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Thread: 3M Cuno Aquapure CBF100 'runs'

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member hcw3's Avatar
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    Angry 3M AquaPure rinse line 'runs'

    I have a 3M Cuno Aquapure CBF100 carbon backwash filter that has started to continually run a small amount of water from the rinse line.

    The instruction book says that this indicates a damaged piston seal assembly. The system is six months old, and it's my guess that it has carbon granules lodged in there, from when air blasted through the line. (link to manual: http://www.3mwater.com/media/catalog...CBF_Manual.pdf )

    Carbon granules appeared in the rinse line, after my plumber drained and refilled the system to do some repairs.

    My queston is, how to pull the 'Drive Cap Assembly' in order to get at the piston and seal assembly.

    I've removed the circuit board assembly, and have been able to unlock the back plate and turn it, but that doesn't seem to release the drive cap assembly at all.

    The manual shows a picture where the drive cap seems to be threaded, but I can't budge it by hand. Is there a special wrench for this? (Is it right-hand or left-hand threads?)

    The diagram is on the 19th page of the manual (linked above) or page 6-2.

    Thanks for any help...
    Last edited by hcw3; 03-21-2012 at 05:07 AM. Reason: Add link

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    There is a special wrench that is used to remove the drive cap assembly. Some say that you don't need any special tools for this so I hope they will respond and tell you how it's done. I have always had to use the special tool.

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    It is a Clack WS-1. Without the optional tool, you use a notches on the valve body and in the edge of the end cap and a common screw driver to pry with in the notches on edge of the end cap to unscrew it BUT...

    You aren't going to fix anything by taking things apart unless you have parts and know what to look for but usually, damage to a piston or seals can not be seen with the naked eye. Plus you are making an assumption that carbon is or was up in the piston and that may not be what caused the problem.

    Since it is leaking and you think the plumber damaged it, call him out to troubleshoot the problem and repair whatever is wrong.

    Now IMO most plumbers don't like doing that and aren't good at it, and will say it is not their fault etc. etc. so they usually get their supplier, a local plumbing supply house, to send out a person. The process will take much longer than had you bought from a water treatment dealer instead of a plumber or well driller but it's a bit late for that now.

    If it's the same plumber that installed your 5 gpm flow control, he can remove it and refund your money at the same time.
    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 03-21-2012 at 10:24 AM.
    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.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member hcw3's Avatar
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    Thanks for your help mialynette and Gary.

    My original question may be moot at this point, because the AquaPure's valve seems to have shut itself today, and it is no longer 'running'. We'll see after tonight when it goes through its backflush cycle. EDIT: I was wrong, it's still running...

    The reason I believe the problem is carbon bits lodged in the piston is because there's a bunch of it in the output port, and in the hose. The plumber seems to not know how to get air out of the lines before he sends the water through the softener's tanks.

    I was hoping to open the head up and flush out the whole mess to start clean. I can order the parts if necessary.

    Calling the plumber out sounds good, except for the fact that when he comes out he tends to fix two problems and create two more. I'm really hoping to never have to deal with him again. He's a real nice guy, and a good talker, and perhaps a good BS-er, it seems. And I don't think I'd trust him with this thing, after what I've seen of his rushed and sloppy work.

    Yes it's the same guy who installed the flow restrictor...

    mialynette, Any idea what I could expect to pay for the tool? Perhaps I should find someone who services AquaPure (Clack?) to do it.
    Last edited by hcw3; 03-21-2012 at 08:02 PM. Reason: it's still running.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hcw3 View Post
    mialynette, Any idea what I could expect to pay for the tool? Perhaps I should find someone who services AquaPure (Clack?) to do it.
    Not sure, but I'll post the cost here tomorrow.

  6. #6
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    You really do not need the wrench. You can see the notches on page 19 of the link you posted. You pry the end cap top to the left to loosen it, to the right to tighten it but...

    You have to index the stack (seals and spacer part) when you put the end cap/piston back into the valve body and your manual may not tell you how to do that.

    Remove the drain line elbow and look down into the hole before unscrewing the end cap, remember what you see, stick a finger in the hole and feel, which is the edge of an o-ring. When you put the piston back in and tighten the end cap you stop where it is now. You do not over tighten it or you seriously mess things up which means it costs you money.

    The DA plumber should have had the filter in by pass and turned your water on with a cold water faucet on somewhere to get "air out of the lines" and then shut off the faucet and the main shut off valve, then put the by pass in Service and the control valve in Backwash, then turn on the water slowly to about a 1/4 on until water exits the drain line and then open the shut off full open and let the Backwash run until the water is clear, then go to rinse and let the valve complete back to Service/Filtering on its own.

    Since Clack shut off the internet sale of their control valves, you can't buy them online. That effectively shuts down DIYers using a Clack control valve, regardless what it is called.
    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 mialynette2003's Avatar
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    I would not use a screwdriver myself. Sounds like shade tree mechanics to me. I've talked to my suppliers and 1 is willing to just give me a wrench and the other says the cost is $7.14. I'll take the free one (I told my supplier my plans) and only charge the cost to mail it. I can also get you parts if needed. Just e-mail me at affordablewtr@aol.com if you want the wrench.

  8. #8
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mialynette2003 View Post
    I would not use a screwdriver myself. Sounds like shade tree mechanics to me. I've talked to my suppliers and 1 is willing to just give me a wrench and the other says the cost is $7.14. I'll take the free one (I told my supplier my plans) and only charge the cost to mail it. I can also get you parts if needed. Just e-mail me at affordablewtr@aol.com if you want the wrench.


    From Page 48 of the Clack WS-1 Service Manual, which includes Figure 5, a picture of how to do it with a screw driver, which I might be able to post that too if needed:

    **************
    Drive Cap Assembly,Main Piston and Regenerant Piston. The drive assembly must be removed to access the drive cap assembly. The drive cap assembly must be removed to access the piston(s). The drive cap assembly is threaded into the control valve body and seals with an o-ring. To remove the drive cap assembly use the special plastic wrench or insert a 1/4" to 1/2" flat bladed screwdriver into one of the slots around the top 2" of the drive cap assembly so it engages the notches molded into the drive back plate around the top 2" of the piston cavity. See Figure 5.

    The notches are visible through the holes. Lever the screwdriver so the drive cap assembly turns counter clockwise. Once loosened unscrew the drive cap assembly by hand and pull straight out.
    ******************
    That sounds kinda official to me and as if it's made to allow doing that, ya think?
    Last edited by Terry; 04-06-2012 at 09:26 AM.
    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 Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post

    From Page 48 of the Clack WS-1 Service Manual, which includes Figure 5, a picture of how to do it with a screw driver, which I might be able to post that too if needed:

    **************
    Drive Cap Assembly,Main Piston and Regenerant Piston. The drive assembly must be removed to access the drive cap assembly. The drive cap assembly must be removed to access the piston(s). The drive cap assembly is threaded into the control valve body and seals with an o-ring. To remove the drive cap assembly use the special plastic wrench or insert a 1/4" to 1/2" flat bladed screwdriver into one of the slots around the top 2" of the drive cap assembly so it engages the notches molded into the drive back plate around the top 2" of the piston cavity. See Figure 5.

    The notches are visible through the holes. Lever the screwdriver so the drive cap assembly turns counter clockwise. Once loosened unscrew the drive cap assembly by hand and pull straight out.
    ******************
    That sounds kinda official to me and as if it's made to allow doing that, ya think?
    It also states, "Although no tools are necessary to assemble or disassemble the valve, the SERVICE WRENCH is available to aid in assembly or disassembly". The last time I checked, a screwdriver is a tool. Besides, I prefer to use the right item and not mar up the valve. But that's just me.
    Last edited by Terry; 04-06-2012 at 09:26 AM.

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    DIY Junior Member hcw3's Avatar
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    Thanks for the good description of the procedure, Gary. I'll try without the wrench, and see how far I get. I did try prying like that before, but nothing seemed to budge, so I figured I was missing something. Didn't want to break anything.

    And thanks for the kind offer, mialynette. I hope I can get away without it.

  11. #11
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mialynette2003 View Post
    It also states, "Although no tools are necessary to assemble or disassemble the valve, the SERVICE WRENCH is available to aid in assembly or disassembly". The last time I checked, a screwdriver is a tool. Besides, I prefer to use the right item and not mar up the valve. But that's just me.
    You'll have to take that up with Clack or your supplier, whoever printed whatever it is you are reading form; or make sure you aren't leaving out the word 'special', as in special tools like for your Fleck valves.

    BTW, I'm not sure that you won't mar the valve with the wrench.

    The wrench fits all the nuts on the valve, not just the end cap. I included a wrench with every Clack WS-1 I sold but, a common screw driver and pair of slip joint/water pump pliers works just as well, and they aren't anywhere near Fleck's special tools.
    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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    DIY Junior Member hcw3's Avatar
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    Thanks again for the pointers on opening up the head, you all.

    I was able to clean it out and the damage was obvious - one of the clear seal's lip edges were ripped. I've had to order a new 'Spacer Stack'.

    As I expected, it was full of carbon granules.

    I don't know the flow direction with this. Did the air in the line blast the carbon up the downtube, or does the system flow the other way? ie: is it possible that the downtube is full of carbon now and it will continue to get into the head and cause problems?

    If that's the case, it seems that the only real way to correct it would be to empty the tank of carbon (and gravel?) and start over... Argghh.

  13. #13
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Air in the system can cause medias to expand higher than normal during backwash cycles. We use air to aid backwashing in larger municipal systems, so this is a known issue. Does your system have a top screen? Many companies do not put top screens on backwashing filter systems for a multitude of legitimate reasons, but we almost always supply our systems with top screens. The Clack WS1 valve has a heavy duty top screen available for about $10, the part number is D1225-05. It is as strong as their heavy bottom screen and is unlikely to ever fail.

    You can use a flashlight to look down the manifold tube and see if there is any carbon inside of it. If not, you are fine. Also be sure to verify the direction of flow is correct. Systems that are plumbed in backwards have the issue you are having on a regular basis.

    Remove all of the caps from the Clack valve and thouroughly rinse out any remaining GAC before reassembly.

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member hcw3's Avatar
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    Thanks Ditttohead, I'll look inside the tube when I take it apart again when the part comes in. So far, I haven't seen any more carbon bits coming out of the rinse line. I cleaned it pretty well when I opened it up the first time, and will thoroughly check it out next time.

    It's not connected backwards, but it would have been par-for-the-course with this installer if he had hooked it up backwards.

    Gary Slusser said that damage to the piston may not be visible. Is it possible that the carbon that ripped the seal-lip would have damaged the piston so I couldn't see it? I looked it over and it seemed ok.

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    The piston seals on the Clack are silicone, and are more suseptible to the type of damage you incurred. These silicone spacers are more resistant to Chloramine than other manufacturers, but torn seals are more common when "debris" is in the water. If you look very closely at the Clack piston, it shows scratches fairly easily in good light. As a matter of practice, we susually replace the pistons, and the seal/spacers at the same time, but considering your system is basically new, you should be fine. Even a minor scratch will ruin the piston, so inspect it carefully.

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