Old Water Softener Removal


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Old 05-04-24, 10:19 AM
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Old Water Softener Removal

My in laws house has an older Culligan Mark 40 automatic water conditioner. In years past my father-in-law would add salt, let it regenerate, etc. Problem is, this system has been sitting (house no longer occupied full time) for a very long time and we've never kept up the routine. We have no intentions of updating with a more current unit at this time. Naturally we're already dealing with hard water since we're on a well.

Question is, should we pull the conditioner out of the system?

Seems like it shouldn't be an overwhelming DIY job since I've done plumbing work in the past (copper lines) but we just might call in a plumber. If I remember right, there are only 2 lines going to the softener.

Thanks in advance for replies, comments.

Steverino


 
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Old 05-04-24, 11:08 AM
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"...should we pull the conditioner out of the system?"
That is your decision. You said you had hard water and there was a reason it was installed in the first place.

If you want to take the softener out of the system look at the unit where the water lines attach. Is there a valve, lever or knob? If so you should be able to switch it to bypass mode. As the name says it switches the valve to bypass the softener, essentially taking it out of the system.

If you want to physically remove the softener it's a simple job. Remove the softener and connect the two water lines together. One was bringing untreated water to the softener and the other was taking softened water away. How exactly you do that depends on the type of piping used.
 
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Old 05-04-24, 04:15 PM
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I appreciate the reply Pilot Dane. Obviously it was installed due to hard water, but it's over 40 years old. We're dealing with the hard water now since we're only at the house once a month during good weather, but the goal is to eventually replace it with "something" newer.

BTW: The bypass valve is frozen and can't even be turned. Honestly, I don't even remember if it was turned to bypass or not.

Haven't done any research yet on newer units. "Hoping" we don't need to deal with buying salt, regenerating and all that. Any suggestions appreciated.
 
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Old 05-04-24, 04:40 PM
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Snap a photo of your bypass valve.
 
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Old 05-05-24, 03:54 AM
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If the softener is not working or set to "off" then you don't need to worry about adding salt. Salt is only consumed when the softener regenerates. Also, there should be no "dealing with" regeneration if the unit is not functioning.
 
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Old 05-05-24, 06:15 AM
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I may have jumped the gun on my question.

Since we have hard water at this time, I just assumed the 40 year old softener was no longer working. Either that, or when my in-laws moved, it was switched to bypass mode. The subject property is in Michigan and we're back home in Illinois now.

When we get back up there I'll spend more time on it and snap a few pictures.

Thanks again for the replies.
 
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Old 05-05-24, 06:17 AM
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Typically, the bypass valves looks something like this. You should be able to simply push the knob in to bypass mode. You also could just add salt to the brine tank and let the system work. I would image the brine tank needs to be cleaned out. Usually, there is a hose connecting the brine tank to the softener control head, so all you need to do is pull that hose out of the tank, take the tank outside and rinse it out. When you put the tank back, add a bag or two of salt and then add about a gallon our two of water to the tank. Usually, systems have a "regenerate now" mode. After adding salt and making sure you are NOT is bypass mode, hit the regenerate now and let the system run. Should take a couple of hours.
 
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Old 05-05-24, 06:42 AM
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And if it's it's old Fleck bypass valve, (example) they get frozen from age and lack of movement. Fixing them is a very simple matter of shutting off the water, taking the handle off, and replacing the rubber seal plus adding some lube. It's an easy DIY $10 repair. That way, if you want to isolate the softener and discontinue its use you can just turn the valve to bypass.
 
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Old 05-05-24, 09:58 AM
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Thanks for the input everyone. Will give me something to when we get up to the house next week.
 
 

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