Plz explain to me how to operate the dials on my water softener (pictures incl.)


  #1  
Old 05-04-08, 11:44 AM
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Plz explain to me how to operate the dials on my water softener (pictures incl.)

Hi all-

I have a water softener that came with my house in 2002. It was gong through about 4, 40lb. bags of salt (at least) per month, and a buddy of mine suggested that it was regenerating too much. So I "played" with the dials and of course I made the problem worse! Now it doesn't regenerate at all.

I've tried looking for the instruction manual- can't find one. I can't find a brand name, either, on the softener in order to locate instructions online.

Here are the pictures of the timer dials on my water softener:

overview of unit

close up of left dial

close up of right dial


Could someone please explain to me how I need to position them for optimum water softener operation? I hoping this system is a pretty "standard" system and someone on this forum is familiar with it!

Thanks for your time,
ualdriver
 
  #2  
Old 05-04-08, 12:10 PM
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Thanks for the pics... much easier than mind reading...

You have an industry standard water softener (good thing) with a tried and true Fleck 5600 Econominder control valve (good thing).

The settings are based on:

the amount of resin in the big cylindrical tank
your water conditions
water usage (# of people in the house)

Without that info we're blind.

Look on the softener for a sticker showing a model number. Measure the height of the cylinder from it's top surface down to the top of the black collar at the bottom. Measure the diameter of the cylinder.

If you're on a water system the city can give you a general report of the water conditions. Best to have your water tested.

Ever done any routine maintenance on your softener, yes - no?

How often was the softener regenerating?

Thank your buddy and never listen to him about water treatment again.

As for you, don't EVER change the settings on anything without recording where you started ESPECIALLY since you have a digital camera.

Here's is the service manual for your Fleck 5600 Econominder... click here for service manual in PDF form
 

Last edited by justalurker; 05-04-08 at 12:41 PM.
  #3  
Old 05-04-08, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by justalurker View Post
Thanks for the pics... much easier than mind reading...

You have an industry standard water softener (good thing) with a tried and true Fleck 5600 Econominder control valve (good thing).

The settings are based on:

the amount of resin in the big cylindrical tank
your water conditions
water usage (# of people in the house)

Without that info we're blind.

Look on the softener for a sticker showing a model number. Measure the height of the cylinder from it's top surface down to the top of the black collar at the bottom. Measure the diameter of the cylinder.

If you're on a water system the city can give you a general report of the water conditions. Best to have your water tested.

Ever done any routine maintenance on your softener, yes - no?

How often was the softener regenerating?

Thank your buddy and never listen to him about water treatment again.

As for you, don't EVER change the settings on anything without recording where you started ESPECIALLY since you have a digital camera.

Here's is the service manual for your Fleck 5600 Econominder... click here for service manual in PDF form

Thanks Just a Lurker!!

Here is all the information:

1) Friend chastised for making me touch things I wasn't supposed to

2) There was no sticker on the tank anywhere that I could find. The dimensions of the cylinder are 44.5 inches high, 10 inches diameter.

3) My town's water quality report is here. We have hard water- that's all I know

4) I don't know how much resin is in the big cylindrical tank. If you can tell me how to check it I will.

5) There are 2 adults and 2 small children in the house. I'm not sure how much detail you need for water usage but here's some info on the heavy usage stuff....... One bath for the kids per day, two fifteen minute showers for the adults per day. The standard sized dishwasher runs about once every 1.5 days. The top loading clothes washer probably does one load every 1.5 days on average.

6) I haven't done any routine maintenance to the water softener since I moved into the house other than filling the storage tank with salt. Does that make me a bad person?

7) I use the blue 40lb. Morton salt bags from Home Depot that have crystals about the size of a pea with jagged edges.

8) The softener was regenerating every night.

I think that is everything you asked for!
 
  #4  
Old 05-04-08, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ualdriver View Post
1) Friend chastised for making me touch things I wasn't supposed to
Smackdown approved and noted

Originally Posted by ualdriver View Post
2) There was no sticker on the tank anywhere that I could find. The dimensions of the cylinder are 44.5 inches high, 10 inches diameter.
10x44 is an odd size

Originally Posted by ualdriver View Post
3) My town's water quality report is here. We have hard water- that's all I know
insufficient data... no hardness levels and a lot of iron

Originally Posted by ualdriver View Post
4) I don't know how much resin is in the big cylindrical tank. If you can tell me how to check it I will.
If it was a common size we could look up the resin volume

Originally Posted by ualdriver View Post
5) There are 2 adults and 2 small children in the house. I'm not sure how much detail you need for water usage but here's some info on the heavy usage stuff....... One bath for the kids per day, two fifteen minute showers for the adults per day. The standard sized dishwasher runs about once every 1.5 days. The top loading clothes washer probably does one load every 1.5 days on average.
That's what we need to know

Originally Posted by ualdriver View Post
6) I haven't done any routine maintenance to the water softener since I moved into the house other than filling the storage tank with salt. Does that make me a bad person?
Not a bad person, just a homeowner

Originally Posted by ualdriver View Post
7) I use the blue 40lb. Morton salt bags from Home Depot that have crystals about the size of a pea with jagged edges.
OK

Originally Posted by ualdriver View Post
8) The softener was regenerating every night.
FAR too often. Either something is very wrong or the softener is way too small. A correctly sized softener should be regenerating every 7 days or so and with high iron content in the water every three to four days.

Here's what I suggest... hit the Yellow Pages and look under water treatment for independent water treatment companies. They will be the ads that don't have a brand name.

Since you have a Fleck 5600 Econominder based softener there's always someone almost everywhere that services them.

Get them to come out, test your water, and give you an estimate to repair an reset your softener. Be prepared to spend a few bucks because I suspect that the resin is fouled and may need to be replaced.

If your softener proves too small, and I suspect it is, it will be more cost effective to replace it.

Post what they tell you and the exact hardware and size they recommend and we'll give your our thoughts.
 
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Old 05-04-08, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by justalurker View Post

Get them to come out, test your water, and give you an estimate to repair an reset your softener. Be prepared to spend a few bucks because I suspect that the resin is fouled and may need to be replaced.

If your softener proves too small, and I suspect it is, it will be more cost effective to replace it.

Post what they tell you and the exact hardware and size they recommend and we'll give your our thoughts.
OK, well there's a sticker on the softener for a local company which seems to be a non brand name. I'll give them a call, have them come out, and post what they say.

Concerning your comment about my water softener possibly being too small.......how big a softener unit might they be looking to install? And how much does it cost to replace resin vs. getting a new softener unit?

Thanks,
ualdriver
 
  #6  
Old 05-04-08, 07:31 PM
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The size (hardness removal capacity) of the softener is dependent on the conditions of the water and water usage.

When we know the details of your water conditions I can give you some guidelines.

Resin is about $140 a cu ft plus the labor to install it, BUT if your softener is too small you'll be wasting a ton of money in water and salt.

One step at a time... post what the water guys tell you.
 
  #7  
Old 05-06-08, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by justalurker View Post
The size (hardness removal capacity) of the softener is dependent on the conditions of the water and water usage.

When we know the details of your water conditions I can give you some guidelines.

Resin is about $140 a cu ft plus the labor to install it, BUT if your softener is too small you'll be wasting a ton of money in water and salt.

One step at a time... post what the water guys tell you.

OK, talked to the water guy this afternoon on the phone. It was the same guy who installed the water softener 6 years ago and he still had my paperwork and knew that I had a Fleckner timer and a resin tank.

I told him about our water usage and that the system WAS regenerating every night and that I had done a bad thing and touched the dials on the timer (he-he). He then asked me about my family's water usage, which I told him about.

I asked him if we should get our water tested and that if the unit installed was properly sized for the water conditions that exist in our town and our family's water usage. He said yes. He didn't think it was necessary to have our water tested as long as we thought the softener was working OK.

I asked him if he thought our resin was damaged and/or need to be replaced. He said it should last about 10-12 years.

He had me put the white dot opposite the 8 (800 gallons) and the "capacity gallons" arrow on the outer scale opposite 5 (500 gallons). He told me to ignore the little dial on the inside that has the picture of the man and the woman on it. He said that now the unit should regenerate every 4 days or so, based on what I told him about our usage, and that we should use about 12 lbs. of salt per regeneration.

He spent about 10 minutes on the phone explaining how the unit worked and such. Seems pretty straight forward now that it's been explained.

What do you think?

ualdriver
 
  #8  
Old 05-06-08, 12:53 PM
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Get some hardness test strips and begin a systematic check of the water.

Test the water after regeneration and then again half way through the water usage.

Test the water just before it regenerates to see if it is holding soft.
 
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Old 05-06-08, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by justalurker View Post
Get some hardness test strips and begin a systematic check of the water.

Test the water after regeneration and then again half way through the water usage.

Test the water just before it regenerates to see if it is holding soft.
And I just came back from Home Depot!! Alright, we'll buy those strips and check out the hardness.

Thanks for all your help.

ualdriver
 
  #10  
Old 05-09-08, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by justalurker View Post
Get some hardness test strips and begin a systematic check of the water.

Test the water after regeneration and then again half way through the water usage.

Test the water just before it regenerates to see if it is holding soft.
Another question for you. I reset the dials as stated earlier, but unfortunately when the softener went through its first regeneration cycle since the above dial reset, I think my Fleck died. When I woke up at 7AM, the dial on the left was stuck on "back wash" and the time in the window on the left was stuck at 2AM. There was also a "popping" mechanical type noise coming from the timer. When I called the technician last time, I remembered that he had said that if the time was set properly (and it was), the regeneration cycle would start at 2AM and last a hour or two, so something was obviously wrong. When I tried to rotate the large dial on the left out of "backwash" and into the "in serv" mode in order to get it to stop filling my ejector pump pit continuously, the knob was very difficult to move and I had to force it to the "in serv" position. So it's unplugged until TUE.

So anyway, the guy is coming out Tuesday. I assume(?) that the Fleck will have to be replaced, as I imagine mechanical devices like these aren't normally serviced.

1) What does a new Fleck cost?
2) Is there a commonplace, solid state/digital type timer that I should get that perhaps will last longer than the 6 years the Fleck lasted? Or am I better off with another Fleck?

Thanks,
ualdriver
 
  #11  
Old 05-09-08, 08:45 AM
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Could be a failed motor, broken teeth on a gear, or a snapped locater pin. Since we don't know the history of your softener before you moved in let's not blame it.

Fleck control valves have a long and reliable field service history and can easily be repaired. If your "local guy" is competent he'll have the parts on the truck.

The question is, what will the total cost of parts and labor be to repair the valve versus replacing it with a newer technology model? The service tech should be able to give you a concise estimate before the repair.

If you want to, or it is cost effective, to replace the control valve I would use a Fleck 5600SE. It is a "spin on" replacement and is computer controlled with simple electronics which makes it much easier to screw up the settings

clcik here for Fleck 5600SE spec sheet

My reservation before spending money on a repair is that your softener IS correctly sized for your needs. You asked the local guy and he said "yup" but he didn't provide any capacity specs for your softener and we don't know the details of your water conditions. Just thinking out loud and trying to get you the biggest return on your money.
 

Last edited by justalurker; 05-09-08 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 05-09-08, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by justalurker View Post
Could be a failed motor, broken teeth on a gear, or a snapped locater pin. Since we don't know the history of your softener before you moved in let's not blame it.

Fleck control valves have a long and reliable field service history and can easily be repaired. If your "local guy" is competent he'll have the parts on the truck.

The question is, what will the total cost of parts and labor be to repair the valve versus replacing it with a newer technology model? The service tech should be able to give you a concise estimate before the repair.

If you want to, or it is cost effective, to replace the control valve I would use a Fleck 5600SE. It is a "spin on" replacement and is computer controlled with simple electronics which makes it much easier to screw up the settings

clcik here for Fleck 5600SE spec sheet

My reservation before spending money on a repair is that your softener IS correctly sized for your needs. You asked the local guy and he said "yup" but he didn't provide any capacity specs for your softener and we don't know the details of your water conditions. Just thinking out loud and trying to get you the biggest return on your money.
OK, didn't realize those things are repairable like that. I guess that's why the instructions you gave me before had the schematics.

I'll ask him again about it being properly sized when he shows up at the house. If he has to replace the timer, I'll ask him about the 5600se. What do they cost (the one I have now vs. the se?)

Thanks
 
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Old 05-09-08, 05:29 PM
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5600SE control valves a la carte mail order are about $320 but are much more efficient than your timer based valve. Timer based valves went out with flat head engines. The new SE valves will save you water and salt.

Your local guy will need to add some profit to that and he'll be installing and doing the setup so he'll be charging for that also.

If your local guy doesn't like them new fangled digital controlled valves then have him get you a 5600 Econominder "demand" valve. Still more efficient than your "timer" model and also a "screw on" replacement.

If you want to see parts...

Here is the service manual for your 5600 timer valve and the 5600 metered valve... click here for Fleck 5600 service manual

Here is the service manual for the 5600SE valve... click here for Fleck 5600SE service manual
 
  #14  
Old 05-09-08, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by justalurker View Post
5600SE control valves a la carte mail order are about $320 but are much more efficient than your timer based valve. Timer based valves went out with flat head engines. The new SE valves will save you water and salt.

Your local guy will need to add some profit to that and he'll be installing and doing the setup so he'll be charging for that also.

If your local guy doesn't like them new fangled digital controlled valves then have him get you a 5600 Econominder "demand" valve. Still more efficient than your "timer" model and also a "screw on" replacement.

If you want to see parts...

Here is the service manual for your 5600 timer valve and the 5600 metered valve... click here for Fleck 5600 service manual

Here is the service manual for the 5600SE valve... click here for Fleck 5600SE service manual
Justalurker-

Thanks very much for taking the time to answer my questions. I'll post when I know how it goes!

Steve
 
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Old 05-09-08, 06:29 PM
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You're welcome... please ship my Chicago dog with everything to:



Let us know how this works out.
 
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Old 05-14-08, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by justalurker View Post
You're welcome... please ship my Chicago dog with everything to:



Let us know how this works out.
OK, I had the local guy come out. He checked my Fleckner and said it was messed up. Unfortunately I was away from home, but my wife dealt with him. He said that I needed a new head ($148), a new piston and seals ($119) and charged $100 bucks for the service call, for a total of $367. He said that it was a good water softener for the water conditions and expected water usage, but that he'd be "happy" to put in a new softener for $1200+. He said that jokingly. Anyway, he seemed like a nice and honest guy and he told my wife that we should get at least another 6 years out of the unit after the repairs. He also said the resin should be good for another 6 years at least.

Anyway, hopefully that is the end of my problems!

Thanks for your help.......

ualdriver
 
 

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