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Thread: Need help clarifying brine tank valve function

  1. #1

    Default Need help clarifying brine tank valve function

    The house we moved in to has a three year old Culligan Medalist softener. It appears to be working well. I just noticed today upon adding a bag of salt that the water level looked higher then I ever remembered seeing it. I took the red cover off the tube that extends down through the salt and noticed the water level was even higher in the tube then in the tank where the salt is kept. I pulled up the black tube with the float on it and it was stuck in the up position. This I guess this is some sort of check valve that rests on the bottom of the tube that goes through the brine solution. It's obvious the brine solution is drawn through this black tube that goes down to the bottom of the brine tank. My question is about the function of the metal rod with the white foam float that extends down to the bottom of this brine draw tube. What is the purpose of this valve type mechanism? I was able to push down firmly enough on the rod to break it free and get the whole mechanism moving freely. It was stuck in the up position and I'm thinking this is what caused the water level to be so high. I then ran a regeneration and everything worked fine. However after the regeneration was done the water refill did not come up high enough to push the float up. Is the system suppose to put enough water back in to push the float up and actuate the valve after every regeneration?

  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    The float is a safety brine system meant to shut off the water flow into the tank if the water comes up too high.

    If this happens again, you may have a blocked injector or its screen filter, drain line or drain line flow control or loose brine line connections allowing air suction instead of heavy brine.
    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. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    The float is a safety brine system meant to shut off the water flow into the tank if the water comes up too high.

    If this happens again, you may have a blocked injector or its screen filter, drain line or drain line flow control or loose brine line connections allowing air suction instead of heavy brine.

    Thanks for the info Gary. The system seems to work fine and our water is soft. I did switch over to Morton System saver pellets a few months ago. I didn't like the look of the slimy blackish looking water in the brine tank. I cleaned the brine tank and started using the pellets. The water in the tank has since been crystal clear and we use about two bags of pellets a month. I've seen your recommendation about using Solar salt. Could the switch to pellets have caused this potential problem?

  4. #4
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Cleaning the tank could have caused a problem but pellets shouldn't.

    Depending on your salt efficiency, you may have to increse the salt dose up to 30%.

    You're welcome.
    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. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Cleaning the tank could have caused a problem but pellets shouldn't.

    Depending on your salt efficiency, you may have to increase the salt dose up to 30%.

    You're welcome.
    Just for the heck of it I ran another regeneration and it went fine. The water level stayed down when it was done. Can you explain why I might need to increase the the salt dose?

  6. #6
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Because cation resin is made in the sodium form, not potassium, which makes potassium less efficient. Kinda like ethanol and gasoline.
    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
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    I don't think that the original poster in this thread has made any mention of switching from sodium chloride to potassium chloride--thus no reason to increase the salt dose. Rather I think the poster was saying that he switched from solar salt to pellets.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob999 View Post
    I don't think that the original poster in this thread has made any mention of switching from sodium chloride to potassium chloride--thus no reason to increase the salt dose. Rather I think the poster was saying that he switched from solar salt to pellets.
    That is correct. Thanks for clarifying that. On another note, I need a recommendation for an easily obtainable water hardness test beyond the simple test strips.

  9. #9
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Yes sorry about that, my bad.
    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 Bob999's Avatar
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    Taylor Technologies sells all kinds of test kits from their website. In my experience they sell a quality product--but sometimes pricy.

    Here is the link:

    http://www.taylortechnologies.com/wa...nditioning.asp

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    DIY Junior Member radarguy101's Avatar
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    Default Further clarification

    I have some further questions about the brine tank valve. Can you explain further how the valve works. Specifically, if it is being held up ( I assume closed) by the float, how does the control head get any brine out of the tank when in the regen cycle? Is it a one way closing valve?
    Thanks,
    Russell

  12. #12
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    IIRC all I have seen are one way valves meaning you can't get water into the salt tank but you can suck water out which opens the valve for brine refill water into the tank later. That assumes the valve doesn't stick closed and I've seen some do that.
    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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