Culligan Gold Series Water Softener not sucking Brine

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Old 01-07-11, 05:59 AM
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Culligan Gold Series Water Softener not sucking Brine

I have a Culligan Gold Series water softener and did a manual regeneration because my water has a iron color and tase to it and noticed that the brine level never went down during the brine portion of the cycle.

I'm assuming that he level should visibly go down during the 65 minute brine rinse (brine tank is 18 X 42) so is there a test that I could do to figure out if the softener is working or if there is a clog somewhere?

Aso, I was told of a screen on the top of the softener so I took it out (it's about 1/4 diameter round screen about 1/2 inch long) and cleaned it. There was some rust scum on it but not a lot. What is this screen used for and where does it lead to? Does the main water go through this screen or is it only for regeneration only?

Everything we have is turning orange including our hair and toe nails so any help is definitely appreciated.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 11:05 AM
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The screen is mainly to help keep the injector clear.
Under that silver plate is the injector, there are 2 parts to it, the little blue or tan part that sets with in the larger.. if the little one blue or tan is plugged then it will not draw brine.
If that is clean then there could be a seal or o ring that is cut and letting water by that should not be getting by..
 
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Old 01-12-11, 10:29 AM
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I checked the screen and cleaned it real good and then cleaned out the brine tank and put in new salt. I did a regeneration and was watching the water level in the brine tank but it didn't look like it went down.

Should it be really noticable that the water level in the brine tank goes down during the brine phase?

I took the hose from the softener to the brine tank off during the brine phase and felt some suction from the softener but not a lot. Is this normal or should it be a strong suction. Does that hose need to be primed before I get enough suction to bring the water to the softener or will the softener get rid of the air in the line?
 
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Old 01-12-11, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bwilker View Post
I checked the screen and cleaned it real good and then cleaned out the brine tank and put in new salt. I did a regeneration and was watching the water level in the brine tank but it didn't look like it went down.

Should it be really noticable that the water level in the brine tank goes down during the brine phase?

I took the hose from the softener to the brine tank off during the brine phase and felt some suction from the softener but not a lot. Is this normal or should it be a strong suction. Does that hose need to be primed before I get enough suction to bring the water to the softener or will the softener get rid of the air in the line?
It is very noticeable when the water is getting pulled out of the brine tank at .45gpm.... but if you had the line off and your finger or thumb was not getting pulled in big time or suction would not hold the line on your finger or thumb...no priming is needed and if the injector is clear then the brine piston could have some thing wrong or the main piston and seal cage could be at fault.
 
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Old 01-14-11, 12:34 PM
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Thanks for your help Akpsdvan. I cleaned the injector and it worked good. Do you think I should take anything else apart to clean since it looked like there was alot of iron under the silver plate.
 
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Old 01-14-11, 03:15 PM
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Depending on the age of the unit and the amount of iron in the water it might be getting close to either a break down and clean or rebuild of the valve with new brine piston and main piston seal cage..
 
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Old 01-16-11, 09:47 AM
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I inherited an old culligan system and my wife and I are now orange, too. We hate it. I want to try some of the suggestions made in this forum but I don't know the first thing about this system, it has no visible model number, nor do I have the manual for it. The first thing I need to do is find out how to depressurize the salt tank so I can open it up for inspection and cleaning. I am not sure but I suspect this system has been in place since the late 70s, so even if I get it working I'm going to be needing a new system in the foreseeable future. Can anyone suggest a system that is affordable, easy for the owner to work on and repair, and has a long working life. Thanks!
 
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Old 01-16-11, 10:08 AM
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Some more information or photos of the system in question..
If it is one of the Mark 89 or Mark 812 or the N8 then that valve can be rebuilt.
There should be a bypass valve with red and blue, when in service the blue is in and red out, for bypass the red in and blue out.
It could even be one of the Mark 49's that they had in the 70'.
I have one of the 49's on a shelf, just have not rebuilt the thing yet..
 
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Old 01-16-11, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Akpsdvan View Post
Some more information or photos of the system in question..
If it is one of the Mark 89 or Mark 812 or the N8 then that valve can be rebuilt.
There should be a bypass valve with red and blue, when in service the blue is in and red out, for bypass the red in and blue out.
It could even be one of the Mark 49's that they had in the 70'.
I have one of the 49's on a shelf, just have not rebuilt the thing yet..
Thanks for the quick reply. Sorry. I don't know how to post photos. I would if I could.

I did hit the bypass and I am going down to try it with the house water pressure cut off. I don't have the vaguest idea what i'm going to do--just disassemble anything that seems accessible to disassembly and cleaning and try to figure it out as I go along. We haven't had soft water out of it since we moved in, so it doesn't matter much if I have it off line. I really want to look at a new, resonably priced system for my wife and I. We have very heavy water here in northwest Iowa. I do not want to use culligan because they make it very difficult or impossible for homeowners to do their own maintenance and repairs, they seem to thrive on fleecing people, and their systems seem needlessly complicated.
 
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Old 01-16-11, 11:28 AM
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Is the valve white or black? metal or plastic?
If you are handy then finding parts is the only real challenge..
From time to time I take in Culligans, same parts that I know will be needed later if they are still good... and have rebuilt valves to keep things running for a customer.. but any number of dealers that are corp are looking for new units out the door..
 
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Old 02-11-11, 11:58 PM
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gold series not drawing brine.

In the particular valve body used in the gold series, there is a metal plate with 3 screws on top. Same as Medalist,Mark-89, 812, same exact valve body. The mark-89 & mark 812 are identical valve bodies, the only difference is, the size of the tank. MK-8'9" inch tank, or MK-8'12"inch tank. Those both had 3/4" in and out only. The Medalist and Gold series offered 1" inlet and outlet, as well as 3/4". Depending on the size of the plumbing in your home. And also the year when the valve was converted to 1" for consumer purposes. Under that plate, there is what Culligan calls a sediment screen, because with any single tank system, you rely on hard water regeneration. Hard water regeneration is exactly what it means. you rely on the incoming water supply to regenerate your system. Dual tank systems regenerate through the primary or secondary softener tank to regenerate, meaning soft water regeneration. Single tanks don't have that option. Anyhow, getting back to single tang regeneration. That sediment screen catches ferric particles, too large and they will clog. Mostly iron in well water applications. If you ever looked at that screen, it is covered in iron. That is the purpose of the screen. Under that screen is what is called an eductor nozzle and throat assembly. Same throughout the MK-89 to Gold series. Because it is the same valve body. The blue eductor nozzle is mostly meant for lower hardness and iron applications "city water" while the tan nozzle is meant for harder more iron applications. The throat assembly has been tan colored for some time and only purpose is to hold the nozzle and screen making it not so important. If your eductor nozzle is cleared and your screen is clean, than the problem is in the brine piston.(only because inspection of the float has ruled everything else out) It could be as simple as an O-ring issue rolled onto the piston for lack of lubrication. Lubrication is one of the largest problems with any piston based mechanical issues. Most would never think of that. But then again, why should that be a concern to any consumer? HMM. Service call issues? I mean think about that! A piston lubricated at the factory only has so many ins and outs before it dries up. !!! Sometimes it wasn't lubricated enough at the factory. OMG?? could that ever happen? Yes it can. As well as any other company. When your culligan man offers an annual inspection, take advantage of it. Trust me. It's a lot cheaper than the alternative.
 
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Last edited by softknowledge; 02-12-11 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 02-12-11, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by oliverdouglas View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. Sorry. I don't know how to post photos. I would if I could.

I did hit the bypass and I am going down to try it with the house water pressure cut off. I don't have the vaguest idea what i'm going to do--just disassemble anything that seems accessible to disassembly and cleaning and try to figure it out as I go along. We haven't had soft water out of it since we moved in, so it doesn't matter much if I have it off line. I really want to look at a new, resonably priced system for my wife and I. We have very heavy water here in northwest Iowa. I do not want to use culligan because they make it very difficult or impossible for homeowners to do their own maintenance and repairs, they seem to thrive on fleecing people, and their systems seem needlessly complicated.
Have you gotten this taken care of ? or are still need of answers?
 
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Old 02-21-11, 07:04 PM
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I have a Mark 89 and am experiencing the same sort of problem in that the brine does not seem to be getting pulled into the softener. The screen is clean and the nozzle is open. Where or how do I access the brine piston to check it. Is it in the top of the black vertical tube going into the brine tank? Is there an exploded view to be able to assist in identifying parts or a service manual anywhere. Also, it was mentioned that the MK89 valve could be rebuilt. Where would one find the parts required to accomplish that? Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 02-21-11, 07:52 PM
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The brine piston is on the top half of the valve, one can get to it by removing the so called back plate, there is a screw over at the top or just over the brine piston and then there are two screws under the metal motor plate.
Yours could have the older or newer style, the old is a clip that holds the piston and motor shaft, the newer has what culligan calls the follower.
It could also be that one of the seals in the seal pack is bad and not forcing water to make a path like it should and not drawing brine.

If yours is a Mark 89 and over 10 years and never been worked on, could be one or both.
Some have changed around a seal in the seal pack assembly and things have started working again.

Culligan is real happy with their price on the part.. have heard of some dealer on the east coast that has them under 100, but most are between 150 and 200 for the kit.
 
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Old 02-23-11, 07:15 PM
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I loosened the screw that allows adjustment of salt dose and increased its dosage. It seemed to have done the trick since I could tell a marked improvement in the uptake of brine. I also mixed a batch of Super Iron Out and added it to the brine well. Also markedly improved performance of the entire system. Thanks a million for your help
 
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Old 03-06-11, 03:04 PM
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If you are having issues with brine draw check the eductor screen and the 3 o-rings. 1 on the nozzle and 2 on the throat. Also check the DLFC by removing the drain elbow and pull/poinking out the rubber piece. If it is soft and or deformed then replace it. More often than not you can replace the DLFC and not mess with the eductor at all and get brine draw. Possible short fix though.

If your brine piston is worn or has a bad o-ring replace the seal pack, brine piston, eductor o-rings and DLFC and NOT just the bad o-ring(s). All you're doing by doing it this way is putting a bandaid on it. Anyone that says otherwise is wrong. Period. You are going to have to do the other stuff soon anyways, go ahead and do it while you have the thing open. It's called "Doing things right the first time".

After rebuilding the unit you do sometimes have to regenerate it twice to get it to draw brine correctly. One thing that I do after rebuilding a valve be it Fleck or Culligan etc is to manually regenerate it and check for draw. Almost all the time there is little to no draw the first time. Before heading to the "fill" stage hold the float rod down so that you know for sure water can flow to the brine tank and then put into fill. Let run for a few seconds to blow the air out and put back to service. Now start a new regeneration and go to brine draw and you should be able to tell that you have draw.
 
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Old 10-02-12, 11:48 AM
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Culligan 812 Brine tank not refilling-rapid rinse not occurring-salt water

Have a Culligan 812-pulled and cleaned seal pack and brine piston. Reinstalled-backwash occurs, brine draw occurs-no brine tank refill and don't hear the full rapid wash. Results-salt water out of the tap. Suggestions to trouble shoot the cycling of the recycle?
 
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