Conflicting Water Softener Professionals


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Old 04-02-09, 02:42 PM
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Conflicting Water Softener Professionals

Hi,

I use a 9x48, autotrol series 155 softener purcahsed in October 1991.

My water is noticably harder in the last month:
- showering
- iron color stain in toilets
- laundry discoloration

Actions:
- cleaned brine tank (there were a couple of inches of sediment)
- banged out the brine pick up and removed sediment that fell out
- cleaned injector and screen
- reloaded brine tank (4 gal water + 1 cup iron out in half gal water) and regenerated
- reloaded brine tank with salt (solar crystal) and regenerated twice (5 lb salt setting)
- ran softener nightly next two nights
- water still seems hard and discoloration of toilet bowl still present
- unit successfully completes the regen cycle
- control timer is working

What would you recommend?
disassembling brine pick up?
replacing resin?
new softener?

Professionals have not yet inspected the unit (each charges between $55 and $125 per service call). One professional indicated that hardened resin seems possible. He advised that some resins are considerably better than others (and slightly more expensive). Another said all resins are basically the same and it is probably time to replace the softener after 17+ years and recommends going from Autotrol to Fleck controls. A third professional indicated that resin is a possible issue, but this one wants to charge over 30% more than the others for a new softener if needed. Before hooking into a service call fee I'd like to pick the one that seems to make the most sense.

Household is two adults. We may be somewhat heavier than average water users.

Thanks for your suggestions. I attached some water test results below.

E.H.

Test results:
Water source: well - rural to light suburban area. Last unsoftened test was 1991 (compared to last test in August 2008):

Iron
1.5mg/L untreated (1991)
<100ug/L treated (Aug 2008)

Hardness as calcium caronate
150mg/L (1991)
2.5 mg/L (Aug 2008)

Maganesee
.73mg/L (1991)
<5000ug/L (August 2008 - not sure results are comparable tests)

Sodium
21 mg/L (1991)
100,000ug/L (August 2008)

pH
7.3 (1991)
7.42 SU (August 2008)
 
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Old 04-02-09, 07:54 PM
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If the brine water is being drawn from the brine tank, and you still have hard water, the resin is bad or gone. It's said that you will lose about 5% of the resin each year. At 17 years, it could be completely gone or not far from it. If it breaks up, you will not get soft water either and you will see a pressure loss in the water flow. You can check for yourself. Simply place unit on bypass, relieve the pressure, and disconnect unit from bypass. Spin the head off and look in the tank. It should be 2/3 full of resin. As far as buying a new unit, the question should be, "How much money do you put into this unit"? If it's only $50.00 and lasts another 10 years it's worth it. Or will it start to nickle and dime you to death?
 
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Old 04-03-09, 06:51 AM
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Controls & Resin Follow-Up

Thanks "biermech" for the reply.

Can anyone advise how they would spec out the resin? I saw someone suggest only Purolite or Ionac - is there a difference and do those brands have only one grade resin or several?

Also for the controls is there any quality difference between autotrol and Fleck? Any suggestion on the model?

Thanks for guidance on these questions or any other suggestions.

Hawkee
 
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Old 04-03-09, 03:15 PM
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I've always thought Ionac to be a better resin. It is however more expensive. As far as a valve is concerned, the Fleck will outlast an Autotrol. Both are superior to all other valves, but I like the Fleck 5600 meter demand system. A 32k unit will work fine for your water.
 
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Old 04-03-09, 03:27 PM
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Thanks "biermech" - further thoughts still welcome

Thanks for the thoughts on Ionac and Fleck. I'll keep the Fleck 5600 demand control in mind (if the supplier offers both) and probably spec out Ionac resin. Is there only one resin offered by Ionac for residential apps? Today one professional mentioned Logix and AdvantaPure - are those control units (offered by Fleck, Autotrol or others), or are those trade names for a packaged softening system (possibly including a Fleck or Autotrol control)?

Don't mean to be a pest, I'm hoping that is the last question.

Thanks ... Hawkee
 
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Old 04-04-09, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Hawkee View Post
Is there only one resin offered by Ionac for residential apps?
I do believe they offer more than one softener resin.
Originally Posted by Hawkee View Post
Today one professional mentioned Logix and AdvantaPure - are those control units (offered by Fleck, Autotrol or others), or are those trade names for a packaged softening system (possibly including a Fleck or Autotrol control)?
I believe these are processors for an Autotrol valve.

Ask all the questions you like.
 
 

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