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Old 05-09-2010, 07:50 AM   #31
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Incomplete softener flushing


1) Sorry to create a riff on the forum, not my intent, but I know it happens.

2) I really do appreciate all the help to try and solve this the most efficient way.

3) Some responses:
@Bob: so let's say I am off 10% on capacity, then I would only need to increase the Brine Fill from 12 to say 14 minutes to solve that. Agree?
And I will try increasing the hardness setting (it can't hurt to try).

@Akpsdvan: the KDF is not at the bottom but in a cylinder that connects or hangs from the control valve so it sees the unsoftened water coming in first. I'll try and attach a picture of the unit (just google KDF85 media guard and you see pictures)

@Gary: what is the iron cleaning regimen you recommend. Note: Since this units was installed this past winter, I don't think this is the root problem. My real fear is low flow as you fear as well.

So back to the incremental steps to fix based on best guess root cause: (generally cheapest to most expensive, estimates of cost):
1) Adjust regen settings $0
2) Replace 3/4 inch CPCV from pressure tank to softener <$100
3) Replace 3/4 inch CPCV from pressure tank to softener with 1 inch CPVC $150
4) Modify the softening equipment:
i) Remove the KDF media guard, maybe it's not getting cleared and the resin is enough $0
ii) Add Turbolator $60
iii) Change to Purolite) $300
iv) Add a no regenerative iron filter $?
v) Use a no-salt softener $600?
5) Service pump and well (clean) $?
6) Replace the pump with a bigger one. $2000?

I will start with option 1. Before I posted, I already bought the parts for option 3 but haven't done anything yet wanting some help from this forum.

David

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Old 05-09-2010, 08:19 AM   #32
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Incomplete softener flushing


Quote:
Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post
1)
@Bob: so let's say I am off 10% on capacity, then I would only need to increase the Brine Fill from 12 to say 14 minutes to solve that. Agree?
And I will try increasing the hardness setting (it can't hurt to try).
That would increase your salt dose to 10.5 lbs/ft3. If you want to keep the 64K capacity setting with your fine mesh resin I recommend 12 lb/ft3 so I would recommend 16 minutes brine fill. The relationship between salt dose and capacity is not linear. Once the salt dose reaches about 6 lbs/ft3 with fine mesh resin the increase begins to diminish rapidly.

However, as I commented above with iron of 3 ppm I think you will have better success with more frequent regeneration--not less so my recommendation is to keep the salt dose where it is and reduce the capacity setting.

I will also comment on use of cleaning chemicals--I believe use is essential to keep the unit working satisfactorily. I personally prefer Res Care which is supplied in liquid form and can be used with an automatic feeder. Other options include using salt with a cleaner added-it will be labeled for use with iron laden water, or periodically adding Super Iron Out to the brine tank.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:21 AM   #33
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Incomplete softener flushing


Is option 5) Service pump and well (clean), something a group of smart guys could do on a weekend? Does this require special equipment?

I know just like repairing a car or installing electrical service, there are certain risks involved like dropping something in the well, making a bad connection...

David
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:35 PM   #34
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Incomplete softener flushing


Quote:
Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post
1) Sorry to create a riff on the forum, not my intent, but I know it happens.

2) I really do appreciate all the help to try and solve this the most efficient way.

3) Some responses:
@Bob: so let's say I am off 10% on capacity, then I would only need to increase the Brine Fill from 12 to say 14 minutes to solve that. Agree?
And I will try increasing the hardness setting (it can't hurt to try).

@Akpsdvan: the KDF is not at the bottom but in a cylinder that connects or hangs from the control valve so it sees the unsoftened water coming in first. I'll try and attach a picture of the unit (just google KDF85 media guard and you see pictures)

@Gary: what is the iron cleaning regimen you recommend. Note: Since this units was installed this past winter, I don't think this is the root problem. My real fear is low flow as you fear as well.

So back to the incremental steps to fix based on best guess root cause: (generally cheapest to most expensive, estimates of cost):
1) Adjust regen settings $0
2) Replace 3/4 inch CPCV from pressure tank to softener <$100
3) Replace 3/4 inch CPCV from pressure tank to softener with 1 inch CPVC $150
4) Modify the softening equipment:
i) Remove the KDF media guard, maybe it's not getting cleared and the resin is enough $0
ii) Add Turbolator $60
iii) Change to Purolite) $300
iv) Add a no regenerative iron filter $?
v) Use a no-salt softener $600?
5) Service pump and well (clean) $?
6) Replace the pump with a bigger one. $2000?

I will start with option 1. Before I posted, I already bought the parts for option 3 but haven't done anything yet wanting some help from this forum.

David
I would be dropping the media guard. By dropping it the water flow and pressure will increase. If you would like to try it out, put the unit in bypass and see what the flow and pressure are like with out the system on line. I found years ago that while the media guard is a great idea... there is just way to much flow and pressure loss with it in place.
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:39 PM   #35
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Incomplete softener flushing


Quote:
Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post
1) Sorry to create a riff on the forum, not my intent, but I know it happens.
Posting for help does not create a riff, so far you have no responsibility in the disagreements here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post

3) Some responses:
@Bob: so let's say I am off 10% on capacity, then I would only need to increase the Brine Fill from 12 to say 14 minutes to solve that. Agree?
And I will try increasing the hardness setting (it can't hurt to try).
You should be programming as I mentioned in a post way back. That is based on your compensated hardness, 34 gpg IIRC and 10.5 lbs if I remember right, you can look it up. Any other setting is wasteful and unnecessary

Then you should use a resin cleaning procedure on a scheduled basis. The salt that has a capsule etc. of resin cleaner in it is not a good choice because it doesn't do anything good for the resin until it gets into the resin bed. And while it is in the salt tank waiting to be used it weakens, plus it costs you more for salt. And Res Up and its feeder is very expensive and a very poor choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post
@Akpsdvan: the KDF is not at the bottom but in a cylinder that connects or hangs from the control valve so it sees the unsoftened water coming in first. I'll try and attach a picture of the unit (just google KDF85 media guard and you see pictures)
We all know what a Media Guard is, and IMO no one should buy one, for iron water especially, and you should remove yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post
@Gary: what is the iron cleaning regimen you recommend. Note: Since this units was installed this past winter, I don't think this is the root problem. My real fear is low flow as you fear as well.
You should stop guessing (making assumptions) as to the causes and fixes and do nothing until you are convinced 'it' is the right thing to do. Does that make sense to you? Some of your choices are good but won't solve all the problems. The key is to know which are the good choices.

Mix 1.5 cups (dry measure cups) of Iron Out or Super Iron Out that you can buy at any grocery store or hardware or big box store in 2 gallons of warm water and pour that down into the water in the salt tank, not through the salt. Rinse things off with another 2 gallons. Do not overfill the tank so salt water spills on the floor out the tank overflow.

Then let it sit there for 2 hrs and do a manual regeneration. This is a first time thing and will get rid of all rust build up in the softener. Monthly use a 1/4 cup in 2 gals warm water and rinse with a gallon of fresh water, wait 2 hrs and manually regenerate on your way to bed.

If you will do that your softener will hum along for many years, or we could say until you stop doing it. You can buy 5 lbs of IO/SIO or 18 oz contaniers, per lb 5 lbs is the better buy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post
So back to the incremental steps to fix based on best guess root cause: (generally cheapest to most expensive, estimates of cost):
5) Service pump (if it is the cause of the low flow rate). Do the electrical troubleshooting found here;
http://www.franklin-electric.com/bus...M/page-13.aspx

1) Adjust regen settings (to my settings and run the IO or SIO though the softener).

3) Replace 3/4 inch CPCV from pressure tank to softener with 1 inch CPVC (OR 3/4" sch 40 PVC (best choice))

i) Remove the KDF media guard.
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:56 PM   #36
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Incomplete softener flushing


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post

3) Replace 3/4 inch CPCV from pressure tank to softener with 1 inch CPVC (OR 3/4" sch 40 PVC (best choice))
David, you should be aware that there may be code issues with the use of PVC in this application and you should check with your local code authorities before changing from CPVC to PVC.

The code issue is that most codes allow PVC for water supply systems (the local utility bringing water to the home is an example) but do not allow PVC for water distribution systems (water piping inside the home is an example). The codes don't specify where the line is between the distribution system and the supply system. So it really comes down to the local code authority to determine where the line is. With a well my personal opinion is that pipe from the well to the pressure tank is supply. Piping beyond the pressure tank to a softener might be considered distribution by some local code enforcement officers and might be considered supply by others. So the bottom line is you have to check locally.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:26 PM   #37
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Incomplete softener flushing


OK - a few updates
FLOW RATE:
I measured flow rate at a faucet close to the softener, for a 5 gallon bucket, it took about 1:05 with the softener in use and 0:55 in bypass. Then I went to the crawl and hooked up a hose to the tap right at the pressure tank, it took about 0:15 seconds or less to fill the 5 gallon bucket. It was hard to time since the water was coming out so strong and would splash all over. Great flow at the source - great news!!! Now it started out quite rusty and would then run pretty clear. This would cycle a little bit back and forth. I think the significantly increased flow liberated a lot of iron from the pipe between the pump and pressure tank. If I let it flow from this connection for awhile, the pressure would slowly decrease to about 30 psi with strong flow and then suddenly drop to 10 psi and the flow would drop way off. After shutting off the valve, the pressure would jump back up and then rebuild to the shutoff set point. My guess is the well was being emptied at this point???

I went back to the faucet in the house and the water (still in bypass) was very rusty and now took about 1:30 to fill. It has since become clear.

So this tells me my flow drop occurs after the pressure tank, most likely the iron build-up in the 3/4 pipe to the softener.

MEDIA GUARD:
This part of the story is not so good. I went ahead and removed the Media guard which gave me a change to look inside the tank. The MG itself was rust stained on the portion that was above the media and the top of the resin bed was quite rusty. Unfortunately, when I removed the MG, the riser tube came up a number of inches as well. (This is where the professionals begin shaking their head.) So I wiggled it back down to normal height and reattached the Fleck valve. Next step was Super Iron Out treatment. So after preparing the SIO sauce, dumping it in the brine, waiting, I then started a manual regen. You already know what happened. I probably back-flushed half my media down the drain. Noting the really dark color in the drain line, I pulled the drain hose and captured a bunch in a bucket. Sure enough - full of resin. BTW - I did increase the Brine fill to 16 minutes yesterday.

So now I have the opportunity to rebuild the media tank. It is a 12X48 resin tank. I will retest for hardness and especially iron and then select correct filtration material.

I see 2x use kits for $5 (hardness and up to 5ppm iron), $25 (WatersafeŽ Well Water Test Kit) and up to $99 ( Hach test kits).

I'm thinking the $25 variety. Any suggestions? I'll post the results and ask for help in selecting media (Would starting a new thread be appropriate at that point?).

David

Last edited by dadaddio; 05-10-2010 at 07:54 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:45 PM   #38
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Incomplete softener flushing


you should probably change your pressure switch on the pressure tank, that lull in the pressure sounds like a plugged diaphragm or nipple leading to the p-switch, if you have the production rate you mentioned earlier it is unlikely you are running the well out of water. The rust and iron will plug those 1/4" nipples and diaphragm openings, plus a switch is only $15 or so
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:26 PM   #39
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Incomplete softener flushing


Also check with no water in the pressure tank the air pressure at the top of the pressure tank to make sure that it is 2 psi lower than the kick in point of the pressure switch.. 40/60 38psi... 30/50 then 28psi. You may only need one cubic of the same type of resin that you have right now if that is all that you lost. There should be 17" of room from the resin to the threads of the tank. When the media is at that level then 3.4 gpm on the backwash will be needed for that size of unit.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:35 PM   #40
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Incomplete softener flushing


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Originally Posted by bartnc37 View Post
you should probably change your pressure switch on the pressure tank, that lull in the pressure sounds like a plugged diaphragm or nipple leading to the p-switch, if you have the production rate you mentioned earlier it is unlikely you are running the well out of water. The rust and iron will plug those 1/4" nipples and diaphragm openings, plus a switch is only $15 or so
Good advice!
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:42 PM   #41
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Incomplete softener flushing


Quote:
Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post
OK - a few updates
FLOW RATE:
I measured flow rate at a faucet close to the softener, for a 5 gallon bucket, it took about 1:05 with the softener in use and 0:55 in bypass. Then I went to the crawl and hooked up a hose to the tap right at the pressure tank, it took about 0:15 seconds or less to fill the 5 gallon bucket. It was hard to time since the water was coming out so strong and would splash all over. Great flow at the source - great news!!!
Great news. So a restriction is between the boiler drain on the tank Tee and the equipment.

Do you have a shut off valve between the tank and the teh softener? If so and it is a gate valve or washer type stop valve (both have round handles), that is a prime prospect for blockage and either type valve can be replaced with a ball valve (lever handle).

Fix the blockage problem and disconnect the softener from its by pass valve and make sure you get the same flow there at the by pass valve as at the tank Tee boiler drain. Then we'll deal with the softener.

While you're doing the blockage thing check and adjust the air pressure in the pressure tank at the same time.

You can run water out a hose off the boiler drain and see if the pump comes on each time the pressure gets down to the turn the pump on switch setting and if it does, there's nothing blocking your pressure switch or anything wrong with the switch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post
Now it started out quite rusty and would then run pretty clear. This would cycle a little bit back and forth. I think the significantly increased flow liberated a lot of iron from the pipe between the pump and pressure tank. If I let it flow from this connection for awhile, the pressure would slowly decrease to about 30 psi with strong flow and then suddenly drop to 10 psi and the flow would drop way off. After shutting off the valve, the pressure would jump back up and then rebuild to the shutoff set point. My guess is the well was being emptied at this point???

I went back to the faucet in the house and the water (still in bypass) was very rusty and now took about 1:30 to fill. It has since become clear.

So this tells me my flow drop occurs after the pressure tank, most likely the iron build-up in the 3/4 pipe to the softener.
I think you're right but, as the water level in the well falls, the pump has to work harder to move water and thereby you will get less gpm. So don't assume it is rust build up in your CPVC just yet. Do as I said about checking the flow at the softener with the softener off the by pass valve and that will tell you the condition of the CPVC to the softener.

We'll deasl with the softener when you get the correct flow of water to it. Save the old resin.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:53 PM   #42
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Incomplete softener flushing


I disconnected the the softener and ran the input straight into a 5 gallon bucket. The fill rate was about 47 sec, or 6 gpm, quite a drop from the 20 gpm at the boiler drain.

Hmmm, the valve at the pressure tank is a lever handle, so a ball valve based on your description. Then there are a couple metal reducers and finally a conversion to the 3/4 CPVP. Here's the kicker, the CPVP has a 90 degrees elbow to go up to the bottom of the joists. BUT, that elbow is so close to the valve that the handle cannot open fully since it bumps into the vertical CPVC pipe. I guess I can first fix that little issue first and see how much the flow improves.

Also, still looking for suggestions on home water test kits.

David
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:57 PM   #43
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Incomplete softener flushing


The inexpensive home test kits most likely won't be as accurate as the tests done by the local water treatment companies. If you are looking to get more accurate results I think you would be better off getting the tests done at a local testing lab.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:51 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post
I disconnected the the softener and ran the input straight into a 5 gallon bucket. The fill rate was about 47 sec, or 6 gpm, quite a drop from the 20 gpm at the boiler drain.

Hmmm, the valve at the pressure tank is a lever handle, so a ball valve based on your description. Then there are a couple metal reducers and finally a conversion to the 3/4 CPVP. Here's the kicker, the CPVP has a 90 degrees elbow to go up to the bottom of the joists. BUT, that elbow is so close to the valve that the handle cannot open fully since it bumps into the vertical CPVC pipe. I guess I can first fix that little issue first and see how much the flow improves.

Also, still looking for suggestions on home water test kits.

David
There ya go. Now once you get that flow up we'll clean up the softener.

A home test kit gets you close enough, or take a sample to a lab and have tests done for iron, hardness, pH and manganese if possible. TDS would be nice. A lab can charge a lot for these tests, so try your county extension office too.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:26 AM   #45
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Incomplete softener flushing


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Originally Posted by dadaddio View Post
Hmmm, the valve at the pressure tank is a lever handle, so a ball valve based on your description. Then there are a couple metal reducers and finally a conversion to the 3/4 CPVP. Here's the kicker, the CPVP has a 90 degrees elbow to go up to the bottom of the joists. BUT, that elbow is so close to the valve that the handle cannot open fully since it bumps into the vertical CPVC pipe. I guess I can first fix that little issue first and see how much the flow improves.
David,

When you redo the connection with the ball valve ensure that the ball valve is a "full flow" valve--that is when the valve is open the opening in the valve is a full opening and not a reduced opening. (Ball valves are available with both full opening and reduced openings.)

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