Error code E2 for Culligan Water Softener???


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Old 03-12-07, 08:56 AM
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Error code E2 for Culligan Water Softener???

I have an E2 error code for a 2-1/2 year old culligan water softener - medalist series... Does anyone know how to fix this? I'd rather save the $100+ to have Culligan come out and press some buttons...

It was stuck in Regeneration with an E2 code...

Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 03-12-07, 10:57 AM
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E2 code is "motor stuck"

Could be a dead motor or the motor could be bound up or the gears (or piston) the motor is trying to drive are bound or if applicable, the motor locating pin may have sheared off.

Wouldn't a 2.5 year old Culligan softener still be under warranty?

You know, "hey Culligan man(woman), fix it for free"
 

Last edited by justalurker; 03-12-07 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 03-12-07, 04:44 PM
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I unplugged it for 10 minutes and it came back to life... Can I spray a little WD-40 on the gears or is that a BAD idea?

You would think it would be under warranty but "some parts" are under warranty and they want $114 just to come out here and diagnose the problem...
 
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Old 03-12-07, 05:03 PM
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The control valve and it's internal parts should have a longer warranty than 2.5 years.

Culligan probably won't commit to a warranty repair over the phone. I'd pursue a warranty repair and if it's not covered under warranty then they better show me where that specific part is excluded in writing in the warranty statement.

Whether it's warranty or not, if the motor seized it needs to be replaced.
 
  #5  
Old 03-12-07, 09:44 PM
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Smile E2

Love secret codes! Q: does the valve allow manual control? or is it dead?

I don't know your particular problem or valve, I haven't worked at Culligan in more than 10 years - stopped being a real company back then. There are some common things on this type of product. The valves and controls are pretty dumb. Usually:
- a position switch is not making contact correctly and the valve is lost. Typically there are 2 switches that follow a main valve cam- one for step (4 or 5 notches on the cam), one for finding home (one notch on the cam). Try making sure all are adjusted properly and electrical contacts are working.
- if the unit is a batch type (counts gallons and decides when to regenerate) the flow meter might be failed - you'd need the Culligan man to get a new flow sensor.
- typically there is a reset (usually a small opening in the faceplate). Press the button. If it's not on the faceplate, look on the backside.
- if the motor does not move, you would need the culligan man. But if you are really ambitious, you can try turning off the pressure and rebuilding the valve (lube and gaskets). If the valve is stuck, this often frees it.

If all else fails - a new water softener can be had for
 
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Old 03-13-07, 03:36 PM
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Thumbs up

Thanks for all the tips and info... I unplugged it for 10 minutes, plugged it back in and the error message cleared. It went through a Regen cycle last night with no problems... so far so good. Hopefully it was just a hiccup but I am going to keep an eye on it for a few weeks to see if it gets stuck again and then will call culligan if it looks like the motor is broken...

Thanks all... it is just very helpful having a bit of knowledge on your side... I have fixed my water heater 3x thanks to these forums...
 
  #7  
Old 03-13-07, 03:55 PM
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davidos,

Electric motors bind (or fail) due to excessive heat, mechanical binding in the motor (bearing, bushing, armature, or stator), lack of lubrication, voltage/current problems from the power supply (or wall wart), or excessive load on the motor from the device the motor is attempting to drive.

Keep a very close eye on that motor because electrical problems rarely fix themselves and left unrepaired usually end up flunking the "smoke" test a short time later with a much more costly repair resulting. Unfortunately, your softener is probably set up to regenerate at 2AM so you'll be fast asleep if something goes wrong when the softener regenerates.

It's not just the motor sticking that can cause damage it's the gears or cam or piston or stack that the motor drives. If the motor really gets hot it can damage the control valve housing or short out the control board or display or take out the power supply and those failures will not be cheap to repair ond/or replace.

An electric motor binding is not a hiccup but a symptom of impending failure. You need to get this problem diagnosed and repaired. It won't heal itself.

I'd pursue a warranty repair from Culligan. Failing that I'd get it repaired but that's your decision.
 

Last edited by justalurker; 03-14-07 at 08:28 AM.
  #8  
Old 03-20-07, 08:42 AM
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Culligan - what a joke

Originally Posted by davidos View Post
I have an E2 error code for a 2-1/2 year old culligan water softener - medalist series... Does anyone know how to fix this? I'd rather save the $100+ to have Culligan come out and press some buttons...

It was stuck in Regeneration with an E2 code...

Thanks!
I too have this exact problem on the same unit. Culligan finally fessed
up that there is a know engineering issue with this unit that causes
it to fail in regeneration with an error code. The controls are not
stopping the cam at the right location and it fails.

I was having an E1 error but it would happen
randomly in regeneration. They came out and put a capacitor kit on
the unit, and now it has totally locked up with an E2 code. I could
fiddle with it and get it to regenerate, but then it would happen a
few weeks later. Just very unreliable.

I am pushing Culligan to replace the whole control head unit as
they have been out 5 times to fix this problem and it keeps coming
back. It's really a piece of junk I think, I am starting to think I will
just buy a Kenmore unit and get something more reliable.

So ask them about the "capacitor kit" fix that gets added on to
the .50c control circuit board. That unit you can't easily reset
or clear once you get an error code, it's very frustrating to own!
 
  #9  
Old 03-20-07, 09:03 AM
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smr2112,

It might be worth a phone call to the Culligan corporate offices and advise them of your complaint and that you were told this is a known problem. If you can come up with a printed service bulletin you've got ammo for your argument.

They might surprise you and authorize a warranty repair. If not, you might bring this to the attention of your State Attorney General's consumer affairs department.

If you decide to dump the Cullligan a Sears, GE, Waterboss, Morton, Whirlpool, and the like will be a considerable step down in relaibility.

For the same money as a "disposable" softener you can buy a real softener. If you're a DIYer here's a good place to start...

http://ohiopurewaterco.com/shop/customer/home.php?cat=179

You have to "copy & paste" as HTML is turned off on this forums.
 
  #10  
Old 03-20-07, 09:15 AM
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Thanks, the local Culligan dealer is supposed to do something for me
now and I'm waiting to hear back. I am upset because the "supposed
fix" has made things worse. But I'll give them a chance to fix it
before I go another route. I have somebody else getting me a quote
for a replacement just in case, because my time is too valuable to keep
wrangling with Culligan about this.

And these things really aren't that complex. While one unit
may be more reliable than the next, I find it hard to believe that
a Kenmore unit would be much worse than what I am dealing with
now. We're not talking NASA technology here....Do you work
for Culligan?

I mentioned this to the Culligan service guy and said "oh no, you
really don't want to do that" - because he'll lose all the money in
service calls and an otherwise good customer. Which leads me
to believe, in my experience, this probably is the way to go.
Unfortunately, unlike cars, there is no lemon law for water
softeners.

I'll let all know what happens in the next day or so.
 
  #11  
Old 03-20-07, 09:24 AM
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No, I don't work for Culligan. Often times a local office doesn't have the power to appease a customer with a legitimate gripe that the corporate office does and the corporate office rarely likes their customers to gripe to the state... bad PR.

The difference in engineering and design and quality of parts between a Sears softener and a Fleck or Autotrol based softener is IMMENSE, don't be fooled.

The negatives regarding the pre-built softeners are ...

Lower quality materials, mostly ABS which ages and becomes brittle. ABS does not do well with really hard water. On 3 gr hardness city water most any softener will give a decent service life BUT harder water than that seperates the pre-built box store softeners from the quality ones.

While all ion exchange water softeners use resin and "tanks" there's a big difference in the resin and resin "tanks". Again, the pre-built softeners do not use the top quality resin from companies like Purolite or Ionac and the materials their resin "tanks" are made of are not the same quality as the Structural brand (10 year warranty) resin tanks the top quality softeners come with.

Most of the parts are proprietary and only available from limited sources and they tend to be expensive.

The pre-built softeners are "cabinet" (all-in-one) designs and are much harder to work on. The cabinet design puts the resin tank inside the brine tank. The routine cleaning of the brine tank is more difficult and takes a lot more time than a conventional design softener but the Sears type does take less floor space (the ONLY advantage in it's design).

The greatest falsehhood is that pre-built BOX store softeners are less expensive than the industry standard softeners.

The Sears softeners around 40000 hardness capacity generally run a little under $500. For $466 you can have a Fleck 5600SE electronic on demand metered softener delivered to your home including shipping. You'll need to assemble it (takes less than 30 minutes) and install it. You can have a plumber assemble it and install it (you'd need a plumber to install the Sears softener also or DIY).

You'll get a control valve that has proved it's reliability over 20+ years, is made of state of the art materials (Noryl) which does not turn brittle and is totally inert. You'll get a 5 year warranty on the control valve and ten year warranty on the resin tank. You can buy parts for the Fleck control valve locally or all over the internet. Complete parts and service/repair manuals are available for download and there is always someone everywhere who can service Fleck control valves as they are the long established industry standard AND they are as easy OR easier to program than the pre-built softeners. They tolerate the hardest water with no problem.

Real softeners generally last 20+ years EVEN on ludicrously hard water while the service life on a pre-built softener seems to be under 5 years (if you're lucky) on really hard water and lasting longer than that is a rare exception.

Sears, GE, Waterboss, North Star and the like are the most commonly complained about water softeners on this forum and all over the internet. The Fleck, Autotrol, and Clack water softeners just work and work and work and work and work ...

Why buy a lesser quality water softener for more money?
 
  #12  
Old 02-17-08, 10:54 AM
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Culligan E2 code

Our softener is in the garage. I had heat tape & a light in the insulated box I built around the softener. Don't you know, both failed. I got it thawed out and set out to reset things. The only clue in the manual was that disconnecting the power would reset the processor. After several attempts to get it to regen and ending up back to the E2 error, I stumbled upon a fix.

I took my pocket knife and held the lower switch in and reconnected power. I now had an E1 error and had to reset again. This time I held both buttons in and reconnected. The motor ran and the cam rotated a full turn. As soon as it started moving, I removed the knife and released the buttons. After the cam got back around to the start point, I pushed the regen button and Viola! it went through the regen cycle and all is back to normal.

I hope this helps anyone with the same problem.
 
 

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