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Thread: disinfect? Unused for a year, water brown

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    Default disinfect? Unused for a year, water brown

    This water softener has been unused for perhaps a year. Its full of salt, but there is a good amount of water in it (it may have been interrupted in the middle of a cycle) and it is a nasty brown color. Some of the salt above the water is developing a brown tint as well.

    AFAIK not much grows in a saturated salt solution, but the brown color is puzzling.

    What steps should be taken to clean or disinfect it before using again?

  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Put it in Service on the by pass valve.

    Then put it into a regeneration and see if it uses that water.

    If it doesn't suck the water out during the first regeneration, then check for loose brine line compression fitting nut allowing it to suck air, or a blocked injector or injector screen and fix them.

    If it does suck the water out, when it is done with the regeneration, mix two cap fulls of non scented regular household bleach in a gallon of water, pour it into the water in the salt tank and do a manual regeneration. When done run water at all fixtures and see if it is softened. If it is enjoy the softened water.
    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.

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    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    Bypass valve ??? Well, I might be able to direct the output to a hose bib but there would be some residiual in a few feet of line leading to the whole house...

    And if it doesn't draw the water out I'd then have to pump it out & remove the salt to get to the bottom to check the connections, right ?

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Has water been going through the softener for the last year, or was it put in the bypass position?

    Hose bib? The drain water goes to drain, it isn't going into your water plumbing.
    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.

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    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    The unit has been out of service -- the input & output valves closed.

    There is no drain in the basement, to empty the tank I would have to bail it out. I had thought that I could arrange the valves to close the main house supply & direct the output to the garden hose bib, but that is not the case.

    Do you think the brown color is discoloration, or bacteria? I do not want to contaminate the resin bed if its bacterial. OOH removing the salt & bailing it out would be a real PIA. There is a waste line that takes the recharge water away, but of course recharging would put that brown water into the resin bed unless I cleaned it out first.
    Last edited by AcidWater; 11-16-2009 at 08:37 AM.

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    You are going to have to bail it out. Get it cleaned up, check the fittings and then add some new salt. Run a few manual regen's and make sure water is flowing into and out of the brine tank. Then put it back into service and see if you have improved water conditions. If the media has gone bad it can be re-bedded

  7. #7
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AcidWater View Post
    The unit has been out of service -- the input & output valves closed.
    There should be a valve between them, so close it and ope the in and out vlaves, that outs it in Service.

    Quote Originally Posted by AcidWater View Post
    There is no drain in the basement, to empty the tank I would have to bail it out.

    Do you think the brown color is discoloration, or bacteria? I do not want to contaminate the resin bed if its bacterial.
    Yes it would be hard to dump and clean the tank, plus you'd be wasting good salt. No I don't think it is bacteria, you probably have solar crystal salt in the tank so go back to my previous reply and follow the directions. They will sanitize the softener resin bed and you don't have to continue to worry, or do any heavy lifting.....
    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.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    There is no valve arrangement that would allow the water to flow through the resin bed and out into the recharge discharge line, if that's what you mean.

    It has Morton salt in the yellow bag.

  9. #9
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    The control valve does the valving to the drain line.

    Open those two valves and close the one between them and put the control valve in a regeneration.

    Take a picture of the face and side of the control valve and post it.
    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.

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    Do you mean I should close the BYPASS & OUTLET valves and run regen cycles until the tank is clean ?

    WELL--------------------X bypass------------ TO HOUSE
    .......................|........................|. .......
    ......................X........................X.. ......
    .......................|........................|. .......
    ..................INLET.................OUTLET
    .................................................. ..
    .................................................. ..
    ..........................REGEN DISCHARGE ------>>>

  11. #11
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Here is a picture of a manual 3 way by pass valve set up. It is in the Service position. You reverse the positions to put it in bypass.

    So Open your inlet and outlet valves and close the one between them an regenerate your softener as I said earlier.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    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.

  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member AcidWater's Avatar
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    Just wanted to say merry Christmas... I have not yet gotten around to dealing with the water softener, too many other things going on !

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