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Thread: How do aquasensors work?

  1. #1
    DIY Member teve's Avatar
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    Default How do aquasensors work?

    Do softeners with aquasensors, and water meters, just measure/calculate hardness that passes into the softener? Are the sensors part of the valve? Where and when exactly do they sense? I would assume the calculation needs to be adjusted periodically as the resin ages. Can an additional sensor of the same type detect if the softened water starts showing hardness? Can the sensor tell the difference between Ca/Mg in the water versus Na.

    How do the sensors actually measure the water hardness? (Something electrical I'm guessing. Is it just conductivity?) How accurate and sensitive are they when working properly?

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    It's Voodo teve, straight up Voodo. all chicken bones and dead cats.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Member teve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    It's Voodo teve, straight up Voodo. all chicken bones and dead cats.
    Ah. So, when there's a problem with an aquasensor I figure a goat sacrifice should fix it.

  4. #4
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Sensors don't work well and that's why only 1-2 companies sell them. IMO they are just a gimmick type thing and are hard to keep working. They have been tried a number of times.
    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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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Yep, every Culligan aquasensor unit I have run across has been bypassed. In fact, I've bypassed a bunch of them myself. As for how they work, I believe that they do measure electrical resistance which changes with mineral content. Even when one is working I always wondered just how accurate they could be and of course, being made by Culligan, unless you are a dealer getting information from them is impossible. Almost as hard as getting anything out of Kinetico
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Member teve's Avatar
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    I figured they were gimmicky or they would likely be much more common.

    I found a Culligan manual that answered a number of my questions. (Their programming seems much more complicated than Clack.) The sensor is embedded in the resin and detects when it's starting to get exhausted. It also detects when slow rinse has pushed the remaining brine through so the next cycle can start a bit earlier.

    If the sensors gradually fail, it seems they would detect less conductivity (thus less hardness) than is actually there, so less frequent regenerations I'm assuming. But is seems override settings for calender or water volume or maximum grain capacity can easily cover for it.

    Why do the sensors have to be bypassed? Do customers report their treated water being hard? What are the symptoms of a failing sensor? Doesn't Culligan bother to set the overrides?
    Last edited by teve; 11-30-2011 at 08:03 PM.

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Most culligan customers call after a few seasons of getting shafted by their culligan dealer.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    The Problem with sensors is that they become Contaminated.

    A good Example of that is the sensor on Your Automobile Emission System.

    When You get a Service Engine Soon Light, Most Mechanics and Testers say to replace the Sensors.

    At 50 - 100 Dollars a Pop, It is much cheaper too just Clean the Old one.
    That is , if you can Remove , Clean and re-install them without damage.


    Water Sensors suffer the same Death, Contamination from Buildup...
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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

  9. #9
    DIY Member teve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Most culligan customers call after a few seasons of getting shafted by their culligan dealer.
    How do customers get shafted? You buy the softener from Culligan. They install it. Maybe they deliver salt. What happens beyond that?
    Last edited by teve; 12-02-2011 at 10:45 AM.

  10. #10
    DIY Member teve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    The Problem with sensors is that they become Contaminated.
    Yes. But what does Culligan (or others) do about it? If a customer happens to notice hard water, does Culligan sell them a new softener when it's just a failing sensor?

    Can the sensors be removed to be inspected and cleaned or replaced, or does Culligan just reprogram the unit to use water metering?

    It seems a system could be designed to use the sensor to regenerate with, say, 6lbs. Otherwise if it's been a couple more days, or few more hundred gallons, than expected, fall back to metered regeneration with 8lbs and turn on an indicator light. Everything is still fine and the customer can decide if they want to do anything about it.

    Correction: A couple more days might go by without the sensor failing and a calender override could take care of that. But if a few hundred gallons more than expected are used, that might indicate a failing sensor and metered usage could take over with a little more salt and little higher gallon capacity to trigger regeneration.
    Last edited by teve; 12-02-2011 at 01:32 PM.

  11. #11
    DIY Member teve's Avatar
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    You know, they have tire air pressure sensors in cars now to warn you when your tires are getting low.

    Are there sensors to detect when treated water is starting to get hard just before regeneration?

  12. #12
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    The system is as good as the sensor.... and will last as long as the sensor is good.

    More times than not when the sensor goes bad the system fails. Replace the sensor is easier said than done.

    At one time and still may be this way the Culligan sensor was at the end of a line that was set in the tank when the gravel was put in and then the resin added, so if the senor goes out then the media has to be removed and a new sensor put in. That is if the designe has not changed.

    If the sensors are through the side of the tank , then care .... real care is needed not to frack the tank in changing out the sensors.....

    For me it looks to be more of a pain than a savings.

    Blue Tooth is great when it works, but if it does not work because of one line of code some place then............ it is a pain.

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