Need Help with economiser water sofener

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  #1  
Old 02-08-05, 06:59 AM
BSTheyAre
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Need Help with econominder water sofener

We have had an Econominder 5600 watersoftner for 11 years. A few years ago I had to replace the brine valve, then a year after that, the plastic housing broke (the plastic bushing that the brine cam runs on.) So I used a dremel tool and cleaned up the old bushing and replaced it with a bolt and a brass bushing. (That was about a year ago.) It was working until about a month ago. Everything seems to be working I just don't have as much softwater as I used to have. We are not using more water. If I regen. I have soft water for about 2 days then it's hard again, and of course it fills the hot water tank with hard water so it takes a while to get soft water again. (without draining the tank). What could be causing this? We don't have an iron problem. How long does resin last? What are the symptoms of it needing to be replaced?
 

Last edited by BSTheyAre; 02-08-05 at 10:05 AM.
  #2  
Old 02-08-05, 05:25 PM
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There are a number of potential causes, one is you've allowed it to run out of salt numerous times and it needs to be regenerated at the maximum salt dose for the volume of resin you have; and maybe 2-3 times with as little water use between the regenerations as possible. So what size is the softener?

Bad resin usually causes a severe pressure loss across the softener but not always. By-pass the softener and see if you get a substantial increase in flow.

You can test the raw water to see if the hardness has increased and then search for "softener sizing chart" and see how to set up your control for your hardness and family size.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 03:40 PM.
  #3  
Old 02-08-05, 05:56 PM
BSTheyAre
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Thank you for your reply.

How does one tell what size the unit is? It has never been regen'ed without salt except maybe for when the brine valve needed to be replaced. (two years ago and it has run fine ever since.) My water hardness measures ~250 ppm. The salt is set at 10lbs of salt. I tried bypassing the softener and the pressure stays the same. We have 4 people in our house and the people dial is set with the "4" on 20 gpg. Any more ideas?
 
  #4  
Old 02-08-05, 09:56 PM
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Somewhere on the tank there should be a label, on it will be numbers like 948, 1054 etc. and that is the dia and height of the tank.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 03:40 PM.
  #5  
Old 02-09-05, 06:21 PM
BSTheyAre
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I can not find any markings on the tank. It is a blue fiber wraped tank that is 44 in. tall by 26 in. in Diameter. Does that help?
 
  #6  
Old 02-09-05, 09:57 PM
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A 5600 can not be used on that diameter tank, so you must mean circumference instead of diameter. Measure across the tank or look on the tank from top to bottom for a label imbedded into the epoxy; it's there unless you have a perfectly smooth sided tank.

Do you have any capacity figures for the unit? If so what is it?

BTW, which part of this should I take to the bank..."It has never been regen'ed without salt except maybe for when the brine valve needed to be replaced.". Or should I ask what went on before you found out the brine valve wasn't working.... I suggest following my previous instructions because it's been out of salt at least once. Add 3-4 gallons of water to the brine adn wait at least 2 hours for the salt to dissolve and then do a manual regneration. See that it draws all the brine.

You can do a search for "softener sizing chart" typed just like that with the "" and you'll find many web sites with info. just make sure that they get into the SFR info.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 03:40 PM.
  #7  
Old 02-10-05, 07:01 AM
BSTheyAre
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I will try what you suggusted tonight. Yes, you are right, that was circumference not diameter. I looked again and can not see any markings on the tank.

When the brine valve needed to be replaced we noticed that we did not have soft water anymore, when I went to look at it, there was water pooled on the floor and you could see that it had leaked from the brine valve. When running a regen it would not pull brine from the tank anymore. So I unpluged the unit and put it in bypass until I replaced the valve. So I believe it may have only regened like that maybe twice. My thought was that if that caused this problem wouldn't it have shown up before now?, it's been two years.

I will try your suggustions tonight.
 
  #8  
Old 02-10-05, 08:19 AM
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But you didn't measure across the tank? Yes the label can be hard to see/read but unless you have an insulated jacket, the lable is there somewhere on the tank.

Your 10 lbs salt dose is not the maximum for any volume of resin I'm aware of so the unit is 'short salted' meaning less than max for the volume of resin. In say a 1 cuft tank that gives you less than maximum capacity; which is what you want but... the resin started out with the maximum capacity when new, say 30k and you use 10k and then the unit regens putting back the 10k you used. This works untill you run it out of salt, then the capacaity goes to zero and you fix it and regen with 10lb which gives you say 10K in this example. It can work like that until you use more than 10k of capacity and then you get hard water before the next regen, which seems to be maybe where ya are now. So what do you see as a possible fix if not filling the tank before you run out of gas after adding only xx miles worth of gas? I say fil'er up! and happy motoring but if you have another idea, voice it and we will see if we can increase your capacity (miles driven per so many gallons of gas) or not.

I suspect the resin is shot and possibly the softener is undersized for your family and water quality but... I don't suggest new resin in a softener that old with a broken control valve bushing etc.. So your money is spent best on a new softener bought from an internet dealer and installed yourself. Search for "softener sizing chart" and read up on how to correctly size a softener for both capacity and the SFR you need.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 03:39 PM.
  #9  
Old 02-10-05, 01:09 PM
BSTheyAre
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No I didn't measure across the tank, but 26in / 3.14 = 8.28 in. so my tank is 8.28 in across by 44 in. tall.

I will look again tonight for some marking.

The bushing replacement will never break again so I am not concerned about that. Other than the clock motor maybe needing to be replaced eventually, (I can't believe that would be real expensive to fix.) what else breaking on this unit would justify buying a new unit verses replacing the resin? How expensive is resin? Of course this is assuming that my current softener is big enough for my family. I should mention that of the 4 of us in the house, 2 are 7 and 8. (they don't use much water) although the laundery sucks.....

Thank you for your help.

I did a little research and it looks like I have a 24K unit based on my tank size. From all of the sizing charts I have looked at, some say I need a 32K unit others say 40K. Who do I believe? If I just go with a 40K would I be ok?
 

Last edited by BSTheyAre; 02-10-05 at 02:10 PM.
  #10  
Old 02-10-05, 07:12 PM
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Yes I had already done the math but, was it you I asked if the tank is very smooth or rippled? That makes a diference in the volume.

The capacity doesn't size a softener, the SFR does. Once you know the SFR needed the capacity is adjustable. So what SFR do you need?

A 3/4' softener has a SFR of about 7 gpm. Meaning that every time you run morethan 7 gpm through the softener, it can't remove all the hardness. Then I ask why have the softener.

To replace the head and resin etc. at internet pricing gets into about 1/2 the price of a new softener. And that doesn't include new seals and spacers and piston for your valve.

Hopefully you beleive me.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 03:39 PM.
  #11  
Old 02-11-05, 07:07 AM
BSTheyAre
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The tank is not smooth. It is rippled. It looks like a wrapped fiberglass weave. I have believed everything you have told me, if I have made you feel otherwise, I am sorry.

Last night I adjusted the salt and regened the unit three times. I will let you know what happens.
 
 

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