Loss of water pressure from Flec 5810 softener and filter

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Rmk9785e

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We bought Flec 5810 based filter and softener systems from Impact Water Products six years ago for installation at my daughter’s home in Pleasanton CA. These have been working well overall and support has been superb when needed.
We have experienced something unusual a couple of times this year. Water pressure in the home was reduced. Manually regenerating both of these restored water pressure back to normal. That makes me wonder if the programmed regeneration is not taking place.
What could be the cause and what’s the solution to prevent this recurrence?
I understand that these valves have been phased out. What will be our options when it comes to replace the valves and is it a DIY job?
 

Reach4

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Watch the count-down display after regen. If it counts thru zero into reserve, expect it to regen at 2AM.

If not counting down during water consumption, then there are actions to take.
 

Bannerman

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Can you bypass each device separately? If so, while the flow restriction is occuring, bypass only the softener first to determine if the flow rate is restored.

Although you said the flow rate improves after regeneration, have you checked to see if the problem will occur rapidly again when multiple faucets are opened at the same time?

Normally, the symptom you describe is a common occurrence when the softening resin has been chlorine damaged. Although you did not specify which filtration media is within the filtration system, I suspect the media is likely carbon, so chlorine damaged resin does not make much sense since the softener resin should not be exposed to chlorine because the carbon media should have removed the chlorine before the softener.

Determine if the municipal supplier utilizes chloramine (chlorine + ammonia) to disinfect the water. Chloramine has a longer lifespan within the distribution system, making it more stubborn to remove compared to plain chlorine, and will typically damage softener resin more rapidly. To remove chloramine, specialty treated Catalytic Carbon will be more effective than plain Granular Activated Carbon.
 
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ditttohead

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Agreed, I would recommend bypass the softener when the pressure drop occurs to see if your resin is damaged. We have seen over the past few years many municipalities using a much higher chlorine level than is typical. I have several customers that have tested above 3.5 ppm, a pool is typically run between 2-4 ppm.
 

Rmk9785e

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Can you bypass each device separately? If so, while the flow restriction is occuring, bypass only the softener first to determine if the flow rate is restored.

Although you said the flow rate improves after regeneration, have you checked to see if the problem will occur rapidly again when multiple faucets are opened at the same time?

Normally, the symptom you describe is a common occurrence when the softening resin has been chlorine damaged. Although you did not specify which filtration media is within the filtration system, I suspect the media is likely carbon, so chlorine damaged resin does not make much sense since the softener resin should not be exposed to chlorine because the carbon media should have removed the chlorine before the softener.

Determine if the municipal supplier utilizes chloramine (chlorine + ammonia) to disinfect the water. Chloramine has a longer lifespan within the distribution system, making it more stubborn to remove compared to plain chlorine, and will typically damage softener resin more rapidly. To remove chloramine, specialty treated Catalytic Carbon will be more effective than plain Granular Activated Carbon.

Watch the count-down display after regen. If it counts thru zero into reserve, expect it to regen at 2AM.

If not counting down during water consumption, then there are actions to take.
It is counting down. Will check when it goes to zero.
 

Rmk9785e

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Can you bypass each device separately? If so, while the flow restriction is occuring, bypass only the softener first to determine if the flow rate is restored.

Although you said the flow rate improves after regeneration, have you checked to see if the problem will occur rapidly again when multiple faucets are opened at the same time?

Normally, the symptom you describe is a common occurrence when the softening resin has been chlorine damaged. Although you did not specify which filtration media is within the filtration system, I suspect the media is likely carbon, so chlorine damaged resin does not make much sense since the softener resin should not be exposed to chlorine because the carbon media should have removed the chlorine before the softener.

Determine if the municipal supplier utilizes chloramine (chlorine + ammonia) to disinfect the water. Chloramine has a longer lifespan within the distribution system, making it more stubborn to remove compared to plain chlorine, and will typically damage softener resin more rapidly. To remove chloramine, specialty treated Catalytic Carbon will be more effective than plain Granular Activated Carbon.
Thank you for the detailed response. Yes, we can bypass them separately. Will bypass only the softener next time and observe the outcome of opening other faucets.
Our municipal water system uses Chloramine. Not sure of the media in the filter.
 
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Rmk9785e

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Agreed, I would recommend bypass the softener when the pressure drop occurs to see if your resin is damaged. We have seen over the past few years many municipalities using a much higher chlorine level than is typical. I have several customers that have tested above 3.5 ppm, a pool is typically run between 2-4 ppm.
Thank you. Is there anything the homeowner can do if the softener resin is damaged?
How do we figure out whether our filter uses Catalytic Carbon or GAC?
 

Bannerman

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anything the homeowner can do if the softener resin is damaged?
Once damaged, all you can then do is replace the resin.

A sample of resin that is damaged will typically feel mushy when squeezed between two fingers, whereas non damaged resin will feel firmer and more granular. To obtain a sample of resin, the control valve will need to be removed from the tank to scoop or syphon out some resin from near the top of the tank.


Catalytic Carbon and GAC will appear identical, so your Invoice will be the best indicator of the original media that was installed in the filter. If the original media was actually carbon, regardless of whether CC or GAC, depending on the size of the media tank, 6 years is the usual lifespan for carbon so this appears to be the appropriate time to replace the carbon, this time ensuring CC is obtained.
 

Rmk9785e

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Once damaged, all you can then do is replace the resin.

A sample of resin that is damaged will typically feel mushy when squeezed between two fingers, whereas non damaged resin will feel firmer and more granular. To obtain a sample of resin, the control valve will need to be removed from the tank to scoop or syphon out some resin from near the top of the tank.


Catalytic Carbon and GAC will appear identical, so your Invoice will be the best indicator of the original media that was installed in the filter. If the original media was actually carbon, regardless of whether CC or GAC, depending on the size of the media tank, 6 years is the usual lifespan for carbon so this appears to be the appropriate time to replace the carbon, this time ensuring CC is obtained.
Thank you. More questions:
What mesh size media should be used - 10x40 or 20x50? https://a.co/d/d4EiD9U
About how much should one expect to pay for the filter media replacement service?
Is there a need to replace the softener media as well?
Should one expect to have this service performed every six years?
 

Bannerman

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Is there a need to replace the softener media as well?
It is the softener media (resin) that we are assuming is damaged and requiring replacement.

Standard water softener resin has a crosslink rating of 8%, but 10% crosslink resin will better tolerate chlorine exposure, but not certain if 10% will offer much benefit against chloramine.


Should one expect to have this service performed every six years?
So far, we are only assuming your filter contains carbon media. The actual media should be verified, and your original purchase invoice should state which specific media was installed. Also, verify the filtration system is plumbed before the softener.

Carbon media has a finite capacity to effectively remove contaminants/chemical compounds, so periodic media replacement becomes a necessity. The replacement frequency will vary depending on the quantity of media and which compounds are to be removed. While any amount of carbon is good, a larger quantity is always preferable.

If the concern was removal of only chlorine, then standard mesh (10X40) GAC could likely be utilized for a longer time period compared to removal of more difficult to remove compounds such as Chloramine. To remove Chloramine, finer mesh (20X50) Catalytic Carbon will be most effective, but may require a more frequent replacement interval. Since fine mesh carbon will require a lower backwash rate than standard mesh carbon, it's likely your filter's drain flow rate restrictor will also need to be exchanged.

What size media tank is your filtration system equipped with? The tank size will correspond to the quantity of media and bedding gravel needed for replacement, and the media backwash rate to be utilized.

Be cautious in obtaining water treatment components and systems from online sources. While the heading for the ad you linked, indicates 'Catalytic Carbon', the photo of the bag only shows 'Active Carbon' (aka: GAC), and the main ad only discusses Granular Activated Carbon.

Ditttohead commented in post #4 above, is an owner of Impact Water Products. Suggest contacting IWP to discuss the media replacement recommendations for both your softener and filtration system.
 
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Rmk9785e

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It is the softener media (resin) that we are assuming is damaged and requiring replacement.

Standard water softener resin has a crosslink rating of 8%, but 10% crosslink resin will better tolerate chlorine exposure, but not certain if 10% will offer much benefit against chloramine.



So far, we are only assuming your filter contains carbon media. The actual media should be verified, and your original purchase invoice should state which specific media was installed. Also, verify the filtration system is plumbed before the softener.

Carbon media has a finite capacity to effectively remove contaminants/chemical compounds, so periodic media replacement becomes a necessity. The replacement frequency will vary depending on the quantity of media and which compounds are to be removed. While any amount of carbon is good, a larger quantity is always preferable.

If the concern was removal of only chlorine, then standard mesh (10X40) GAC could likely be utilized for a longer time period compared to removal of more difficult to remove compounds such as Chloramine. To remove Chloramine, finer mesh (20X50) Catalytic Carbon will be most effective, but may require a more frequent replacement interval. Since fine mesh carbon will require a lower backwash rate than standard mesh carbon, it's likely your filter's drain flow rate restrictor will also need to be exchanged.

What size media tank is your filtration system equipped with? The tank size will correspond to the quantity of media and bedding gravel needed for replacement, and the media backwash rate to be utilized.

Be cautious in obtaining water treatment components and systems from online sources. While the heading for the ad you linked, indicates 'Catalytic Carbon', the photo of the bag only shows 'Active Carbon' (aka: GAC), and the main ad only discusses Granular Activated Carbon.

Ditttohead commented in post #4 above, is an owner of Impact Water Products. Suggest contacting IWP to discuss the media replacement recommendations for both your softener and filtration system.
I was able to find details of the system we purchased.

1" x 2cf 5810 SXT Water Softener with 10% resin
Meter 5810 Valve 12 x 54 Tank Includes Brine Tank
1" x 2cf 5810 SXT Cat Carbon System
Includes 20 x 50 catalytic carbon for chloramine removal
 
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