softener lifespan? can't find what's wrong.


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Old 12-15-09, 01:22 AM
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softener lifespan? can't find what's wrong.

I've got an Ecowater 2000 system from about 1993, and it suddenly stopped working. (egg smell is back). It seems to be going through all the motions, but the water isn't soft after regeneration. What is the average lifespan of these?

I know that the resin degrades over time, but this was a sudden stop, so it must be something else. Money is tight right now, I'd rather kick start this one until I find a good sale, so I'm trying to figure out what's wrong. We emptied all the salt out, no bridge and it was pretty clean in there (it was cleaned over the summer).

The brinewell is not obstructed, and the valve appears to be working correctly. I can blow through the brine hose with no problem, so it's not obstructed. Nozzle and venturi are clean. (I had to laugh when I was reading about Morton's softeners and saw the EXACT same wording in a paragraph about cleaning this as is in my early-90s Ecowater manual!).

Water going in, water coming out... motor and gears moving. I WD-40'd everything just in case, but I can see the gears and switches moving as it advances. The only thing that I noticed is that there is wear on the red gasket that is between the flow plug and the nozzle and venturi. The past few times I've cleaned it, a bit was wearing off the outside edges. And the last time a tiny piece from near the "cookie bite" where it seats in the housing. Could this possibly be making it so the brine isn't cleaning the resin? The nozzle and venturi are clear.

It's got an 80 minute cycle and uses quite a bit of water so I'll leave it overnight again to brew some better brine than this afternoon, but I'm really stumped.

Any advice is truly appreciated.
 
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Old 12-15-09, 08:07 AM
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The venturi gasket will swell and block the port that cause the draw. Also, in 1993 Eco used 2 o-rings as a sealing point between the valve and the distributor. They failed often so you may want to check them out.
 
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Old 12-15-09, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by biermech View Post
The venturi gasket will swell and block the port that cause the draw. Also, in 1993 Eco used 2 o-rings as a sealing point between the valve and the distributor. They failed often so you may want to check them out.
Thank you for your fast answer! If I can see that it's drawing brine up, is it safe to assume that it's working right now? (I'll get a new one if I can keep the bugger running).

I feel stupid for not knowing, but where is the valve and distributor? I'm looking through the parts breakdown and I'm not finding this. The only thing I've ever taken apart is the nozzle/venturi and the brine tube. Thanks in advance-
 
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Old 12-15-09, 02:01 PM
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Water softener media degrades quickly with high chlorine

limetwist,
Do you have water with high chlorine content or possible a chlorine disinfecting feeder system on your water well or supply? We discovered that high chlorine will cause the water softener media to turn to muck - resulting in basically the situation you describe... everything appears to work but no soft water.
There used to be a thread on the forum somewhere for purchasing the water softener media and replacing it yourself. Or, you could probably Google up 'water softener media' and find a source. Seems to me it was about a $100 for an old Sears Kenmore 20 water softer ca. 1985.
Greynold99
 
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Old 12-15-09, 03:46 PM
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No chlorine here, well water. My lab results were a bit of copper, iron, potassium, zinc, sulfate, a bit more of sodium. The softener seemed to really take away the "egg" smell, and a small GE whole house taste/smell filter after the softener too that took care of the rest.

I re-seated the red gasket again. Last night we ran the filter but we can't tell if it's as bad as it was or not... but the brine wasn't strong - because I had vacuumed the salt pellets all out. Maybe I should just run it one more time, the brine should be brewed pretty well by now.

The thing between the valve and distributor as mentioned above - I still don't know exactly where that is, but nothing is leaking or audibly sucking air.
 
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Old 12-15-09, 07:07 PM
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The "valve" is the whole assembly that the venturi is attached to. In oder to get to the distributor tube, you must put the unit on bypass, relieve the pressure, and disconnect from the bypass. There's clips that hold the valve to the tank. Once the valve is seperated from the tank, you will see the dist tube in the center of the upper basket. There may be 1 or 2 o rings on the dist tube. If 2, check them closely. I have found them oval shaped which allows raw water to pass the resin resulting in hard water.
 
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Old 12-17-09, 12:01 AM
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we're still gonna check those o-rings, but it's not looking good for the old Eco. it's filling, but not pulling in brine. We've run so many cycles, wasted so much water and electricity and the water is just as disgusting as ever.

I was able to find a Water-Right on Craigslist- I researched it locally and it looks as though I got a pretty nice setup. The new homeowner switched from well to city water and disconnected it. Water-Right, Inc. - manufacturer of quality water softeners, conditioners and treatment systems, plus water testing services.
it's the asc-2. and if you knew how cheap I got it...

so I will have a few more questions, but more plumbing related than anything. I've only worked with pvc and cpvc. And I'll have to deal with some copper here. The guy cut the copper pipes that came from the in/out casting. I need to know how to get the copper left in the casting out (he cut one off flush, I'm guessing that will be the difficult one). Then I guess I'll need to learn to sweat some copper in order to connect it like the other one is connected: reduced from 1" to 3/4" and male threaded. Could anyone help me here, or should I post over at plumbing?

thank you~
 
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Old 12-17-09, 03:38 AM
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You can use a shark bite. It will convert copper to pvc. No sweating needed. I heard very good things about them. Try Lowes or Home depot for them. If not, I can help you sweat the copper.
 
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Old 12-17-09, 11:49 AM
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I'm going to check out the shark bites. First, how do I go about removing the pieces of copper that are soldered into this thing? Otherwise I can buy a new one off their parts list. They have metal threaded ones for $55 which seems like a lot... plastic for under $20. The copper flex line obviously has metal threads... I do have a small propane torch, but by the time I'd buy the other stuff I'm not sure if I'd be up in that $50 range or not.
 
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Old 12-17-09, 05:57 PM
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I couldn't loosen those, but called and got a hard black plastic version of the same thing - but with 3/4" threads for $18. Couldn't really go wrong there. It's up and working, and the place has a really good deal on salt too. By all means check Craigslist... I don't think the owner knew it was a $2k+ softener because it came with their house, he just wanted it out of there. The valve in the diagram looks suspiciously like one of the "famous" name ones.

(tip: when buying a used softener - bring a dolly LOL) If anyone needs old Eco parts let me know...

what a a relief...

Thank you so much,

gina
 
 

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