How old is too old, and troubleshooting before replacing?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by FTLOSM, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. FTLOSM

    FTLOSM New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2018
    Location:
    Michigan
    We moved into this house 3 years ago and the house itself is 19 years old, there is a water softner system downstairs that all I have ever done is pour salt in when I saw it was getting low and it's always just worked.

    About 2 weeks ago we noticed the water was feeling harder, had a copper like smell and our white tub was starting to show some orange stains around the drain and wall.

    I don't know much at all about these things, I emailed the company sticker on the unit asking if they could tell me how old this was or what I could do to troubleshoot it. Their reply was to setup a salesman to stop by and discuss new systems, which I am not sure if this is in need of replacing or not.

    The head unit I believe is a fleck 9100 based on a similar one i saw on youtube, I haven't figured out what exactly to do, replace it or not etc.

    There is a company called Kinetico that is big in our area and I may do a consult with them but I also know they are pricey from neighbors who have them.

    Outside of changing the whole house main filter, evacuating the hot water tank (not much at all came out but it's done), using a stick to confirm there was no bridge of salt, I ended up just scooping ALL the salt tank contents out, on top were the rock pieces but in the base I had about 3/4 inch of what to me appeared as just sludge, like snow outside, so I figured clear it ALL out and put a new bag in which I just did.

    I don't even see where or how to set the time on this but I turned the bottom right side knob till it clicked and appears to be going thru a cycle now manually, love to learn how this thing works more though.

    Beyond the things I have done above I figure I will give it a day or two and see if it's any better, we could totally feel smell and taste the difference just rinsing our teeth after brushing, so I will be able to tell if it is fixed or not soon, but what else can I check or do for this system to confirm if something is broke and how old is too old and time to replace?

    Kinetico info seems to say they regenerate only as needed, dont use electricity and use much less salt, those all sound good to me, but if this works again I really don't want to spend that kinda money (I know they aren't cheap).

    Bill Photo Apr 09, 12 20 28 PM.jpg Photo Apr 09, 12 20 41 PM.jpg
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
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  4. FTLOSM

    FTLOSM New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2018
    Location:
    Michigan
    As far as I can tell the little black tank takes a gallon of bleach and there is a walk thru of how to run it every 6 months or so as needed to remove smells, I think there are 4 stages/steps on this lever system, I did it around Christmas time last, we still had soft water but a faint smell was coming thru, that fixed it up though.

    Yes we have well water here, I have looked everywhere in the main house folder given to us and even asked a few neighbors hoping they might have the same system, most here have that kinetico stuff, I dug around youtube enough to identify it as a 9100, but so far beyond cleaning out the brine tank and using new salt, changing house main filter and evac hot water tank, then turning that bottom right knob to I believe start a regeneration cycle, I wasn't sure what else to check or do before calling someone out for service.

    Is it normal in the base of the brine tank to have slush like snow? I did clear all that out thinking maybe it was clogging things, guessing it would take a day or two of use and moving water to tell but i am sure we will be able to feel and tell in the shower over the next few days if the few things I did helped.
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    No. I would use pellets. Throw out the old slush with the dirt that may have accumulated over the years.

    So there is some basic troubleshooting. During a regen, does the brine get sucked out? Does it get refilled back? The manual has some troubleshooting.

    Alternate regens use the alternate media tank.

    Maybe you need new resin. Maybe not. Maybe that tank on the left needs new media. That seems likely.

    When checking for whether what you did gave soft water, check the cold. It takes a while for changes to work through the water heater.

    Get a Hach 5B hardness test.

    I am not a pro. Click inbox. It's disappointed that the original sellers were not interesting in troubleshooting and repair.

    I also suggest sanitizing your well and plumbing. https://terrylove.com/forums/index....izing-extra-attention-to-4-inch-casing.65845/ is my write-up. It can help with smells, and maybe more. It won't soften water.
     
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  6. FTLOSM

    FTLOSM New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2018
    Location:
    Michigan
    Can anyone point me in the direction of how to check or clean the injector on this system I have? That's one thing I see mentioned in general checks on these systems. I don't have a manual or any experience with this system, I may call another place in town and see if they will service it, just like to troubleshoot what i can here see if it's something simple.

    I cleaned out that brine tank put fresh salt pellets in, and turned the bottom right knob till i got a click and the sound of regeneration started, i think mine takes a good 2 hours or so to complete, but my brine tank was bone dry just the mushy salt in the base which I cleared out 100% before adding new salt.
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
  8. FTLOSM

    FTLOSM New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2018
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks so much for this link and info, looks like a LOT of parts in there but I will confirm my injector screen isn't all clogged up, just one more thing off the list to see if it helps :)
     
  9. FTLOSM

    FTLOSM New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2018
    Location:
    Michigan
    Super simple to pop that off now that I know where and what to look for, the metal mesh screen insert had some green white gunk, cleared all that off, noticed my brine tank with pellets in it has water just to the top too, for good measure I evacuated the hot water tank again, thinking if this thing is kicking back into life I wanna know sooner than later in the shower over the next day or two.

    I do have a hot tub water kit that has a hardness test I think I will do a test on the kitcken sink cold and just measure where it is the next day or two, if I can't figure it out I will have to call for service just doing what I can on my own first and appreciate the input and help.
     
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    For troubleshooting, you want to trigger a manual regen. Expect a backwash of maybe 10 minutes. Then expect the brine to be sucked down during maybe the first 15 minutes of the brine draw cycle (follows backwash). At the end, expect the brine tank to refill. From your description, the refill is not the problem. So is it sucking out the brine?

    Also, near the screen is the injector. Clean that too. Maybe you did, but since you did not see debris there, you did not comment on that.
     
  11. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Considering it appears to be a 9000, and that it is likely over 15 years old, the brass bodies had some problems with the lower piston center section degrading over time. I would tear the valve apart first before buying parts. If the valve body is degraded, it is time to consider a new system.
     
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