View Full Version : Stinky water, high iron, need softener and overwhelmed

03-18-2009, 08:06 PM
I apologize in advance for the long story but I feel the need to give the specifics. I am completely overwhelmed after reading all these softener forums.

Bought home in country 2 years ago and completely remodeled it. We lived there for a year and the whole time the water smelled terrible. Attempted to shock the well but it did not improve the smell. It stinks on hot and cold. Home sat for one year (did not sell) and we currently have renters dealing with the smell and terrible iron problem. You can fill a glass of water and you can see iron sediments. Toilet red, bathtub water tinted red and back of toilet looks terrible. Had a Culligan guy come out to the house and I believe the hardness was 18 (I do not know any terminology) and he sent a sample in for testing. I believe a small amount of sulfur bacteria was present but I can't remember anything else. He told me a unit through another company was going to cost me $2500 and then after getting water tested (we need to still pay $50) I was told the unit would actually cost $4800 (softener, something for the iron, and something that would chlorinate the softener). We said no way. He then suggested we buy a softener and then rent a pellet system and something for the iron. Again; too expensive. Finally he tried selling me a used unit for $1250 and then an even older and smaller unit for $750. I agreed and then called back today and left him a message saying I was uneasy with the how thing and thanks but no thanks. I never saw any of the tests, just bits and pieces over the phone. And now after reading water softener forums I feel very clueless and confused. Meantime our renters would like the hard water and smell resolved. We have a sediment filter but it's clogged shortly after replacing it. It's hard to keep up with it. Thanks for taking the time to look over this. I will try to get the results from the Culligan man and post more tomorrow. If someone could point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it. Also, I might add that we are in a smaller town with limited options (Culligan and I'm hoping Ecowater - left message tonight).

Gary Slusser
03-18-2009, 10:37 PM
You need actual test results for TDS (total dissolved solids), hardness, pH, iron, manganese, Coliform bacteria, nitrates and sulfates, nitrites and chlorides would be nice.

Be careful of Ecowater. They are usually the most expensive and may not work well for long. You can not buy parts or service from anyone other than the one and only local dealer.

If you want to be independent, you could buy from me or other online dealers and install it yourself or hire a plumber to do it and probably save up to a $1000+.

03-19-2009, 04:01 AM
If someone could point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it.

Gary and others here can offer some good suggestions, but there is no "magic bullet" anywhere. It sounds to me like your situation might be sufficiently severe as to call for a settling tank ahead of any kind of treatment equipment.

03-19-2009, 09:43 AM
You are getting some good advice here . Don't do ANYTHING until you have your water tested by an independent water testing company. You don't really know what the problem is or should I say you don't know how bad it really is.

At a minimum you need to know, hardness, manganese, iron, PH, and TDS. For hydrogen sulfide Your nose is the best tester - its smells a little in the morning, it smells a lot, its so bad the neighbors are complaining....
Expect to pay some $$$ for the right equipment, probably half as much if you DIY, but it still isn't free.

Post your water analysis, type of pump and max GPM water output from the well with all filters bypassed (you can measure that with a 5 gal bucket at an outside spigot) and someone here will be able to tell you what you probably need.

I just want to add one more thing. Even if you don't want to DIY, consider ordering from Gary or someplace online and hire a local plumber to do the install. Going through a water filtration company you run the risk of being stuck with proprietary equipment. It will be a problem if the company pulls up roots and moves out of town and you need service.

03-19-2009, 10:27 AM
Thank you everyone for your input. We are in a bit of a sticky situation because we just found out this morning that our vehicle needs a new transmission. Money is tight right now but may free up soon. What is the downside of putting in a cheap softener for the moment to give us time to get the water tested and save money for something better. Obviously we would be out $400-$500 but it would buy us some time maybe??

I know you all are experts and possibly shaking your head at this but we have 3 little kids, double mortgage (one of which is being rented) and tenants that want the iron water out of their tub/toilets. We are in a bit of a time/financial crunch.

Thanks so much for all your input. My husband is going to swing by Culligan to give them $ for the water analysis they had done (through another company) and I will post the results.

Thanks again!

Gary Slusser
03-19-2009, 11:10 AM
A softener of any type is not going to give your tenants satisfactory water quality. And no one should sell you anything that doesn't but, many will if given half a chance.

Have you heard from Ecowater and what do they have to say?

It takes patience to do something right. They've lived with the problems this long and will for awhile longer to get it done right, the first time. BTW, doing 'it' right' the first time always costs the least.

03-19-2009, 11:45 AM
It really depends on what the water analysis says.

Softeners max out around 4ppm for dissolved (ferrous) iron removal. If you have ferric iron it will foul the softener in almost any amount. And to the best of my knowledge softeners won't solve your hydrogen sulfide problem.

For the money softeners are a great solution IF --IF they are a match for your conditions. Your money may be better off spent on a centaur carbon filter which will remove hydrogen sulfide gas and ferric iron. It all depends on the water analysis.

And I would plan on spending more than $500. Sorry.


03-19-2009, 12:08 PM
I have heard in some cases a softener can remove a rotten egg odor from the water. Iron in the water can sometimes be in the form of iron sulfide and a softener will grab it.



03-19-2009, 02:50 PM
It takes patience to do something right ... [and] ... doing 'it' right' the first time always costs the least.

Absolutely! Where there never seems to be enough time or money to do something right the first time around, we still almost always later find whatever we need to do the job over. Go figure, eh?!

Anyway, and as a temporary, possibly-slow-it-down-a-bit measure, you might try using a bank of two or more 20" filters, and with the second having a lower micron rating than the first. My water troubles are not nearly as bad as yours, but that is how I keep the red out of my fixtures ... and please know I am not an expert on water treatment.

03-19-2009, 03:07 PM
I understand the advice on doing it right the first time. Trust me, I do. And I could go on and on for the reasons this is somewhat urgent. We live in a small town where finding a water company to test our water is not easy. We waited over a week to get the results from Culligan (which he barely covered over the phone and I never did see a hard copy). We don't have another couple weeks to solve this problem. If it were a home I was going to live in for 20 years I can understand paying 2-3k for a nice system.

I know the Fleck 5600 is raved about but I worry about how hard installation will be and getting it set up properly. And if I pay the plumber we are talking more money (and who is to say they know what they are doing). My dad plumbed it all up and it's ready to go as far as hooking up the lines.

It's a rental home, that will hopefully be sold in the next couple years. We remodeled it and didn't skimp on anything (thus lack of funds at this point). We need something that will do the job for now. Will a Kenmore serve it's purpose for a few years? I don't care if we have to add more salt or if it regenerates more than another. I just want something to buy us some time.

I realize you all are experts and I appreciate that but I am making myself crazy thinking about it. Will a Kenmore work for the time being?
Thank you,

03-19-2009, 03:56 PM
First of all, you haven't even posted a legit water analysis. If you want professional opinions, you will need that first. There is no cheap way out of your water problem. If you continue to think that there is, well then you are only fooling yourself. If you want people to tell you what you want to hear, then go to Home Depot, Lowes, or Sears, and then you can drive yourself even crazier after what they suggest doesn't work. Your water needs to be systematically treated (oxidized, filtered, and softened). A kenmore water softener alone, will not resolve your problem. I will say this again, because it usually has to be driven into peoples heads, your first and most important step, is a good quality water analysis, for the same reason why a doctor orders blood work. If you paid for the analysis by Culligan, why the heck don't you have the results? Check around for a company that might finance the system if money is an issue.



Gary Slusser
03-19-2009, 07:50 PM
Looking up iron sulfide I found it is insoluble, and found as a physical matter, or particulate only. The only way a softener will remove any from water is by the resin mechanically filtering it out of the water stream. And the matter should still add H2S to the water and the other H2S in the water will go right through the resin bed. So there would be no reduction in H2S odor.

Solubility in water negligible (insoluble) from this link:

Since 1988 I regularly used softeners to remove up to and including 5 ppm of ferrous soluble clear water iron and in the last few years, with a special resin etc. up to and including 13 ppm.

Ferrous clear water soluble iron goes right through all mechanical filters, only ferric red water insoluble iron will be filtered out and if your water is clear when drawn, those type filters won't help.

Big box store brand softeners will not last long on this water chatterk, you'll just throw money away that you don't have. Look in your phone book under the heading Water and then for Analysis, there may be an ad or two from labs in your area or nearby. The may have a place that you can take samples into where they come to pick them up a day or two a week. Or call the county extension office, they usually do water tests for very little cost.

Culligan and some other dealers do not like giving test results to prospective customers because they don't want them (you) to take the results and go comparison shopping.

Installing a softener or filter is simple plumbing, usually easier to install than a water heater. And you may not have to solder anything if you have 3/4" copper tubing. I've sold a couple thousand 5600s and 1180+/- Clack WS-1 valves that have an improved version of the Fleck seals, spacers and piston design. And it was invented by 3 ex Fleck engineers to be the easiest and fastest to program and repair.

03-19-2009, 08:11 PM
Around here the local Culligan place rents their equipment out, and gives the option to have a service technician to take care of the salt for a fee or we can do it ourselves and only call them if there is a need for service.

The rental fees are fair, but better yet, the program allows one to see that the equipment really does the job without buying it. Once the results are proven, they are of course happy to sell the equipment outright.

I imagine Culligan is a franchise and policies probably vary greatly by location.

03-19-2009, 08:27 PM
Thanks Gary. I do know the iron we have is red iron. I am saying that because when you fill a glass of water it has a red tint to it and several sediments floating around. Or if you run bath water and let it drain, there is red sediment in the tub.

We called Culligan about the water analysis and the gentleman was not there at the time and the lady at the front desk could not help us. I will try to call early tomorrow morning and get the results. I know when he was helping us he was using another company to test the water (I want to say water-right). Our county does not test water. You have to send it off to Jefferson City where they will test it (7-10 days) and all they test for is EColi and one other bacteria. I looked up water analysis for our town and 1 place came up. I called them and he said he just checks for E.coli and Coloform (I'm sure I've butchered this one up). So I have had little luck in the search (not for lack of trying). Would a well specialist be able to point me in the right direction?

The whole reason we had agreed to the water analysis with Culligan was because he predicted the unit to cost $2500 and it would take care of the high iron, sulfur, and sulfur bacteria (which we have small amounts of ). After getting the test results back (this is all over the phone - I haven't seen them) I was told the unit was actually cost $4800.

I understand Sammy that you are around this every day and it would have occurred to you to insist on seeing the results. I'm a busy mom, in my 20's and trying very hard to educate myself on it. I have no previous experience in this field and that is why I am here. You came across as very righteous in your post and it was a little frustrating to read. There are a lot of area's of expertise that many of us are ignorant in. I was reading on the Fleck and other "2 tank systems" and it all seemed very complicated to me. I don't know what a lot of this stuff even means. Meanwhile we have renters calling and asking when it will be fixed and there is some responsibility to them to try to take care of it. Had I known how hard this was going to be I would of held off renting it out until we figured it out. Hindsight 20/20.

The way I grew up, my dad usually could make something "cheaper" work. We have hard water back home that occasionally smells. He's made a waterboss work for 5 years. I wouldn't buy one of those but sometimes you can make the cheaper made ones work. I thought it maybe it would provide a quick and easy fix. Temporarily take away the hard, rusty water. Is it the right answer, NO, but could it possibly fix it, maybe.

Gary, you mentioned that the softeners are easy to install. I understand that is true of the store brand (whirlpool, kenmore, waterboss, etc) but I thought some of these "order online" tanks require a bit more intense setup and work. Is that not true? Is it as simple as installing a basic store bought softener?

Again, thanks for taking the time to respond. I will call Culligan again in the morning and see if we can get the results (we haven't officially paid any money for the results he was just going to add it in with our softener). I obviously had no idea what I was getting into and had very little direction. Live & learn.

03-19-2009, 08:30 PM
Thanks Cacher_chick. He was going to rent us a unit for $45 a month, plus $89 install. And potentially another $45 a month for a pellet unit and something else to take out sulfur. For $90/month plue $89.00 we could get a pretty nice unit. And at this point I'm put off by the Culligan man b/c his quotes would change and he would never email me anything when I asked. He'd just quickly tell me it over the phone. I almost went with him and at the very end called and backed out b/c I was getting such a bad vibe. At this point I don't really want to call back and move forward with it. I know the $540 in rental would buy a Kenmore and if it only lasts 1 year, it will pay for itself (vs renting a Culligan). This where all my thinking came from.


03-19-2009, 08:34 PM
One last thing, we have a sediment filter (before the water tank) and it doesn't take long after changing it and it's covered in junk. I have no idea how old the well is but from the looks of everything it could be mess down there. When we lived there I could believe the amount of gunk that came out of the faucets at times. Any bath water we used was discolored. It was a mess. So we continued to put it off because we knew it was going to cost a lot of money to do it the right way. Again, guess we should have tackled it before getting renters. Again hindsight 20/20.

03-19-2009, 10:51 PM
Biermech, is a chlorinator something we can add in the future? How much space do they require? It would be the first stop the water makes, followed by the filter, than the water tank, lastly the softener? Thank you for your response. That may work well for us.

03-20-2009, 06:34 AM
You have a filter BEFORE the tank? That's a big no no! Now your trying to burn up your pump. This is what this filter can do being in front of the tank/pressure switch.


03-20-2009, 07:44 AM
I understand your situation but if you want professional advice then you need to open your ears. I told you how the water needed to be treated. A chlorinator is not something that can be added in the future, it's required to treat your water properly. Like i said the water needs to be treated systematically.



03-20-2009, 07:58 AM
My mistake. I just confirmed it's after the tank. I've been in our basement a handful of times and I just thought it was before. My husband just explained this morning it is actually after the tank.

Gary Slusser
03-20-2009, 09:37 AM
Chatterk, once you have the water analysis data, you will need some form of disinfectant, like chlorine, to oxidize the H2S, iron and any manganese. That will also kill any bacteria. Then a special carbon in a backwashed filter to remove the dirt from the water that oxidation causes and remove the chlorine. Then depending on the hardness in the water a softener. The softener would be optional because they can live with hard water and you could add the softener later. If you go with a softener now and not the rest, it will probably fail quite quickly and you may have to replace the resin to get it to work later.

I suggest my inline erosion pellet chlorinator and special mixing tank that is equivalent to a 120 gallon retention tank. Then the filter with a Clack WS-1 control valve and then the softener with a Clack WS-1 control valve. Depending on the size of the filter and the softener, usually around $2300 including UPS shipping. But I/you can't correctly size the filter or the softener until you know how much of what is in the water, and then the number of people, bathrooms ane the type of fixtures in the bathroom so you know the peak demand flow rate the filter and softener has to be able to treat. If you get that wrong, the equipment will not consistently remove everything from the water that they are supposed to.

BTW, you could buy a test kit at a hardware or other type store and do your own tests. Now Sammy may get a attitude over that (too) but don't pay any attention, you don't need target rifle accuracy at 3500 meters, a shotgun approach works very well. And you can't set up chlorine equipment without knowing how much iron you have or you can ruin the carbon.

03-20-2009, 09:57 AM
Okay, we paid the $50 for the following results:

IRON .83 mg/l LOD: .06 LOQ: .21 Dil: 1 Method: 200.7

BACTERIA <1 cfu/ml LOD, LOQ, Dil: all 1 Method: IB

BACTERIA 10000 cfu/ml LOD, LOQ, Dil: all 1 Method: SRB

This is all we received on the sheet they emailed (after my husband pd)
Is this accurate? Were we overcharged?
I hope this helps. Please let me know if there is more information you need.

03-20-2009, 10:12 AM
It's a 1200 sq ft home with 2 people living there, 1 kitchen sink faucet, and one bathroom with a tub/shower combo and sink in there. Plus a laundry room. That is it.


03-20-2009, 10:25 AM
>>IRON .83 mg/l

Thats nothing! Its enough to be a PINA and cause problems like in the toilet and tub though. Any water softener properly sized with the right media can pull that out! I have 14ppm iron. I'd take you water over mine any day.

One problem; I would question the accuracy of that test. I wouldn't think the iron concentration is high enough to be immediately noticeable in a glass of water as you have described.

Also your water test is not nearly complete and the bacteria is going to be a problem. You might get lucky and find out that shocking the well every few months keeps in under control. I would go to your local big box hardware store and buy a water test kit and see if the numbers match what you were given. Also you need to know the PH of your water.


03-20-2009, 10:31 AM
I know when he was at our house he said our water was really hard and that it was 18 grains of hardness. Apparently these numbers aren't matching up huh?
I really wish we wouldn't of had to pay $50 for this. Bummer.

Any other thoughts from anyone? How much are the store kits? Does it provide immediate results that could steer us in the right direction so we could purchase a fleck or clack online?


Gary Slusser
03-20-2009, 10:53 AM
They charged you what they wanted to because they assume you are not going to buy from them but, they took samples to a lab, and paid the lab for the analysis, and got a few bucks for their trip to your place and their time. But if you are listing every thing the lab tested for, it is a very skimpy test but you don't need other tests.

Based on the size of the fixtures and number of people and bathrooms, you need smaller equipment and the delivered price would be less than the figure I mentioned.

03-20-2009, 11:01 AM
If all you are out to the water treatment company is $50 consider yourself lucky. Some people have lost thousands allowing them to install equipment that didn't work or didn't work for long.

The store bought test kits do provide immediate results. Like Gary said its more of a shotgun approach as opposed to an actual water analysis. It will put you in the ballpark. Not all kits are the same. Find one that will provide you with iron, manganese, Ph, hardness. IMO I'd still recommend an actual water analysis by an independent lab.

Also when you go to the house you need to know how many gallons per minute you well can deliver. Bring a 5 gallon bucket and time how long it takes to fill it from an outdoor faucet or if you have one in the basement right near the pressure tank thats just as good. You want as many gallons per minute as possible so bypass or remove any filters before you do this. Water softeners are somewhat forgiving, but actual water filters require a certain gallons per minute rate in order to backwash properly.

Gary Slusser
03-20-2009, 12:51 PM
The store bought test kits do provide immediate results. Like Gary said its more of a shotgun approach as opposed to an actual water analysis. It will put you in the ballpark. Not all kits are the same. Find one that will provide you with iron, manganese, Ph, hardness. IMO I'd still recommend an actual water analysis by an independent lab.

Also when you go to the house you need to know how many gallons per minute you well can deliver. Bring a 5 gallon bucket and time how long it takes to fill it from an outdoor faucet or if you have one in the basement right near the pressure tank thats just as good. You want as many gallons per minute as possible so bypass or remove any filters before you do this. Water softeners are somewhat forgiving, but actual water filters require a certain gallons per minute rate in order to backwash properly.
A few helpful comments. They do not need to spend more money on tests.

They do not need to measure the 'well output' and doing it with a bucket is not a true test anyway. The 'time' is used to figure the drawdown gallons of the pressure tank, and that is used to size a pressure tank (to provide 60 seconds minimum off for the proper cooling of a submersible pump), not how many gpm the well can produce or the pump can deliver. That's because the boiler drain on a pressure tank, or the bath tub or other faucet, is not the same flow rate, it is lower, as the outlet pipe from the pressure tank will/can deliver for the successful backwashing of a softener or filter.

The only way to get the gpm from the well or a submersible pump is to pull the pump up and run it at the average pressure switch settings, on the ground while you time and then measure the gpm. That gpm will always be higher than measuring anywhere in the house, and that really isn't the peak demand gpm used to size equipment anyway. And you'd have to disconnect the outlet of a jet pump or the pressure tank to measure them correctly.

All softeners and backwashed or regenerated filters are flow controlled meaning, the drain line flow is controlled to X.x gpm based on the cuft volume and type of resin or mineral used. The softener they need, with a Clack WS-1 control valve, would have a 2.4-2.7 gpm DLFC (drain line flow control) and the carbon filter, with a Clack WS-1, will have a 5-7 gpm DLFC.

Any well or pump can deliver that volume of water for the length of time required, which is also controlled to the minute by the programming of the control valve IF the valve allows it, some do not, like a 5600 TC.

Chatterk, all you need now is to select where you want to buy the equipment and then find the money for it. You and/or your hubby can install anything I sell in about 3-4 hours, and with Sharkbite fittings without soldering. And if you use them, it would be like 2.5 hrs.

03-20-2009, 02:00 PM
With the information I have given can anyone predict what size softener we would need. I'm leaning towards the fleck or clack.

03-20-2009, 02:45 PM
Thanks Cacher_chick. He was going to rent us a unit for $45 a month, plus $89 install. And potentially another $45 a month for a pellet unit and something else to take out sulfur. For $90/month plue $89.00 we could get a pretty nice unit. And at this point I'm put off by the Culligan man b/c his quotes would change and he would never email me anything when I asked. He'd just quickly tell me it over the phone. I almost went with him and at the very end called and backed out b/c I was getting such a bad vibe. At this point I don't really want to call back and move forward with it. I know the $540 in rental would buy a Kenmore and if it only lasts 1 year, it will pay for itself (vs renting a Culligan). This where all my thinking came from.


The fact is that if the water is safe to drink, you have fulfilled your responsibility to the renter. If it were me, I would negotiate sharing the cost of the rental equipment with the person you have rented the house to.

1200 a year is less than many people pay for city water.

03-20-2009, 06:20 PM
Not knowing someones mechanical limitations and giving them a 3-4 hr. time frame on installing a water treatment system, sounds a little deceiving. You sound better telling them to hire a plumber. Go Home Depot! You can do it!



03-20-2009, 06:33 PM
I know you guys are suggesting the chlorinator but would a Manganese Greensand Filter. Our sulfur bacteria count is on the low end right? Just exploring all options.

Biermech, when you say 1 cf could you explain a little more.


Gary Slusser
03-20-2009, 08:39 PM
Sammy, before you can knowledgeably criticize my statements, you need much more experience in sales to DIYers. I have been selling to them from 1992-1994 and now since 2002. My record is 4' 11" twin 73 year old spinster sisters, they installed their softener in FL outside along side the house. They had never done anything like that before, and they only called me once while they were doing it.

Also, I've never heard of any customer that wanted to hire a plumber to install their equipment and couldn't find one, it's simple plumbing and that's all they have to do, the customer does the programming etc..

Chatterk, a .5 cuft carbon filter and a 1.0 cuft softener is too small. The carbon will load up fairly quickly and the salt efficiency of the softener will be terrible.

With your SRB, you must kill it and a manganese greensand filter will not kill anything. Greensand regenerates with expensive potassium permanganate and it is a serious poison and expensive.

03-21-2009, 01:00 PM
So it sounds like we would only need 24,000 grain water softener correct? I thought our water was on the high end of iron (at least that is what the Culligan guy suggested). So what is the difference in a 24k, 32k, 48k water softener?

Biermech, I know you rave about "no computers" which I have to agree, that does sound appealing. My brother has an old Culligan that is all mechanical and he loves it. Is that true with every Fleck (no computer).

As far as the Greensand goes, I didn't know it was more expensive. Also, I will take Gary's word on it using a poison. There are a lot of dangerous drugs on the market that FDA has not banned. I don't care if everyone is using them, I wouldn't trust it based on that.

Gary you think get a bigger tank and Biermech you say 1 cf will work. What is the harm in going a little bigger just to be safe? Also, on the resin, should we do the upgrade to the C249 or Fine Mesh? I assume we should look for something similar to this (http://www.discountwatersofteners.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=56SXT32).

We will be out at the house tonight and I will try to get pictures of the set up. My dad pre-plumbed for a softener and I can't imagine having room for the chlorinator, retention tank and filter (all before the softener right?).

Are my sulfur bacteria numbers all that high? Would a softener and carbon filter potentially take away all the odors?
THanks much!
p.s. Gary, I appreciate your approach with DIY'ers. I am confident we can handle this (hubby is an ME). I think it's better to assume someone can do something before assuming they can't. I loved your story about the sisters in Florida. That's awesome.

Gary Slusser
03-21-2009, 09:41 PM
Chatterk, regardless of what Sammy says, everything I've said is true.

A 1/2 cuft of carbon is too small because it has a very low SFR (service flow rating).

Without chlorine or another disinfectant, the SRB will go right through the filters being mentioned and remain in your water along with any odor it causes after either a carbon or greensand filter. If there is enough of it, it can cause the filters to fail and a failed carbon filter requires new carbon after you sanitize the tank.

My softener would have a 3 gpm higher peak demand flow rate than a 1 cuft meaning it will remove all the hardness, iron and manganese from a higher flow rate. It will also have a much reduced pressure loss. It will give you a regeneration on average every 8 days instead of every 6 days saving 15 regenerations and 90 lbs of salt and a bunch of water and pump wear.

The softener will have variable reserve based on the individual last 21 days actual water usage, and that is controlled by the computer. Ask anyone selling you a mechanical metered Fleck how the reserve is calculated.

My softener makes brine with softened water which keeps the salt tank much cleaner.

It records the highest gpm run through it for each of the last 7 days and then the highest gpm since the day the unit was installed. It maintains a record of each of the last 63 days' actual gallons used. And how many regenerations have been done since the unit was installed.

It has a calendar override of the metering so the resin doesn't go too far between regenerations when the normal volume of water isn't used for whatever reason, which is hard on resin, especially if there is iron in the water. It's like an engine manufacturer saying to change the oil and filter every X miles, or 6 months, whichever comes first, to protect the engine.

I've sold 1180+/- of these valves and had 22 problems and out of them, 4-6 were circuit boards and out of them, 2-3 were lightening strikes. The Clack WS-1 is very reliable and a much better valve than the Fleck 5600 or 2510 valves. I say that because I sold Fleck 5600 and 2510 all but exclusively for 18 years as a local dealer (until 2004), and I still sell some today but...

The biggest and best reason to buy a Clack WS-1 is that it was designed by 3 ex Fleck engineers to be the easiest to program and repair when needed. Anyone with a pair of adjustable pliers can totally replace all of its 5 parts and have the water back on in under 30 minutes.

It has the same piston, seals and spacers design as Fleck but all the 14 pieces all come out as 2 pieces in less than 5 seconds with nothing more than a finger tip, where all Fleck seals and spacers (4-5 of each) come out individually and most dealers use the special control valve model specific Fleck tools to take them out and put new ones in.

Softeners are sized by cuft of resin. A 24K is a 3/4 cuft softener. ALL softeners have an adjustable K of capacity and it is dictated by the lbs of salt used per cuft of resin. The volume of resin dictates how many gpm can be run through the resin bed and all the hardness etc. will be removed; exceed that gpm and you get hardness through the resin.

Chlorine is nowhere near as serious as potassium permanganate which if something goes wrong as it does and too much PP is used or final rinse can not flush all of it out of the filter, PP can easily be added to the water going to the fixtures.

You do not need any specific and more expensive resin like C-249, the least expensive regular mesh resin is all you need. If you needed different resin, fine mesh or SST-60 would be the right kind and SST-60 is best. It does not foul as regular and fine mesh does and it does not have the pressure loss of fine mesh.

03-22-2009, 12:54 PM
Andy, thank you for all the links. I will look those over.

After talking with my husband I now have a better understanding as to why our water was so red and full of sediments last time we were out there. We had chlorinated the well and he had bypassed the carbon filter (to avoid it pulling out all the chlorine). Because of this all the gunk from either our well or the lines running to the house went into our plumbing and out the faucets. Which after thinking through everyone's advice I can't help but wonder if all the gunk from our well isn't going to defeat the purpose of all of this equipment. As soon as we put in a filter it doesn't take long for it to be covered in red deposits (either rust from the lines leading to the house or stuff from the well). Which has me wondering if we aren't just better off digging a new well (which in turn would hopefully mean no more sulfur bacteria and eliminate all this rust from entering our water lines). I will call a couple well service companies tomorrow and get their input. I know we still need to get a softener but maybe it would eliminate the bacteria and odor. Yes it will cost more but if we are already spending upwards of $2000 this would maybe be better for the long haul.

Any thoughts?

03-24-2009, 07:14 PM
Biermech & Gary, thanks for the specific info on the size of softener and resin. I'm still a little confused on the resin. One guy I spoke with today told me to go with the WS1 Clack because it has only 3 moving parts and it is piston driven. He also suggested going with the basic resin. So I am leaning towards the 40K tank (1.25 cuft Resin).

Also, on the brine tank, is that just personal preference? Lastly, I still a little confused on the hookup. Here is a picture of what we have in our basement, my dad set us up with hookups (including 3 shutoff valves). How does the softener connect to the pvc he has provided? Will it be a flexible hose?