Repair 15 yr old Culligan or replace?


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Old 12-21-06, 10:07 PM
D
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Question Repair 15 yr old Culligan or replace?

Hi--I'm new here and have been reading many of the posts about "box" softners vs. industry standard.

Here is my situation--I'd appreciate advice:

I have a 15 year old Culligan Mark 50 Aqua Sensor softner in my home--it was in the home when we bought it about 5 years ago.

Last year the softner "got stuck" during a regen cycle in a backflush cycle (I think). We had the friendly Culligan man out (he actually was friendly!), and they rebuilt the valve, put in new o-rings, etc. He also determined that the Aqua Sensor was no longer working, and pulled it out so that the softner was just a timer driven unit. He checked the resin bed, and said it would likely last another couple years. The water softner is usually quite loud during re-cycle (and it's below our bedroom), so normally I would hear it recycle.

For the past several weeks I have not heard it recycle--and, big surprise, suddenly my water is no longer soft. I recycled it manually, and the water got soft again, altho I noticed the unit seemed quieter (and faster) during the regen than I recalled in the past.

Needless to say, a week later, I again had hard water--so I spent a bit more timing looking at it. I think I have 2 different problems:

1. For whatever reason, when the timer wheel (the wheel with the push in tabs for days to recycle) pushes the lever that pushes the gear that starts the regen, it doesn't push it far enough. When I push the manual regen (basically the same plastic rod the timer wheel pushes), it pushes the gear far enough to recycle. BUT--

2. Since I was watching to try to find out what was wrong, I noticed that the unit didn't go thru all the normal phases of the regen. In fact, for the first 10-15 min after the regen started, nothing really happen--then for about 20 min, water drained out the drain tube--then basically nothing else happens. I can carefully turn the black "regen gear", and I only feel one or two times that anything is happening--most of the rotation doesn't do anything. Now I've never done this manually before, but from past water softners I've had, turning the cycle manually caused all sorts of strange noises and water flows!

So after all this, my question:

1. Should I call my friendly Culligan man again, and have him look--and then likely get the system rebuilt?

2. Or, as I was about to do before reading lots of posts here, just go out and buy a cheap, easy, Morton/Sears/GE softner?

3. Or, after reading this, try to figure out what I need from Ohio Prue Water and order that?

I'm on city water, no iron to speak of, but around 15-17 grains of hardness (according to the city). I haven't done pH yet, but it has to be in the normal range.

I'm fairly handy--and have installed water softners in my previous home--in close to 30 years, I went through 2 Sears softners--both did have on-going maintenance issues, but we're always repairable be me with parts from Sears--and overall provided good value for what I paid for them.

Also, my wife and I are semi-retired--and likely won't be keeping this house for more than 5 more years.

What do you suggest??

Thanks, and Happy Holidays!

Denny
 
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Old 12-22-06, 09:08 AM
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My first suggestion is if you want to buy something from Sears buys some tools or some underwear from them. Do not buy a disposable water softener from Sears.
I think your Culligan is toast. I wouldnt put one more dime into it.
I vote for the Ohio Pure route and install it yourself. I would buy a 40,000 grain unit with a Fleck 5600 metered valve.
 
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Old 12-22-06, 02:34 PM
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5600 valve vs. 2510 valve

Thanks for the post and reply.

I called Ohio Water. They are recommending the 2510SE valve--altho the woman I talked with said the 5600SE would work fine too--just that the 2510 is heavier duty with 2 motors.

Based on her calculations, she suggests a 32000 grain unit, since there are only 2 of us (and no additions likely--we're too old!!).

Do you have any insight as to 2510 vs. 5600. The 2510 is about $90 more--not a huge difference, but if I don't need it, I don't want to throw the $$ away.

Thanks,
Denny
 
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Old 01-17-07, 12:27 AM
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I read your original post, but had trouble registering to DIY. I have (had) the same problem. I called a local water softener company. They sent a repair/installer who thought that he was installing a new one, although work order read fix or replace. The repairman pulled the top off of the valves, cleaned all three valves and screens, two on the top and one on the side. $96.23 later and I have soft water. I stood where I could see hime work (did not want him to sabatoge a valve or poke a hole in a filter screen).

The work consisted of unplugging it, wrapping a towel around the head to catch a little water, unscrewing eight screws, pulling the top two valves out, and cleaning them with running water. There is a linear valve in the left side which he pulled, wiped off, examined it, and then put it back.

I am going to try to buy the top two valves with screens from Culligan and replace them myself. Except for the tank rusting out and the clock going bad, these valves would make a new softener out of it.

Unless I am missing something why do most people say replace the unit.
 
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Old 01-18-07, 06:31 PM
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I hope you went with the 5600. Two motors means double the replacement cost. It sounds like an upsell. You cannot beat the 5600 valve for small and medium applications. Flow rates are always a consideration. You do not need heavy duty for 2 people.
Culligan is a proprietary system designed to breakdown just like rainsoft,hague, eco,and many others. Numerous moving parts,screens, venturi nozzles, you name it. Replacement parts are the name of the game.
Clack and Fleck are fixable by just about anyone. Minimal parts and solid engineering. Made for independent type applications. built to last, not break. I cannot understand why some of these manufacturers keep the same design other than to sell replacement parts.
 
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Old 09-21-07, 01:51 PM
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Talking 15 year old water conditioner

Why dont you jsut lease a unit from a repitibale dealer in your area and get away from culligan...

If you are only going to be in your home for 5 more years their are places that will lease you a great metered unit for about 18 per month.

Culligan has a great scam going where they try to rebuild your old unit
for about 900 , or try to sell you a new one for 1900......

get away from them and find a family owned dealer in your area and you will
be pleasently surprised how cheap they really are comapired to culligan


If the unit is 15 years old the RESIN bed is probably worn out....

it isnt worth the time and troubles to fool with....

get a new clack or rent one....
 

Last edited by master mark; 09-21-07 at 01:55 PM. Reason: felt like addding some more comments
 

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