Boogers in my Kinetico Softener
I had to replace a "flex" line leading out of my water heater because it sprung a leak. I had to turn off my well pump and drain the lines to repair it. When the water was turned back on there was the normal (in my experience) flow of moderately cruddy water which flowed through the lines, and unfortunately, also through my Kinetico 2-tank (+ salt tank) Model 60 water softener.
In hindsight, I should have switched the valve to bypass the softener when the water was turned back on. (In hindsight, I also shouldn't have let my father-in-law "fix it" - but that's a whole 'nuther story, and will probably take years of counseling to get over.) The symptom I'm now having is that the softener seems to be "stuck" in part of the recharge mode where water is flowing through an output tube to a drain and never stops. Tonight I put a Phillips head screwdriver and was able to cycle it through various stages of the recycle and stop the flow of water. I'll obviously keep an eye on it over the course of the next few days to see if it gets "stuck" again.
So where do "boogers" come into this? Glad you asked. While looking through the top of the clear gear mechanism, I noticed a couple of bubbles and also some stray boogers floating around in one of the larger bubbles. I attached a picture which best captured the moment.
So my questions are:
1. Are these boogers likely gumming up the gears and causing the water softener to get "stuck"?
2. Can I de-pressurize the system and undo all the hex screws and clean it out on my own? Should I? Aside from my skills at picking a father-in-law, I'm somewhat handy.
3. Has any of this semi-dirty water harmed the softener? Do I need to "clean it out"? Any idea what this would entail?
Thanks very much for any thoughts or suggestion you might have. Father-in-law is a done deal, but I might consider replacing the softener if it fails in a similar manner. :-)