"Resetting" the Resin in a Water Softener

Users who are viewing this thread

WorldPeace

Member
Messages
106
Reaction score
3
Points
18
Location
Livingston, New Jersey
Hello, Community,

I have a perplexing problem. I installed a water softener earlier this year. It worked great in the beginning. However, unbeknownst to me, there was a leak in the Brine Draw tube. So, for 2 months, the control head was never actually drawing brine from the brine tank. So, my home water slowly became harder and harder until I noticed that the water was hard.

I replaced the defective part so there isn't a leak anymore. It's been one month. I do notice the water is softer than before, but it definitely is nowhere near as soft as when I first purchased the water softener. For example, when I first installed the water softener, my dishes were sparkling. I was so happy! But, now, my dishes are clean but it's not as clean as it was. And, there are still little white marks inside the dishwasher (calcium stains).

I performed a manual regeneration in which I set the Brine Draw stage for 4 hours. I was hoping that a longer Brine Draw would help replace the calcium in the resin with salt ions. However, this still didn't fix the problem. The water still doesn't get as soft as it initially did. Apparently, the resin isn't as effective as before.

I was wondering if I should have the resin sit in saltwater for an entire day? In other words, change the Rapid Rinse (RR) cycle setting to 0. Then, shut off the water softener for an entire day so the saltwater stews in the resin for 24 hours. Do you think this would work?

Does anyone know how to "reset" the resin so it'll soften the water as if new?

Or, did 2 months of not regenerating the resin permanently damage the resin?
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
35,077
Reaction score
3,573
Points
113
Location
IL
city water? If so, after several years with chlorine, the resin will deteriorate and need replacing.

Note that the amount of salt into the resin is determined by the brine fill, which determines the amount of water, which determines the amount of salt. Once the brine has all been draw, a several hour BD will not draw in more salt. Once the brine is gone (typically about 15 minutes) the remainder of the cycle is slow rinse.
 

WorldPeace

Member
Messages
106
Reaction score
3
Points
18
Location
Livingston, New Jersey
city water? If so, after several years with chlorine, the resin will deteriorate and need replacing.

Note that the amount of salt into the resin is determined by the brine fill, which determines the amount of water, which determines the amount of salt. Once the brine has all been draw, a several hour BD will not draw in more salt. Once the brine is gone (typically about 15 minutes) the remainder of the cycle is slow rinse.

Ah...I think I'm starting to get it.

Yep, it's city water.

What if I increase the brine fill to 60 minutes and then, increase the brine drain stage to 120? Then, the water softener would be rinsing the resin with brine water for much longer then.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
35,077
Reaction score
3,573
Points
113
Location
IL
Ah...I think I'm starting to get it.

Yep, it's city water.

What if I increase the brine fill to 60 minutes and then, increase the brine drain stage to 120? Then, the water softener would be rinsing the resin with brine water for much longer then.
60 minute BF would correspond to 30 gallons. That would probably be more than what the brine tank can add to the salt without activating the safety float which stops further filling.

After 10 years of city water, the resin is likely to need replacing. But if it can be rejuvenated, your idea of bringing in and holding a lot of salt is the right idea. You can detect if the brine has made it to the drain to see when the salt concentration at the drain goes way up. You can taste, or use a cheap TDS meter and see that the TDS in the drain water overranged (max typically is 9999 ppm).

During BF, once the brine is all drawn, we call the rest of the BF time "slow rinse". Once the brine is all sucked out, the air check valve closes, preventing sucking air. The water passes slowly (laminar flow) through the resin to remove the salt in an orderly fashion... not mixing it up like fast rinse would do.

What color is your injector? You cleaned that, right? There are two plastic pieces -- throat and nozzle. Was injector screen pretty plugged or clean?
 
Last edited:

WorldPeace

Member
Messages
106
Reaction score
3
Points
18
Location
Livingston, New Jersey
60 minute BF would correspond to 30 gallons. That would probably be more than what the brine tank can add to the salt without activating the safety float which stops further filling.

After 10 years of city water, the resin is likely to need replacing. But if it can be rejuvenated, your idea of bringing in and holding a lot of salt is the right idea. You can detect if the brine has made it to the drain to see when the salt concentration at the drain goes way up. You can taste, or use a cheap TDS meter and see that the TDS in the drain water overranged (max typically is 9999 ppm).

During BF, once the brine is all drawn, we call the rest of the BF time "slow rinse". Once the brine is all sucked out, the air check valve closes, preventing sucking air. The water passes slowly (laminar flow) through the resin to remove the salt in an orderly fashion... not mixing it up like fast rinse would do.

What color is your injector? You cleaned that, right? There are two plastic pieces -- throat and nozzle. Was injector screen pretty plugged or clean?

Smart idea. Never would have thought of testing the drain with a taste test. I'll see if I can do that later tonight. It does seem to be draining but I don't know if it's draining fast. I'll check.

My injector is a #2. I haven't cleaned it yet since I'm going to wait until everyone goes to sleep. I'll let you know what the injector looks like.

But, the water softener is only about 3 months old so I'm assuming that the injector isn't going to be clogged. But, I'll check just to be safe.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
35,077
Reaction score
3,573
Points
113
Location
IL
At only 3 months old, then cleaning of the injector and screen is probably not needed.

So you bought a new valve to put on an old tank full of old resin?

What is your hardness? How many people?
 

Bannerman

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,292
Reaction score
593
Points
113
Location
Ontario, Canada
A softener will be typically programmed to regenerate only the portion of actual capacity that is programmed for use, not 100% of the resin's total capacity.

You didn't specify your softener's total capacity, nor did you state the current Capacity setting nor the amount of salt programmed each cycle.

As an example, if your softener total capacity is 48,000 grains, it will contain 1.5 ft3 of resin, but to regenerate all 48K grains capacity would require 30 lbs salt which would be excessive and highly inefficient. To increase efficiency, that system will be typically programmed to regenerate when 36,000 grains has been consumed as only 12 lbs salt will be required to restore (regenerate) that capacity.

Because no capacity was being regenerated during multiple cycles, then 100% of the resin's total capacity became exhausted. By regenerating only the usual usable capacity, a portion of the total capacity will remain not regenerated. Unless the remaining capacity is also regenerated, that unrestored capacity is not providing any benefit to reduce the amount of hardness leakage that is passing through the resin bed.

To restore original hardness reduction performance, 100% of the resin's capacity will now need to be regenerated.
To accomplish this, additional water will need to enter the resin tank to cause additional salt to be dissolved into brine.

Each gallon water entering the brine tank will dissolve 3 lbs salt so, if your softener contains 1.5 ft3 resin, then 10 gallons water will dissolve the 30 lbs salt needed to regenerate all 48,000 grains of capacity. Since an average residential sized brine tank filled with salt is unlikely to hold 10-gallons water without overflowing or causing the safety float to rise, an alternate method to restore additional resin capacity will be to perform 2 manual regenerations back to back.

Using a bucket or jug, add 1-2 gallons additional water into the brine tank's brine well. Wait ~ 1 hour to allow additional salt to dissolve. Initiate the 1st manual regeneration cycle. Once the 1st cycle has concluded, do not add additional water but wait 1-1.5 hours to allow salt to be fully dissolved for the 2nd cycle. The 2nd cycle maybe initiated before departing for bed as it will be completed while you are sleeping.
 
Last edited:

WorldPeace

Member
Messages
106
Reaction score
3
Points
18
Location
Livingston, New Jersey
At only 3 months old, then cleaning of the injector and screen is probably not needed.

So you bought a new valve to put on an old tank full of old resin?

What is your hardness? How many people?

This wasn't an old unit. I purchased and installed this unit in February. I didn't notice but right from the start, there was a leak exactly where the float was attached to the shut-off valve. I only noticed the leak about 2 months later when I noticed the water wasn't getting softened.

So, I replaced the part about a month ago. I noticed a difference right away, but the water still wasn't as anywhere as soft as when I installed the unit in February.

These are the specifications of my unit:

Capacity: 2.0 cubic ft (12'' x 52'')
Brine Fill Rate: .5 GPM
DLFC: 3.5 GPM
Injector: #2
Water Hardness: 27 GPG
Family Size: 4
 

WorldPeace

Member
Messages
106
Reaction score
3
Points
18
Location
Livingston, New Jersey
A softener will be typically programmed to regenerate only the portion of actual capacity that is programmed for use, not 100% of the resin's total capacity.

You didn't specify your softener's total capacity, nor did you state the current Capacity setting nor the amount of salt programmed each cycle.

As an example, if your softener total capacity is 48,000 grains, it will contain 1.5 ft3 of resin, but to regenerate all 48K grains capacity would require 30 lbs salt which would be excessive and highly inefficient. To increase efficiency, that system will be typically programmed to regenerate when 36,000 grains has been consumed as only 12 lbs salt will be required to restore (regenerate) that capacity.

Because no capacity was being regenerated during multiple cycles, then 100% of the resin's total capacity became exhausted. By regenerating only the usual usable capacity, a portion of the total capacity will remain not regenerated. Unless the remaining capacity is also regenerated, that unrestored capacity is not providing any benefit to reduce the amount of hardness leakage that is passing through the resin bed.

To restore original hardness reduction performance, 100% of the resin's capacity will now need to be regenerated.
To accomplish this, additional water will need to enter the resin tank to cause additional salt to be dissolved into brine.

Each gallon water entering the brine tank will dissolve 3 lbs salt so, if your softener contains 1.5 ft3 resin, then 10 gallons water will dissolve the 30 lbs salt needed to regenerate all 48,000 grains of capacity. Since an average residential sized brine tank filled with salt is unlikely to hold 10-gallons water without overflowing or causing the safety float to rise, an alternate method to restore additional resin capacity will be to perform 2 manual regenerations back to back.

Using a bucket or jug, add 1-2 gallons additional water into the brine tank's brine well. Wait ~ 1 hour to allow additional salt to dissolve. Initiate the 1st manual regeneration cycle. Once the 1st cycle has concluded, do not add additional water but wait 1-1.5 hours to allow salt to be fully dissolved for the 2nd cycle. The 2nd cycle maybe initiated before departing for bed as it will be completed while you are sleeping.

Thanks for the help!

I ended up performing a brine draw (without the slow rinse) for 2 hours. Then, I let the resin tank sit in salt water (by skipping the slow rinse and rapid rinse cycle) overnight.

In the morning, after performing a rapid rinse, the water coming out of the faucet was much softer. I don't think it was the same as when I first installed the unit a few months ago but I'm so relieved my water is soft again...
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
35,077
Reaction score
3,573
Points
113
Location
IL
System info (not programmed)
salt lb/cuft = 7.5 ; A choice ( efficiency vs capacity)
BLFC = 0.5 ; Brine Refill rate GPM
cubic ft resin = 2 ; ft3 resin = (nominal grains)/32,000
Compensated hardness = 31 ; including any compensation
People = 4 ; gallons affects reserve calc
Estimated gal/day = 240 ; 60 gal per person typical calc
Estimated days/regen = 6.19 ; Computed days including reserve

Fleck 5600SXT Settings:
DF = Gal ; Units
VT = dF1b ; Downflw/, Single Backwash, black cam
CT = Fd ; Meter Delayed regen trigger
NT = 1 ; Number of tanks
C = 46 ; capacity in 1000 grains
H = 31 ; Hardness-- 27+high hardness compensation
RS = rc ; rc says use gallons vs percent
RC = 240 ; Reserve capacity gallons
DO = 30 ; Day Override (28 if no iron)
RT = 2:00 ; Regen time (default 2 AM)
BW = 5 ; Backwash (minutes)
Bd = 60 ; Brine draw minutes
RR = 5 ; Rapid Rinse minutes
BF = 10 ; Brine fill minutes
FM = ____0.7 ; https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?attachments/img_fleck5600sxt_flow-png.31592/

The less salt per cubic ft, the more salt efficient, but more hardness breakthrough.
Revised based on number from https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/help-for-programming-fleck-5810.82673/#post-595983
BLFC = 0.5
cubic ft resin = 2

Alternative C and BF pairs:
lb/cuft ; C= ; BF=

4.500 ; 36.0 ; 6
5.250 ; 39.2 ; 7
6.000 ; 42.0 ; 8 #good lower salt consumption choice
6.750 ; 44.5 ; 9 #good choice too
7.500 ; 46.6 ; 10 #selected above
8.250 ; 48.6 ; 11 # a little softer
9.000 ; 50.3 ; 12 #softer still but using more salt
 

Bannerman

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,292
Reaction score
593
Points
113
Location
Ontario, Canada
I let the resin tank sit in salt water (by skipping the slow rinse and rapid rinse cycle) overnight.
You didn't specify if you added water to the brine tank to create additional brine. Soaking the resin in salty water in itself will not restore the depleted capacity. Since your softener contains 2 ft3 resin, then brine containing ~40 lbs salt or 2 back-to-back regeneration will have been required.

I ended up performing a brine draw (without the slow rinse) for 2 hours.
Although the Brine Draw cycle will be typically programmed for 60-minutes duration, the standard quantity of brine needed to regenerate 48K grains of capacity in 2 ft3 resin, will be usually transferred from the brine tank to the resin tank within approx 15-minutes. The remaining ~45 minutes of the Brine Draw cycle is actually the Slow Rinse cycle. Although you may have programmed Brine Draw to be 2-hrs duration, unless there was sufficient brine available to continue to be drawn for the entire 2-hrs, then a 2-hr Brine Draw will include a significant portion of Slow Rinse.

the water coming out of the faucet was much softer. I don't think it was the same as when I first installed the unit a few months ago
Although your 2-hr extended Brine Draw cycle may not have provided the intended result, if the manual regeneration was performed in advance of when the softener was due to regenerate, then some additional capacity will likely have been restored.

I suspect your comment regarding it not delivering the same level of softeness as it did originally, is based on 'feel', not a measurable result.

Untill all of the water within your tank type water heater is replaced with the softer water now exiting the softener, the water exiting the WH will continue to include a higher amount of hardness.

Suggest obtaining a Hach 5B Total Hardness Test kit to compare the water hardness both before the softener and after. The 5B should be the minimum basic tool for anyone that is planning to install, service and maintain their own softener.
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks