How do I know if resin bed has gone bad?


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Old 10-17-08, 08:52 PM
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How do I know if resin bed has gone bad?

Hi, I have a Kenmore UltraSoft 150. We have a well. The water pressure has dropped recently because of the softener (in bypass mode, the pressure is fine). I'm reading that if the resin bed has gone bad, that it will be the cause of low water pressure. How can I find out for certain if the resin bed has gone bad? By the way, I dismantled the valve body, and everything is fine, as is the Venturi (although I should clean it a few more times for good measure). Is there a general life span for Kenmore softeners? Thank you in advance for any assistance - Patrick
 
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Old 10-18-08, 06:26 AM
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From the very first use of a softener, the resins start a slow decline in quality and thus performance. The trick is to slow that decline for as long as possible.

Without knowing more of your source water quality, how often it regenerates, etc., it is difficult to predict it extended life. There are other aspects that may contribute to user-life of the resins.

Your lose of pressure can include resin beads breaking up, getting smaller and not allowing water flow to be as high as normal. Also, dirt, sand, soil and other foreign matter could have accumulated in the resin bed from the inhibiting flow.

Other symptoms that your resin may be going south could be iron and hardness coming through; the need to regenerate more often or use high salt dosages to get the same results.

The only real way is to actually inspect the resin for consistency, color, shape, brittleness, and volume.

Hope this helped a little.
Andy Christensen, CWS-II
 
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Old 10-18-08, 07:00 AM
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Hi Andy, thanks for the information. Is there a site where I can find out what the resin beads should look like at this point? Is getting in there and checking the resin beads somethinig that the every-day person can do - or is this something a professional should do?
 
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Old 10-18-08, 11:43 AM
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Big box store brands usually last 2-5 years and then start to have problems that are expensive to fix.

Your low flow can be caused but the by pass valve or top basket or bottom basket being blocked with debris or mushy resin. To test the resin, get a sample and rub it between your finger and thumb, it should be hard. If it is, the cause is something other than the resin, possibly the slits in the top and bottom distributor tube baskets are filled with resin beads. To inspect the bottom basket, you must pull the distributor tube out. Putting it back in can be difficult in a cabinet model softener where you can't get the resin tank out of the salt tank very easily. The top basket comes off with the control valve or you can lift it out of the tank after you take the valve off the tank.
 
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Old 10-18-08, 02:32 PM
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It's not hard to test the resin. Separate the valve from the tank. Remove the center oring (around distubator tube). Using something flat, lift up on the upper basket and remove. Use something to dip down in the tank and retrive resin. Try to get from the middle. You can use the distributor tube. The flat edge will catch resin, but you must remove very slowly. Squeeze between finger and thumb. If it smashes up, it bad. Real bad resin will feel almost slick when smashed.
 
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Old 10-20-08, 08:13 PM
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Thanks for the assistance. I cleaned everything out for the ump-teenth time and it is all good again (for now). I did break the cheap clips that hold the bypass to the softener, so I had to get a new set of those. But $10 for clips is a lot better than a new softener!
 
 

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