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Water Softener has cloudy water after period of not being used

Posted by chauncydog2001 (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 28, 09 at 15:27

We used our water softener after not using it for a couple of years. It wasn't placed in the bypass position so hard water has been flowing over the resin bed without being recharged.

After replacing the bad basement floor drain that the unit flushed into. (that's why it sat unused for so long) We regenerated it last night. This morning the water is cloudy and rust colored. We are on city water with medium hardness and some iron.

We have forced it to recharge again with the same results. It has plenty of salt and seems to be refilling the brine unit after each recharge. Do we need to replace the resin or will a few more recharges flush out the bad stuff??

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Water Softener has cloudy water after period of not being use

What brand and model softener?

Has salt been sitting in the brine tank all this time?

Was there water in the brine tank while the softener was just sitting?

Odds are you iron fouled the resin.

RE: Water Softener has cloudy water after period of not being use

Thanks for replying

About an hour after I posted I was running an errand and discovered that the water department was flushing fire hydrants a few blocks from our home. I went home and pulled a water sample from our front water spicket. This spicket is the first run supplied after the water meeter. It is before the supply runs to the softener. Of course the sample was cloudy and orange. So this is very possibly our problem. So I will test it tomorrow and see if it gets better.

To answer your questions

It's an Addie water softener was here when we purchased the house. From what I gather Addie is a local company and not a national brand. The model number is hand written on a tag and is guess is the unit is about 12 years old.

Yes the salt brine was left in the tank. I did add water to the brine tank 24 hours before we tried to regenerate so the unit would have some brine to use.

RE: Water Softener has cloudy water after period of not being use

What I would do...

Remove all the salt and water from the brine tank and make sure there's no solidified salt at the bottom. Any solidified salt can be dissolved by hot tap water.

Put 4 to 5 gallons of water in the brine tank and add one bag of salt. Note the water level with the salt added. Get some Iron Out or Super Iron Out and dissolve 3/4 cup in a gallon of warm water in a bucket or bottle. Add that solution to the brine well (the 4" tube where the float lives) and wait two hours (for the salt to dissolve and make the brine).

After two hours do a manual regeneration. After that regeneration the control valve should have replaced the water in the brine tank. Add water to the level noted in previous paragraph. Make sure there's enough salt to cover the water. If not, add salt. Dissolve another 3/4 cup in a gallon of warm water in a bucket or bottle and add that solution to the brine well.

Wait two hours, with no or as little water use as possible, and do another manual regeneration.

Now your resin is as clean as it can be and your resin is returned to as much hardness removal capacity as it's condition will allow.

Ger some hardness test strips and test the water after the softener after the second regeneration. The strips should show ZERO hardness. Test the softened water again before the softener regenerates. The water should hold ZERO hardness all the way till the next scheduled or demand initiated softener regeneration. If not, then see the paragraph below.

If the problem is not solved the resin is fouled, the resin is depleted, the water conditions have changed and the softener is no longer set correctly for those conditions, or the softener is not operating correctly.

If problem is resolved you need to be using Iron Out or a comparable product on a routine schedule determined by the amount of iron in the water.

Please let us know what you find out.

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