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MiddleAgeSoftie
03-24-2010, 12:39 PM
Hi. I'm new to the forum. I'm looking for a good water softener to replace a very old unit which was in the house I recently bought. I think it's working... It looks very old, it's timer based and I can't be certain that it's set properly for my water conditions and usage patterns and if its even working. It does go through salt though...

I have a Direct Buy membership and through them I can get Northstar water softeners. My question is simple - the price seems to be right, are these reliable systems or should I look elsewhere?

Gary Slusser
03-24-2010, 12:53 PM
Hi. I'm new to the forum. I'm looking for a good water softener to replace a very old unit which was in the house I recently bought. I think it's working... It looks very old, it's timer based and I can't be certain that it's set properly for my water conditions and usage patterns and if its even working. It does go through salt though...

I have a Direct Buy membership and through them I can get Northstar water softeners. My question is simple - the price seems to be right, are these reliable systems or should I look elsewhere?
The Northstar made by Ecowater uses a slightly different control valve than the control valve on a Kenmore, GE at Home Depot and the Whirlpool at Lowe's. All cabinet models.

The main difference is the cover on the control valve because it is exposed rather than under the cover of a cabinet model softener. The big box store softeners and their control valves are lower quality than an Autotrol, Clack or Fleck control valves and harder to find anyone to work on them and you normally will have only one parts supplier if you need parts.

Skip Wolverton
03-24-2010, 04:51 PM
Hi. I'm new to the forum. I'm looking for a good water softener to replace a very old unit which was in the house I recently bought. I think it's working... It looks very old, it's timer based and I can't be certain that it's set properly for my water conditions and usage patterns and if its even working. It does go through salt though...

I have a Direct Buy membership and through them I can get Northstar water softeners. My question is simple - the price seems to be right, are these reliable systems or should I look elsewhere?
I've worked on these type softeners for years. It's a coin toss if you get one that will last. No very reliable.

Akpsdvan
03-24-2010, 08:45 PM
NorthStar.,,,,,, Eco water small.......... Sears............GE ... all the same units with a little bit different packaging outside.... they share the same valves and controls.

They are made to last about 5 years and then are cheaper to replace than repair..

If you would like to save the land fill.... buy some upgrades for what you have, like a new metered valve/control(the part that is on top of the media tank) new resin and a new float assembly and you should be good to go for 10 + years....

MiddleAgeSoftie
03-24-2010, 09:19 PM
Thank you for the feedback it has been helpful. It sounds like the consensus is that there are better choices than Northstar. Apart from Akpsdvan's suggestion of refitting the unit I have (I wouldn't even know where to begin with that... Sounds kind of like rebuilding a computer. That I could do. A water softener, as I said, I wouldn't know where to begin.), what would some better water softener unit choices be?

Gary Slusser
03-24-2010, 09:22 PM
A correctly sized softener based on the family size, number of bathrooms and type of fixtures in them using a Clack WS-1 CS control valve.

Akpsdvan
03-24-2010, 09:28 PM
Thank you for the feedback it has been helpful. It sounds like the consensus is that there are better choices than Northstar. Apart from Akpsdvan's suggestion of refitting the unit I have (I wouldn't even know where to begin with that... Sounds kind of like rebuilding a computer. That I could do. A water softener, as I said, I wouldn't know where to begin.), what would some better water softener unit choices be?

Depends on what is there, any photos?
Depends on how handy you are...
If you have done some simple wiring, remodeling around the house... done some simple repairs on your truck or car... then rebuilding the softener would not be very hard..
Yours right now either has the water coming in on the right of the back side of the valve or the left.. the new valve may be the same or different.. the new valve or control most likely could use the same drain line that is in place right now.
Depending on the size of the tank that is there would say how much softener resin you would need to replace what is there right now.
Should that current tank have a 2 1/2 or so open at the top under the control then to empty that resin out would be to put that end on the edge of a 5 gallon bucket and let the old resin come out, change buckets, and let more out... use hose to was out the rest..

Follow so far?

Gary Slusser
03-24-2010, 09:55 PM
I used to do that for customers and sell DIYers the parts to do that. And by the time he is done, even buying online, he'll have 1/2 to 3/4ths of the delivered price of a whole new softener.

It's not worth the time, effort or money.

Skip Wolverton
03-25-2010, 04:27 AM
Thank you for the feedback it has been helpful. It sounds like the consensus is that there are better choices than Northstar. Apart from Akpsdvan's suggestion of refitting the unit I have (I wouldn't even know where to begin with that... Sounds kind of like rebuilding a computer. That I could do. A water softener, as I said, I wouldn't know where to begin.), what would some better water softener unit choices be?
I don't like softeners with computer controlls. I use a Fleck 5600 meter demand unit. It's like a timex.....It takes a licking and keeps on tricking.

Bob999
03-25-2010, 04:55 AM
I recommend a softener with the Fleck 7000 control head. It is a high quality unit and can typically be purchased online for significantly less than units with the Clack head.

Gary Slusser
03-25-2010, 09:21 AM
I recommend a softener with the Fleck 7000 control head. It is a high quality unit and can typically be purchased online for significantly less than units with the Clack head.
The 7000 is quite a bit harder for a DIYer to work on and much less water efficient with the variable brining feature. It will use much more water.

I started selling the 7000 when it came on the market in 2/2005 and in about 15 months I had more problems with the roughly 30 I had sold than the 320+ Clacks I had sold by then so I stopped and haven't sold any since.

I do not recommend the 7000. If a 1.25" control is needed, the Clack WS-1.25 is a much better choice because it is identical to the Clack WS-1, just 1.25" instead of 1".

The 7000 is a 1.25" control valve and overkill for the vast majority of residential sales. And Fleck came out with some special tool for the 7000 although I don't know what it is.

Bob, how many 7000s have you sold and what failure rate have you had? Or haven't you sold any? Did you buy one for your house? Or, what is the basis of your recommendation of the 7000?

Akpsdvan
03-25-2010, 09:35 AM
Variable brine?
Because it can be set to either fill the brine tank at the start and then wait for an hour or set to fill the brine tank at the end?

There is only one unit out there that would be a water mizer ... Hague Water max... it does an up flow brine with the media bed in a packed mode.. and could save a few gallons over a cleaning cycle that another unit would use in getting the full 26% brine up in the brine cycle...
ie... the full 26% brine starts to work at the very start and not minutes later like in the rest of the systems that are on the market.

Gary Slusser
03-25-2010, 10:48 AM
Variable brine?
Because it can be set to either fill the brine tank at the start and then wait for an hour or set to fill the brine tank at the end?
No, that is called Pre or Post Refill. And Prefill should wait 2 hours, not one.

Variable brining means that the control valve varies the amount of salt used for each regeneration.

The Autotrol (old) Technetic 1000, Technetic 1000 Plus and the current Advantapure (269 control and 463i timer; very limited distribution dealerships) call it proportional brining. The amount of water during Pre Refill is adjusted up or down based on the amount of capacity of the variable reserve the control/computer is to regenerate. The regeneration was/is counter current (upflow) in the Autotrol but not the Fleck 7000.


There is only one unit out there that would be a water mizer ... Hague Water max... it does an up flow brine with the media bed in a packed mode.. and could save a few gallons over a cleaning cycle that another unit would use in getting the full 26% brine up in the brine cycle...
ie... the full 26% brine starts to work at the very start and not minutes later like in the rest of the systems that are on the market.
Actually many smaller Kinetico softeners have packed bed upflow. The downside of that configuration is no backwash before brining, they brine first and then do a short backwash and then settle rinse. Another problem is that they regenerate quite frequently and I can size and set up a softener to regenerate much less frequently and use less water per week etc.. I can do the same for total salt use over time. Actually any dealer that knows how can do that.

Pre Refill has no problem in getting 26%. I have an engineer that did 90 days of daily checks of brine strength with a salometer comparing Pre and Post refill and I have his graphs of each and there is very little difference in brine strength but.... a better measurement is in testing the discharge water, which he also did; it has to be between 8 and 13%.

Bob999
03-25-2010, 05:17 PM
Some additional information about the Fleck 7000SXT valve is available here:

http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com/PentairFiles/Pentair%20Water%20Treatment/Literature/7000SXT%20Spec%20Sheet%2042802.pdf

In my opinion it has some programming features that are superior to the Clack valve. The comment above about water inefficiency with variable brining is simply wrong. It demonstrates the poster is not up to date on his information. The correct information is that the Fleck valve has excellent water efficiency--equal to or superior to the Clack valve. Variable brining is not available on the Fleck 7000 valve as shown in the link posted above.

Of course if you don't like electronic control heads the Fleck 7000 is not for you. If you prefer an electromechanical valve I recommend the Fleck 5600 or the Fleck 2510.

MiddleAgeSoftie
03-25-2010, 08:54 PM
Depends on what is there, any photos?
Depends on how handy you are...
If you have done some simple wiring, remodeling around the house... done some simple repairs on your truck or car... then rebuilding the softener would not be very hard..
Yours right now either has the water coming in on the right of the back side of the valve or the left.. the new valve may be the same or different.. the new valve or control most likely could use the same drain line that is in place right now.
Depending on the size of the tank that is there would say how much softener resin you would need to replace what is there right now.
Should that current tank have a 2 1/2 or so open at the top under the control then to empty that resin out would be to put that end on the edge of a 5 gallon bucket and let the old resin come out, change buckets, and let more out... use hose to was out the rest..

Follow so far?

Thanks for helping me out on this.

Here's some photos;

1027010271102721027310274

I think I follow the bit about replacing the rezin. I'd remove the valve. Remove the bolts which hold on the top, remove the cylindrical thing inside the unit and dump out the rezin (I'm presuming it's inside of there). Presumably put new resin in (Where do I get that stuff?). And put a new valve on (where do I get that?). Voila I'm done. Is that about it (allowing for a little bit of plumbing and maybe some wiring)?

Is this old resin something that I can just throw in the garbage or do I have to do something special with it?

I also have a question about my current valve settings. There are six people in the household and we live in Calgary. I'm not sure what the hardness is here, I think it's middle of the road. Our water usage is average for a household of 6. Given those details, is my current setting correct?

Again, Thanks for the help on this!

Akpsdvan
03-25-2010, 09:12 PM
Get a test of the water , hardness and iron...
That is an older meter... but the valve is a 5600 metered unit... good long lasting..
Maybe a rebuild kit or trade with some one that has a rebuilt valve body with control on top with the meter..
While the media tank is out of the brine tank, get what is called a brine well and replace that thin thing that they are calling a brine well on the inside of the brine tank.
Put a brine float assembly in it.. much better water flow in to and out of the brine tank..
You should also replace the drain line, looks to be a kink in
So when this all starts to go down after you have all the items on the list ... the three gate valves.. the two that are in line with the softener will get closed and the middle one opened and you will still have water.. unscrew the two screws one on either side of the meter, brass yoke assembly.. once those are lose you will be able to pull the whole unit away from the pipe and yoke. The valve unhooked from the brine line and drain line and unpluged will unscrew off the top of the media tank, the tan tank in the middle of the salt..

With me so far?

Step at a time....

Gary Slusser
03-26-2010, 01:46 AM
Some additional information about the Fleck 7000SXT valve is available here:

http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com/PentairFiles/Pentair%20Water%20Treatment/Literature/7000SXT%20Spec%20Sheet%2042802.pdf

In my opinion it has some programming features that are superior to the Clack valve. The comment above about water inefficiency with variable brining is simply wrong. It demonstrates the poster is not up to date on his information. The correct information is that the Fleck valve has excellent water efficiency--equal to or superior to the Clack valve. Variable brining is not available on the Fleck 7000 valve as shown in the link posted above.
What programming features do you consider as superior Bob?

I assume it's due to the dealer or customer having to set the length of minutes for each of the 5 cycle positions of a regeneration individually.

Why do you see that as a benefit when compared to the Clack WS-1 CS where a pre programed number does it in one step as compared to 5 steps in the 7000? That P number allows the selection of the same number of minutes for the cycle positions to the same settings you would want in a 7000 or other Fleck valves.

And why do you think Fleck got rid of variable bring with the SXT timer if not due to excessive water use caused by more frequent regenerations when compared to the same softener without the variable brining feature? You sound as if you don't know how variable brining works Bob, how about explaining it to us and showing how I'm wrong. Or have you misunderstood "water efficiency"?


Of course if you don't like electronic control heads the Fleck 7000 is not for you. If you prefer an electromechanical valve I recommend the Fleck 5600 or the Fleck 2510.
We use computers in cars and other vehicles, boats, toasters, toaster ovens, microwave ovens, stove tops and other cook tops and stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, tractors, ACs, furnaces, dish washers, coffee pots and ice tea makers, ice makers, kids games and toys, computers, tools, etc. etc. etc. without problems. So anyone that doesn't like electronics on softeners either is uninformed or has an agenda against someone that promotes an electronic control valve. Or they sell water powered Kinetico equipment.

BTW, if you want to compare 1.25" controls, compare the 7000 to the Clack WS-1.25.

Skip Wolverton
03-26-2010, 05:00 AM
What programming features do you consider as superior Bob?

I assume it's due to the dealer or customer having to set the length of minutes for each of the 5 cycle positions of a regeneration individually.

Why do you see that as a benefit when compared to the Clack WS-1 CS where a pre programed number does it in one step as compared to 5 steps in the 7000? That P number allows the selection of the same number of minutes for the cycle positions to the same settings you would want in a 7000 or other Fleck valves.

And why do you think Fleck got rid of variable bring with the SXT timer if not due to excessive water use caused by more frequent regenerations when compared to the same softener without the variable brining feature? You sound as if you don't know how variable brining works Bob, how about explaining it to us and showing how I'm wrong. Or have you misunderstood "water efficiency"?


We use computers in cars and other vehicles, boats, toasters, toaster ovens, microwave ovens, stove tops and other cook tops and stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, tractors, ACs, furnaces, dish washers, coffee pots and ice tea makers, ice makers, kids games and toys, computers, tools, etc. etc. etc. without problems. So anyone that doesn't like electronics on softeners either is uninformed or has an agenda against someone that promotes an electronic control valve. Or they sell water powered Kinetico equipment.

BTW, if you want to compare 1.25" controls, compare the 7000 to the Clack WS-1.25.
IMO, this has nothing to do with the OP comments. Find another forum. You are talking over the OP head.

Skip Wolverton
03-26-2010, 05:05 AM
We use computers in cars and other vehicles, boats, toasters, toaster ovens, microwave ovens, stove tops and other cook tops and stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, tractors, ACs, furnaces, dish washers, coffee pots and ice tea makers, ice makers, kids games and toys, computers, tools, etc. etc. etc. without problems. So anyone that doesn't like electronics on softeners either is uninformed or has an agenda against someone that promotes an electronic control valve. Or they sell water powered Kinetico equipment.

BTW, if you want to compare 1.25" controls, compare the 7000 to the Clack WS-1.25.
And people get tried of trying to program them. The vast majority of people do not know how to fix their electronic equipment. That means they are forced to hire someone to fix them. Just because a lot of things have electronics does not mean they are any better. Get over the fact that I do not like electronics.

Gary Slusser
03-26-2010, 10:07 AM
IMO, this has nothing to do with the OP comments. Find another forum. You are talking over the OP head.
Obviously that's because your mechanical metered 5600 does not allow you to change the length of time the various cycle positions run for and you have no experience with that part of programming a control valve.

BTW, the OP's North Star, it is an electronic control valve and very possibly has a dealer side of the programming where these minutes are programmed, so IMO this is on topic when selecting what brand of softener or control valve to choose.

Gary Slusser
03-26-2010, 10:14 AM
And people get tried of trying to program them. The vast majority of people do not know how to fix their electronic equipment. That means they are forced to hire someone to fix them. Just because a lot of things have electronics does not mean they are any better. Get over the fact that I do not like electronics.
They aren't tired of programming their Clack or other electronic control valves because they are DIYers AND they only have to do it once and it is as easy as heating a cup of coffee in their microwave; literally.

To fix an electronic control valve you replace the circuit board in a Clack but in a Fleck or Autotrol, IIRC you must replace the SE or SXT timer. To replace a Clack circuit board takes about a minute and there are no tools required; just two hands with at least one finger per hand..

Bob999
03-26-2010, 11:18 AM
A warning to readers of this thread--when the poster above puts IIRC in a statement it means he doesn't really know what he is talking about and if you call him on it he will say "but I said IIRC" --which he says means If I Remember Correctly. So when he puts that in a post you should not believe what he posts.

jadnashua
03-26-2010, 02:21 PM
To set a softener up, you can't guess on what your hardness is, you need to know. If this is public water and not a well, you can often get that from the supplier, but it may be a range. It is better to test it to compare their report with yours. It will verify that yours is between the max/min. If you don't want to test yours, you could use the max they list, but may be wasting salt.

Skip Wolverton
03-26-2010, 04:15 PM
What programming features do you consider as superior Bob?

I assume it's due to the dealer or customer having to set the length of minutes for each of the 5 cycle positions of a regeneration individually.

Why do you see that as a benefit when compared to the Clack WS-1 CS where a pre programed number does it in one step as compared to 5 steps in the 7000? That P number allows the selection of the same number of minutes for the cycle positions to the same settings you would want in a 7000 or other Fleck valves.

And why do you think Fleck got rid of variable bring with the SXT timer if not due to excessive water use caused by more frequent regenerations when compared to the same softener without the variable brining feature? You sound as if you don't know how variable brining works Bob, how about explaining it to us and showing how I'm wrong. Or have you misunderstood "water efficiency"?


We use computers in cars and other vehicles, boats, toasters, toaster ovens, microwave ovens, stove tops and other cook tops and stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, tractors, ACs, furnaces, dish washers, coffee pots and ice tea makers, ice makers, kids games and toys, computers, tools, etc. etc. etc. without problems. So anyone that doesn't like electronics on softeners either is uninformed or has an agenda against someone that promotes an electronic control valve. Or they sell water powered Kinetico equipment.

BTW, if you want to compare 1.25" controls, compare the 7000 to the Clack WS-1.25.
This is nothing more than bashing. Just because you don't like what a poster says, you resort to bashing the equipment they recommend. This is what I meant when I said, "Find another forum". And you don't know what I know about programming electronic control valves. Just another way to bash those you don't agree with you. That just shows what type person you are.

MiddleAgeSoftie
03-26-2010, 04:52 PM
Get a test of the water , hardness and iron...
That is an older meter... but the valve is a 5600 metered unit... good long lasting..
Maybe a rebuild kit or trade with some one that has a rebuilt valve body with control on top with the meter..
While the media tank is out of the brine tank, get what is called a brine well and replace that thin thing that they are calling a brine well on the inside of the brine tank.
Put a brine float assembly in it.. much better water flow in to and out of the brine tank..
You should also replace the drain line, looks to be a kink in
So when this all starts to go down after you have all the items on the list ... the three gate valves.. the two that are in line with the softener will get closed and the middle one opened and you will still have water.. unscrew the two screws one on either side of the meter, brass yoke assembly.. once those are lose you will be able to pull the whole unit away from the pipe and yoke. The valve unhooked from the brine line and drain line and unpluged will unscrew off the top of the media tank, the tan tank in the middle of the salt..

With me so far?

Step at a time....

Here's a municiple website http://www.calgary.ca/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_526005_0_0_18/Water+Hardness+FAQ.htm with information regarding water hardness in Calgary. Is that good enough? Where would I go to get a water test?

I'm a little unclear about which parts are which.

Is the valve the small part with the water in and out pipes connected to them (or is this small part with the pipes connected to it the "...meter..." you mention further on)? Is that the part you're referring to as a "...5600 metered unit..."? Or is the "...5600 metered unit..." the whole thing - the part connected to the water supply AND the part with the gears.

As you'll observe from my questions I really don't know anything about water softeners... However, I'm willing to learn. I've already repaired dysfunctional solar hot water and HRV systems that were in the house when I purchased it.

Where am I likely to find one of these rebuilt units or a new one for that matter like the Clack WS-1 CS that Gary mentions or the Fleck 5600 that Skip mentions or the Fleck 7000 that Bob referes to?

Is the Media tank that dome topped cylinder inside the unit? Is the brine well that thing on the right side of the inside of the unit? Again, where am I likely to find a brine well? What is a Brine float assembly, and again, where would I find it? Would it replace the brine well that you mentioned that I should replace?

You're right there is a kind in that hose. It looks like a piece of garden hose which has been put on there it's quite stiff.

Ok, after repeatedly reading what you wrote, and running down to my water softener a couple of times I think I'm with you. I'm pretty sure I can do this provideing I can find the supplies. Are these the sorts of things I can find at a place like Rona or Home Depot?

Akpsdvan
03-26-2010, 05:17 PM
Here's a municiple website http://www.calgary.ca/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_526005_0_0_18/Water+Hardness+FAQ.htm with information regarding water hardness in Calgary. Is that good enough? Where would I go to get a water test?

That is great... now if you are in the half that gets the Bearspaw that will give you one setting, if you are in the other then you will have another setting, either way those numbers will give us the total hardness that we will need to set the meter for the unit that you have.


I'm a little unclear about which parts are which.

Is the valve the small part with the water in and out pipes connected to them (or is this small part with the pipes connected to it the "...meter..." you mention further on)? Is that the part you're referring to as a "...5600 metered unit..."? Or is the "...5600 metered unit..." the whole thing - the part connected to the water supply AND the part with the gears.

As you'll observe from my questions I really don't know anything about water softeners... However, I'm willing to learn. I've already repaired dysfunctional solar hot water and HRV systems that were in the house when I purchased it.

The black plastic is what is the 5600 with meter that I am talking about... the copper has the colored red gate valve handles.. The 5600 is made up of 2 main parts the valve body with its control and then there is the meter body with its cap or dome.
here is a link to the manual for what you have
http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com/PentairFiles/Pentair%20Water%20Treatment/Manuals/5600%20Service%20Manual%2040106.pdf


Where am I likely to find one of these rebuilt units or a new one for that matter like the Clack WS-1 CS that Gary mentions or the Fleck 5600 that Skip mentions or the Fleck 7000 that Bob referes to?

Is the Media tank that dome topped cylinder inside the unit? Is the brine well that thing on the right side of the inside of the unit? Again, where am I likely to find a brine well? What is a Brine float assembly, and again, where would I find it? Would it replace the brine well that you mentioned that I should replace?

There are dealers on the net that have new 5600, some might have a rebuilt 5600, I take in some from time to time and rebuild them to either trade out or sell...
Media tank is what you have identified as the tank.. and you have identified the brine well... brine wells are the tubes that hold the salt away from the item used to suck the brine water out of the brine tank, brine safety floats have the suck tube and a float assembly like in the back tank of the toilet.
You have it right about me saying to replace that which you have with a new tube and full brine float safety float assembly.


You're right there is a kind in that hose. It looks like a piece of garden hose which has been put on there it's quite stiff.

The deal with the drain line is that it can not have any kinks in it for the system to work correctly .. so either get the kink out or replace with a new line that is the same size as the drain barbed fitting..


Ok, after repeatedly reading what you wrote, and running down to my water softener a couple of times I think I'm with you. I'm pretty sure I can do this provideing I can find the supplies. Are these the sorts of things I can find at a place like Rona or Home Depot?
The media that you will need , from looking at the photo the media tank is either 8x35 or 10x35 if it is the smaller then .75 cubic, the larger 1.0 cubic.. either way that too is going to be found on the web at either a web dealer or auction site..

You are learning quick.. :D

Gary Slusser
03-26-2010, 07:44 PM
A warning to readers of this thread--when the poster above puts IIRC in a statement it means he doesn't really know what he is talking about and if you call him on it he will say "but I said IIRC" --which he says means If I Remember Correctly. So when he puts that in a post you should not believe what he posts.
Here is what I said: To fix an electronic control valve you replace the circuit board in a Clack but in a Fleck or Autotrol, IIRC you must replace the SE or SXT timer.

I just looked up Fleck SXT parts and I found that only the 7000 has a replacement circuit board. The rest you replace the whole timer as I thought. So it appears you're wrong Bob.

I also searched softenerparts.com but they do not have any electronics parts for any Fleck controls on the web site.

From the parts list in the back of the 5600 SXT service manual.

http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com/PentairFiles/Pentair%20Water%20Treatment/Manuals/5600SXT%20Upflow%20Service%20Manual%2042683.pdf

Front Panels
61672-0201 ..... 5600SXT Front Panel Assembly,
......................... Square, Black
61673-0201 ..... 5600SXT Front Panel Assembly,
......................... Curved, Black

From the diagram page in the same manual.
26A ................. 1 .......................61672-0201 ................Front Panel Assy, 56SXT, Square
26B ................. 1 .......................61673-0201 ................Front Panel Assy, 56SXT, Curved

So now I'll ask you again.... What programming features (of the 7000) do you consider as superior to the Clack WS-1?

Also, why do you think Fleck got rid of variable bring with the SXT timer if not due to excessive water use caused by more frequent regenerations when compared to the same softener without the variable brining feature?

Gary Slusser
03-26-2010, 08:13 PM
This is nothing more than bashing. Just because you don't like what a poster says, you resort to bashing the equipment they recommend. This is what I meant when I said, "Find another forum". And you don't know what I know about programming electronic control valves. Just another way to bash those you don't agree with you. That just shows what type person you are.
There is nothing untrue in what I said so what do you see as bashing by me replying to what someone said to me; here's what I replied with; What programming features do you consider as superior Bob? and then this; And why do you think Fleck got rid of variable bring with the SXT timer if not due to excessive water use caused by more frequent regenerations when compared to the same softener without the variable brining feature?

Gary Slusser
03-26-2010, 08:20 PM
Here's a municiple website http://www.calgary.ca/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_526005_0_0_18/Water+Hardness+FAQ.htm with information regarding water hardness in Calgary. Is that good enough? Where would I go to get a water test?
You have to size and program using the highest hardness in their system so when they send your house harder water than a test today may show at your house, the softener can remove the additional hardness. If you don't do that, additional capacity is used but won't be regenerated by the salt dose and within days or a week you'll get hard water through the softener.

Gary Slusser
03-27-2010, 10:40 AM
Middleagesoftie, you should use 18 gpg to size and set up your softener.

Also, the link has a number of errors in what they are telling people, such as: The hardness of Calgary's drinking water does vary throughout the year, so it is recommended that you set your water softener for the middle or average hardness value for your area.

If you set a softener at the 'average hardness' of city water and the city sends you harder water which many do and fairly often, the softener won't be able to continue to remove the higher hardness for very long because the resin will remove it but the capacity used will not be regenerated with the current salt dose so you'll get hard water through the softener fairly soon.

Then you have to do two manual regenerations at the maximum salt dose lbs for the volume of resin you have (15 lbs/cuft of regular mesh resin) and you can not use water during or between those two manual regenerations. That usually will take 8 hours and many lbs of salt.

MiddleAgeSoftie
03-27-2010, 04:04 PM
They aren't tired of programming their Clack or other electronic control valves because they are DIYers AND they only have to do it once and it is as easy as heating a cup of coffee in their microwave; literally.

To fix an electronic control valve you replace the circuit board in a Clack but in a Fleck or Autotrol, IIRC you must replace the SE or SXT timer. To replace a Clack circuit board takes about a minute and there are no tools required; just two hands with at least one finger per hand..

The OP in this case (me... ;-)) would side with Gary on this one. I'm a tech guy to begin with. The more tech the better ;-)

I've done some investigation of all of the valves mentioned in this post and I think I'm leaning toward the Clack valve that Gary has recommended. Based on other material I've come across on the web and Gary's referral my gut says that the Clack would be a reliable replacement in my case.

Bob999
03-27-2010, 05:16 PM
I've done some investigation of all of the valves mentioned in this post and I think I'm leaning toward the Clack valve that Gary has recommended. Based on other material I've come across on the web and Gary's referral my gut says that the Clack would be a reliable replacement in my case.

Clack makes a good valve. If it were priced the same as the Fleck 7000 I would consider the two valves comparable--there are some differences but on balance they net each other out in my view. However most internet sellors price the 1" version of the Clack valve about $40 higher and in my view the Clack doesn't warrant the premium.

I would be interested in knowing what tilts the balance in favor of Clack in your evaluation. I hope you are not being influenced by some of the bad information posted earlier in this thread. I am specifically referring to the following points
--that the 7000 is overkill (bigger internal passages are always better if the price is the same or less, the Clack 1.25 in valve is about $100 more expensive than the Clack 1" and the Clack 1" sells for $40 more than the 7000)
--that the 7000 uses excessive water because of the variable brining feature (it doesn't have a variable brining feature so this comment is pure ####)
--that there is a difference in the ability of a DIYer to repair the valve because you need a screwdriver and pliers for the Fleck 7000 but you don't need those tools for a Clack (it is true that the Clack circuit board snaps out while the Fleck board uses screws but on the other hand there is a risk you will break the board or the snap fasteners with the Clack)
--that the timer is separate on the Fleck (both the Fleck 7000 and the Clack have one circuit board and all electronic components are on that board on both heads).

Akpsdvan
03-27-2010, 05:42 PM
The OP in this case (me... ;-)) would side with Gary on this one. I'm a tech guy to begin with. The more tech the better ;-)

I've done some investigation of all of the valves mentioned in this post and I think I'm leaning toward the Clack valve that Gary has recommended. Based on other material I've come across on the web and Gary's referral my gut says that the Clack would be a reliable replacement in my case.

The main Question that you will need to ask your self.. Re work the copper pipes coming and leaving the current unit or not to re work the copper pipes.
Changing to the 5600 SXT can use the same meter body with a change in cap, and a change in the upper control... but the yoke will stay the same, no change to the copper..
Changing to the Clack will mean changing the copper and putting fittings needed to make the change from copper to the clack valve..

Full new system or rebuild what is there.

Choice is yours.

MiddleAgeSoftie
03-27-2010, 08:41 PM
Thank you to all who have posted in response to my inquiries. Clearly there are differing opinions about what is "best". My sense of things based on what I've gleaned so far from this forum and from trolling the web is that the Clack and the Fleck are both in the best category of the good, better, best. Beyond that my sense is that it comes down to personal preference.

With respect to what's swaying my opinion it's hard to say. As I said, I'm leaning that way but I haven't worked through things like price, availability and, as Akpsdvan points out, the fact that any choice beyond his recommendation of the 5600 SXT will likely mean doing some re-plumbing.

With respect to the price, $40 doesn't seem like a lot to me considering what the overall cost is likely to be. And to put it into context, I went to Home depot and the sales guy tried to sell me a 40,000 grain GE unit for $999. If I'm understanding what you all are saying, I'd be better off with any of the valve units you've recommended in my existing unit, for less money than this new GE unit.

As I posted before, my choice is likely to be more of a "gut" choice.

Akpsdvan

The one component that you mention that I haven't been able to find on line yet is the brine well and the float assembly you mention. Any sites I should be looking at?

Again, I thank you all for your advice and I hope that there are no hard feelings regarding the differing opinions expressed.

MiddleAgeSoftie
03-27-2010, 08:51 PM
Middleagesoftie, you should use 18 gpg to size and set up your softener.

Also, the link has a number of errors in what they are telling people, such as: The hardness of Calgary's drinking water does vary throughout the year, so it is recommended that you set your water softener for the middle or average hardness value for your area....


Thanks for this! With this tidbit and the link to the manual for my current valve which I've now learned is a fleck 5600 econominder, I should be able to set up my current valve properly. I haven't got a clue if it's set correctly right now (as shown in the photos) or not.

Akpsdvan
03-27-2010, 10:51 PM
Thank you to all who have posted in response to my inquiries. Clearly there are differing opinions about what is "best". My sense of things based on what I've gleaned so far from this forum and from trolling the web is that the Clack and the Fleck are both in the best category of the good, better, best. Beyond that my sense is that it comes down to personal preference.

With respect to what's swaying my opinion it's hard to say. As I said, I'm leaning that way but I haven't worked through things like price, availability and, as Akpsdvan points out, the fact that any choice beyond his recommendation of the 5600 SXT will likely mean doing some re-plumbing.

With respect to the price, $40 doesn't seem like a lot to me considering what the overall cost is likely to be. And to put it into context, I went to Home depot and the sales guy tried to sell me a 40,000 grain GE unit for $999. If I'm understanding what you all are saying, I'd be better off with any of the valve units you've recommended in my existing unit, for less money than this new GE unit.

As I posted before, my choice is likely to be more of a "gut" choice.

Akpsdvan

The one component that you mention that I haven't been able to find on line yet is the brine well and the float assembly you mention. Any sites I should be looking at?

Again, I thank you all for your advice and I hope that there are no hard feelings regarding the differing opinions expressed.

No hard feelings... we work through the thoughts to the get our selves to the same page..

I was thinking that the new unit was the last choice and that if this one could be reworked that would be better..

Send me a private message for the address of where you can find the brine float assembly and the brine safety float that I talked about..

Akpsdvan
03-27-2010, 11:06 PM
Thanks for this! With this tidbit and the link to the manual for my current valve which I've now learned is a fleck 5600 econominder, I should be able to set up my current valve properly. I haven't got a clue if it's set correctly right now (as shown in the photos) or not.

Which water plant are you getting your water from?
Use the highest number from that plant for figuring the gallons for you system..
your meter is a older one, one with out the number scale around the dial and between the outside teeth and that center part with the people...
Size of your tank is going to set your capacity on the best salt setting..

Like looking at the Horse Power Out put curve for any engine, there is the sweet spot... same for salt and resin. you can do the highest salt setting and get the max out of the resin... but just back alittle bit on the curve is a more econ for the two...

Bob999
03-28-2010, 06:56 AM
Thank you to all who have posted in response to my inquiries. Clearly there are differing opinions about what is "best". My sense of things based on what I've gleaned so far from this forum and from trolling the web is that the Clack and the Fleck are both in the best category of the good, better, best. Beyond that my sense is that it comes down to personal preference.

With respect to what's swaying my opinion it's hard to say. As I said, I'm leaning that way but I haven't worked through things like price, availability and, as Akpsdvan points out, the fact that any choice beyond his recommendation of the 5600 SXT will likely mean doing some re-plumbing.

With respect to the price, $40 doesn't seem like a lot to me considering what the overall cost is likely to be. And to put it into context, I went to Home depot and the sales guy tried to sell me a 40,000 grain GE unit for $999. If I'm understanding what you all are saying, I'd be better off with any of the valve units you've recommended in my existing unit, for less money than this new GE unit.

As I posted before, my choice is likely to be more of a "gut" choice.




In my view repair of an existing unit is always option 1 and would move to considering replacement only if repair was not an economic option or features were desired that could only be obtained with a new unit.

If you go with a new unit or a new valve I think you would be best served with a Fleck or Clack valve.

Good luck with what ever course of action you take and let us know how things unfold.

MiddleAgeSoftie
03-28-2010, 08:57 AM
Which water plant are you getting your water from?
Use the highest number from that plant for figuring the gallons for you system..
your meter is a older one, one with out the number scale around the dial and between the outside teeth and that center part with the people...
Size of your tank is going to set your capacity on the best salt setting..

Like looking at the Horse Power Out put curve for any engine, there is the sweet spot... same for salt and resin. you can do the highest salt setting and get the max out of the resin... but just back alittle bit on the curve is a more econ for the two...

My water comes from the Glenmore treatment plant. Am I correct in concluding that my valve should be set for about 18gpg? I think that's the number that Gary suggested.

Akpsdvan
03-28-2010, 10:36 AM
My water comes from the Glenmore treatment plant. Am I correct in concluding that my valve should be set for about 18gpg? I think that's the number that Gary suggested.

Yes the 18grain should be used in helping to set up the meter..

Have you found the size of the media tank? is it 8" wide or 10" wide? most likely it is 35" in height...

From the Photo there was a Red tag.. what is the number on that ?

Gary Slusser
03-28-2010, 02:04 PM
Clack makes a good valve. If it were priced the same as the Fleck 7000 I would consider the two valves comparable--there are some differences but on balance they net each other out in my view. However most internet sellors price the 1" version of the Clack valve about $40 higher and in my view the Clack doesn't warrant the premium.
I disagree that they are comparable IF you are looking at the ease of programming and repair by a DIYer but in this case especially where there is a cabinet model softener that is limited to a 10" x probably a 35" resin tank. There is no sense to go with a 1.25" control valve.

Actually most distributors sell the Clack at a higher price than Fleck valves, possibly due to Clack's distributor contract where the valve is not allowed to be sold separately unless it is replacing another brand of valve; as in this case. I suspect Clack charges more for their valves than Fleck does.


I would be interested in knowing what tilts the balance in favor of Clack in your evaluation. I hope you are not being influenced by some of the bad information posted earlier in this thread. I am specifically referring to the following points
--that the 7000 is overkill (bigger internal passages are always better if the price is the same or less, the Clack 1.25 in valve is about $100 more expensive than the Clack 1" and the Clack 1" sells for $40 more than the 7000)
--that the 7000 uses excessive water because of the variable brining feature (it doesn't have a variable brining feature so this comment is pure ####)
--that there is a difference in the ability of a DIYer to repair the valve because you need a screwdriver and pliers for the Fleck 7000 but you don't need those tools for a Clack (it is true that the Clack circuit board snaps out while the Fleck board uses screws but on the other hand there is a risk you will break the board or the snap fasteners with the Clack).
There is no sense in a 1.25" control valve on a cabinet model softener.

The tools needed to work on a 7000 are more than pliers and a screwdriver, I know there is a nut that must be turned to just the right position and IIRC (if I recall correctly) the manual calls for a socket. That is so the plastic nut is not chewed up and the piston can be 'indexed' just right or you can't get things apart. Maybe you don't know that Bob because you've never sold a 7000 or worked on one. And when you get it right and apart, you must re-index or you can't get it back together until you do. There's no such thing on any Clack valve.

To break the thumb tabs on a Clack you'll have to try really hard but, to get the circuit board off a Clack you can either take the board off or the board and the bracket it is installed on off as one piece instead of the board and then the bracket separately.

MiddleAgeSoftie
03-28-2010, 04:26 PM
Yes the 18grain should be used in helping to set up the meter..

Have you found the size of the media tank? is it 8" wide or 10" wide? most likely it is 35" in height...

From the Photo there was a Red tag.. what is the number on that ?

The red tag on the bottom of the valve body is a serial number. There is also a white tag beside the red tag. It says Injector #1 (the #1 is hand written) and Drain flow 2.5 GPM (Again the 2.5 is hand written).

I've tried to measure the tank and it does appear to be 10# X 35". The circumference is 32". If my math is right that works out to 10" diameter. Eyeballing from the floor with a tape measure looks like 35".

There is a serial number on the top of the cabinet (which likely won't mean much) which is NAC30MI. There is also another label (with no identifier saying what it is) which simply says "12 G".

MiddleAgeSoftie
03-28-2010, 04:29 PM
One more detail which, from my reading seems to be important is that the inside pipe diameter going into and out of the valve is 3/4"

Akpsdvan
03-28-2010, 05:23 PM
One more detail which, from my reading seems to be important is that the inside pipe diameter going into and out of the valve is 3/4"

The older ones like that most of the time did have the 3/4" distribitor tube, the one going from the valve down to the bottom of the medis tank.

So far the number is not turning up ,, must be out side of the web records that I can get...

10X35 tank means that 95% chance that is a 1.0 cubic foot unit.

The injector is a 1 or white in color, the 2.5gpm is the backwash flow rate.

No idea like you on the 12g..... there was a reason for it going there, but it is now lost to time as to why....

MiddleAgeSoftie
03-28-2010, 06:21 PM
The older ones like that most of the time did have the 3/4" distribitor tube, the one going from the valve down to the bottom of the medis tank...

The pipe diameter I was referring to is the copper water pipes going from the house into the softener and from the softener back into the house rather than the distributor pipe going from the valve to the bottom of the tank (although that may also be 3/4").

Akpsdvan
03-28-2010, 06:52 PM
The pipe diameter I was referring to is the copper water pipes going from the house into the softener and from the softener back into the house rather than the distributor pipe going from the valve to the bottom of the tank (although that may also be 3/4").

Looks like I was on the wrong page... my bad...

But yes looking at the photos and the brass yoke that is in use looks more like 3/4" which would mean that the copper feed and return line or untreated and treated water is 3/4"....