Foamy, salty water


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Old 04-14-08, 06:57 AM
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Foamy, salty water

After my water softener regenerated on Saturday night, all day Sunday my tap water was foamy, salty, and hard. This has happened periodically in the past, but usually only for a minute or two in the morning and then it would go away. But even this morning (Monday) it was still the same way. Last week I completely cleaned out my salt tank, and it seemed fine until this weekend. Anyone know what might be going on? I have a two tank system with an Autotrol 460i control unit. I'm not sure what else you might need to know. Thanks in advance for any help!
 
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Old 04-14-08, 10:00 AM
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Depending on the model of float assembly in the brine tank there may be an air check valve at the bottom. It is there so when the softener is in the brining stage of regeneration the control valve will suck out the brine but not suck air.

The air check valve may have had a problem intermittently sticking open, you said this happened "periodically in the past", and finally failed or you did something during the cleaning to aggravate the check valve or you created an air leak in the brine pickup assembly or brine line.

Here is a troubleshooting guide for the Autotrol 255 with 460i option...





 

Last edited by justalurker; 04-14-08 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 04-14-08, 11:31 AM
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Thanks very much for the reply! I noticed those steps in my manual, but I wasn't sure if that would do it or not. Part of my hesitation to check it out was I can't see how to complete step #3 in the injector cleaning process. The manual that came with my unit states that I need to relieve system pressure by opening valve number 5 (your instructions say to open valve 6). I definitely have a 460i, at least that's what the sticker with the serial number that's on the unit says. Here is a link to the exact manual that came with my softener:

http://www.gewater.com/pdf/resdntl/m..._400_Rev_I.pdf

Would you happen to know which is correct (valve 5 or 6), and if so, where is it located? Your document mentions figure 14-B - perhaps that would help me. Thanks again very much for your help. I'm eager to get my water back to normal!
 

Last edited by griswoldo; 04-14-08 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 04-14-08, 12:57 PM
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griswoldo,

If you had a problem not sucking the brine out of the brine tank then the answer might be a clogged injector.

You have the opposite problem... sucking air. Check anything you touched during the cleaning and specifically the little check ball in the air check valve at the end of the brine pickup. Check the entire length of the plastic brine line back to the control valve and any fittings you disturbed during the cleaning for a tiny crack or a leak where air could be sucked in.
 
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Old 04-14-08, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by justalurker View Post
You have the opposite problem... sucking air. Check anything you touched during the cleaning and specifically the little check ball in the air check valve at the end of the brine pickup. Check the entire length of the plastic brine line back to the control valve and any fittings you disturbed during the cleaning for a tiny crack or a leak where air could be sucked in.
Oh, ok. Thanks for the clarification. I did disconnect the brine line from the air check valve while I was cleaning out the brine tank (where I dump the salt). I reconnected the line, and then I guess I screwed up by not following the start up procedure to clear air from my system. I just filled the brine tank with salt and water and then manually regenerated the system. Does this sound like the cause of the problem? Because I can't see any cracks or loose fittings.

Can I follow the start-up procedure now to clear out any air, or do I have to completely empty the brine tank again and start over? Or is my problem more serious than that, which would require a call to my service center?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 04-14-08, 03:08 PM
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If you were careful when you disconnected the brine line at the air check then you're probably OK there. You might have lost a small part from the fitting. Some fittings have little o-rings, some have little conical washers, and some have expanding/contracting inserts.

TRIPLE check everything that you did and don't overlook the obvious.

It won't cost you anything to try the startup procedure now.

If that doesn't work then you can arrange a service call and consider what it costs you tuition... and be there to watch what the tech does.
 
 

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