Which cycle flushes out the brine water and how to know?

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Charrie

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WE just got the EcoWater water softener EEC1502R40 up and running again thanks to you guys. After the first two manual regeneration's I noticed a fairly large area where the grass seemed to die. it is starting to come back now.
So I got to thinking, we have 5 acres and several huge areas of poison ivy. In the past we used vinegar, salt, and a little dish soap in a sprayer to keep it at bay but it takes a lot of vinegar. I have tried just salt water and that seems to work pretty well at burning the leaves.
So I am thinking that if I could figure out how to tell which cycle was the brine rinse cycle, I could use some of those blue barrels to collect the strongest brine water and try using it as a spray. Yes I would have to physically put the hose in the barrel during that cycle.
From what I understand, there should be 4 cycles it goes through.
1- Backwash
2- Brine Draw
3- Slow Rinse
4- Fast Rinse

I think the slow rinse cycle is when it pumps out the strongest brine water? If correct then how do I know when the softener is in that cycle?

I think when I first manually start a regeneration cycle, an electric motor turns on and changes a valve. I don't know how god the ECOWater system is but it sounds like a cheap under powered motor straining each time it comes on.

I have also noticed that when the regeneration cycle is finished, there is very little water in the bottom of the brine tank. Isn't it supposed to always be about even with the salt level? We added 80 lbs of salt when we started the system and there is less then 1 foot of salt in the bottom now and I had to tilt the tank to see any water.

Thanks Again
Charrie
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old

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That system works a little differently than most other softeners. The order of operations is

1- fill
2-brine draw/slow rinse
3-backwash
4-rinse


I think the slow rinse cycle is when it pumps out the strongest brine water? If correct then how do I know when the softener is in that cycle?
Yes. It will be the second cycle. It will probably say on the display either "cycle #2" or something like "brine" or "brine draw". You will have to wait for the water in the mineral tank to become saturated with salt before the drain water will have the strongest brine. When it is in the brine draw cycle you will just have to to periodically taste the drain water to see when it tastes salty. Unfortunately for you the cycle times on this are pretty long so it may take a while.


I don't know how god the ECOWater system is
Not very


it sounds like a cheap under powered motor straining each time it comes on.
Yep


I have also noticed that when the regeneration cycle is finished, there is very little water in the bottom of the brine tank. Isn't it supposed to always be about even with the salt level?
That is normal for this unit. First cycle is "fill" after it fills it then sucks the water back out in the brine draw cycle. When the unit is in service there will normally only be an inch or two of water at the bottom of the tank (up to the air check mechanism).
 

Reach4

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When the brine draw/slow rinse starts, the first water out would be the clean water in the resin tank. Brine would be coming in at the other end of the tank. Eventually that brine will have worked its way to the drain line.

You could detect the arrival of the brine in the liquid by taste, but easier might be a cheap TDS meter. When the salt hits, the TDS meter will probably rise fast to over-range condition. As the brine tank gets sucked dry, the air check will stop the flow of salt from the brine tank. But water will slowly continue to pass through the tank in a slow, laminar flow, bringing out the salt that is already in the resin tank. At some point most of the salt will have been moved out and is being followed by water. That transition will probably be a little more gradual.
 

Charrie

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Thanks guys for all the great help!
I will get a TDS meter since I need one anyway.

We do not use that much water here right now but the water softener regenerates once a day. The softener probably uses about the same amount of water as we do daily. Would it hurt anything to manually regenerate it every 4 of 5 days instead if letting it do it daily itself? That is what I am trying right now. It has been 3 days since it regenerated last and the water is still very soft, not quite slippery. I have noticed the soap and shampoo goes a lot farther!

Thanks
Charrie

Oh, the next project will be getting the peroxide injection system going. What area do I post those questions in?
 

Reach4

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A TDS meter is not that useful for other regular purposes that I know of, unless you have a reverse osmosis unit. For RO, the TDS meter is important. They can be had cheaply.

A softener will not reduce TDS for the softened water. The softening is an ion exchange rather than an ion remover.

To measure hardness, get a Hach 5-B.

This Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers is the right place for other water treatment questions too.
 

Charrie

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Armed with the information from you guys, I ran a regeneration cycle and this is what i came up with. Just like Old described above.

1- Motor sound moving valve, brine tank begins to fill, and no water comes out the drain pipe.

2- Motor sound moving valve, brine drawn out of brine tank, slow trickle of water out drain, medial in tank lowers.

3- Motor sound moving valve, media rises and bubbles, lots of water rout the drain.

4- Motor sound moving valve, sound of water going through media tank and lots of water out the drain, no movement of the media, this is a very short cycle, and completes the regeneration.

So I ordered a $5 TDS meter. I would think that the strongest brine water out the drain would be towards the last half #2 and the very first of #3?
 

Reach4

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Strongest brine out of the drain line might be 10 minutes into #2 and be going down maybe 25, 30 minutes in. Rough guess.
Your TDS meter will probably over-range at 9999.

Expect the brine to be sucked out by about 15 minutes in. The rest of the #2 would be called slow rinse.
 
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