Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Plumbing

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-23-2012, 12:02 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Jarabie113's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 10
Default

HELP! My water is destroying everything!


Hi all, I recently purchased my first home which has well water. After about a week it became very obvious that my softener wasn't working properly. I've never really dealt with a water softener before so I don't know much about it or really even how it works. Here's what I DO know, the motor on the pump works fine, but it runs constantly. Shouldn't it shut itself off at certain intervals? The little black flexible hose that runs from the bottom of the pump and into the brine tank has no suction on it whatsoever. When I first opened the brine tank itself there was no salt in it at all, I've been adding salt on a weekly basis and now it's approx. halfway full. It's obviously not using salt at all (the salt level has never changed). After adding salt I would fill the rest of the brine tank up with water from the garden hose (not sure if that's what you're supposed to do or not??), and now every time I open the tank up I see lime green sludge floating near the top of the water. Thanks for your help. I will try to post some pics to this thread tomorrow if I can figure out how to do so.

Jarabie113 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2012, 01:22 AM   #2
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,337
Rewards Points: 2,336
Default

HELP! My water is destroying everything!


Your best thing is to schedule an appointment with a plumber that can walk you through maintenance, along with checking over the system. Your Home Inspection report should state all pertinent regarding everything they inspected in the home, including the Water Softener. Did they even state anything about it, or did you even have an inspection done?

Was this a foreclosure, or did you buy from a selling party that owned it? Did they leave anything showing last maintenance, leave manuals, phone numbers, etc?

http://us.yhs4.search.yahoo.com/yhs/...&fr=att-portal

http://www.youtube.com/results?searc....0._AGOhsMtEIs

Also, you may want to go to Terry Love's forum and post over in his Water Softener forum http://www.terrylove.com/forums/foru...on-and-reviews He has a few experts on there that can help you out. They will need any manufacturer or model #s of the equipment, and suggest posting photos also of the equipment and problem that you are seeing in the brine tank. BTW, where did you get the idea to fill the tank with a hose? Usually you will let the system do the work, not "assist" it, which may have caused other problems.

__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2012, 08:06 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,968
Rewards Points: 2,032
Default

HELP! My water is destroying everything!


You might want to send a sample of water (direct from the well) to a testing laboratory to check for unusually high amounts of copper, sulfur, or other minerals. You may be able to get a do-it-yourself kit for this also.

What does the water look like when it comes out of the well, before going into the water softener?

Does the pink slime, er, green slime keep coming back or reforming after you clean it out?

Have you checked filters and other periodically replaced parts in the water softener or any preceding filtering units?
__________________
Forget super sized fries. The Washington Redskins could promote healthy eating with First Lady Obama by choosing a (red skinned) turnip for a mascot.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2012, 01:00 PM   #4
Newbie
 
Jarabie113's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 10
Default

HELP! My water is destroying everything!


Thanks for the link gregzoll, yes the home was bought from a seller but ge purchased the home out of foreclosure. I have had Culligan come out and look at my system but later found out he was feeding me misinformation in order to try and sell me a new system. He tested the water in front of me and all that was wrong with it was high levels of iron. I also had a local plumber come out to take alook at it, he told me there was nothing wrong with it and that I just needed to add more salt then proceeded to charge me 100 dollars, but my water never got better. As far as the inspection goes I was told that it only covered what was inside the home. The softener is outside so I'm assuming it was overlooked. I filled the brine tank with water after adding salt because I knew it was supposed to have water in it and the system wasn't filling it at all. To be honest I was completely ignorant to the fact that the system was supposed to do that, as I said previously I really don't know anything at all about water softeners.

Alanj, I have a raw spigot outside that doesn't run off of the softener. The water coming out of it looks and feels exactly the same as the water coming from the taps inside the house. I had Culligan test the water from the raw spigot and it actually had LESS iron in it. That tells me that at the very least there's some iron build up inside the holding tank in my system, probably from sitting idle while the home was in forclosure. As far as checking filters, the only ones I am able to get to are small ones that I added on to the line that supplies the house after the water has ran through the softener. I purchased them from home depot ( one paper particle filter followed by a charcoal filter) in the hopes of getting some improvement untill I can get the system running properly, but it hasn't helped at all. The filters that are actually part of the system are two large metal cylinders that I'm guessing contain sand or charcoal. There is a valve at the topic each cylinder which either allows or constricts flow, but there is no way to open the cylinder itself that I can tell. I just took some pics but my laptop is down and the site doesn't give an option to upload from my iPhone. I will try downloading the DIY app and see if that solves this issue.
Jarabie113 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2012, 02:10 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,968
Rewards Points: 2,032
Default

HELP! My water is destroying everything!


If the two large metal cylinders are indeed filters then they have a finite lifetime. Either something inside them needs to be replaced sooner or later or the entire cylinder needs to be replaced sooner or later. There could be slime or sludge or other gunk inside them.

Is there a large nut at the bottom of the cylinder you could unscrew (after turning off the pump and draining the house plumbing)?
__________________
Forget super sized fries. The Washington Redskins could promote healthy eating with First Lady Obama by choosing a (red skinned) turnip for a mascot.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2012, 02:19 PM   #6
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,337
Rewards Points: 2,336
Default

HELP! My water is destroying everything!


There is usually Resin beads inside. But as for Culligan, if they know the system is outdated or not working properly, figure out the costs to have them maintain the system, vs. you sinking a lot of money into it, if something breaks. Culligan has been around for a very long time, and they know what they are doing.

If you were to figure out everything you needed to replace the equipment, you are looking at out of pocket, anywhere from $400 to $1270, depending on how many grains you need. Then you have to figure in the other equipment you need, so there is some more money out of pocket, if you do it yourself.
__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2012, 02:23 PM   #7
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,337
Rewards Points: 2,336
Default

HELP! My water is destroying everything!


Watch this, this explains about the brine tank. http://www.ehow.com/video_5238687_cl...-softener.html If you have not cleaned the tank, most likely you have a "salt bridge" at the bottom, which can cause the problem with it not filling or working. Same thing that the float could be stuck, due to salt residue.
__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2012, 09:04 PM   #8
Newbie
 
Jarabie113's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 10
Default

HELP! My water is destroying everything!


I wouldn't think the Brine tank needs cleaning because it was bone dry before I started adding salt to it which has been fairly recently plus that doesn't really explain why the pump doesn't have suction.

I downloaded the app so here are the pics...

HELP! My water is destroying everything!-image-2375405025.jpg



HELP! My water is destroying everything!-image-324293569.jpg



HELP! My water is destroying everything!-image-1831522438.jpg



HELP! My water is destroying everything!-image-1866824547.jpg



HELP! My water is destroying everything!-image-1687734285.jpg



HELP! My water is destroying everything!-image-1797287920.jpg



HELP! My water is destroying everything!-image-3759493674.jpg
Jarabie113 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2012, 10:02 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 270
Rewards Points: 250
Default

HELP! My water is destroying everything!


It looks to me as if you may have an injection pump that is supposed to inject chlorine or hydrogen peroxide into the water before it goes into the big retention tank. In the retention tank the chlorine (or hydrogen peroxide) oxidizes the iron and causes most of it to preciptate out. This would be followed by a carbon filter to remove excess chlorine and filter any remaining preciptate. This would be followed by the softener.

If my description is correct the injection pump should have a solution tank with chlorine in it. If the big black tank is the solution tank for chlorine then I don't see a brine tank suggesting that perhaps you don't have a softener.

Can you post pictures clearly showing what the two lines attached to the injection pump are connected to?
Bob999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2012, 10:13 PM   #10
Newbie
 
Jarabie113's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 10
Default

HELP! My water is destroying everything!


See pic 3 and 5 above... One line runs from the pump to the black container that I understood to be the brine tank the other line runs from the pump to piping that is coming from the house and into the retention tank.
Jarabie113 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 10:49 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 270
Rewards Points: 250
Default

HELP! My water is destroying everything!


I know of no situation that calls for injection of brine into a water line. The black container must be the solution container. If my suppostion is correct that the injection system is for high iron the solution in the black tank should be chlorine (household bleach--perhaps diluted) or hydrogen peroxide. That leaves the two additional backwashing filters. Assuming chlorine is used then one is likely a carbon filter. The second I can only guess at--do you perhaps have acid water and it is an acid neutralizing filter?

Without a water analysis it is not really possible to make even informed guesses.

You may need to open each of the backwashing filters to determine the media inside.

A softener requires brine for regeneration and there would be a line from the brine tank to the softener control head. But because the large black tank is connected to the injection pump it is not a brine tank and I don't see any other tank that appears to be a brine tank. Therefore I doubt that there is a softener included in the treatment system.
Bob999 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Bob999 For This Useful Post:
Jarabie113 (06-24-2012)
Old 06-24-2012, 11:25 AM   #12
Newbie
 
Jarabie113's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 10
Default

HELP! My water is destroying everything!


Thank you bob that does make sense. If that's the case how do I set the "chlorine" tank up to be in service? Mixture etc?.....also there is still the problem of the pump not having suction but the motor runs perfectly. It's constantly running when turned on however, shouldn't it cycle on and off?
Jarabie113 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 11:30 AM   #13
Newbie
 
Jarabie113's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 10
Default

HELP! My water is destroying everything!


Also I had the water tested by Culligan and the only thing that was wrong with my water was high iron levels which, was already painfully obvious to me because everything that I owned that was once white has been turned into a BEAUTIFUL shade of dirty orange. Including my shower tiles and brand new dishwasher.
Jarabie113 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 12:08 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 270
Rewards Points: 250
Default

HELP! My water is destroying everything!


You have a Steiner injection pump. If the motor is running and it isn't injecting solution it may need a new tube (they come in different sizes and you need to match what you have). The rollers may be worn and need replacing. Finally there is a "duckbill" at the injection point that needs periodic replacement (once a year when the tube is replaced).

There are two ways to control the injection pump--a proportional controller (with this approach the injection point will be after the pressure tank and would have a meter in the water line to detect flow and generate pulses that control how much the pump operates via a control module--the pump would be powered by the pump module) and by the pressure switch on the pressure tank that controls the well pump (with this approach the injection point is before the pressure tank and the injection pump runs when the well pump is running).

Given that you have an adjustable Steiner pump you can most likely use household bleach undiluted--using the pump adjustment to get the correct injection rate. The correct injection rate is determined by the amount of iron and generally determined by checking the free chlorine level after the retention tank but before any carbon filters (which remove chlorine). A level of at least 1 ppm free chlorine is desired.

Take a sample of your raw water to a swimming pool dealer and ask them to test for pH (the sooner the sample is tested after it is taken the more accurate the results). Alternatively buy an inexpensive pool test kit that tests for chlorine and pH and test your raw water for pH. If pH is less than 7 you have acid water and it is likely that one of the backwashing filters is an acid neutralizing (AN) filter. An AN filter requires periodic media replenishment because the media is gradually consumed by the acid water. The Chlorine test of the pool test kit can be used to adjust the Steiner pump to get the 1 ppm free chlorine. I see a faucet in picture 4 that might be in the correct location to test for chlorine.
Bob999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 12:34 PM   #15
Newbie
 
Jarabie113's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 10
Default

HELP! My water is destroying everything!


Thanks for being so helpful bob999, can the parts needed to repair the pump be purchased at a local hardware store or do I need to find some sort of specialty store? Also would you mind going into a little more detail about how the system is controlled please? I apologize but I'm no plumber and have no idea what I'm looking at....I.e. "before pressure tank vs. after". As far as adding the bleach into the system do I just pour straight bleach into the black container, and if so how much should I use?

Jarabie113 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water heater solutions to get hot water in timely manner daluu Plumbing 22 05-07-2012 09:44 PM
Oil fired furnace and hot water heater question steveinpa Plumbing 3 08-10-2010 09:42 AM
water borehole question joeuser General DIY Discussions 2 04-18-2010 11:33 PM
How Do I Properly Shock Chlorinate a Water Softner classicflytyer Plumbing 5 07-14-2009 01:15 AM
Low Hot Water Pressure btennant Plumbing 4 12-09-2008 10:31 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.