Intermittent Low Flow with Fleck 5600

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JasonG2020

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Hello all,

I've been experiencing an issue for several months with my Fleck system where my water system pressure drops off intermittently. The problem is resolved by placing the softener in bypass mode. The system is approximately six years old and we have a house of six, so we go through a lot of water. My understanding is the that the problem is probably either swollen resin or a clogged filter. How do I determine which of these two issues is the root cause? If it was a clogged filter, I expect that the problem would be present at all times, but it seems to be very inconsistent. Sometimes, the pressure is fine, other times it's between a trickle and normal. I was going to replace the resin with 1.5 cu ft of 10% cross linked, but figured I would inquire before dropping the coin and time. TIA!
 

Reach4

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The softener bypass would not bypass a clogged filter. If your bypass is external to your softener, then yes, there could be an ambiguity.

If you have city water, think new 10% crosslinked resin. If you are on un-chlorinated water, then resin falling apart this early is unlikely.
 

JasonG2020

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Yep, definitely on city chlorinated water.
Where precisely are the filters? My bypass is a loop near the powerhead with two valves: one on the softener inlet, and the other on the outlet.
 

Bannerman

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My understanding is the that the problem is probably either swollen resin or a clogged filter.

Where precisely are the filters?
As you are asking where filters are located, then it seems no filters are installed as a water softener itself will not contain any internal filter.

The bypass you describe will control flow through the softener only.

The flow problem will be 99% due to failed resin.

Although resin with 10% cross-linking will better tolerate constant chlorine exposure compared to resin with lower cross-linking, constant chlorine exposure will be detrimental to the resin's lifespan regardless of whichever resin is utilized.

An alternate method to extend the lifespan of any resin would be to remove the chlorine from the water before the softener. An effective method for chlorine removal is to install a backwashing carbon filtration system prior to the softener.

If your water supplier utilizes plain chlorine as the disinfectant, then a filter containing granular activated carbon (GAC) will effectively eliminate the chlorine and reduce harmful disinfection by-products and many other contaminants that maybe within the water. GAC mainly relies on adsorption to remove contaminants.

If chloramine (chlorine and ammonia) is utilized as the disinfectant, then the appropriate media will be Catalytic Carbon which is GAC that has been surface treated to enhance its catalytic capability without reducing it's adsorption capability.

The recommended minimum quantity of either carbon is1.5 ft2, but a larger quantity of media will allow higher flow rates since a greater amount of media will increase the contact area and therefore time for contaminant removal to occur.
 
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Reach4

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While carbon before the softener will increase the softener resin life, that media also has limited life.

But on the plus side, carbon removes stuff besides chlorine/chloramine.
 

JasonG2020

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Thank you all for the detailed responses. The information was very helpful. My 10% resin arrived yesterday. Sometime later this week I'll tackle removal of the old resin. Supposedly this resin lasts twice as long. I got ~6 years out of the old resin with 6 people in the house. One kid has moved out and the other spends a substantial amount of the year away at college. If I can get over 10 years from this 10% crosslinked I'll be very satisfied.
 
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