View Full Version : Watermate water conditioner problem

07-21-2009, 09:38 AM
I have a Watermate water conditioner Autotrol 255 Valve Control. Our water wasn't getting soft. I emptied the brine tank, then added 120 lb salt pellets and about 5 gallon of water. I did the "preventive maintenance"(cleaning,lube, etc). I used the manual regeneration(takes about 2 hours). Not much difference in the water. So, I did it again. The water is just a little bit softer(No where near as soft as it used to be) for a day or 2. Then it is hard water again. It doesn't regenerate on it's own.
Does anyone have an idea what is wrong with the softener?

Gary Slusser
07-21-2009, 10:09 AM
What size softener is it? There's a label on the tank somewhere and the model number is the diameter and height I.E. 0948 is a 9" x 48" tank and that says you have a 1.0 cuft softener. Then you set the salt dose for 15 lbs per cuft and do two manual regens with no water use until they are both finished. After the first one finishes, wait two hours before doing the second one.

07-21-2009, 06:36 PM
Thanks for help guys.7-9 yrs age can't find timer name-- also can't find tank label but measures 39" floor to top tank-?- 48" floor to top of controls ?? by 12" salt dial is on 12? couldn't get dial to move was afraid plastic would strip slot so I just cycled 2x / also in 2 hr run approx how much water is wasted going to septic? again thanks for help!!Lenny

Gary Slusser
07-21-2009, 08:43 PM
I don't consider the water used to clean your softener as wasted.

Your septic if operating normally, will handle the water just fine. Guessing you have a 9" x 48" tank (1.0 cuft) my guess is like 30-40 gallons.

You have an Autotrol 255 valve. Your salt dose control is probably stuck because it hasn't been used lately, and should rotate with just a little more force.

07-22-2009, 08:10 AM
Checked out ewater site I have a 460i.How do you know what to set hardness and capacity? It say push button till correct setting shows (?) is this done by microprosser or do you set it at a certain number? directions are kinda for someone who is a plumber/ installer. It says timer figures out usage and regenerates auto when needed is that right. that must mean every reg. is at different days? Thanks again

Gary Slusser
07-22-2009, 09:33 AM
It's not a 1 cu ft unit. You state tank measures 39" to top of tank. Most likely the tank is a 8x40 which is a 25k grain unit. And you don't want use 15 lbs of salt nor do you want use 12 lbs. It's very wastefull. Gary knows better then that. Set the salt setting for 6 lbs. Check out this site. They show 2 autotrols 255 with 2 different timers (440i & 460i). Try to find yours and let me know which you have. http://www.ewateronline.net/services/equipment-manuals.aspx
Yes I was thinking 48" because I didn't go reread what he said and, he had said: also can't find tank label but measures 39" floor to top tank-?- 48" floor to top of controls ?? by 12" salt dial is on 12?"

Now when you missed that he originally said Autotrol 255, and then asked him what control he had, I didn't jump on you, but here you are jumping on me for my mistake.

Why is that if not to harass me by attacking what I say?

You can also see that he says his salt dose is set at 12 lbs, or that's what I read him saying yet without knowing anything else, and Lenny picked up on this, you say set it a 6 lbs and I know better than 12 or 15 lbs.. Here again you don't know what you don't know. To regenerate all the resin in his softener requires 12 lbs. He is getting hardness through his softener, and all you do is reduce the salt dose by half.

Lenny, the 460i timer used to fail at about 5 yrs. of age, I sold quite a few of the 463i and a few 460i units back in the early to mid 1990s and eventually stopped selling any of them and the Technetic 1000 because of failures. The timer or meter turbine wheel must be bad and causing the softener to not regenerate automatically. You may also have bad resin since the two regens, at the max 12 lbs for a 3/4 cuft softener, didn't give you soft water for more than a couple days. Or your raw water hardness has increased.

I'll let biermech answer your last question but yes, you need to know what data to input.

Gary Slusser
07-23-2009, 05:37 PM
Please show me where I asked him what controller he had. I see the word timer.
Then I guess I made another mistake. Thanks for correcting that for me.

So now that the shoe is on the other foot, feels kinda tight huh? Remember the crack about the J tube? BTW, that's just what they call it. It's a #500 air check. Buy one and see for yourself. And did I cry and complain when you tried to bust my chops about the gravel? If you can dish it out, take it like a man when you have to suck it up.
Actually there is a J tube pickup, maybe you didn't know that. And the #500 is a number 500, not a J pickup. You were wrong about a gravel underbed, there is no disadvantage to having one.

You sound very angry, resentful and revenge driven, I'm sitting here wondering why we can't work as a team to answer people's posts. And then it comes to me... you're wrong about a number of things and, angry, resentful and revenge driven.

And how many times have you busted my chops about my salt effieciency? To tell him to use more and not telling him to reduce it back after a regen? Don't think you had his effieciency in mind. Could have told him to add water to the brine tank. You just don't like it when someone corrects you, but you sure can all over them for making a mistake.
See silly me, I thought it was a given and self evident that after increasing his salt dose to the max for his volume of resin, and that he was a thinking kinda guy and would set it back to what it was before he raised it. Now the question is why you think he had to be told. And again, I wasn't talking about salt efficiency, I told him to do that so all the resin would be fully regenerated.

As to salt efficiency, did you finally discover your previous mistake? I see on that other site that you post on, just a few days ago you told someone with a 3.5 bathroom house and 4 people in the house, that a "32K" was what they needed. I disagree but your reply tells me you still don't understand how to size softeners; and you think I'm wrong. Here's a copy of the OP and your reply.

Here is my situation:

3-1/2 bathrooms, 2 adults, 2 children (11 and 7yrs)
City water
Hardness: 160mg/L
Chlorine: 3mg/L
PH: 7.4
Iron: not detected
Manganese: not detected

Shopping around online, it appears the amount of resin relates to the water softening capacity. For example, I see a system that says it includes 1.0 cubic feet of softener resin and has a 32,000 grain water softening capacity. Would this be sufficient for me?


Reply With Quote #2 (permalink)
Unread 07-15-09, 02:08 PM
biermech biermech is offline

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ocala Fl
Posts: 486
A 1 cu ft (32,000) would be the right size for your family. I like the Fleck 5600 Metered Demand system better. I've used it for over 19 yrs. The only thing I don't like about the Clack valve is it has electronics. I've seen the effects moisture and salt can do to the electronics of other valves and don't feel it would be different on the Clacks.


And there you go again comparing a two tank type softener with a Clack WS-1 control valve to your 16 or 19 yrs of experience servicing Kenmore and other big box store brand cabinet models where the cabinet cover keeps the control valve in the salt water air environment.

Then the OP replied to that, and you replied:

07-15-09, 03:31 PM
dwestall dwestall is offline

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Houston
Posts: 9
Thanks for the reply.

I looked at the Fleck 5600. I read a lot of feedback on both the Clack and Fleck models. I've even seen you mention the electronics issue in other posts. But, from what I've read, the Clack WS1 seems more DIY friendly and has more features. Don't get me wrong, quality is important to me too, but I haven't heard anyone say they've had problems with the Clacks.

Reply With Quote #4 (permalink)
Old 07-15-09, 05:45 PM
biermech biermech is offline

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ocala Fl
Posts: 486
I too have not heard of anything wrong with the Clack. In fact, I have a few friends in Austin (in the water business)that have installed or serviced Clacks and have said good things about them. In 19 yrs I'm seen all types of electronics on softeners and don't like what I see. Error codes and corrision of the terminals seem to be the most problems. In fact, I had a service call today that the electronics show the unit to be in a service position when the valve was in a rinse cycle.* I just don't like the electronic models. I owned one when I lived in Austin. It is suppose to be better on salt** but I only saved a bag a year compared to a Fleck 5600. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to tell you what to buy, I'm just saying I have seen the Fleck 5600 last longer over electronic models.


*What brands of softeners or control valves have had the corrosion problems you mention? Name them and we'll put this to rest.

**And how does a control valve save salt?It can't, salt efficiency is a function of the resin and the lbs of salt, period.

07-28-2009, 06:40 PM
Thanks guys for helping I did not mean to cause a argument so lets drop it and thanks again..

Gary Slusser
07-28-2009, 09:32 PM
Lenny, except for Andy's PM, I don't see how you think you caused an argument and you certainly weren't part of it, so I question why you post this 4 days after the last reply. But good luck with your softener.