Water-softener problem.

ronalawn82October 4, 2011

I have a 'Kinetico' (I think) whole house water softener which does not seem to be working. There is salt in the brine tank. The motor is warm to the touch and it has a 'healthy hum'. At irregular intervals (and inconvenient times) the tap water just trickles. I would put the system to "Bypass" and all would be well again. Later I would switch back to "In-Service" and things will continue to be good until the next episode.

The water level in the brine tamk is high and I tried to set the process going by manually operating the system starting at 'Regen'.

Nothing happens. Not a sound!

What could be the matter with the system?

Thanks for any suggestion.

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justalurker

If the softener has an electric motor is it NOT a Kinetico.

Can you post a picture of the control valve here?

How old is the softener?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 9:38AM
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ronalawn82

justalurker, sorry, I cannot post a picture.
The softener is 8 years old.
I got it to regenerate etc. etc. by repeatedly going through the manual operation. Now, there is no water in the house when 'service' is selected. I have to switch to 'bypass' to get running water.
Anything else I can do?
Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 1:53PM
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justalurker

You obviously have a problem in the softener but without knowing the brand and model of the softener how can anyone help?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 2:06PM
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ronalawn82

justalurker, I will obtain the required information and post it.
Thanks for your forbearance.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 2:26PM
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justalurker

Sounds like the control valve may have a problem or the resin is fouled.

Need to know well water or municipal water system?
Need to know softener brand and model and HOW OLD?
Need to know water conditions... hardness, iron, manganese, PH, TDS?

You might hit the Yellow Pages and look for local independent water treatment professionals and invest in a service call.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 3:11PM
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ronalawn82

justalurker, OK, it is an "Autotrol 5600". It was installed just less than 8 years ago.
Last August a new motor and some gears were replaced.
Now this.
We get Municipal water and they tell me that the pH is 7.4 and the hardness is 11.7 grains per gallon.
I will have to call them tomorrow to obtain the other figures.
What is the life expectancy of a machine like this?
Do you think that I would be better off replacing the whole unit?
Thanks in anticipation.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 5:03PM
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justalurker

Ok, That's a little confusing... Autotrol is a control valve company but a 5600 is a Fleck control valve.

The Fleck 5600 is a tried and proven valve.

Before just replacing the unit I'd get a local pro in there to give you an estimate to repair.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 5:08PM
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ronalawn82

justalurker, a service company tells me that the resin (filter) needs replacement ($300.00). They say that 7 years is the average life expectancy. A new installation will run me $800.00!
Is the repair a worthwhile option? Will I have the same problem within the next 10 years?
Thanks for your considered opinion.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 9:26AM
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justalurker

Needing the resin replaced is a possibility but without an on-site inspection there's no way to be sure.

Water that is high in chlorine and iron can kill resin in 7 years but it's more common to see resin last 10 or 15 years on municipal water in an industry standard softener.

My considered opinion is to find a local water treatment professional who is a professional and get them out to your house to see what equipment you actually have and diagnose the problem instead of listening to someone who will guess at what's wrong on the phone and who may or may not be correct.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 9:46AM
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ronalawn82

justalurker, you have been a great help. You have given me enough information to make sensible decisions about this.
Now, if ever you have a problem of a horticultural nature, meet me on the 'Garden Forums'.
Cheers!!!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 1:40PM
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