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jacladek 04-24-2011 10:39 AM

Culligan N8 Water Softener won't stop running during recharging
My husband hit the manual recharge button to recharge the softener. After about 5 hours of the recharge cycle running on and on (water going outside included), we uplugged the system. It still kept running so we hit the bypass. Today when he turned it back on, it was still running. Is there any way to fix this without calling in the Culligan man? He feels that something is stuck but he just can't find it. Can someone help us?

Akpsdvan 04-24-2011 11:26 AM

There are some seals in what is called the seal pack that either have something holding them open or they are bad and the seal pack needs to be replaced.
Now it might be possible to remove the seal pack and take it apart and find the bad one or two and move them to the ends...
The site that has had some packs from time to time does not have any right now so that cheap way of getting a kit is not there.

jacladek 04-24-2011 06:55 PM

Where is the seal pack located? I forgot to mention that with all this running it's been doing, the water hasn't been treated. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Akpsdvan 04-24-2011 09:19 PM

When one removes the front cover, there are two phillps head screws that hold it on, just to the left of the timer control.
There is the motor and the white cam... behind the white cam there is a screw and then under the motor there are two screws all hold the metal plate to the valve body.
In the middle of that valve body from front to back is the piston and seal pack..
Now if your system is old enough it might not be the seal pack that has gone, but rather the link between the motor and piston that has broken and left the piston where was when the link broke..

jacladek 04-24-2011 10:42 PM

OK, he'll try that tomorrow morning and see how that goes. The system is probably around 17-18 years old. He remembered this happened once before but can't remember what the guy did, it was so long ago. I'll have him read this in the morning and see if he can fix it before we have to get out the Culligan Man, which we really can't afford to do at this time. Thank you so much for your help!

Akpsdvan 04-24-2011 10:56 PM

There is one more thing that could be.
The motor that moves the piston in and out... could be dead...... or one of the male females connectors could be bad.
Or even the timer motor could have gone bad......
There are about 4 different things that could be the reason that it is dumping water to the drain past the time frame that should be.

jacladek 04-25-2011 08:29 AM

OK, I just gave all of your answers to my husband and he said he'll have to check all of this out when he gets home from work tonight. Hopefully it will be something small and he can fix it without having to call anyone in! You have been such a great help, thank you so much!

Akpsdvan 04-25-2011 10:55 AM

One of the two motors or the link would be the simple, the piston cage/seal assembly would be the not so simple..

jacladek 04-28-2011 02:58 PM

Sorry I haven't been on - the husband wasn't able to get to this water softener until today. He said everything appears to be moving correctly and was leery to open up the entire thing to see what was going on in there. So, he called Culligan and explained the problem. After playing telephone tag, the Culligan people said that our system was purchased in 1992 and they have no parts but they'd be happy to send out the service guy at $138 for the first half hour to diagnose the problem. We said no thanks! He's going to take the thing apart now since if he screws anything up, they can't replace it anyway, in the hopes that there's just something stuck.

I guess what I'd like to know is if there really are no parts and secondly, what brand of water softener would you recommend if we have to buy a new one? Again, thank you so much for all your help!

Akpsdvan 04-28-2011 05:23 PM

There are parts, they just like replacing aged equipment rather than repair.

Good to hear that the motors are still good, that would have been a rather simple fix as all of them are there on the front.

And if the one motor is driving the piston in and then pulling it out either the link or the tray is still good and the piston head is good.

The only other thing that could give "water to the drain while in service" is a seal in the main seal pack/piston assembly.
If one of the o rings is bad or the piston with a grove then it is like a car burning oil.....

I will check in later today to see how it is going.

jacladek 04-28-2011 08:55 PM

My husband said "oh, that makes sense". He can't work on it tomorrow but he'll be at it on Saturday so there's no need to check in until Saturday afternoon. He said thank you very much for all the advice. He's going to take the thing apart and hope for the best. He's mechanically inclined but would feel better if there were a manual. Of course, we can't find one online anywhere. I guess it's not a surprise to you since Culligan seems to have quite the monopoly when it comes to their stuff. Thank you!!!!

Akpsdvan 04-28-2011 10:54 PM

Try this link out,
I know that it is not the same valve, but the little secret that they will not tell is that the valve in the link is the same valve that you have, goes on the tank just about the same as yours and the front is a little different, but the seal pack that is in the link is the same as what yours has.........

I really do not like those that make things more than they are... simple....

I will be out for the weekend.... I do use the username in a few other diy sites, and there are a few that would let you private message from the start...

jacladek 04-30-2011 04:29 PM

Me again. Hope you had a nice weekend! We have a broken part - part 27 on the diagram that you sent. The piston inside of part 27 appears to be broken from the pushing rod (on top). The O-ring is good. The connection from the steel pushing rod to the plastic is broken and it can't retract that piece. Is there a parts website that we can go on or would a plumbing supply place have it? Hopefully this is it. He turned it on and the water stopped flowing and the recharge switch had resistance. He hit the switch but the water kept on running - no recharge. He thinks this piston thing is the problem. Again, any help would be GREATLY appreciated and thank you again for all your help!

jacladek 04-30-2011 04:32 PM

Revision - it's part #28 (27 fits with it) but the broken piece seems to be 28!:laughing:

Akpsdvan 05-01-2011 12:39 AM


Originally Posted by jacladek (Post 639760)
Revision - it's part #28 (27 fits with it) but the broken piece seems to be 28!:laughing:

On part number 28, let us call three parts to the whole, there is the cage that has the o rings and spacers, the plastic rings that screw into each other then there is the piston and then the shaft.
If I am understanding what you are talking about, the shaft or shiny metal part that on end hooks into the piston and the other comes out the front to the tray or link... either the piston end is broke and can no longer hold the shaft or the shaft has lost that one end and can no longer hold the piston..

Either way one has two choices, find a full kit or find some one that has re useable parts to rebuild what you have broken and get yours up and running again.

How close to understanding the broken part am I?

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