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Thread: Culligan Mark 812 Water Conditioner - Time to replace?

  1. #16

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    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for lightening fast response!!! I can't imagine its plumbed backward, it worked fine for 15 years and things go back together only one way.

    The unit is metered and the issue doesn't seem to get any better even after manual regenerations, nor does the salt level seem to be going down any.

    I can't get past something plugging the valve ports somewhere. Everything was fine, till that burst of black water from replacing the tank.

    If it is the resin, where do I get resin and how do I replace it?

    Thanks again,
    Tom

  2. #17
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    If it isn't sucking brine, then that is the cause of it not working. Tear it apart agsain and see if there is more black stuff up in the valve and then check the drain line isn't kinked or blocked, same for the injector, its throat and filter screen, that the brine line connections aren't allowing it to suck air, that a safety float isn't raised/shut off etc..

    Most any local dealer and all online dealers can sell you resin.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  3. #18

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    I will tear it apart again this evening. The brine line isn't kinked, I can taste salty water in it so the salt is getting that far at least.

    I'm not sure what or where the injector is. As far as I can tell, its a sealed unit, lots of ports from the plumbing, drain line and brine line, that's about it. But I don't think anything I can take apart.

    Someone recommended Super Iron Out. Have you heard of or used it or some other sort of cleaning agent? I was considering using Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner, that does a job on the rust stains, thought maybe running some of that through might clear up or break up some blockages. Of course with a massive rinsing afterward!!!

    I haven't had the time to sit and watch the softener for its entire regeneration cycle, but what I have seen about 10 minutes into the cycle, through the drain tube is only a trickle. During other times would the water be rushing through it, or is it usually a slow trickle?

    Thanks again for all your help!!!

    Tom

  4. #19
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Check the DRAIN line is blocked or kinked, not the brine line.

    You can;t run Iron Out etc. through it until you get it to suck brine... but when you do yes, about a 1/3 cup dry measure in a couple gallons of warm water poured into the water in the salt tank, not through teh salt, and do a manual regen.

    Post a couple pictures of the face of the control valve or describe it as if I'm blind, in detail. Of course that would be minus any cover... lol

    Got to page 9 in Adobe (page 8 printed lower left corner of teh page), fig 3, screws, eductor (injector).
    http://www.eculligan.com/support/mk100-op-inst-manl.PDF

    Of course you shut off the water and open a faucet somewhere and close it to relieve pressure before you unscrew anything... Don't lose parts or gaskets or break gaskets. Or overtighten anything.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  5. #20

    Default Improvement but no soft water

    Yes, I meant the drain line, but neither lines are kicked or blocked. I took everything apart again, took off the whole assembly, took off the control board/box soaked the entire valve unit in bucket of warm water and iron out plunged it in and out of water, agitated it in the bucket, blew in all the ports, some tasted salty (or maybe the iron out), but they blew free. I located the injector/eductor, pulled out the plastic cone shaped thingy carefully, cleaned it out, could see a pin hole in the middle so I assumed it was clear. When done, there was a lot of small black sludge in the bucket, looked like pepper instead of the rice size particles I got the first time.

    I put it all back together, without any spare parts plugged it in and regenerated it. This time water was flowing high pressure through the drain line. In the recent past it has only been a trickle. I thought I was on to something.

    After it was done, the level in the salt tank was the same and no effect on the water softness. I assume its not sucking brine. The water level is high (due to me not paying attention when I was putting water back in the tank after spray washing out the brine tank and put one bucket too much in the tank). I assume after a regeneration cycle, the water level in the brine tank should go down, especially since it was high to begin with. I understand the salt:water ratio isn't correct, but I would guess if it were sucking brine, there would be some noticeable improvement.

    I also noticed the float does not freely go down. Should I try taking that apart? or is there any test to know if its working properly? Is there a test to isolate which end isn't working properly when it should be sucking brine? During my dis-assembly, I blew through the brine tube and blew bubbles into the brine tank, so I know its clear.

    I assume the brine line flows both ways, pushing water into the brine tank when the water level is low, then sucking the brine back into the softener for the cleansing cycle.

  6. #21
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    That pinhole in the injector may be a partial blockage. Did you find and clean the injector throat under the injector, how about the injector screen?

    Put it in the bring cycle and take off the brine line for then take or control valve and put your thumb on the end of the tubing and see if you have good ssuction. If not you have to find the cause.

    www.kenmorewater.com to see how a softener works.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  7. #22

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    Gary,

    I could not figure out how to get the throat out. I didn't want to pry or pull too much, there was no obvious way for it to come out easily. I did not pierce the pinhole with anything, thinking now maybe I should but I figured if I could see light through it, it couldn't be that bad...

    The injector screen: Well... er um, well, it was a casualty a long time ago, when this problem first started and I got the nerve up to start tearing into it. I pulled it out and it basically fell apart in my fingers, so in my vast experience during my maiden voyage into tearing the thing apart, I determined it wasn't needed afterall.

    I don't know how to put it in a brine cycle. Its electronically controlled the only control button is Regenerate and the computer takes over. To the best of my knowledge, there is no idication of which cycle it might be in.

    If I push Renerate and sit there and watch it, about how long/which cycle would the brine cycle be?

    Thanks again!
    Tom

  8. #23
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Yeah the screen is needed.........

    The link to the manual I posted for you should tell you how to step from one cycle position to another during regeneration.

    Regeneration will take what it takes, if you learn how to step it, it takes maybe 10 minutes and you're done.

    There should be screw driver notches/slots in the edge of the throat.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  9. #24

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    Gary,

    I took out the injector, cleaned the pinhole with a tooth pick, didn't get much of anything out. I then stuck the tooth pick in the throat, got just enough resistance to notice there was resistance, then suddenly the tooth pick went freely. I worked it up and down a few times and started the regeneration cycle. After about 30 minutes, I checked the brine tube and there was suction, so I put it back together and checked the brine tank was empty of water, so apparently it appears to be sucking brine now.

    I let it finish its regeneration and ran the water for a few mintutes at the kitchen tap. It feels softer when I wash my hands, but now it smells funky, almost a sulfur/rotten egg smell. I will regenerate it again and see what happens in the morning.

    Thanks again for all your help, it looks like we are on the way to soft (but funky smelling) water!!! With any luck, the smell will clear up by morning.

    Tom

  10. #25
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    With no Iron Out etc. in the salt tank, mix a 1/3 cup of regular nonscented bleach in 2-3 gallons of water and pour in into the water in the salt tank, not through the salt, and do a manual regeneration. That will sanitize it and should get rid of the smell.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  11. #26

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    Yep!! That took care of most of the smell.

    I will do a regular regeneration, then an Iron Out regeneration, then a regular regeneration and maybe another bleach regeneration if it still seems funky. I'm sure the resin isn't fully cleaned after all that time. It has been a couple months since all this started, hopefully the resin isn't bad from it.

    The shower seemed better, but not much of a slick feeling this morning. The water looks clearer in the toilets so I imagine it will just take a bit. I understand the water heater still has plenty of hard water but with a family of 5 that should be gone soon.

    Thanks again for your time, patience and suggestions!!!

    Tom

  12. #27
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    If you do those regenerations, the resin should be fully regenerated and you should have 0 gpg soft COLD water. The hot water will have some hardness until any/all scale build up in the water heater has been dissolved.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  13. #28

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    Any suggestions to speeding along the process in the water heater? Or will the soft water break it down in a reasonable amount of time? (My wife is REALLY concerned over the rust in her hair) Its only about 4 years old, I hate to think about replacing it already.

    I've heard you're supposed to flush your water heater every 6 months if you have hard water, but I've never done it and most water heaters I've had experience with tend to last around 20 years.

  14. #29
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    It will take as long as it takes but maybe just a few days. Tell'er I said she needs to find some 'patience', and to tell you how good a job we've done, before something causes it to take longer. lol

    Nope, hard water scale can not be drained or flushed out of any type heater because it is stuck fast to the inside and it is as hard as rock. In electric heaters, it can break off the elements as little half circle pieces, but most can't be flushed out either.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  15. #30

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    oh well, I guess I've hit a dead end... hopefully it will get better over time. I will tell my wife what you said

    Thanks again for all your help, it wasn't easy, but you saved me a couple thousand dollars, that's for sure!!!!!

    Have a great weekend.
    Tom

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