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Old 05-03-2010, 08:56 PM   #1
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Incomplete softener flushing


Well: 120ft deep with 1/2 horse pump
Softener: new FLECK 5600SXT ERADICATOR 3000 ON-DEMAND WATER SOFTENER/FILTER = high capacity fine mesh resin, .25 ft3 gravel bed, KDF 85 MEDIA GUARD, 64,000 grain, 5600SXT ON-DEMAND CONTROL VALVE can be seen at apluswater.net

Before I replaced my previous softener with the one above, I had my water tested by two local softener places with readings of 20 and 29 gpg of hardness and 2.5 and 3 ppm iron. We are a family of 5.

When I replaced the old softener (it was undersized) I noticed iron build up in the incoming pipe to the softener, maybe 1/8inch layer. I believe this represents a 30% reduction in pipe size.

The new softener does effectively remove the hardness and the iron. The problem I have is that after regeneration, I need to run a faucet close to the softener for about 5 minutes in order to to "flush" out iron that has been "liberated" but remains in the softener. Once the water runs clear, all is well until the next regeneration cycle.

I tried increasing the backwash time from 10 to 15 minutes and the quick-rinse time from 10-15 minutes, but this has not solved the problem. The Fleck indicates a flow rate of 4.5 to 5.5 gpm with a bunch of fixtures open (basically a trickle at this point). Putting the softener in bypass does not appreciably increase the flow. My fear is that my pump is undersized and can't generate enough flow for proper backwashing.

Here are the options I've come up with (generally cheapest to most expensive):
1) Replace 3/4 inch CPCV from pressure tank to softener
2) Replace 3/4 inch CPCV from pressure tank to softener with 1inch CPVC
3) Replace the pump with a bigger one.

Any other thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
David

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Old 05-04-2010, 01:49 AM   #2
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Incomplete softener flushing


Quote:
Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post
Well: 120ft deep with 1/2 horse pump
Softener: new FLECK 5600SXT ERADICATOR 3000 ON-DEMAND WATER SOFTENER/FILTER = high capacity fine mesh resin, .25 ft3 gravel bed, KDF 85 MEDIA GUARD, 64,000 grain, 5600SXT ON-DEMAND CONTROL VALVE can be seen at apluswater.net

Before I replaced my previous softener with the one above, I had my water tested by two local softener places with readings of 20 and 29 gpg of hardness and 2.5 and 3 ppm iron. We are a family of 5.

When I replaced the old softener (it was undersized) I noticed iron build up in the incoming pipe to the softener, maybe 1/8inch layer. I believe this represents a 30% reduction in pipe size.

The new softener does effectively remove the hardness and the iron. The problem I have is that after regeneration, I need to run a faucet close to the softener for about 5 minutes in order to to "flush" out iron that has been "liberated" but remains in the softener. Once the water runs clear, all is well until the next regeneration cycle.

I tried increasing the backwash time from 10 to 15 minutes and the quick-rinse time from 10-15 minutes, but this has not solved the problem. The Fleck indicates a flow rate of 4.5 to 5.5 gpm with a bunch of fixtures open (basically a trickle at this point). Putting the softener in bypass does not appreciably increase the flow. My fear is that my pump is undersized and can't generate enough flow for proper backwashing.

Here are the options I've come up with (generally cheapest to most expensive):
1) Replace 3/4 inch CPCV from pressure tank to softener
2) Replace 3/4 inch CPCV from pressure tank to softener with 1inch CPVC
3) Replace the pump with a bigger one.

Any other thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
David
Make sure that there are no holes in the line from the pump to the pitless and between the pitless and the house where the pressure tank is at.

Most of the drillers around here with a well that deep and most likely not right next to the house would either have a 3/4 or full one horse .. and make sure that the line from the pump to the pit-less is 1" and that the line from the well to the house is 1" as well.

The build up in the line before the softener is telling me that there is a leak some place...

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Old 05-04-2010, 06:14 AM   #3
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Incomplete softener flushing


Quote:
Originally Posted by Akpsdvan View Post
Make sure that there are no holes in the line from the pump to the pitless and between the pitless and the house where the pressure tank is at.

Most of the drillers around here with a well that deep and most likely not right next to the house would either have a 3/4 or full one horse .. and make sure that the line from the pump to the pit-less is 1" and that the line from the well to the house is 1" as well.

The build up in the line before the softener is telling me that there is a leak some place...
Akpsdvan, how can i detect a leak between the pump and the pitless (in the well)? I can trace the line once it hits the crawl space, before that, I am not sure how to check.

The well is within 15 feet of the house.

Other options I thought of since posting (fit between options 2 and 3 above pricewise):
Change the softening equipment:
i) reconfigure media in current softener (e.g. remove the KDF media guard, maybe it's not getting cleared and the resin is enough)
ii) use a no regenerative iron filter
iii) use a no-salt softener

Thanks again,
David

Last edited by dadaddio; 05-04-2010 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:58 AM   #4
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Incomplete softener flushing


Shut off teh water past the pressure tank and watch the pressure guage, if it falls you have a leak between tehshut off valve and the pump.

Rust build up ion the pipe can be because of the iron in the water or iron reducing bacteria. Do you have any slime in the toilet tanks at or below the water line?

If so you could IRB blocking the inlet screen to the pump which reduces flow.

Pumps have two parts, the wet end and it is rated in gpm and then the motor rated in hp. The gpm is much more important than the hp.

So what gpm pump do you have? A 1/2 hp 10-13 gpm would be a good size unless your elevation is higher than a few thousand feet. The depth the pump is set in the well and the static water level is important too.

And since by passing the equipment doesn't show much improvement in flow, it's probably not the equipment that is reducing it bt 3/4" CPVC is not a good choice because it has the smallest ID of the choices you could use. One inch PE from the pump to the pressure tank and then 1" PVC to the equipment would be the best choices but 1" CPVC would help.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:21 PM   #5
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Incomplete softener flushing


Ran faucet until pump kicked on. Closed valve at pressure tank. Watched tank fill up until pump kicked off. Monitored pressure for over 30 minutes - no change.

Other info on the pump:
According to the drilling company report that deepened well: "Deepened well from 60' to 120'. Well now produces 40gpm and has 29' static water level."
The report doesn't state the make/model of pump, only that it is 1/2hp. I do have installations instructions for McDonald Submersible Pumps (probably left by builder) but it has no model nr/serial nr filled.
Looking on the aymcdonald website, their current 1/2hp 5gpm pump at 120' is rated to deliver 6.2gpm at 30PSI and 5.2gpm at 50PSI (I know this is 15 years later).
My system is currently set for about 45-57PSI operation (I set this to increase the pressure at the fixtures in the house). Perhaps, if I reduce the set points I will get enough flow to regenerate properly? But even 6.2gpm may not be enough, not sure.

Thoughts,
David
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:30 PM   #6
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Incomplete softener flushing


Quote:
Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post
Ran faucet until pump kicked on. Closed valve at pressure tank. Watched tank fill up until pump kicked off. Monitored pressure for over 30 minutes - no change.

Other info on the pump:
According to the drilling company report that deepened well: "Deepened well from 60' to 120'. Well now produces 40gpm and has 29' static water level."
The report doesn't state the make/model of pump, only that it is 1/2hp. I do have installations instructions for McDonald Submersible Pumps (probably left by builder) but it has no model nr/serial nr filled.
Looking on the aymcdonald website, their current 1/2hp 5gpm pump at 120' is rated to deliver 6.2gpm at 30PSI and 5.2gpm at 50PSI (I know this is 15 years later).
My system is currently set for about 45-57PSI operation (I set this to increase the pressure at the fixtures in the house). Perhaps, if I reduce the set points I will get enough flow to regenerate properly? But even 6.2gpm may not be enough, not sure.

Thoughts,
David
Sounds like it is about time for a new pump.

If the pump is not right then there is not much you can do to get things to work right.
It all starts with a good working pump to have water treatment equipment to right the way it should.
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:36 PM   #7
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Incomplete softener flushing


Quote:
Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post
Ran faucet until pump kicked on. Closed valve at pressure tank. Watched tank fill up until pump kicked off. Monitored pressure for over 30 minutes - no change.

Other info on the pump:
According to the drilling company report that deepened well: "Deepened well from 60' to 120'. Well now produces 40gpm and has 29' static water level."
The report doesn't state the make/model of pump, only that it is 1/2hp. I do have installations instructions for McDonald Submersible Pumps (probably left by builder) but it has no model nr/serial nr filled.
Looking on the aymcdonald website, their current 1/2hp 5gpm pump at 120' is rated to deliver 6.2gpm at 30PSI and 5.2gpm at 50PSI (I know this is 15 years later).
My system is currently set for about 45-57PSI operation (I set this to increase the pressure at the fixtures in the house). Perhaps, if I reduce the set points I will get enough flow to regenerate properly? But even 6.2gpm may not be enough, not sure.

Thoughts,
David
You are reading things wrong, your water level is not at 120', it is at 29' and the pump only has to work to move water from 29' to the highest fixture in the house so... you get much more water than if the water level was at 120'.

And that means you don't need a new pump as has been suggsted but...

IF you have a 5 gpm pump, it was sized wrong since day one when the well was only 60' deep but, many drillers, plumbers and water softener guys do things like that to prevent the pump from delivering more gpm than the well's recovery rate gpm, which it the wrong thing to do but they do it because they don't know better.

Look at the same chart and see how many gpm at like 30-50' static water level.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:11 PM   #8
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Incomplete softener flushing


many drillers, plumbers and water softener guys do things like that to prevent the pump from delivering more gpm than the well's recovery rate gpm, which it the wrong thing to do but they do it because they don't know better.


Elaborate on this please.

Are you saying the pump should be sized to deliver the intended maximum gpm at the residence regardless of what the well will produce?
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:33 PM   #9
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Incomplete softener flushing


Quote:
Originally Posted by NHMaster View Post
many drillers, plumbers and water softener guys do things like that to prevent the pump from delivering more gpm than the well's recovery rate gpm, which it the wrong thing to do but they do it because they don't know better.


Elaborate on this please.

Are you saying the pump should be sized to deliver the intended maximum gpm at the residence regardless of what the well will produce?
We have a larger than 2" or 3" well here because there's a submersible pump and there are no less than 3" sub pumps plus the majority if not all those small size wells are not 120' deep so, are you saying that none of the storage capacity of the well should be used?

Correct sizing of a pump includes using some to just less than all the storage capacity of the well. If you disagree, please tell us how you size a pump and we can discuss it.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:26 PM   #10
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Incomplete softener flushing


The same chart at 40'/50PSI indicates 7.0 gpm. (Again this is a table for current 5gpm 1/2 horse pump and mine is 15 years old).

But maybe there is hope with the current pump?

Also, I found the original Record of Water Well which indicates
- Total Depth of well: 60'
- Depth of Pump Setting: 45' Suggested
- Static level: 14'
- Diameter: 5"
- Casing length 37'
- Depth of grout: from 9 to 37
- Test rate: 20 gpm for 1 hour using Air

Thanks for the feedback,
David
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:13 AM   #11
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Incomplete softener flushing


I don't know about you, but around here we always factor in the amount of water stored in the case and the recovery of the well. Is that what you were trying to say? I have never heard of any professional doing it any different.
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:23 AM   #12
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Incomplete softener flushing


Perhaps your drain line flow control (DLFC) is undersized for the application. There should be a sticker on the drain connection on the back of the softener that lists the size of the DLFC button--perhaps 3.0 gpm or so. Check and post the result.

Also your softener has programmable times for the first and (optionally) second backwash. Possibly the times programmed for backwash are inadequate. Check the programming and post the results. If you don't have the manual that explains how to check the programming you can find one here:

http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com...ck+5600SXT.htm

Also please post your salt dose settings--the size of the brine line flow control (BLFC) and the number of minutes the softener is programmed for brine fill.

Last edited by Bob999; 05-06-2010 at 08:27 AM. Reason: Add information
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:39 PM   #13
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Incomplete softener flushing


Quote:
Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post
The same chart at 40'/50PSI indicates 7.0 gpm. (Again this is a table for current 5gpm 1/2 horse pump and mine is 15 years old).
That is with a water level in the well of 120' right? Which proves that a 5 gpm will deliver more than 5 gpm if the water level is higher than the number of feet shown on the chart.

I would set teh air precharge in teh tank to 29-28 psi with no water in the tank and tehn teh pressure switch on at 30 and off at 50 and see what happens. If you still have the low flow problem you probably have something wrong with the pump, wiring, pump inlet or blockage in the pipe to teh pressure tank.

To do an electrical check of the wiring and pump;

http://www.franklin-electric.com/bus...M/page-13.aspx
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:58 PM   #14
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Incomplete softener flushing


The output port is marked with 3.5gpm. I installed an 1/2 inch ID clear plastic and the 1.5 inch drain pipe is about 1 foot away and straight down. This hose fits nicely on the output fitting and is clamped there.

The control valve is a FLECK 5600SXT. The regen settings are:
Backwash: 15 min (I increased this from the defualt 10min)
Brine Draw: 60 min
Rapid Rinse: 15min (I increased form default 10min)
Brine Fill: 12 min

Don't know how to check salt dosage as the 5600 must calculate itself based on the hardness and capacity.

I appreciate all the help.
David

Last edited by dadaddio; 05-06-2010 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:48 PM   #15
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Incomplete softener flushing


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Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post
The output port is marked with 3.5gpm. I installed an 1/2 inch ID clear plastic and the 1.5 inch drain pipe is about 1 foot away and straight down. This hose fits nicely on the output fitting and is clamped there.

The control valve is a FLECK 5600SXT. The regen settings are:
Backwash: 15 min (I increased this from the defualt 10min)
Brine Draw: 60 min
Rapid Rinse: 15min (I increased form default 10min)
Brine Fill: 12 min

Don't know how to check salt dosage as the 5600 must calculate itself based on the hardness and capacity.

I appreciate all the help.
David
If you are filling the brine tank for 12 minutes at .5gpm that would be 6 gallons of water , 1 gallon of water will do 3lbs of salt, 6gallons times 3lbs would be 18lbs of salt, one cubic foot of resin maxs out at 12lbs at ruffly 32000 grains.
If you have 1.5 cubic foot of resin that would top out at 48000 with the 18lbs.
Just some ideas.

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