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Old 09-06-2011, 08:55 PM   #31
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Culligan water softener not working (pics)


Well, I didn't get a good look at everything he did, but from the best I can tell he just looked in that seal pack, showed me the blown o-rings, then just replaced the entire thing with a new one and threw the old one out.

It sounds to me like that's exactly what you should do... go in, show them yours, and if they don't know or don't have a real "here's your fix" immediate answer.. then just buy a new and slide it into place. You'd at least save yourself the $119 service call.

If this happens to me again I'll be looking for an o-ring that fits first, but it sounds like you have some black silt or whatever that may be causing other complications, so I don't care to speculate on that.

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Old 09-07-2011, 12:13 AM   #32
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Culligan water softener not working (pics)


To be clear , I have taken ones out from the units that I have taken in on trade and then go through them and get the good seals and spacers out of them to build up a seal pack assembly that is good, used but good.

The seals that are first to go are the center three, and the others often times are still good and can be reused... some times the piston is trashed , but then there are times that the piston is still in good shape,, no cuts on the body.

Some times one of the spacers breaks up and then it is in the trash, it might take three to come up with one that is in good shape to be used again...
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:51 AM   #33
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Culligan water softener not working (pics)


So by your description, it makes a little more sense why Culligan doesn't risk rebuilding them, etc. They just put a new one in and don't worry about assembling a rebuilt one out of 2-4 old assemblies. However, if someone (like you) actually had access to a handful of old seal packs, I could certainly see it being pretty easy to make a perfectly suitable rebuilt unit.

Anyway... I learned quite a bit in this thread, thanks for all the tips. I feel pretty confident in troubleshooting future problems, all the way up to putting in a new seal pack myself anyway.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:09 PM   #34
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@Adpsdvan - one more minor question... in all this I ended up digging out all my salt to clean the salt tank out. I now have a trash can with about 200lbs of salt in it, some of it from the very bottom of the salt tank, where it was kinda dirty. Can I put this salt back in the tank, or should I just throw that salt out and put nothing but clean/fresh in?

Opinions?
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:32 PM   #35
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Culligan water softener not working (pics)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Perm View Post
@Adpsdvan - one more minor question... in all this I ended up digging out all my salt to clean the salt tank out. I now have a trash can with about 200lbs of salt in it, some of it from the very bottom of the salt tank, where it was kinda dirty. Can I put this salt back in the tank, or should I just throw that salt out and put nothing but clean/fresh in?

Opinions?
I would work it back into the main salt tank say 20-30 lbs at a time with new salt, keeping the main salt tank at about 1/2 full.... no real need to through out the salt that you pulled from the tank earlier..
I have a system at home and will use salt from a tank that I take in on trade if the customer was going to just dump it and have had no challenges with the system that I have ...
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:17 PM   #36
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Culligan water softener not working (pics)


Hello there, I'm still no further forward with my Culligan "Gold Series" water softener not working.

First, the good news. I found a very helpful Culligan Service Rep who examined my seal pack and pronounced it "well used but may still be serviceable". But since a complete new seal pack, including the brine piston assembly, cost only $60, I bought and installed one. I also, following her advice, removed and cleaned the injector nozzle (even though it didn't seem blocked).

The bad news is that all this made no difference at all - brine is still not being sucked from the salt tank, and water is being pumped there instead. I also examined the regen cycle on a similar Culligan softener that my son has.

The findings are that my softener is barely passing any water to the drain, at any point in the regen cycle. The flow on my son's is quite vigorous accompanied by quite loud water flow noises, whereas mine is virtually inaudible. Since I can't see the waste water, I don't know the flow, but the gauge on the well pressure tank barely moves. I conclude that there is some kind of blockage in the drain system.

So I next removed the drain pipe from the softener and blew gently into it: no blockage there at all - quite clear! But what was strange was that along with the water that came out when I took off this drain pipe there was a whole pile of tiny plastic balls - some white, some black - which had been trapped in the pipe. These balls could have come from the softener or the adjacent "Iron-Clear" water conditioner, since they are both T-ed into a common waste pipe. Either way, I am sure they shouldn't be there, and their presence might be a clue to the problem.

But I don't know what to look at next, and any advice would be most welcome.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:18 PM   #37
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Culligan water softener not working (pics)


Even with the seal pack replacement there is no increase in either the flow to the house or to the drain?

When you replaced the seal pack , did you remove the valve from the tank?

You may have to remove the valve from the tank that it is on, there on the incoming side of the media tank is a male foot, the valve has the female foot, they wedge together.. remove the male and make sure that there is nothing blocking the holes ...
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:06 AM   #38
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Culligan water softener not working (pics)


Thanks again for the reply.

There is no problem with water flow to the house - there's lots of it, but it's just not being softened. And when I replaced the seal pack, it made no difference to the flow to the drain during regen - (virtually) none before and none after.

No, I didn't remove the valve assembly from the tank. Is it as easy as removing the two clamp screws around the neck and lifting it off (after disconnecting the unions at the bypass valve) ? Are there any gotchas I need to be aware of? But if there is adequate water flow during normal service, wouldn't that indicate that there isn't a blockage? Anyway, I will have a go at it later today, and report back.

By the way, operating the bypass valve is very stiff - I can only get it to move with a hammer.

Did you have any thoughts about those tiny plastic beads?
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:52 AM   #39
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Sounds like it was some resin..

Some thing is blocking the or cutting down the flow to the drain and that will cut down the flow From the salt tank when it is in brine draw.

Either in the valve body in the area of the drain line hook up is a plug that is reducing the flow to the drain.
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:53 PM   #40
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Culligan water softener not working (pics)


I've got the whole thing off and apart, as far as the valve assembly looks like it will come apart.

First observation is that everything is coated in a thick film of black slime (the insoluble sulfides from the Iron-Cleer water treatment filter that shouldn't be getting this far). However, the slime isn't to the point where anything seems blocked. And of course, during normal service water flows freely through to the house.

Just inside the drain outlet is a rubber insert with a small hole in the middle, which clearly will be reducing the flow, but it looks like it is meant to be there. However it obstructs any view further in - I would really like to get this out, so can you suggest a non-destructive way? If I blow or suck through the drain opening, I can get air to move, but it is quite hard to do so. I poked through the hole in the rubber thing with a paperclip, and air seems to move a bit easier but that might just be wishful thinking.

Does the valve come apart in any non-obvious way? The top part (containing the drain outlet, brine tank connection, brine piston and eductor nozzle) looks like it is a separate section, but there are no obvious fasteners so it might be glued in.

What else can I look for or do? Or shall I just put it all back together and hope that the general clean-up has achieved something?

Thanks.
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:30 PM   #41
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Culligan water softener not working (pics)


The rubber flow control is such that if you use a screw driver that will fit into the hole and pull out it will, and not get busted up unless you use a really big one to do so.
If you have a dental pick that to will work.
If you do not have 2 gallons per minute going to the drain while the unit is in backwash then there will be a problem when it goes to brine draw and slow rinse.
Has any thing been done to the brine piston that is hooked under the white cam?
If one or more of the o rings there is not right or torn then the brine draw will not work... water going to the salt tank is a good way in the brine draw part is a good sign that some thing there is a miss if the main seal assembly is good.

I would say pm me , but you can not do that from here, if you look for me else where you should be able to.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:29 PM   #42
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Culligan water softener not working (pics)


Thanks for the quick reply.

I couldn't find a way to get the rubber flow control thing out of the drain line, but worked at it with a small screwdriver and blowing and sucking through it. Got several mouthfuls of the small plastic beads, but it did free up somewhat. Also cleaned up black gunk where I could. And yes, I did replace the brine piston and cylinder when I did the main seal pack, so these should be good.

Put the whole assembly back together, and things are a lot better. I get a vigorous flow down the drain line in the first (rinse) stage and the last (rinse and refill the salt tank) stage (certainly the 2 gal/min that you mention), and a much lower rate during the brine sucking stage which seemed to vary several times with no cause (but less than 2 gal/min). However, brine did get sucked up from the salt tank, and I am hopeful that I may see some soft water.

I am a little concerned about the variability of the drain flow during the brine extraction stage, as this suggests that there is still some dirt inside which is causing a partial and variable blockage of that small hole in the rubber thingy. I will do another regen run tomorrow and see how repeatable the sequence is, and also try and assess whether water is softer.

I'll let you know how that goes.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:01 PM   #43
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Culligan water softener not working (pics)


I am likely to have some say no...no... but if all else has failed to remove that drain control I would use about a 2" dry wall screw and screw in a few threads and then pull out with a set of pliers.. The way I see it, til that control is removed and the broken resin beads are flushed out of the valve head there is going to be challenges from time to time, this time they let the flow but the next time they could plug up so that the flow is way lower than it should be thus cutting the brine draw ..
Inside the red box is the drain control... with the clip removed and the tee removed there is the control that we are talking about.
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Last edited by Akpsdvan; 09-11-2011 at 11:14 PM. Reason: adding photo
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:23 PM   #44
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Thanks, that's a great technique - worked well. Took out the flow controller, and dismantled the valve again, and everything was clean inside, so I guess I got all the lodged crud out the first time.

Ran another regen cycle - my, that's boring, standing there for an hour and a half watching very little happen!
- Good drain flow in the first backwash phase: 2-3 gal/min
- Much less drain flow in the brine draw phase: probably less than 0.5 gal/min, but to start with some brine was drawn in. Then about halfway through, something in the control valve started hissing, and it looks like brine draw stopped. I don't know whether enough was drawn in to do the job, bit it seemed quite a lot.
- Good drain flow in the final rinse/brine-tank-refill stage: about 3 gal/min.
Is this what I should be expecting?

Otherwise, given that the whole valve is very clean, and good flows occur in the first and last phases, I am wondering whether the media in the tank is too clogged with that black sulfide which has got everywhere else, and is thus cutting back on the flow in the brine draw phase. Just a guess, but could you comment.

Haven't tested the softness of the water yet: I don't have a test kit and I need to go out and get one. The treated water should have worked its way into the house by now, so I'll let you know.

Thanks again.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:48 PM   #45
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Culligan water softener not working (pics)


Sounds right, the brine draw tone will change when there is no more water or brine coming from the brine tank.

Say the brine draw and slow rinse is 60 minutes, the first 20 is brine and the last 40 is slow rinse... the minutes used is an example but it still works out to 1/3 brine and 2/3 slow rinse.


A good way to check the water.... 2 jars, plastic or glass as long as they have lids , fill half full of water one with the treated and the other untreated if you can get it... same number of drops of dish soap in each.. cap and shake.......... if the treated really foams up and the untreated does not then the system is working..
If the treated does not foam up then the softener is not treating the water correctly and might need another few regens to get back into shape.

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