I learned to always shut off the water and open a faucet to drain because if the by pass valve that hasn't been used in years doesn't by pass you are trying to take the by pass off a pressurized softener and can break the clips and have water going everywhere until you go shut off the water. It's like wearing a seat belt although you are not planning on having an accident.
Once the control is off the by pass he can turn on the water and see if the by pass leaks and if not leave the water on.
Actually if water runs fast enough, you have 0 psi (no pressure) because pressure is simply the resistance to water movement.
With the water shut off there will be no water flow, and as soon as the faucet is opened, just a reduction in pressure and water draining out of the faucet if there are any fixtures higher than it is in the house.
But yes, it can be done either way with shutting off the water and opening a faucet being the best for an inexperienced DIYer that has never done it before and is nervous about doing it; don't you agree?
BTW, the clips are between the by pass valve and the control valve. So if you close the by pass valve without shutting off the water or shutting off the water without opening a faucet, the pressure is trapped in the pipes with the clips and the whole softener is under pressure. that's why he would have to put the control valve in backwash, to release the pressure. Does he know how to put it in backwash? I think maybe not since he seems to not have a manual.
Guys, thanks a ton for your advice... A buddy of mine with the same unit and a manual walked me through the process of putting the unit into 'backwash' and checking for a low water flow from the drain tube. According to the manual this indicates a plugged upper screen as was suggested here.
I feel comfortable doing the upper so when I get a chance I plan too...
Christmas vacation and I had some time to tear into it .. upper screen is as clean as the day it was installed... I assume the lower screen is the problem then.
What is the life expectancy of one of these units? This one is at least 7 years old. Trying to decide if i should replace or get a pro out to try to clean the bottom screen ?
Last edited by Phillbo; 12-28-2010 at 10:58 AM.
Saddly Sears and GE and Polar star units are made cheep and for the most part do not have a long life... Corp would rather have you buy a new unit every few years and fill the junk yard or land fill...
Fixing is an idea but... fix now and replace in 1-2 years because of other breaks?
There is a way of using the tank that you have and most likely most if not all of the resin and with the changing of the valve and brine set up having a good working unit for much longer than the GE...
Meaning that you could/can buy a clamp on tank adapter for your non industry standard (clamp on) resin tank that has an industry standard 2.5" x 8 thread opening for industry standard control valves, and swap your GE for an Autotrol, Fleck or Erie control valve. IIRC you would need a new distributor tube and possibly brine line and if you have a cabinet model, you can't reinstall the softener's cover. I used to do things like that for customers 20 yrs ago but quit when you can buy a whole new softener online for about what swapping control valves costs.
Are there any truly good units available for 400-500 dollars ?
After pulling the top filter out and replacing, my pressure has returned to normal but I don't think the system is working as it should .. shower water just does not have the soft 'feel'. How do i test it ?
Pour 3 gallons of water down into the water in the bottom of the salt tank (not through the salt) and do a manual regeneration, then repeat with no water usage during or between the two. That should solve the problem.
by 'not through the salt' do you mean i need to remove all the salt from the Brine (salt) Tank before adding the 3 gallons of water and running the regens ? Or do I add the water by pouring it in the top of the black tube that houses the Brine System ?
But I am not sure why one would when the GE/Sears unit adds water at the start of the reg cycle.
If you where to hold off on water use for 5 hours and did 2 back to back regens that most likely will clean up the resin.
Phillbo, it means pour the water into the water in the bottom of the salt tank (down the brine well, where the float is, or any other way you can but you don't remove the salt because you don't have to). BTW, you add it again after the first regeneration also.
If you pour it down through the salt, you can cause a salt bridge as the salt above the water line dries out later and sticks together; especially with the use of pellets but with crystal also.
The three gallons = 9 lbs, plus whatever his dose is currently gets him very close to 15 lbs for his usually not much more than 1 cu ft cabinet model softner.
Next to none are set to use the max of 15 lbs/cu ft of resin. So when a softener has not been regenerated properly and there is hard water breakthrough/leakage, you need to regenerate the full cuft volume of resin to it's maximum K of capacity, hence the max of 15 lbs per cuft of resin twice must be used or you don't regenerate all the resin back to max capacity. And if not then later the softener is prone to hard water breakthrough/leakage although it is operating properly.
If he doesn't add the 3 gals (= 9 lbs) the softener only uses whatever lbs of salt (K of capacity) the control valve is programmed to use and he doesn't regenerate all the resin back to maximum capacity.
Thanks again for the advice !! I'll give the double regen a try as soon as possible.