Rainsoft Symptoms


  #1  
Old 03-17-07, 08:41 AM
J
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Rainsoft Symptoms

Have an 11 yr old Rainsoft that is acting up.
1. Time of day seems to be 2am everytime I look at it(yes I have reset it)
2. Cleaned out the brine tank today - was totally caked at the bottom 2-3 inches -
3. Manually ran it and got it todo the following:
a. Water emptied thru connector to floor drain
b. Water sucked out of brine tank
c. Water went back into brine tank

The timer didn't seem to move during the cycle - I moved if from stage to stage.

Rainsoft tech said $695 to replace timer and valve with new electronic unit and $300 to 'refresh' the resin. No way Jose.

Anything else 'user' serviceable?

TIA
 
  #2  
Old 03-17-07, 09:16 AM
J
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Hi Jim,

1. Time of day seems to be 2am everytime I look at it(yes I have reset it)

Not good, unless you're in the Twight Zone or it IS 2AM all the time

2. Cleaned out the brine tank today - was totally caked at the bottom 2-3 inches -

Good move, should be routinely done at least once a year

3. Manually ran it and got it to do the following:
a. Water emptied thru connector to floor drain

as it should

b. Water sucked out of brine tank

as it should

c. Water went back into brine tank

as it should

"The timer didn't seem to move during the cycle - I moved if from stage to stage.

Rainsoft tech said $695 to replace timer and valve with new electronic unit and $300 to 'refresh' the resin. No way Jose."

Sure sounds like a problem in the circuit board OR an IC on the board and a motor OR power problem OR stripped gears in the timer assembly since YOU had to move the control through the stages.

At 11 years the resin may or may not need to be replaced depending on your water conditions. Rainsoft doesn't make it easy (or cost effective) to help yourself.

You have at least two options...

This guy ( http://h2oman.us/ ) knows lots about Rainsoft and seems really nice. Perhaps a control valve upgrade or he can advise you on parts and procedures. Next time the Rainsoft hiccups you'll still have a Rainsoft.

OR...

If you are a DIYer you can buy a new softener with industry standard parts and easily accessible service and parts manuals for about the same money as the repair on your Rainsoft.

Here's a good place to start...
http://www.ohiopurewaterco.com/shop/customer/home.php?cat=179

Nice people, good prices, tech info for download, FREE FREIGHT

Please let us know what you find out and decide so others can benefit from your experience.
 

Last edited by justalurker; 03-17-07 at 12:55 PM.
  #3  
Old 03-17-07, 09:22 AM
J
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I visited Ohio Pure site today. Seem like good prices if they really are better (comparable to Whirlpool at Lowes and Sears from local Sears hardware dealer). They're 45 minutes from here so I may take half a day off and go up there (I am not one to buy site unseen or without looking a salesperson in the eye).

Will let you know.
 
  #4  
Old 03-17-07, 09:30 AM
J
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It dawns on me that if your Rainsoft is a "timer" model rather than the contemporary "demand initiated" designs then you'll be getting much more efficent operation and you'll use much less salt (potassium) with a new "SE" (simple electronics) Fleck control valved softener.

Kinda like the difference between the infamous Quadrajet 4 barrel and fuel injection


You can have complete confidence in Ohio Pure Water Co.

Ring them up and ask for CK Moore. He really knows his stuff.

Stay away from pre-built box store softeners. You can buy a real softener for what they cost and you've already learned about proprietary parts from Rainsoft

The negatives regarding 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?
 

Last edited by justalurker; 03-17-07 at 09:47 AM.
  #5  
Old 03-18-07, 08:18 AM
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So, to buy myself a few days before I get something new in.....

Taking it through it's paces manually seems to be the thing to do (then drain out the hot water and get some new water in there.)

All the cycles seem to have times on the dial except soak and Fast Rinse

It looks like
backwash 12, brine 21, soak ?, rinse 21, fast rinse ?, salt 6

I think the whole cycle usually takes about 90 minutes which would leave about an hour - so 30 minutes for soak and 30 for fast rinse?

Thanks for your help
 
  #6  
Old 03-18-07, 08:49 AM
J
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Jim,

Assuming that your softener was set up correctly, annd you know about assuming, it should regenerate every 6 or 7 days, right?

So, you should have about a week to get a new softener installed.

You can do what you posted and that should tide you over.

When you install the new softener draining the water heater is a good idea. Many people never bother and they should. Best to install the new softener and then drain the WH and fill with soft water. If you haven't been routinely draining your WH be prepared for a possible problem with the WH drain valve, especially if you have the plastic version.

Let us know what you decide and how it works out.
 

Last edited by justalurker; 03-18-07 at 10:11 AM.
 

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