Periodic brown water from softener


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Old 03-09-14, 06:50 PM
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Periodic brown water from softener

Boy am I learning a lot as a first time rural home owner! On taking possession of our home in December we discovered the softener was non functional. After cleaning out the brine tank and lines as well as the Venturi assembly water started coming out brown from the softener. ( clears up a bit after running a tap for about 10 mins).The water comes through clear when the softener is bypassed as well. I then remembered my iron level was high when tested (~9 sorry I don't remember the units, I'm so new to this) and a hardness of 26. After some research I figured the resin was caked with iron and ran about 5 regenerations with iron out. We still haven't seen a great Improvement and have to deal with the brownish water, especially after regenerations. I've tried running an extended backwash by unplugging the unit but with no improvements. I don't think the softener is more than 15 yrs old (fleck 5600) but I'm wondering if the resin needs full replacement now! Is there a chance the water will clear up with a month or so of proper use or am I better off calling in the pros? Any advice would be appreciated.
 
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Old 03-09-14, 07:49 PM
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You should change the resin. It sounds like it's iron fouled. The cost is not that much and easy to do.
 
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Old 03-09-14, 08:19 PM
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Ya I was thinking that was the eventual outcome. I'll also put a sediment filter pre softener as well I think to extend the life of it. Something else I've read on here.
 
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Old 03-09-14, 09:09 PM
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Is this unit on a meter or on a 12 day clock?

The other deal with the older 5600 is that there is no way of changing any of the time settings as it steps through each of the steps of the regen cycle.
Thus the time that the factory wheel and timer motor may not be enough time to fully clear out the media bed.
There could also be an upper basket that is holding back the flow to the drain as well as built up with what ever is falling out of the water, hardness and iron. Iron is the big builder on the upper basket and cuts down on flow through the system into the house as well as cutting down on the correct flow to the drain.

You could by unplugging the system rotate the center with the silver strip to each of the steps. back wash for 15 minutes and then the brine draw for 65 minutes and then the rapid rinse for another 15 minutes and see how that does.

But most likely as bier says, resin change time and that to would be a good time for checking if a rebuild is in order and changing out the upper basket if needed.
 
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Old 03-17-14, 11:20 AM
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Great advise ! Thanks I've put the backwash on for extended periods of time as you suggested. Water still brown. I've ordered a new resin bag and will be installing it tomorrow . While cleaning out the tank I did notice the upper basket was clogged with iron and old resin just as you said, so that will be changed out tomorrow too! Thanks again for the great advise I would never have looked in that basket.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 06:07 PM
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Success ! New resin and the water is better than I imagined! No more brown water baths for our baby and I just hope the 10 yr fleck valve holds out a while. Thanks again everybody !
 
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Old 03-19-14, 07:17 PM
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Did you re install the upper basket or leave it out?
 
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Old 03-21-14, 09:59 AM
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I cleaned it very well with iron out and a toothbrush to get all the gunk out came out looking like new. I could have ordered a new one but it would have been 1 week to deliver and I wanted to get this done.
 
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Old 03-21-14, 10:10 AM
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If the loading of the upper basket has happened once, it will happen again.
 
 

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