Water Filter Inlet/Outlet Reversed

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by SharkBitten, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. SharkBitten

    SharkBitten New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2020
    Location:
    California
    Greetings!

    Spent the weekend running new plumbing lines to a whole house filter I installed in the garage. Used 3/4 PEX to connect to the main line with a combination of SharkBite, clamp, and sweat fittings . Everything went great, no leaks, and the also installed PRV has helped immensely with my water hammer problem (a 15-psi drop worked wonders).

    Water service on the left, supply to the house on the right.

    [​IMG]

    However...

    My water filter (HousePure HP-02-CHL), which uses a Fleck 5800 SXT control valve, has the outlet on the left and the inlet on the right. Not paying close enough attention, I mistakenly hooked up the water service to the outlet, not the inlet. I then proceeded to fill the tank and run the backwash and rapid rinse cycles.

    I inspected the water from the drain during RR and once it was clear, I put the valve into service and opened the bypass to the house. Testing a sink faucet, I started getting quite a bit of carbon in the water flow that eventually clogged the faucet. Long story short, I drained the house lines, did the BW/RR cycles a few more times, pulled the aerator, and the water eventually ran clear throughout the house (even with backwards connections).

    The following day, I noticed the flow indicator on the 5800 wasn't working. Research brought me here and soon enough, a linked 5800 rebuild video made me realize I had connected the lines backwards. I corrected the connections, reran the BW/RR cycles, tested the water, and once again reopened the filter to the house. Clear water, but I'm wondering...

    By installing the connections backwards, did I flush out all the media (carbon, resin, etc.) from my filter?

    [​IMG]

    Also, the valve I received didn't come with a turbine assembly so it makes sense the flow indicator wouldn't work. There's also several settings in the Master Programming Mode that are missing (specifically, FM Flow Meter Type). I guess the 5800 comes in different configurations so not everything mentioned in the manual is configured in the valve.

    Water in the house is currently clear and tastes fine, pressure is good, and I'm not noticing any out of the ordinary.

    I'm left wondering if my filter is now just a big empty tank full of water and no media. :)

    Thoughts, ideas, or next steps are appreciated!

    Cheers!
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    The flow indicator will register during use if the softener is piped backwards.

    That's why it did not register. Filters are normally regenerated based on time, and softeners are normally regenerated based on "demand".

    You probably did not lose carbon unless your water usage flow was much higher than the backwash rate. I don't see how you could have lost KDF, but I am not sure.
     
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  4. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
  5. SharkBitten

    SharkBitten New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2020
    Location:
    California
    Thank you, I really appreciate the replies.

    Hmmm, not sure if my flow was more than the backwash rate. After running the BW/RR cycles, I let the tap run for maybe 15-20 minutes for carbon to clear out along with multiple toilet flushings. The water was black for a bit. Later that night, a few showers were taken and random use of the sinks with no noticeable carbon. The water lines were backwards on the filter for about 18 hours before I corrected them.

    I wish I'd known about the 48 hours. My installation manual only suggested 15-20 minutes.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    A PRV Would normally be on the input side, unless you are concerned that the PRV might limit the backwashing rate too much. I think the max pressure allowed for the Fleck is 125.

    Also, if making changes, consider an indoor faucet on the unsoftened side of the softener for house plants, if you also have a softener.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
  7. SharkBitten

    SharkBitten New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2020
    Location:
    California
    The PRV is on the city water side. My water pressure is around 78psi and I wanted to bring it down to 60-65. Also, the spec sheet for the filter said 75psi max:

    [​IMG]

    It probably would've been OK to leave as-is -- 5800 documentation and even the filter install documentation both state 125psi max -- but the lower pressure seems to work better with the water hammer arrestors I have on the washing machine, ice maker, and toilet, which I believe need around 60psi to be effective.

    In hindsight, I should've plumbed the pipe from city water on the right side to match the connection point on the Fleck. Staring at the city water line on the left side the whole day impressed on me that it should connect to the valve on the left side as well. Oh well, rookie mistake.

    I ended up having to overlap the in/out lines to make the correct connection and I'm not all that happy with the way it looks. Fortunately, it's not copper so I can easily rework it. I used the vendor supplied elbow to orient the control valve bypass vertically as it was easier to do the overlaps for the proper connections, but now the cover doesn't fit as the bypass knobs block it. Still some work left to do!

    [​IMG]

    If I understand correctly what was happening inside the 5800, I was filling the tank via the distributor tube and delivering water to the house via the inlet, which probably doesn't have a filter/strainer on it like the bottom of the distributor tube does. Since I ran the taps long enough for the water to become clear, I'm thinking that maybe I actually did exhaust the media from the tank, as there's probably no filter/screen keeping it in the tank.


    [​IMG]

    Maybe it's time for a rebed? lol :D
     
  8. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    The diagram above suggests there is some scale reduction media of some sort which appears to be installed within a MediGuard type housing located at the bottom of the riser tube. The spec sheet for the HP-o2CHL model specifies only 4.5 lbs of KDF-55 and 1.5 ft3 of Catalytic Carbon media is contained, but no scale reduction media is indicated.

    Regular size Carbon media will be prevented from escaping by the MediaGuard during normal backwashing and while the connections were reversed. Even while connected in reverse, the BW and RR flow will have been in the proper directions since the inlet and outlet ports are joined together to bypass the unit while the BW and RR cycles are taking place. The connection reversal will have resulted in the reversal of only the service flow which most likely resulted in only carbon 'fines' flowing upward through the MediaGuard to your faucets and appliances.

    Since it seems the carbon has not been wet for 48 hours and may not yet be fully saturated, suggest following the procedure detailed on the page previously linked, that is, perform an extended downflow rinse initially, then use the filter normally for a few additional days. Once the media is saturated, initiate a regular BW & RR cycle. A regular ongoing BW frequency of 1X every 14 - 28 days is usually sufficient as dictated by any sand, sediment or other debris in the incoming water, but the KDF media may require a more frequent backwash schedule.

    Is there a label on the control valve which indicates the BW or DLFC (drain line flow control) flow rate?

    I just viewed your latest posting. Does your unit utilize a brine tank?
     
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    There may be a top basket up there, which is similar to the bottom basket. Even without that, gravity should have retained the media unless the gpm usage got high.
     
  10. SharkBitten

    SharkBitten New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2020
    Location:
    California
    I'm thinking what I saw collecting in the sink on Sunday was was the carbon "fines" you mention. Similar to, say, espresso ground coffee. I'd see a random sand sized grain, but it was mostly fine (think espresso ground coffee).

    The default schedule is 14 days. I will perform a BW & RR cycle tomorrow.

    There's this:

    [​IMG]

    All other stickers show model number and serial number.

    No. Also, the brine line appears to be plugged (I think the sticker above is on the plug).
     
  11. SharkBitten

    SharkBitten New Member

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    Location:
    California
    Still thinking about this. When you say input, did you mean I should install it on the outlet line from the filter? Just to be clear, the PRV is installed on the city water side, before the filter (it looks confusing in the first picture because I installed the city line on the outlet side of the valve).

    It's odd that the spec sheet calls for a max pressure of 75, even though the valve and installation manual state max as being 125 psi.

    How much pressure, if any, do you think I'm losing to the filter? Thanks again for the replies, I really appreciate the help!
     
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    As it should be.
    You have a pressure gauge on the output of the PRV. You could backwash and find out. I expect the filter to be OK with 30 psi or more. With only a 5 gpm backwash, I don't think you will have any problem maintaining pressure. Backwash could have been 10 gpm as far as I knew at the time.

    Does your PRV have a screen? Some do. Does your PRV have a replaceable cartridge?
     
  13. SharkBitten

    SharkBitten New Member

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    Mar 3, 2020
    Location:
    California
    The spec sheet for the PRV mentions a stainless steel strainer screen and a replaceable cartridge.
     
  14. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Have you tried rotating the bypass so the knobs face the backside wall? Alternatively, you may be able to rotate the Fleck bypass downward behind the tank so the lines connect from below.

    As a further idea, remove the Fleck bypass completely as you have a 3 valve bypass incorporated in your plumbing, thereby making the additional bypass control redundant.

    Flexible connection lines such as braided Stainless Steel would allow some flexibility to permit the filter to be moved while remaining connected.

    https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/setting-up-fleck-5600sxt.67554/#post-501959
     
  15. SharkBitten

    SharkBitten New Member

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    You're right. This is the route I will take. I'll pick up some braided lines tomorrow. Thanks!
     
  16. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Avoid braided. Those are rubber tubes with a covering, and are more failure prone plus they are usually very reduced ID. Corrugated connectors are good. You can get those with full ID maintained. Consider Mega-flow SUPER Water-flex stainless steel.
     
  17. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
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