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Thread: Low Pressure Out of GE Smartwater Softener

  1. #1
    DIY Member Phillbo's Avatar
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    Default Low Pressure Out of GE Smartwater Softener

    A couple weeks ago I notice a decrease in the water pressure in my house. I checked the pressure at the hose bib out front and the city pressure is 60 PSI.

    Yesterday I determined the problem is my GE Smartwater Softener. When I place it in bypass configuration the pressure in the house returns to normal.

    I've owned the home for 6 years and the softener appeared to be brand new when I bought it so I would assume the unit is 6 years old.

    Any suggestion on where to start to diagnose the issue ? Or should I just replace the unit? I have no clue what the lifespan should be on a softener.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    If you have the book to this unit it will help.

    With the unit in bypass, start a cycle on the unit.
    Once the unit is no longer discharging water to the drain, remove the two clips that hold the valve to the tank.
    Remove the upper basket or screen and clean , replace and replace the two clips and turn the water back on.

    Note, there will be some O rings on and around the basket, DO NOT LOSE THEM.

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    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 Member Phillbo's Avatar
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    So, the screen in the Venturi Assembly is the one that needs to be cleaned ?

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    You can but it doesn't decrease water flow to the house. The top basket on the distributor tube, and the one on the bottom of the distributor tube does. You probably have resin beads blocking the slits in them. Especially the top one.
    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.

  6. #6
    DIY Member Phillbo's Avatar
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    Do you know if there are any diagrams on- line that would show the location and how to access those screens? I would not know a 'distributor tube' if you slapped me across the face with one

    Or even how to get to it...
    Last edited by Phillbo; 11-23-2010 at 01:05 PM.

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Do you have a manual?

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    Do you know if there are any diagrams on- line that would show the location and how to access those screens? I would not know a 'distributor tube' if you slapped me across the face with one

    Or even how to get to it...
    Use the animations at the link I posted. The DT is about an inch across pipe that goes up into the bottom of the control valve. You must take it out of the tank off the DT to see down in your resin tank.
    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. #9
    DIY Member Phillbo's Avatar
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    I appreciate you posting the animation but I must be missing something. It shows how to clean the venturi, not the screens on the DT.

    I pulled all the plastic covers off last night and took a look .. It appears to me all I need to do is remove the 2 retaining clips from the ring that holds the valve body to the tank, remove the line to the venturi and it should just lift off - correct ?

    Will I need to remove all the resin beads in order to remove, clean and then replace the lower basket ? Do I simply pull the DT straight up to get the lower basket out ?

    Sorry for so many questions, this is all new stuff to me and I don't like to get in too deep without knowing what to expect. I have a tendency to start breaking stuff if I do.

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Click View Product Animation. Click Soft Water. Wait until pictures show up. Click Tank System. Process. Green right Arrow.

    Yes, you shut off your water to the house before the softener. Open a faucet and drain the water and close the faucet. Remover the covers from the control valve so you see those clamps. Open the clamps and lift the valve off. Watch you don't drop o-rings etc.. You are looking at a pipe (it's the DT in the center of the top basket) with a piece of plastic (the top basket) down over it with slits in the sides, lift it out and you can see the rest of teh DT and resin down in the tank.

    That plastic part is a top basket and has thin slits in it that are probably full of resin beads rust etc. DO NOT break any of the plastic slits but clean out the slits and reassemble the unit and see if the flow doesn't improve.

    If the slits in the top basket are not blocked, then you take the distributor tube out by grabbing it by hand and pulling it out. And check the bottom basket slits for blockage.

    Getting the DT back in requires a garden hose connected to the top of the DT (a sch 40 PVC 3/4" female fitting with a garden hose x 3/4 male fitting screwed into it and the open end slid down on the DT used to work) to get some water flow down through the DT to push the resin out of the way so the DT can go all the way to the bottom of the tank instead of having resin under it. That requires removing a bunch of water from the resin tank first so that water doesn't over flow the tank into the salt. You can siphon water out with something that will fit down inside the DT. 1/2" PE drain line tubing is good and all hardware stores usually sell it.

    If you are not confident you can do this, call Sears fro service. And next time don't buy a cabinet model softener, buy an industry standard two tank (separate resin and salt tanks) type. They are much easier to work on.
    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. #11
    DIY Member Phillbo's Avatar
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    Awesome stuff .. Thanks much for the help!!

    One last question and I'll stop

    Once I turn off the water and drain the system, can I then remove the bypass valve and set it to bypass and turn the water back on to the house? I plan to remove the bypass valve so I can slide the unit out a bit to get a better angle on it (cabinets over head).

  12. #12
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    With the unit in bypass and pressure inside the unit down , by carfully removing the 2 black locking rings you will be able to pull the unit away from the bypass handle.

  13. #13
    DIY Member Phillbo's Avatar
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    So, water off, open faucet until drained, close faucet, set to bypass and remove clips and bypass valve, then I can turn the water back on.

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    So, water off, open faucet until drained, close faucet, set to bypass and remove clips and bypass valve, then I can turn the water back on.
    What you should do is place the unit on bypass, advance the unit into the backwash cycle, collasp the bypass toward the valve head and remove the clips. Pull the unit away from the bypass and remove the clamps holding the head to the base.

  15. #15
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Either way , but the second is simpler and no turning off of the water to the house or turning off the well.

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