Water Softener Issue

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  #1  
Old 03-16-07, 09:34 AM
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Water Softener Issue

I bought a house a few years ago. I noticed when I filled the water softener with salt, there might have been a couple inches of water in the bottom. They salt would slowly dissolve and everything was fine.

A few days ago, I went to load salt, and the tank was 1/2 tio 3/4 full of water. This does not seem like this is how it should be.

Any ideas of why the tank would fill up so high and a possible solution?

Thanks,
 
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  #2  
Old 03-16-07, 09:53 AM
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The usual reason for "too much" water in the brine tank is that the softener is NOT sucking out the brine when regenerating. With that brine left in the brine tank and the softener adding more water to make brine after regeneration (as it should) the level of water rises.

That problem can come from a loose connector or a hole in the brine line or a leak in the brine pickup or a plugged venturi and screen in the softener control valve.

In order to help you need to tell us what brand and model softener you have.
 
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Old 03-16-07, 01:33 PM
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Thanks

I will find out this weekend and post. I appreciate your quick response.
 
  #4  
Old 03-22-07, 06:57 AM
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It's a Kinetico. The brine tank is large (4 feet high perhaps) and is cylindrical in shape. It has two tubes coming out of it. One comes out the top through the lid and the other comes out the body about halfway up the tank. When I open the lid, there is a small cylinder that is against one side of the body with a kind of cap to it that has one of the hose coming up through.

http://www.kinetico.com/Kinetico/EN/Residential/Products/Water+Softeners/

It looks like the one on the left of the picture in the middle.

Thanks,
 
  #5  
Old 03-22-07, 08:18 AM
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Sarge,

You are describing the "brine tank". The softener puts water into the brine tank and you put salt. That mixture is what is used to regenerate the resin in the black tank periodically based on the softener settings, water conditions, and your water usage.

The tube coming out of the top goes to the softener control valve and that is the "brine line". That's the line that the control valve uses to suck the brine out of the brine tank and then put water back into the brine tank at a later stage of regeneration.

The tube halfway up the side of the brine tank is the OVERFLOW drain. If the water level in your brine tank rises too high then it should drain out that line.

MAKE SURE THAT DRAIN LINE RUNS TO A DRAIN AND IS NOT CLOGGED, it is your only protection against exactly the problem you are having.

You may have a problem in the control valve on the black resin tank or a problem with the float assembly/brine pickup inside that 4" diameter tube inside the brine tank and possibly in the line or connectors between them.

Andy C and jdp38, frequent posters on this forum, both know Kinetico softeners well and will be along to advise you. You need to get that repaired and might need parts. If left alone there is a chance that the brine tank could overflow and that water is at line (house) pressure, a major water leak waiting to happen.

It won't heal itself.

I'd call your local Kinetico dealer. They have the specific knowledge and the parts necessary to repair your softener and may spot other unseen or impending problems or perform some routine maintenance that is necessary or has been overlooked.

"That's a fact jack"... (saw the movie too many times)
 

Last edited by justalurker; 03-22-07 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 03-26-07, 05:40 AM
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The water should be only an inch or two above the grid plate which is a few inches off the bottom. There may be dirt in the hose at the base of the tube and the mechanism is not shutting. Try pulling the float assembly out of the tube and check it for foreign matter. Rinse it in clean water. The float should rise and shut off incoming water. See if something preventing it from rising to it full capacity.

Are you using a high quality salt or a discount brand? What is the condition of the brine drum when the salt is low? Build up along the walls, dirty condition?

The other hose is an overflow hose which should lead to a drain somewhere. Is water coming out of it?
 
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Old 03-26-07, 10:38 AM
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Brine Tank Overflow

Group,

I would check a couple things on the brine valve assembly first.

I'm presuming you have the 24" diameter brine drum. I have this brine tank on a Model 30.

1. The float should be a the second marker from the bottom. On this brine drum, the specification is 7-3/4" from bottom of valve to top of float (second marker on float support rod).

2. There is a magnetic seal in the valve assembly itself that opens when the unit's venturi draws (brine) a vacuum on the brine valve.

If the float cup is (very) high or if the valve is worn out, you can end up with overfilling and brine overflow from the side overflow port.

Under typical operation, you shouldn't have more than 7-3/4" of brine water in the brine well.
 
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Old 03-26-07, 11:04 AM
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Thanks a lot for all your posts. I will tear into here tonight.
 
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Old 10-14-07, 02:43 PM
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How to pull float assembly from tube...

I hope this thread is still active...

I have a series 60 kinetico. It sounds like I have the same brine tank setup described in this thread, but I can not figure out how to get the float assembly out of the 4" tube. I've tried reaching into the tube and pulling on the "spider", pulling on the input/output line, and pulling on the float rod. In all cases it seems that the assembly is fixed to the bottom of the brine tank somehow -- I'm worried that if I just pull harder, I'll break something.

There is salt at the bottom of 4" tube... maybe the assembly is encrusted in a salt plug down there or something...

The reason I'm messing with it is that the water is 1/2 way up the tank (which sounds high) and there is no noticeable drop in the water level at any point during manual regen. In addition, the softener is not going through salt, nor is it softening the water. I figure something is plugged in the brine line, so I'm trying to get it out to clean it.

Thanks very much for any help.
 
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Old 10-14-07, 03:48 PM
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First thing you should do is bypass the unit.....disconnect the tubing from the brine assembly.....dump the water from the brine tank......stick a water hose down the brine assembly tube....turn it on and let it dissolve the salt.....this will release the brine assembly.....BUT.....more that likely there is an issue with the unit not pulling a suction on the brine line that has enabled the salt to crystallize around the brine assembly
 
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Old 10-20-07, 02:21 AM
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Thanks much for the guidance. I flushed lots of water down the float tube and it is now pulling brine out of the tank during regen. Strangely, the brine tank only fills up if I disconnect the elbow brine tube and reconnect (presumably some pressure change... it turns off as I think it should), but is not filling up if I just do a manual regen with everything hooked up. I'll try a full clean as suggested and report back.

On a potentially related front, the unit is flakey with automatic regeneration cycles, sometimes doing them and sometimes just camping at 6 or 12 o'clock until I manually regen. While troubleshooting, a service tech (over the phone) told me that the metering ring with the # on it (mine is #2) should not rotate at all during the unit's functioning. On my unit the metering ring is slowly rotating clockwise... about 90 degrees over the course of a week of moderate 4 family member use. Is this an indicator for something busted in the metering assembly?
 
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Old 10-23-07, 09:46 AM
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The meter disc WILL turn during water flow.....at 12 gallons per tooth to be exact.....the technician probably meant that during a regeneration, unless there is water running, the meter disc will not turn
 
  #13  
Old 10-23-07, 02:42 PM
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Interesting, this is all starting to make more sense. Does movement of the metering disc (orange #2 in my case) somehow trigger the automatic regen?

I noticed there are 2 "gaps" in the rim on the underside of the metering disc & I'm figuring that those trigger regens when they align with a pall (sp?) in the assembly by letting it spring in a bit.

If I'm right, the metering disc will complete 1 full rotation over the course of a regeneration of both tanks (rotating during water use & not during regeneration itself) -- 180 degrees between each regen.

Am I right? If I'm right, how does that interact with manual regens? Are they just added in and (in a well functioning system) the usage driven regens will just happen with the same timing as they would have anyway?

Gary
 
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Old 10-26-07, 03:37 PM
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The gaps in the underside of disc is what triggers the regen, but the meter disc does not turn as a result of the regeneration....manually regening the unit will have NO bearing what so ever on when the next regen will take place
 
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Old 11-19-07, 03:00 PM
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Your salt tank filling up with water has NOTHING to do with the softener it is all in the brine tank. You need to remove the tank and clean it out. once it is competely clan take out the float and make sure it moves a little up and down.

leave the float out of the tank and reconnect it to the brine (salt) line. trun the unit back on. pressing down on the float should cause water to come out of it and pulling up on it will stop the water. if this doesnt work unscrew the bottom of the float you will see where and clean it there. if it still doesnt work you need a new float.

Also while your working on it it is a good time to double check the softener. start a manual regen and unscrew the brine line from the softener and you should feel suction from the softener if not there is a problem in your valve.

AGAIN in kineticos a salt tank filling up with water has NOTHING to do with the softener because the line is pressurized and uses the float to stop it from filling. The problem is your float.
 
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