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Thread: Do I need a softener?

  1. #76
    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    Well, I just heard from yet another seller/installer about the 7000 having issues... he got it from the source that Fleck had issues with the threads on them, and some blew off the tank. Supposedly the issue has been corrected, but it makes me wonder if the 5600 wouldn't be a safer bet overall?

  2. #77
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F6Hawk View Post
    Well, I just heard from yet another seller/installer about the 7000 having issues... he got it from the source that Fleck had issues with the threads on them, and some blew off the tank. Supposedly the issue has been corrected, but it makes me wonder if the 5600 wouldn't be a safer bet overall?
    Either way you will be fine. I have seen every valve made break at the neck, none more than any other. The 7000 is also a much larger valve allowing people to gorilla handle it when tightening the valve on the tank. That whole leverage equation really comes into play on this valve. In all reality, less than 1/10th of 1% of all valves have this issue and it is almost always related to a lack of flexibility in the plumbing or overtightening of the valve. The only sure fire way to guarantee that it wont happen would be to install a brass valve. Then again, the failure rate of brass valve far exceeds that of the glass filled Noryl valves. I would not recommend the 5600 electromechanical valve. The 5600SXT is a better choice. The electronic metering, programming, etc will make it more efficient control valve.

  3. #78
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Seeing then number of valves that you do, that might give weight as to which ones have problems and which ones do not.
    While I have not had a 7000 do what has been said to have done, with any number of customers at 50miles plus... and half the year with temps below 32F it is not some thing that I am going to chance.
    Most of the challenges are freeze related, broken tanks while the valves brass or the Noryl are not broken.. have had the seal on the older fleck bypass split, and a 5600 motor get burned out.. but the valve body hold ...

  4. #79
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    The only real weakness on the original 5600 has always been the motor, in particular the 24 volt motor. The main gear had a breakage problem for a while, and the pin inside the powerhead would break speeding up the motors demise. The regeneration clear tripper arm would break, and the key pins would also let loose on occassion. The meter cable had a few issues years ago as well. The mechanical meter on the other hand may be one of the most reliable meters ever manufactured. The 5600SXT uses a differnt motor design, and it is not running 24/7. It uses the mini turbine meter which is a decent quality meter, but the 7000's internal turbine design is far better, last longer, and cost half as much to replace when the time comes. In higher flow applications, the mini turbine tends to wear out, but that usually only happens on systems that are running at high velocity for extended periods of times (all the time, commercial applications). Not a common problem in residential applications. With that being said, I have broken 1 5600 neck, but that was human error, not the valve. I kocked an old system over and the valve landed on a step.

    One of the largest commercial softening companies in California switched from the 5600 to the 7000 for simple rental equipment about 10 years ago, and has never had to send a valve back to us for warranty. They put out about 300 units a year, so far, that is a pretty good record. They switched from the Erie 541 to the 5600 about 20 years ago.

    The 7000, Proflo, 5600SXt or the 2510SXT are all excellent control valves will be an excellent choice that will last for many years.

    My personal preferance is as follows. 7000XT, 2510SXT, 5600SXT, PROFLO, then the old electromechanical 5600.

    One of our biggest sellers is still the 5600 Econominder, it is hard to teach old dogs new tricks. That, and many of our old timer customers are still afraid of electronics and softeners since there were so many problems 20 years ago when they started mixing two.

  5. #80
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Either way you will be fine. I have seen every valve made break at the neck, none more than any other. The 7000 is also a much larger valve allowing people to gorilla handle it when tightening the valve on the tank.
    I'
    I've never heard of a Clack control valve body breaking. I bought those I sold starting with the first two on Jan 2 2004 to Jun 15 2010 (21 a month), from two very large Clack distributors and they never mentioned any broken valve bodies.
    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. #81
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    The only real weakness on the original 5600 has always been the motor, in particular the 24 volt motor. The main gear had a breakage problem for a while, and the pin inside the powerhead would break speeding up the motors demise. The regeneration clear tripper arm would break, and the key pins would also let loose on occassion. The meter cable had a few issues years ago as well. The mechanical meter on the other hand may be one of the most reliable meters ever manufactured. The 5600SXT uses a differnt motor design, and it is not running 24/7. It uses the mini turbine meter which is a decent quality meter, but the 7000's internal turbine design is far better, last longer, and cost half as much to replace when the time comes. In higher flow applications, the mini turbine tends to wear out, but that usually only happens on systems that are running at high velocity for extended periods of times (all the time, commercial applications). Not a common problem in residential applications. With that being said, I have broken 1 5600 neck, but that was human error, not the valve. I kocked an old system over and the valve landed on a step.

    One of the largest commercial softening companies in California switched from the 5600 to the 7000 for simple rental equipment about 10 years ago, and has never had to send a valve back to us for warranty. They put out about 300 units a year, so far, that is a pretty good record. They switched from the Erie 541 to the 5600 about 20 years ago.

    The 7000, Proflo, 5600SXt or the 2510SXT are all excellent control valves will be an excellent choice that will last for many years.

    My personal preferance is as follows. 7000XT, 2510SXT, 5600SXT, PROFLO, then the old electromechanical 5600.

    One of our biggest sellers is still the 5600 Econominder, it is hard to teach old dogs new tricks. That, and many of our old timer customers are still afraid of electronics and softeners since there were so many problems 20 years ago when they started mixing two.
    I have been dealing with the electromechanical 5600 for 22+ years and have never seen the problems you are referring to other than the motor. IMO, the problem with the motor is caused by the piston and seals. If you keep them replaced, the motor problem is gone.

  7. #82
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Skip, I agree, never heard of broken valve bodies. And the old 5600 mechanical metered Econominder is a very dependable control valve although it is very basic.

    Back in the late 80s and early to mid 90s I serviced a few that I didn't sell and were like 15+ yrs old that had a motor burned out and the knob was very hard to rotate. So a new upgraded version motor, seals, spacers and piston and it was fixed for many more years of service.
    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.

  8. #83
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    The problems I described have been updated. The main gear was a huge problem for both residential and commercial applications. I am just now lowering my inventory of the main gear. The first tooth breaks off, it was corrected by tweaking the mold many years ago. The cable problem was corrected in noted in a service bulletin many years ago as well. The motor problem... remember the red plastic gear? Wow, what a quality piece that was. I sell tons of 24 motors for replacments. I only stock a couple of 2510 drive motors, 7000, WS1, etc, I stock hundreds of 24 v. 5600 motors. The motors they have been using for the last several years have been much better. I just checked my computer, we sold 2122 24V. 5600 motors since 2005. That being said, the valve is the best selling water softener valve in the history of automated valves, so this is a very small number of motors. The vast majority of the motors work great for many years. And you are right, the worn piston causes a lot of stress on the motor causing excessive wear, and the fact that the motor is running 24/7.

    Here are a few interesting bulletins that indicate minor problems that have been corrected. Fleck consistently adjusts their product line to make it better. They also are fairly good about sending out bulletins to indicate these changes.

    http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com...lip%20Ring.pdf
    http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com...ain%20Gear.pdf
    http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com...%20Caution.pdf
    http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com...r%20Change.pdf

    These are just a few bulletins outlining some of the issues I mentioned. Most people would never know of these problems since they almost never come up. But Fleck and Clack are great companies that take every field reported problem seriously and actively work to make their valves better.

    The reason I see these problems regularly is nothing more than volume. We sell thousands of valves, and when there are that many moving, we here or see of every problem that comes up. The 24 volt motor issue may only occur in .1% of the installed units, so it is more of a lottery pick than a common problem.

    I have also used close to 300 5600 valves a year in commercial applications where the valve regenerates daily in the worst environments. The 5600 lasted far better than any other valve we had used up until then.

    Moral of this long story, all of the manufacturers valves have problems, but the vast majority of them will never be known because when a problem is found, Clack and Fleck jump on it to get it corrected. Every year we see minor changes on all of the valves. Sometimes it is a material change, other times it is the simpla addition of a screw to help the valve handle the abuses of UPS.

  9. #84
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    The only real weakness on the original 5600 has always been the motor, in particular the 24 volt motor.
    After Fleck changed the motor way back when, I didn't have any motor problems and in those days the mechanical metered 5600 was all I sold other than a few Technetic 1000s and 169 Autotrols.

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    The main gear had a breakage problem for a while, and the pin inside the powerhead would break speeding up the motors demise. The regeneration clear tripper arm would break, and the key pins would also let loose on occassion.
    That stuff was usually caused by some ham handed guy, like a plumber, rotating the knob backwards.

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    The meter cable had a few issues years ago as well. The mechanical meter on the other hand may be one of the most reliable meters ever manufactured.
    I never saw any bad cable problems

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    One of the largest commercial softening companies in California switched from the 5600 to the 7000 for simple rental equipment about 10 years ago, and has never had to send a valve back to us for warranty.
    In all my years since 1987 I can't recall ever sending a valve anywhere for warranty.

    I've heard from pump and plumbing supply house guys of many of their plumbers and well drillers doing it though. IMO they were not being trained properly and couldn't replace parts but, many plumbers and drillers refused to do any repair work; mostly because they couldn't troubleshoot. The supply house guys weren't all that good either but they usually gave it a good ol' college try.

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    They put out about 300 units a year, so far, that is a pretty good record. They switched from the Erie 541 to the 5600 about 20 years ago.
    Hell man as a non professional old guy as you call me, with nothing but a phone, computer, internet connection and dinky little web site over only 6.5 yrs I did 240+ Clack valves a year while sitting in my underwear in my motor home.

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    One of our biggest sellers is still the 5600 Econominder, it is hard to teach old dogs new tricks. That, and many of our old timer customers are still afraid of electronics and softeners since there were so many problems 20 years ago when they started mixing two.
    Yeah you young immature progressive types always want to change things thinking they'll be better. And now we better hope we continue to have unlimited electrical service or nothing will work. Lately I'm thinking I'm seeing a lot of uncertainty in that happening much longer.
    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.

  10. #85
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    I sell tons of 24 motors for replacments.
    I didn't sell 24v motors or run into any that I can recall.
    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. #86
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    After Fleck changed the motor way back when, I didn't have any motor problems and in those days the mechanical metered 5600 was all I sold other than a few Technetic 1000s and 169 Autotrols.


    That stuff was usually caused by some ham handed guy, like a plumber, rotating the knob backwards.


    I never saw any bad cable problems


    In all my years since 1987 I can't recall ever sending a valve anywhere for warranty.

    I've heard from pump and plumbing supply house guys of many of their plumbers and well drillers doing it though. IMO they were not being trained properly and couldn't replace parts but, many plumbers and drillers refused to do any repair work; mostly because they couldn't troubleshoot. The supply house guys weren't all that good either but they usually gave it a good ol' college try.


    Hell man as a non professional old guy as you call me, with nothing but a phone, computer, internet connection and dinky little web site over only 6.5 yrs I did 240+ Clack valves a year while sitting in my underwear in my motor home.


    Yeah you young immature progressive types always want to change things thinking they'll be better. And now we better hope we continue to have unlimited electrical service or nothing will work. Lately I'm thinking I'm seeing a lot of uncertainty in that happening much longer.
    Kinetico's will but that naturally depends on having power to your water pump or that the city supply is still up and running.

    I'm thinking your daddy must have been a plumber and left your poor mother to raise you all alone. Why else the irrational dislike for the trade LOL Ham handed indeed, as though homeowners etc would never do such a thing.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  12. #87
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Kinetico's will but that naturally depends on having power to your water pump or that the city supply is still up and running.
    A.... you don't have a well pump if you have city water. And you don't have city water if the company doesn't have operable generators and fuel for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    I'm thinking your daddy must have been a plumber and left your poor mother to raise you all alone. Why else the irrational dislike for the trade LOL Ham handed indeed, as though homeowners etc would never do such a thing.
    Irrational!! You wish.

    I've worked with plumbers, seen and listened to them eating donuts and BSing at their supply houses many times and heard ham handed stories from homeowners and business owners from Puerto Rico to Alaska across the US and Canada. Plus I've had ham handed and dumber'n a stick plumbers installing equipment for my customers calling me numerous times, numerous times and I've had a few work for me from time to time. One was very good and we referred each other to prospective customers and I gave him a serious finders fee for any equipment I sold because of his referral and partial sale for me. We did that for many years. The rest were The Simpsons type like you.

    When I was growing up back in the 1940s and 50s, after Dad came home from WWII in mid '46, I was all but 5 by then, he was a punch and shear machine operator building railroad cars while he went to night school 3 nights a week under the GI Bill for 3-4 years to become a machinist.

    Prior to my arrival, my parents with the help of Dad's family and a team of horses, dug the basement by hand and built a 2 bedroom bungalow with rough sawn lumber and cedar clapboard siding and moved in in the early fall of 1941. I was conceived sometime in late March as Dad was leaving to join the Army and end up deep in WWII in Belgium and the Battle of the Bulge as a communications/radio guy.

    BTW, they did their own plumbing and the only mistake was using a lead service line for city water, but back in the late '30s, who knew, that's what all the plumbers said to use. While everyone else knew better by the late 1980s wasn't it, plumbers in Chicago still insisted on lead only. Luckily we had hard water.
    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.

  13. #88
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    As I said, I have a few more years of experience working with the valves in applications that push them beyond their normal application. Considering the company I worked for had over 10,000 rental commercial units in the field and I was responsible for them, this gives me a little more exposure ot the potential problems that might arise. I also said that the company put out "translation, installed themselves" 300 of the 7000 valves a year and these are primarily in small commercial rental applications. This does not include the large number of 5600's, 9100's, and commercial units which is their primary business...



    And... just because you personally did not see a problem does not mean that it does not exist. I would think that you would read the posts from the many experienced people on this site and learn from them instead of claiming that every post is a lie because you never saw it...

    I read your posts about items that you have experience on and problems you have seen, and I try to remeber them so that should I get a call from a customer with a similar problem, I will have some reference or idea as to what to do.

    Young, immature, progressive? Can we keep the dicsussion at some level of proffessionalism.

    The growth of an industry by continually improving a design to be better than its competition is how a company stays in business In the process, many companies have gone under, or are nothing more than an obscure product sold by a few customers that want a product that looks different. . Schurz, Solo, and dozens of other valve manufacturers had great designs for their time, but Fleck, Clack, and Autotrol have continuously improved upon their designs to stay in business and have grown to be the companies they are today. What is wrong with making equipment better, simpler, easier to manufacture, longer lasting, higher quality, more efficient, higher flowing, less polluting etc? Is this bad because it is a change? The 5600 was a new valve years ago and basically wiped out the 541, A-155, Schurz valve and many others. Shoud we all go back to selling the Schurz valve? How about the good old days when we took the cover off of the steel mineral tank and poured salt into it, then manually turned valves to recharge the resin.



    And to think, these 6 pages started from a simple question of "Do I need a softener?"

    I think this horse has been returned to the dirt.

  14. #89
    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    Brine tank sizing...

    I read somewhere online that a 14" X 34" square brine tank will hold about 270 lbs of salt, a 18X33 about 375 lbs, and a 18X40 about 450 lbs. Obviously, a larger tank allows less frequent refill of salt, but are there any drawbacks to getting a larger tank?

    If the above numbers are correct, then using 9/6lbs per regeneration means I would have to refill the brine tank about:
    14X34 - 6 bags every 26/40 days
    18X33 - 9 bags every 40/60 days
    18X40 - 11 bags every 48/73 days

    If my numbers are correct, and if there is no downside to a larger tank other than costing about $10 or $20 more, would ye experts recommend a larger one? My softener will be located in the basement.

    TIA!!

  15. #90
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    About the only down side that I could see on a larger salt/salt tank and longer time between filling would be the possibility of what is called a Salt bridge taking place.
    Some places will do a salt bridge and some will not... I have learned it is any ones guess as to which will and which will not.

    If the larger one does do a bridge on you, then just run with maybe only filling half way.

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