(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22

Thread: softener introducting air into my water lines

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member hunch1784's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    9

    Default softener introducting air into my water lines

    I have a GE whole house water softener and every morning my water lines would have alot of air in them. I was suspicious that it was the softener allow air to get in my lines because there are no leaks. I bypassed the softener via the bypass valve on the unit itself and I have not had any air in my lines since I did this 4 days ago. Does anyone have any suggestions on what my problem could be and how I could fix it?

  2. #2
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,471

    Default

    Make sure that the brine line nut is tight and that there are no leaks in the 3/8 tubing going into the brine tank.

    The brine line would be the only place that air could get into the system. The other thing that could be going on is the float assembly is not closing when there is no more water.. make sure that the brine pick up end is clear and seating correctly.

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,792

    Default

    If it was possible that air sucked in through the brine line could get out into the plumbing, and I don't think it can with a downflow softener, then this softener is up flow or would have to have regenerated every night to have air in the lines every morning. I doubt the softener is regenerating every night but a small GE might. Do they make an up flow?

    I think it may be the hot side that has air in it and it may be coming from the water heater. Why bypassing the softener would prevent the air is beyond me.
    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.

  4. #4

    Default

    To check and see if the unit is causing the problem, advance the unit into a brine draw cycle. Slowly pull the float assembly out of the brine tank. On the bottom of the styrofoam float is a rubber that seals when the water is drawn out. So with the unit in a draw and you pull the float out, the rod that the float rides on should not move. If you are able to move it up and down, the seal is bad allowing air to be drawn into the unit.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,471

    Default

    Very good lay out of how to... sorry that I was not more clear, but you have made it clearer..

    What one puts in , one gets out.

    ie iron free water into water heater, iron free water out of water heater.. if there is iron in the hot water but not the cold then the water heater is in need of replacement.

  6. #6
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,792

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Wolverton View Post
    To check and see if the unit is causing the problem, advance the unit into a brine draw cycle. Slowly pull the float assembly out of the brine tank. On the bottom of the styrofoam float is a rubber that seals when the water is drawn out. So with the unit in a draw and you pull the float out, the rod that the float rides on should not move. If you are able to move it up and down, the seal is bad allowing air to be drawn into the unit.
    I use semi transparent (opaque) brine line so you can see air bubbles in it just by looking at the brine line during slow rinse/brine draw.

    But if air is sucked into the resin tank during slow rinse/brine draw (the brining cycle position) that goes through the tank and out the drain line with the slow rinse water, how does the air get trapped and out into the house plumbing?

    If there is a private well, it's more likely that the air is from the pump sucking air or the water level in the well falling to the inlet to the pump.
    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 02-13-2010 at 12:45 PM.
    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. #7
    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    448

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    But if air is sucked into the resin tank during slow rinse/brine draw (the brining cycle position) that goes through the tank and out the drain line with the slow rinse water, how does the air get trapped and out into the house plumbing?
    With a downflow softener the slow rinse/brining flow is down through the tank and back up through the distribution tube to the head and out the drain. It is easy for air to be trapped in the top of the tank if it is introduced during the slow rinse/brine cycle. If there is a lot of air in the tank then a high service flow can carry the air down through the bed and out with the supply water.

  8. #8
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,471

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob999 View Post
    With a downflow softener the slow rinse/brining flow is down through the tank and back up through the distribution tube to the head and out the drain. It is easy for air to be trapped in the top of the tank if it is introduced during the slow rinse/brine cycle. If there is a lot of air in the tank then a high service flow can carry the air down through the bed and out with the supply water.
    What He said...............................

    The Home owner said that the air was not there when the unit was put into bypass............. but there when the unit was in service.... where else is the air going to get in if there is no leak around the valve?????

  9. #9
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,792

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob999 View Post
    With a downflow softener the slow rinse/brining flow is down through the tank and back up through the distribution tube to the head and out the drain. It is easy for air to be trapped in the top of the tank if it is introduced during the slow rinse/brine cycle. If there is a lot of air in the tank then a high service flow can carry the air down through the bed and out with the supply water.
    The problem with that is after slow rinse/brine draw, most softeners have an upflow backwash that would flush the air out the drain line.

    Why the air problem stopped when the unit was put into by pass may be due to an air leak in the bypass valve when it is in the service position. Or the volume of water used for a regeneration is causing the pump to suck air; or if there is a jet pump which can suck air but not leak water at a loose fitting.
    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

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I use semi transparent (opaque) brine line so you can see air bubbles in it just by looking at the brine line during slow rinse/brine draw.

    But if air is sucked into the resin tank during slow rinse/brine draw (the brining cycle position) that goes through the tank and out the drain line with the slow rinse water, how does the air get trapped and out into the house plumbing?

    If there is a private well, it's more likely that the air is from the pump sucking air or the water level in the well falling to the inlet to the pump.
    Your wrong about the air not staying in the tank. I recently went on a svc call where the valve was in a brine cycle for over 2 days. It took me 3 complete revolutions of the valve to get all the air out. And changing the line would be ok but, you are only isolating the valve and not the brine line. Whenever possible, I keep everything the same. I just pull the float assembly out of the brine tank to get it to "check" and see if it is sucking air.

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    448

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    The problem with that is after slow rinse/brine draw, most softeners have an upflow backwash that would flush the air out the drain line.
    You are correct that IF he has a softener with an upflow backwash after the brine/slow rinse that the air would be flushed out. Don't know where you get statistics that most softeners have that feature if you are talking about installed softeners. Most older softeners don't have a backwash after the brine/slow rinse and the poster told us nothing about the age of the softener.

  12. #12
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,792

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Wolverton View Post
    Your wrong about the air not staying in the tank. I recently went on a svc call where the valve was in a brine cycle for over 2 days. It took me 3 complete revolutions of the valve to get all the air out. And changing the line would be ok but, you are only isolating the valve and not the brine line. Whenever possible, I keep everything the same. I just pull the float assembly out of the brine tank to get it to "check" and see if it is sucking air.
    Can you name me a brand of softener that does not have a rinse cycle after the slow rinse/brine draw cycle. And if it does, the trapped air goes out the drain line during that cycle right?

    I'm not saying change existing brine lines. Since 1987 I have always used/ordered softeners with an opaque brine line. That type brine line allows anyone to check the brine system for air suction leaks except at the control valve end of the brine line.

    I don't know how without a brine line that will allow seeing air bubbles that you know it is sucking air when you remove the air check from the salt tank and stick it in a bucket of water. How do you see evidence of air bubbles or know it's sucking air? If it isn't sucking brine water, it doesn't mean it's sucking air, there are a number of different causes of not sucking brine 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.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Can you name me a brand of softener that does not have a rinse cycle after the slow rinse/brine draw cycle. And if it does, the trapped air goes out the drain line during that cycle right?

    I'm not saying change existing brine lines. Since 1987 I have always used/ordered softeners with an opaque brine line. That type brine line allows anyone to check the brine system for air suction leaks except at the control valve end of the brine line.

    I don't know how without a brine line that will allow seeing air bubbles that you know it is sucking air when you remove the air check from the salt tank and stick it in a bucket of water. How do you see evidence of air bubbles or know it's sucking air? If it isn't sucking brine water, it doesn't mean it's sucking air, there are a number of different causes of not sucking brine water.
    1> The OP was talking about a GE softener. I've never seen an opaque brine line on one.
    2. I never said the unit didn't have a rinse cycle after the brine.
    3. If all the brine is dranw out and the air check does not seat, the unit is drawing air. If it's drawing air, it's not good.

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    448

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Can you name me a brand of softener that does not have a rinse cycle after the slow rinse/brine draw cycle.
    Fleck 9000
    Fleck 2510
    Autotrol 255 Valve / 400 Series Controls

  15. #15
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,792

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob999 View Post
    Fleck 9000
    Fleck 2510
    Autotrol 255 Valve / 400 Series Controls
    You're wrong about the 9000 and 2510.

    Look at the spec sheets for them and you'll see Rapid Rinse listed after brine draw, that is an upflow backwash and Fleck valves have had that for decades:

    Product Features
    • Fully adjustable 5-cycle top mount control delivers
    controlled upflow backwash, downflow brining and slow
    rinse, rapid rinse, brine refill and downflow service

    Looking it up, yes you're right about Autotrol.

    So you're wrong on 2 out of 3 that you listed.
    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.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •