Non Digital Fleck 5600 Econominder Not using much (if any) salt

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SidCharming

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I don't know much of the history of the unit because of purchasing the house in December 2019. I removed all salt and cleaned the brine tank in June 2020. Since then, I have not experienced any salt loss and notice my water is hard(er). Toilet has rings in water level and the shower experience with soap is not soft water that I'd expect. I now removed all salt again. I let the system cycle a manual recycle but notice the water level is below half of what I see on the brine well chamber. Which is way below the water level for the float inside the brine well to be triggered. I left that water in the brine tank and poured in 3 gallons of hot water and manually recycled the system. It did not bring the water level up to the shut off valve. NOTE: I am not sure if the absence of salt is an issue in the brine tank. So this being the 3rd (ish) time manually recycling the unit I filled the brine tank up to the point where the float is engaged or triggered/lifted. Currently I am waiting to see what that will do and I am 30 minutes into this manual recycle.

I did pull out the brine valve float control from the brine well and inspected the screen at the bottom and did not *see* anything out of place or obvious issue. That I did right before the current recycle.

What am I missing? Is this possibly the Brine Valve Float Control? When I removed the salt in June I also checked the injector screen. Due to not knowing history of the unit and that was an issue with a previous house system. All looked great.

BTW: I am on a sand well, not city water.
 

Reach4

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When you trigger a regeneration, even with no salt present, the liquid should be drawn out during the brine draw cycle (after backwash) down to about the middle of the air check valve. So does the liquid get drawn out?

During brine fill, water should be added back into the brine tank to be used during the next regeneration.


The float is a safety float, and you don't normally expect the level of the brine to rise to where the float valve blocks the path.
 

Reach4

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I have a straight down air screen at the bottom of my brine well chamber, not a 'j' hook one with the check valve (I think).
Can you post a photo?

Anyway, knowing the liquid gets drawn out, that eliminates some potential problems for troubleshooting.

Maybe after you add salt, let it sit for a couple hours, and regenerate, you may find softening is now happening.

If you don't have a Hach 5-B test, you probably want to get one. It lets you quantify hardness.
 

Bannerman

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The float within the brine tank brine well is only a safety device in case of malfunction or power loss during brine fill. The water quantity to be added is controlled by the control valve on top of the softener.

The correct quantity of water added to the brine tank is dependant on the salt setting which will be indicated on the brine cam located at the rear of the control valve. Depending on the style of 5600 you own, to access the brine cam, 2 screws may need to be removed to remove a rear plastic cover.

The correct salt setting will be dependant on the size of the softener and the number of gallons to be regenerated each regeneration cycle. You may post photos (max 800 pixels) showing both the salt cam and the front dial settings.
 

SidCharming

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Hach 5-B test
I don't have one. Will be looking around to find some place to purchase. Possibily not today.

The float within the brine tank brine well is only a safety device in case of malfunction or power loss during brine fill. The water quantity to be added is controlled by the control valve on top of the softener.

Is there a reason the area below the float level is dark with some kind of build up/scum? My thoughts that area used to have water up to that level at one time. IMAGE1


Unit face IMAGE2
image1.png
image2.png
image3.png


Brine cam IMAGE3

*note the water in the brine tank is what I have in there... I had it empty but filled it with warm water to see if that could help clean out (if needed). I am removing the water now and will be placing about a gallon ice cream bucket of salt in there for the testing you are suggesting. Unless you think I should add more than that. I have 4 five gallon buckets of salt I removed.

** notice the black stuff in the brine well
 

Reach4

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Is there a reason the area below the float level is dark with some kind of build up/scum? My thoughts that area used to have water up to that level at one time.
With salt, the level will be considerably higher. You should have at least some salt higher than the water level for a couple hours before regenerating.

The air check valve is hidden at the bottom in the brine tube.
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SidCharming

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The air check valve is hidden at the bottom in the brine tube.
Yep, that's what I pulled out of the Brine well. Great image and thanks... I just checked on the system and it is drained down to that point now in the regen.

While it is doing it's cycling, I just put in a 5 gal bucket of salt. Which I will check on it in 30 minutes to be sure there is salt above the water level in the brine tank.
 

Reach4

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While it is doing it's cycling, I just put in a 5 gal bucket of salt. Which I will check on it in 30 minutes to be sure there is salt above the water level in the brine tank.
You can tilt the salt level to one side to accomplish having some salt above the liquid.

Oddity: note the water in the brine tube sits higher than the brine in the main tank with the salt. It's not just you. Brine is denser.
 

Bannerman

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Your brine cam setting is for 10 lbs salt to be dissolved per regeneration cycle. As each 1-gallon will dissolve 3 lbs of salt, for 10 lbs to be dissolved, then 3.333 gallons will enter the brine tank at the end of each regen cycle. Because the water is a consistent amount, the fluid height is currently lower than usual because there is no salt in the tank.

A 5-gallon bucket will not contain much salt. The usual recommendation is to fill the brine tank to the top with salt (200 lbs+), wait for several months for the salt level to drop until the top of the salt is below the liquid and then refill the tank with additional salt.

The softener's current capacity setting is 1000 gallons + the reserve amount (1-day usage). As we don't know your softener's total capacity or the water hardness or water source (municipal or private well), we cannot determine if the current settings are appropriate for your 3 person household.
 

SidCharming

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A 5-gallon bucket will not contain much salt. The usual recommendation is to fill the brine tank to the top with salt (200 lbs+), wait for several months for the salt level to drop until the top of the salt is below the liquid and then refill the tank with additional salt.
I had the brine tank filled 3/4 which was around 4 bags since June. Daily showers, toilet flushes, drinking water, cooking, etc... and the salt level did not move. That's why I am inquiring and have only put a 5 gal bucket back into the brine tank.

The softener's current capacity setting is 1000 gallons + the reserve amount (1-day usage). As we don't know your softener's total capacity or the water hardness or water source (municipal or private well), we cannot determine if the current settings are appropriate for your 3 person household.

We are on a well, which I can't tell much about the quality of the water. I do know it's a deep sand well, not sand point. The water does have some hardness (Yes that is not quantitave but for this summer I've noticed water rings on the toilets that were not there when we moved in)

So this adventure I'm on is to find out why the salt is not being consumed. And the water is moving in and out, so either it's a device issue or my salt is not dissolving.
 

Reach4

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If you have water being withdrawn, salt is dissolving. Maybe you need to increase your salt dose. More likely you need to regenerate more often. It looks like a 40 lb bag would last about 4 regens.

Identify your tank size. 10x54 or 9x48 maybe.

Get your Hach 5-B on order.
 

SidCharming

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With salt, the level will be considerably higher. You should have at least some salt higher than the water level for a couple hours before regenerating.
Am I missing something, but what is the point of having salt higher than the water level? Sorry if this is very basic of a question.
 

Reach4

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18x38 is my brine tank size

https://view.publitas.com/impact-water-products/2018-catalog-final/page/138-139 says that should have about 2.7 cuft of resin. Thus your salt setting is low.

An 18 inch tank should have 60 lb of gravel. Gravel spreads out the flow and prevents channeling. It should normally have a 9 gpm backwash. The 5600 is not capable of a 9 gpm backwash; it tops out at about 7.

Re-measure your tank diameter (57 inch circumference). You are probably right, but it seems worth checking.
 

Reach4

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Am I missing something, but what is the point of having salt higher than the water level? Sorry if this is very basic of a question.
Salt-saturated brine is lighter than water. There can be stratification where non-saturated water stays high. Note LLigetfa thinks that being concerned with stratification in a brine tank is not a consideration. I think he is mistaken.
 

Reach4

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That sounds like a 10 inch tank, and your tape measure was not tight.

A 10x44 tank would usually have about 1.1 cuft of resin, and would backwash at 2.4 gpm.
 
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