'ing the plastic type of my black plastic doohicky. Also I would welcome any ideas on how to fashion a new fitting to join these brass fittings together and do away with the plastic doohicky altogether.
 
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