Please help: Culligan water softener

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by Moriarty403, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. Moriarty403

    Moriarty403 New Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    I'm a first time home owner and have never lived on a well before. I moved in on March 1st this year and the water softener has been a nightmare from day 1. Any help/advice/ideas you could provide is much appreciated. Here's the story...

    The well was shocked the week before we moved in because of the presence of bacterial contamination and a new water heater was installed around the same time. The first week the water was fine, but then it started to smell strongly of iron. The system contains a Culligan big blue iron filter with a 5 micron filter, I replaced that and it seemed to fix the issue (*just replaced it again two weeks ago). A few days later the water started to smell like hydrogen sulfide, after troubleshooting for a while we had the anode removed from the new water heater. That solved the rotten egg problem, but the water was still really off - very hard (leaving lots of residue in dish washer) and smelled like iron on and off. I've tried changing the settings to every recommended setting and nothing has worked. Last week I cleaned the brine tank and it only made the problem worse. I'm getting desperate and have no idea what to do now! I was going to replace the brine control valve (I think that's the name?), but it seems to be working fine.

    These are the current settings for my Culligan Medallist + Series 30 + 45 softminder and clock Series # 2604B 0133:
    sltp 15 - just increased from 10 yesterday
    buu 10
    br 65
    capg 87 - this is the setting it was on when I moved in
    tcb 2 - just decreased from 3 yesterday

    dlp1 - ser
    dlp2 - del
    dlp3 - sof
    dlp4 - on
    dlp5 - en
    dlp6 - 12hr
    dlp7 - 3-4

    I'm hoping that the change in the settings will help, but it seemed worse today. Any ideas? I don't know how old the system is, but I don't think it's more than 9 or 10 years old. Has the resin fouled? Are the settings wrong? Could it be the well itself?
  2. Plumbingnoob

    Plumbingnoob Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    I'm curious to which area you moved to in Maryland...I recently moved (settled on March 28th) to Laytonsville / Gaithersburg area and am on well water as well. Did you do any well water tests to determine the pH, hardness, alkalinity, or anything else before moving? I feel your pain in dealing with house - well water issues. My well is at a starting pH of 5.2 and the hardness is at 164 ppm. The system I installed is overcorrecting the pH but the softness is fine.
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  4. Moriarty403

    Moriarty403 New Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    I'm in the Annapolis area. Seems like softeners and wells are just a pain no matter what! It was tested during the home inspection and the pH was almost perfect at something like 7.8 or 7.2. Everything else was great except the bacteria. It was tested again after it was shocked and everything was still fine.

    I wish I knew more about these systems! It's good that your water is soft, but I imagine the pH is a much bigger pain that what I'm dealing with. Thanks and good luck!!
  5. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Dec 29, 2009
    Business owner/service and sales
    Is the smell in both the Hot and Cold? or is it just in the Hot?
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Regular softeners. like yours, do not remove odor of any kind. Odor is caused by chemicals or bacteria.

    You had a bacteria problem and it was treated with a band aid called shocking. I say that because rarely will retesting a day or so after shocking show the presence of bacteria; so the real estate industry hurries up the follow up test to get a 'negative' test result for the specific type of bacteria that is required to test for. Many times a well that has had a bacteria problem and was shocked and retested as 'good to go' will have the problem return a few weeks to months later. The reason is due to not being able to tell where the bacteria is coming from but... bacteria live in/on the ground in or out of water, including the ground water your well has tapped into and... the water table varies up and down with rainfall and snow melt etc.. Meaning the static water level in the well (especially rock bore wells) varies up and down; usually seasonally. Rock layers underground have cracks the same as rock layers above ground and some are direct conduits to the water table and deeper allowing constant or recurring contamination.

    So, now you have an odor/odors and fool with the settings on the softener...!

    Thinking about that, if that would help, why shock the well instead of changing softener settings? OR.... why not think that since you had a bacteria problem, maybe you have it or another type of bacteria problem again? Which is where your thinking has to be now. So I suggest a Coliform bacteria test and some DIY tests for iron reducing bacteria (IRB) or to pay for those tests if'n' ya are more handsome than DIYer type handy. Also, SRB (sulfate reducing bacteria) are responsible for H2S odor in a water heater. Removing an anode rod, or replacing one, that allows SRB to use a hydrogen ion off the rod will stop the bacteria from creating the H2S. Increasing the heater temp to 140f for an hour or so kills all forms of bacteria... All types of reducing bacteria are harmless. Other types of bacteria can be harmful or at least tell us we need some form of disinfection; in addition to a softener or filter.
  7. DonaldConnecticut

    DonaldConnecticut New Member

    Jun 15, 2014
    1. I noticed that I had very little water pressure.
    Normally -- the pressure is so great I can practically knock over a TREE.

    I realized the tank for the softener was causing the problem -- I hit the BY-PASS and every thing went to normal.

    This strain -- additional force - in the WS system -- was causing the well pump to work extra hard to pump the water to me.

    This could have cause the well pump to stop working.

    2. I turned the WS off -- disconnected the WS system, and I am living happy, without this thing.
  8. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Jan 9, 2012
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Ontario California
    I would highly recommend getting a good water test done by a certified lab and post the results. As of right now we can only speculate and make assumptions... You know the old saying about assuming...
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