Need help with Softener.


  #1  
Old 11-18-04, 06:20 PM
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Need help with Softener.

Okay,

I have a 15 year old Wolverine water softener (I believe they are a local company). I just purchased this house and it is my first experience with a softener. Wolverine came out and said that due to the iron / sulfure / magnesiume (or maganese) in my water (we have well water) the pump on the top of the water softener is going bad. I did notice that when he manually regenerated the system the pump unit leaked and there is some green corosion around the pump system. Also, when it regenerates it sounds like it is struggling.

So, the first question, based on this very rough description, do you think this system needs to be replaced?

Wolverine wants to rebuild the system for $1800, and wants me to get a special iron/sulfure filter for $2800.

Our well water is pretty good. When we first moved in it was soft, but it recently ran out of salt so it is now hard. Even without salt, the water does not smell or taste bad. There is definately some rust on the fixtures now, but not very bad at all. The inside of the tollet tanks are brown with rust, but I don't see any slime (of course we use those blue cleaner pellets in the tanks with a bleach pellet.) Woverine tested and came up with 17 xxx for impurities, 1.2 for iron and a TDS of 298. We had a well guy test before we bought the house for cloraform and _________ something and he simply said we had nothing to worry about.

I had Culigan come out and he said we donot have enough of an iron or sulphur problem that a regular softener system cannot handle. Culigan offer to sell us a system ranging from $899 to $1299 depending on size.

Then, Sears has a system that is $479 or $579 depending on size plus $209 for installation.

So, now I am confused. Do I need a new system? If so, how do I compare different companies and systems?

Also, is it hard to install a system yourself? I am not the most handy of guys.
 
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Old 11-18-04, 07:09 PM
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Also, another problem which may or maynot matter for the above question.

As I said, I have well water. Typically the water is very clean. However, if I run the outside hoses for a while (at least a few hours)(which are not hooked up to the softener) when I first turn on the fauset inside I get some brown water for roughly 15-20 seconds. What is that?
 
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Old 11-18-04, 09:49 PM
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That "pump" is the control valve. No residential softener requires $1800 to rebuild it!!!

Search the internet for softeners and see the selection and prices. Then learn how to solder and install your own softener; both are very simple and easy and anyone with the desire and a few basic hand tools can do it. The most important part of a softener is the control valve, and IMO the best are the Clack WS-1 and the Fleck 7000.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 08:56 PM.
  #4  
Old 11-19-04, 07:31 AM
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Okay,

First, how can I be sure that my system really needs to be replaced and the "tech" was not simply trying to sell me a rebuild for way too much.

Second, how do I know what type of control valve a particular brand of softener has? The Culigan and Sears units did not specify in their materials or on their websites. Also, the Wolverine unit I have does not have a name of the control valve.

BTW, I am also having a Kenetico retailer come out and show me their units. Supposedly they sell "non-electric" units. The Culigan guy said the "non-electric units were not very reliable. Do you have an opinion.
 
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Old 11-19-04, 08:56 PM
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You have to ask what brand of control valve or who makes it. You have to find an honest service person that will tell you if the thing needs rebuilding and is worth rebuilding.

Yes I do have an opinion, why anyone would want centruy's old technology like water power is beyond me! But get back to us and let us know what they say is the downside of electric powered. And don't beleive the failure part because it's absolutely not true. But ask the rep why all commercial/industrial softeners are electric powered. Also, ask how many regenerations their softener will require and then, why you need a prefilter and a twin tank model softener. You might ask why Fleck twin tank models are less pricey and available over the internet. Or how thier softener control compares with the Clack WS-1 and Fleck 7000. Ask what they sell when the person can't afford their twn tank.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 08:56 PM.
  #6  
Old 11-20-04, 05:17 PM
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Smile

I`m sure the rebuilding for $1800.00 "must" have been for a new softener. There is no rebuilding going on there for THAT MUCH. In Fairfield County Conn. it is not unheard of that a water softener could cost that much. Usually that price would get you a 1.5----2 cubic ft softener. I personally do not like Kinetico ESPECIALLY with any iron in the water. Working on those things is a nightmare in its own right. You would always need to find a Kinetico dealer that would be able to work on it and get parts for it if need be. I find Fleck vaves to be the best and most ANY water treatment company can work on them and get parts. Check out some good local companies and shop around. With Sears "aka" Kenmore you get what you pay for ,but I would still get that over a Kinetico. Just my opinion.
Bill Connelly Bethel Ct
 

Last edited by B Connelly; 11-21-04 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 11-23-04, 07:55 PM
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Kenetico

Okay, the Kenetico guy came by. First thing is that he said his system was and "On-Demand" system, whereas the other systems, such as Culigan are "metered" systems and not truely on-demand. He stated that his system monitors the water usage and will regenerate based on the amount of water used. Thus, if we leave for a week and do not use any water, the system would not regenerate. Whereas the Culigan system was basically on a digital timer and would regenerate based on a preset amount of time. This is not what Culigan had said though. They stated that their system was an on-demand system that also metered the water usage and only regenerated after a certain amount of water was used.

So, what does it mean for them to say "On-Demand"? Does companies such as Culigan use an "On-Demand" system and are the Clack and Fleck systems Gary sells "On-Demand"?

Next, the benefit of no electricity, well not much. Basically that if the power goes out you don't have to reset the clock on the valve meter. However, he did state that the unit was made up of small plastic gears that were very inexpensive to replace if the need ever would arise, thus indicating it was a very inexpensive unit to fix.

The benefit of two tanks was that it was a true on-demand system that would regenerate from soft water from the second tank, thus putting less wear on the value since it used soft water as opposed to hard. Also, he said you would never run out of soft water, and that you would never know the system was running. I.E. there would never be a "salty" taste to the water after the regeneration (which is the situation with my in-laws new system), no loss in water presure and dramtic decrease in salt used.

I think that is about it. So, replies to his statements?
 
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Old 11-24-04, 02:34 PM
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The Kinetico salesperson needs to learn more about the competition and softeners in general... On demand, metered or demand regenerated all mean the same thing; they only regenerate only when needed unless set up for calendar override.

The only place to get their "inexpensive" gears is through the local dealer... and s/he gets to charge whatever they want for both the parts and their service.

The only benefit to a twin tank softener is that they provide continuous soft water rather than not during regeneration of two tank models. The vast majority of households don't need 24 hr soft water. Down side.... they do use water when the household usually wants to use water too and that causes a pressure loss regardless of what s/he said. Backwash usually will take from 1.2 gpm up to 3 gpm depending on the size of the softener. You simply can't split water uses and not suffer a pressure/flow loss.

There's only a small salt saving benefit to regenerating with softened water which uses capacity of the tank that's online.

Salty taste can happen to any softener. It is a result of incomplete rinse or backwash. There are numerous causes of that and twin tank models have those problems too.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 11-24-04, 03:25 PM
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On demand, metered or demand regenerated all mean the same thing; they only regenerate only when needed unless set up for calendar override.
So, these systems somehow measure the amount of water used and after a preset amount is used they schedule for a regeneration, which is delayed to some point during the night???? Is this true for the Culigan, Sears, Fleck, Clack, etc style units that say they are either "on-demand", "metered", or "demand metered"???

Salty taste can happen to any softener. It is a result of incomplete rinse or backwash. There are numerous causes of that and twin tank models have those problems too.
My wife's parents new system (I don't know what they have) does this. I am going this weekend. What advice can you give me for what to look at to try and determine what is wrong with their system? Their system has a salty taste (warm or cold) during the day, sometimes.
 
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Old 11-24-04, 04:22 PM
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Yes, every manufacturer has both time clock and metered/demand regenerated control valves.

The causes of salty taste are a blocked drain line, internal leak in the control valve, or something using water during regeneration especially when he control is changing positions etc.. Read the troubleshooting section of the manual.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 08:55 PM.
  #11  
Old 03-28-07, 05:52 PM
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Demand vs timer systems

There was a question as to what the difference was between demand initiated regeneration (DIR) and timer systems.

All softeners and valved filters need to be regenerated and/or backwashed. How and when that is done is key to their success, reliability, and longevity. Poorly designed valves and those poorly set will result in a lower quality of water, shorter life on the valve and the filter media.

All timer systems use a clock that activates the regeneration process. This is done regardless of the number of gallons used. If the clock is set for 7 days, then it will do it every 7 days whether you are using water or not. For softeners this can be a big disadvantage. No one uses the same amount of water everyday, so it will either go too soon, wasting salt and water or too late causing untreated water to come through.

Demand systems come in two types: water usage and hardness sensors. The sensors are placed inside the resin tank at the end of a rod. As the resins become exhausted to a point on the rod, a signal is sent to the valve to regenerate the following morning at 2. Culligan uses this as one of their systems.

Water usage demands have a meter measuring the water volume and after a preset amount, sends a signal to activate regeneration at 2am, as well. Both of these are an improvement over timer systems in efficiency and water quality in a great deal. Avoid timers systems unless under some special circumstances.

Twin tank systems are sometimes called a "true on demand" system simply because they regenerate immediately--they don't wait till 2am to do it. They can do this successfully since one tank is on line while the other is in service. Although nobody uses water 24 hours a day, there are numerous advantages with twin tank systems including soft water brine and regeneration. Resins life can be increased with soft water backwash.

These systems are from least to most expensive, respectively , but costs should be figured in the long-term, not just initial investment.

There is also the "exchange" tank, so called because the company replaces it every 30 days due to it having no valve and must be regenerated back at the shop. Culligan still uses these following their regular demand softeners to make up for hard water following the softener that is either too difficult to set properly or just runs out of steam.

Andy Christensen
 
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Old 04-20-07, 12:37 PM
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you should just call aps water. they helped me with all my problems. I had horrible well water, and they were the cheapest and most helpful and knowlegable.
http://www.aspwater.com/shopaff.asp?affid=15
 
  #13  
Old 06-09-07, 04:58 PM
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salty taste from Kinetico

My Kinetico softener system always suffers from a salty taste for the treated water. The only solution is to add a water filter to the drinking faucets, as recommended by the trouble shooting guide:


www.freshwaterfilter.com/softeners/kinetico
%25202020c/trouble-shooting%2520for%2520kinetico.pdf+kinetico+salty+taste&
hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a
 
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Old 06-11-07, 09:21 AM
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pm

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