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Thread: Ancient Water Softener Guidance, Advice, and Spraying Water All Over the Garage

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member DavidK's Avatar
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    Default Ancient Water Softener Guidance, Advice, and Spraying Water All Over the Garage

    Eight years ago we purchased our home in Pflugerville (North of Austin TX) and it had this ancient-looking Rainsoft water softener installed and working fine. It always provided satisfactory service until a year or so ago when it started using less and less salt, and finally my wife is complaining about the taste of the water and the softener seems to use no salt. I went to poke at it and found that Rube Goldberg apparently started as a Rainsoft engineer and this thing has no manual and I'm no water softener guru.

    The problem that really brought me here is the yellow transparent cylinder with a ball floating inside it. This looks like a check valve to me. It was covered with crazing and it started spraying like mad through all the cracks when I switched the valve to and from bypass. Broken, anonymous part, strike one.

    It always screamed pretty loud during a regeneration cycle, and when I left it running a cycle the other day it stayed stuck screaming in the Brine 3 position for several hours before I left it in Bypass and went to bed. At one point as I was twiddling the dial it started letting water into the line to the salt tank, but I didn't dig out 3 feet of salt to see if it took the brine up again (yet). The thing sounds like a clock and does advance, but it doesn't advance all the way around the dial. Sticking mechanism, strike 2

    I'm pretty sure the resin is at least 20 years old, and needs replacement - strike 3

    It looks like a solenoid coil in there is corroding - strike 4, Something Must Be Done! The resin and salt tanks and plumbing seems like I should be able to re-use, and I'm not a fan of paying the same number of dollars for some chinese pile of junk from Sears, so here is where I think I stand:
    • I'd like to repair this dinosaur if possible
    • Couple hundred bucks for a new head made in this century
    • Hundred or two for a fresh load of resin


    Questions:
    • Can anyone tell me how this "Rainsoft Electronic Brain" is supposed to work, including what I should be able to see happening at what point in the cycle?
    • Will a leaking check valve make it stop advancing on the cycle timer wheel programming whaziz?
    • Is it rebuildable or is it too old? I have more time than money available - is there something likely wrong with this that I could fix?
    • What is this leaking plastic cylinder thingy and where can I get another one?
    • Will I need a new bypass valve assembly if I replace the timer/valve bits?
    • Is there any place anyone can recommend for buying parts/supplies?


    In all its glory:




    Looks old, looks like a manual probably came with it.




    Can I buy a vowel? Skip wheel knobs set like they mean it, time of day setting seems to set, big program knob rotates/clicks, switches all seem to "do something", regen time thing just spins with no resistance




    Silicone & packing tape stopped the gross leaks, still drips pretty fast out from under the tape


  2. #2
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Hold onto it for the museum of primitive mechanical obnoxious devices after you tear it all out.

    Looks like that primitive gear driven computer from about 1500bc that they dug out of the Aegean sea a few years back.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    I spend 13 years in the water business in Round Rock. The best person you can call is Tommy Dorsey Water in RR. He has been in the water treatment business for over 40 years and will give you a great price.

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    DIY Junior Member DavidK's Avatar
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    I'll look him up, thanks. Sorry about the delay my whole family came down with something nasty all yesterday.

    So nobody knows much about the electromechanical wonder then? Oh well. I guess worst case I could try a manual regeneration (pour salty water in the tank and let sit) so the water isn't so nasty.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    I know of two new timers, but with the rest of the valve the way it is and most likely in need of a rebuild... would it be worth replacing the timer and not rebuild the rest of the valve? The rest of the valve most likely does not have parts save for some one that has one on a shelf that is used but has not found its way the the dump...

    The timer has the before micro switches...

  6. #6
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Welcome to Terry's Forums David,


    Quote Originally Posted by DavidK View Post
    I'll look him up, thanks. Sorry about the delay my whole family came down with something nasty all yesterday.
    So nobody knows much about the electromechanical wonder then? Oh well. I guess worst case I could try a manual regeneration (pour salty water in the tank and let sit) so the water isn't so nasty.
    I would Buy a new unit, I hope your family was not drinking the water from that unit, Could make them sick.

    Any repair would be a waste of money, I think.

    It was a good one in its day, but ballvalve is correct; "Hold onto it for the museum of primitive mechanical obnoxious devices after you tear it all out." , It was a work of art, Years ago, and did work. They also wasted salt, and made the water salty tasting.


    Have a Great day.


    DonL
    Last edited by DonL; 06-03-2011 at 08:43 AM.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  7. #7
    DIY Member rjh2o's Avatar
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    That is an OLD Rainsoft "70's". The part you have all goobered up is part of the brine assembly. There is a check ball in there that seats when the brine draw cycle is done.
    The system will never work with all that goobered up. The PINS control when it regenerates, PIN OUT indicates day of regeneration.
    It is time to replace the Dinosaur. Putting any money into this is pointless.
    RJ

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