Specific Softener Questions with Details & Images


Old 06-29-19, 08:38 PM
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Specific Softener Questions with Details & Images


I am hoping to get some insight into my water softening system that will help me troubleshoot possible issues.

I have a softener that is about 48" tall and 10" across (1.25 cubic feet/40,000 grain capacity according to my research and math). It says "Pacer" on the sticker across the front. The control system is 460 Novram MP. It appears to have been purchased in 1989.

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We purchased the home one year ago, and I just found the original receipts and notes. I am finding the notes difficult to understand and the manual doesn't explain as much as I'd like.
  • I set to correct time. I found notes that they wanted the time offset.
  • The hardness is set at 30, however, there are notes about changing it to 40 until they "fixed, cleaned impeller then set hardness back to 30" in 1997.
  • The capacity is set at 2 6
  • The dial on the side is set at 12 LBS of Salt
The manual has this chart:
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If we have 1.25 cubic ft softener, so it doesn't make sense that they would have the capacity set at 26 and the salt setting at 12... or I misunderstand the chart.
  • How does one choose between the different settings? example: 24 capacity with 7.0 salt or 35 capacity and 16.o salt.
  • Is the capacity simply how much salt water goes into the softener to regenerate it?

When we moved in in the spring of 2018, we definitely noticed the smell of our well water, but it seemed to lessen as the year went on. I thought maybe we got used to it. But this spring, 2019, it came back very strong, so I thought perhaps it was just a Michigan spring issue since our well is in a very saturated area. However, our toilets and appliances have also started staining a rust color, which we didn't notice when we moved in. Also, many of our aquarium fish, which we have had since August and January, suddenly started having difficulty and many died, plus our dishwasher seems to need a cleaning more often to avoid limescale. So, we tested our water from the kitchen sink with the following results:

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If I understand the results correctly, I have a hardness of 14.6 grains per gallon of hardness.
  • Why would the hardness on the controller be set at 30? Is it because the water might be that bad before the softener?
  • Should I be testing the hardness before the water softener... like through my outdoor water system?

After doing some viewing of YouTube videos and reading a few articles, I wonder if we overdue for some maintenance. Here is a picture inside our salt tank.
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I already removed a large bucket of salt to get to the level of the water.
I wonder if we might have a salt bridge and thought I might start there, which led me to try to figure out the controller.
Then I realized that our controller is ancient and that it is likely on the wrong settings. There were two single women living here part-time for years, and now we are a family of 4 using quite a bit of water daily (estimate 400+ gal per day).
Here are my questions:
  • What is the impeller? How do I go about looking to see if it needs to be fixed and/or cleaned again?
  • If I am going to empty the salt tank to clean it out and make sure there isn't a salt bridge, can I just close off the intake and then the outtake pipes? Should I (or can I) use the controller to pull the water out of the salt tank first? Do I have to depressurize the tank as well? Do I need to turn the controller off or unplug it?
  • What exactly does each of the different places the red button points to mean? Last week I did push the button to manually regenerate the tank. But what do the following actually do: regenerant draw/slow rinse, fast rinse refill, conditioned water, backwash. Are there any circumstances where I would want to manually set the button to do these actions?

There is an R/O filter system that apparently only goes to our refrigerator water dispenser. I'm not sure if some of the notes are for that, and not the water softener. They appear to have been purchased at the same time.
  • Are there filters associated with the softener, or just the R/O system?
  • What is "acid flushed softener"? And how often does it need to be done?
After cleaning the impeller in 1997, they installed a new impeller in 1998 "because flow light no longer blinked and had to regenerate manually.
  • Which light is the flow light (the dot on the right?) and when should it be flashing?
Additionally, my neighbor told me I can use the salts that are for removing rust for the discoloration in appliances and toilets. Could it be that there was just a different kind of salt in it before?

How long do these systems work? This one is now 30 years old.

I have tried to be as specific as possible in hopes that you can help.
Thank you!
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Old 06-30-19, 04:44 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2016
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How long do these systems work? This one is now 30 years old.
Before I even got to the bottom of your post my thought was that you simple should throw it out and get something new.

A 30 year old softener is like a 30 year old car is going to be a constant pain to keep functioning.

Is there even any notes regarding replacement of the resin bed, that only last 10-15 years so you should have had one or more by now.

RO system is completely seperate to softener!

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