I have an older Mark 59 Culligan water softner that for some unknown reason no longer has brine in the salt tank. I put two bags of salt into the tank a few weeks ago and the salt is still there and I do not see any brine. What is the best way to trouble shoot this problem. Also, can I simply put water into the tank???
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
You could try and put about 3 gallons of water into the brine or salt tank and wait about 2 hours for the brine to be strong..
With the water in there and the unit going through a cleaning or regen cycle if the water is pulled out then that part still works..
Check around the bottom of the salt or brine tank to see if you see salt, if there is a leak then the salty water coming out with dry and leave the salt behind.
Now as for the Mark 59... even I don't have any kind of parts and most likely there are NO parts out there.. you might be able to make some changes to it to the Mark 49, as I have done that for a friend that lives in Texas..... worked great and at last count still working.
The Mark 50 valves have three solenoid valves with diaphrams, plungers and springs. Check to make sure the solenoids do NOT have any cracks in them (if any do you are out of luck and valve is useless). If they are all good take the solenoids out, clean the plungers and diaphrams (check all diaphrams for wear or cracks in rubber). Frequently there will be scale or debris plugging the holes (where the plungers seat on the center of the diaphrams) causing problems you described. Springs become weak also and will cause the plunger to not seat properly. Clean all check all the springs, stretch them very SLIGHTLY and re-assemble all.
Also check the float assembly. Unscrew the top of the float assembly, there is a refill restrictor that may have debris in it. The control will draw brine but will not refill the salt tank because the debris plugs restrictor during brine refill. I would check this first as it is the easiest to access. Also clean the eductor assembly to make sure it is clean.
Add the 3 gallons of water to brine tank, manually run the valve to refill position, hold the float down to purge all air in brine assembly. Regenerate system 2x in 24 hrs.
Thanks for the help. So, I poured ~3 gallons and water into the salt chamber and let it run thru a cycle. I noticed that this morning there is water in BOTH the salt chamber and
small chamber where the Dubl-Valve is located, where before it did not contain any water.
How can I be sure that the softener is working properly?
Thanks again for your help!
A quick test to see if there is a difference in the softener after regenerating is to take soap bar soap and wash your hands. Does it lather up? Ivory bar soap is the best for this because it is not a detergent-soap and never lathers on hard water.
Take two identical glass jars and fill them half full, one with water before the softener, and the other after. Place one drop of liquid dish detergent in each jar, cap them both and shake them equally. If one has much more suds than the other, it is a good sign.
To watch the brine draw during a manual regen, I shine a work light against the opaque plastic brine tank to observe the brine level. Also, wen the brine level drops to the point the eductor sucks air, the sound changes and air bubbles appear in the brine tube.
That's a good test. However, most detergent contain surfactants causing lather even in very hard water. I choose Ivory soap because it contains no phosphates, silicates, etc., that companies like P&G (world's largest water softener company!) put in their soaps making them detergents.