(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 33

Thread: Clack WS1 Draw issue

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member BobGimley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    3

    Default Clack WS1 Draw issue

    Hi all,
    New to the forum and thanks for your help in advance.

    I have a clack WS1 system that I bought(used) and installed. I am having issues with the suction/draw from the brine tank. I have dismantled, cleaned and reassembled every part that will come off of this thing, yet it will still not draw. I did disconnect the line at the tank, and put the end into a container of water. It will draw down the water if the container is raised above the control valve, but fill back up if lower than the valve. All of the o-rings/seals "looked" okay when I cleaned it up, but I assume you can't always tell by just looking. Any ideas of what it may be, and what else I can try to troubleshoot?

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Ocala, Florida
    Posts
    663

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BobGimley View Post
    Hi all,
    New to the forum and thanks for your help in advance.

    I have a clack WS1 system that I bought(used) and installed. I am having issues with the suction/draw from the brine tank. I have dismantled, cleaned and reassembled every part that will come off of this thing, yet it will still not draw. I did disconnect the line at the tank, and put the end into a container of water. It will draw down the water if the container is raised above the control valve, but fill back up if lower than the valve. All of the o-rings/seals "looked" okay when I cleaned it up, but I assume you can't always tell by just looking. Any ideas of what it may be, and what else I can try to troubleshoot?
    I would replace the injector. Lack of draw would be cause by a fautly injector, pinched or clogged drain or a leakage in the piston seals. The injector would be the most likely cause.

  3. #3
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,707
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Injector firstas mialynette2003 said, especially since it is a cheap fix if it works.

    You mention that it draws from a bucket as long as it is above the system. This may indicate a pressure balance issue with the injector and the backpressure caused by the drain. A venturi injector works off of differential pressure causing a vacuum. If you have low water pressure and/or a high drain line, this may be a cause. You can draw water from a brine tank up a floor or two if you have sufficient water pressure. Same goes for drain height, you can go up 20-feet or more assuming you have adequate pressure to keep a high enough differential across the injector. Check your water pressure, it should be no less than 30 PSI, preferably 60-70 PSI. If you have low pressure, the drain line height must be limited according to the pressure. I am working on a chart from feild notes from the past 20 years. I have the math equations, but they never seem to match perfectly to the feild notes for this problem.

    An easy way to check your drain line is to cut it close to the softener and send it to a bucket. if you get great brine draw, you can assume you have a drain line restriction/height issue.

    Good luck and let us know what you find.

  4. #4
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,790

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BobGimley View Post
    Hi all,
    New to the forum and thanks for your help in advance.

    I have a clack WS1 system that I bought(used) and installed. I am having issues with the suction/draw from the brine tank. I have dismantled, cleaned and reassembled every part that will come off of this thing, yet it will still not draw. I did disconnect the line at the tank, and put the end into a container of water. It will draw down the water if the container is raised above the control valve, but fill back up if lower than the valve. All of the o-rings/seals "looked" okay when I cleaned it up, but I assume you can't always tell by just looking. Any ideas of what it may be, and what else I can try to troubleshoot?
    Loose brine line connections allowing air to be sucked into the brine line is the most common cause of no brine draw UNLESS you have water going into the salt tank during the brine draw position or otherwise when it should not be doing so.

    A blocked drain line or injector or injector throat won't allow water flow into the salt tank when it shouldn't be going that way; as you say yours is.

    The max height rise of the drain line for the vast majority of residential softeners is 8-10'+/- above the drain line fitting on the control valve.

    If residential softeners needed 60-70 psi of water pressure, very few people with their own well would be able to get a softener to work. Millions of softeners have worked properly on 40 psi and less water pressure for decades.

    Water going into the salt tank with a Clack WS-1 means you need a new stack (seals and spacers) and complete piston meaning both parts, the brine piston and main piston.
    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.

  5. #5
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,790

    Default

    duplicate post...............
    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 02-19-2012 at 08:15 AM. Reason: duplicate
    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. #6
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Ocala, Florida
    Posts
    663

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    A blocked drain line or injector or injector throat won't allow water flow into the salt tank when it shouldn't be going that way; as you say yours is.
    Are you trying to say a blocked drain line will not cause a fill to the brine tank during the brine cycle? Most of the units I know of will fill the brine tank if the drain line is stricted. Intersting. I'll have to test that theroy.

  7. #7
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,707
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Loose brine line connections allowing air to be sucked into the brine line is the most common cause of no brine draw UNLESS you have water going into the salt tank during the brine draw position or otherwise when it should not be doing so.

    A blocked drain line or injector or injector throat won't allow water flow into the salt tank when it shouldn't be going that way; as you say yours is.

    The max height rise of the drain line for the vast majority of residential softeners is 8-10'+/- above the drain line fitting on the control valve.

    If residential softeners needed 60-70 psi of water pressure, very few people with their own well would be able to get a softener to work. Millions of softeners have worked properly on 40 psi and less water pressure for decades.

    Water going into the salt tank with a Clack WS-1 means you need a new stack (seals and spacers) and complete piston meaning both parts, the brine piston and main piston.
    The maximum height of a drain line is based on the differential pressure of the venturi injector. This is not an item of debate, it is a math equation. If you read my post, it states the allowable height is based on the pressure. I did not say you need 60-70 psi or the system wont work. A pressure less than 30 psi will work, but some settings may need to be adjusted and your drain height will be limited in proportion to the water pressure. If you have higher pressure, your drain height can be increased considerably. I have done several systems with drain heights higher than 20-3 feet up. Do the math, it is fairly simple. Water creates a pressure of .43 psi per foot of height. 30 feet means the venturi injector has to overcome the pressure of only 12.9 PSI. If the water pressure coming from a well is at 40 PSI, then the differential pressure may make it difficult for the venturi to create an adequate vacuum if the drain line is excessively high.

    You also state that if the drain is plugged, water wont flow out of the brine line??? Have you ever plugged a drain line intentionally. The water will fow out of the brine line. With excessive backpressure on the drain line, either too much height, or plugged, you will cause the water to go into the injector, and out brine line. Maybe I am misunderstanding wha you are trying to say. Please explain how according to the water flow charts, that water wont flow to the brine line? I know this is a 5600 chart, but the same flow design applies to the Clack valves. I am in Chicago this week so I dont have my Clack flow charts, but they are nealy identical.
    Name:  flow.jpg
Views: 483
Size:  52.4 KB

    Gary, you are absolutely correct that a problem in the brine line is the most common cause of poor or no brine draw. The Jaco or compression style fittings not properly sealing will cause problems. They are extremely easy to diagnose, just put the system into brine refill and activate the brine float. This will cause the brine system to become pressurized and any leaks will become immediatly apparent. The only problem with this is that it does not show a problem on the fittings after the safety float. The air check tube/safety float fitting should be checked if there are no leaks on the brine system.

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member BobGimley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks for the responses. I originally had the drain line rising +/- 4' overhead, but changed that around last week, and it now drains to a floor drain and is hard piped, so there are no pinches, Based on the amount of water it blasts out in the rinse and backwash positions, I am guessing that the drain isn't clogged. I am on a well, but the pressure is set up at 50-70psi. The injector, as far as i can tell is clear and clean, as is the screen. Not sure if the injectors deteriorate over time?? I removed the line from the air check tube assembly, so i could rule out issues in the brine tank. Put into fill position, pinched off end of line under pressure, and there were no leaks any where that would indicate poor seals on the brine line.

    Looking at prices for the parts, I think I will go ahead and get the stack and seals and pistons, and throw in a new injector also. This system sat in a guys garage for three years prior to me picking it up, but was only used for two years. It may be possible that the O rings/seals have dried out?? Worth a few more dollars yet to see if I can get it working. Besides, there are only so many parts...right?

    Another question, for when i get this all back together with the new parts. What amount of water is expelled during the up flow/brining stage? I assume that it would be a steady flow, but considerably less volume than during the rinse? I will let you know the outcome if you are interested.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by BobGimley; 02-19-2012 at 07:01 PM.

  9. #9
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,707
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    A seal and spacer kit are relatively inexpensive and could definetly be the problem The WS1 kit is more resistant to chloramine damage than other valves, but also more prone to wear caused by sediment. Regardless, you should get 3-15 years from a seal/spacer/piston kit. The injectors dont usually wear out but... it is the cheapest thing to check if you have determined that the draw problem is not caused by a vacuum leak or drain back pressure. As you can see by the flow chart, even the slightest damage to a seal can cause the water inside the valve to allow pressure to the backside of the injector which will cause the problem you are experiencing. Put a new seal and spacer kit once you have checked the brine system for leaks as Gary stated earlier, and your propblem should be solved. The valve is quite simple and those are the primary parts. Dont forget to order the brine piston as well.
    You mentioned it is upflow brining, be sure to order the correct injector. It will usually be 2 sizes smaller than a downflow injector. Let us know the results.

    The flow to the drain during brine /rinse cycle is the amount of water that can go through the injector plus the water it is drawing. I dont have my Clack charts, but in a standard size system from other manufacturers the flow rate is will range from .1 - .35 GPM depending on water pressure.
    Last edited by ditttohead; 02-19-2012 at 07:11 PM.

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,790

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BobGimley View Post
    The injector, as far as i can tell is clear and clean, as is the screen. Not sure if the injectors deteriorate over time?? I removed the line from the air check tube assembly, so i could rule out issues in the brine tank. Put into fill position, pinched off end of line under pressure, and there were no leaks any where that would indicate poor seals on the brine line.
    The brine connection leaks I mentioned are air leaks when brine is to be sucked out of the salt tank, not pressure leaks. Pressure expands the tubing inside the fitting and will not leak water but may leak air under suction. Salt water/brine is heavy and air will be sucked in rather than heavy water being sucked out of the tank.

    In the salt tank you will have 2 compression fittings if you have a safety brine system (with a float) that shuts off water flow into the tank if the water level gets high enough to raise the float. One connection is where the brine pickup connects to the bottom of the valve the float hangs on and then on top that valve where the brine line connects. You have a 3rd one where the brine line connects to the control valve. Any or all can allow air suction and not leak water.

    Proper tightening is finger tight plus a full turn with pliers etc. and stop. Over tightening is a primary cause of air leaks due to a depression of the tubing inside the fitting under the ferrule. If your tubing is deformed, cut about a 1/2" off of it. Careful of the direction and order of the parts in the fittings. They may come out with the tubing or not.
    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. #11
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Ocala, Florida
    Posts
    663

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Proper tightening is finger tight plus a full turn with pliers etc. and stop. Over tightening is a primary cause of air leaks due to a depression of the tubing inside the fitting under the ferrule. If your tubing is deformed, cut about a 1/2" off of it. Careful of the direction and order of the parts in the fittings. They may come out with the tubing or not.
    I do not recommend using any tools other than your fingers to tighten these fittings. If you do need to use a tool, only go a 1/4 turn more.

  12. #12
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,707
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    totally agree with the tightening issue. The JACO style fittings are designed to be done by hand and not tools. The Compression fitting common on other valves are designed for tools and do require some additional tightnening, but not much. The Clack valve brine fittings should be hand tight only, no tool required to get a good seal. assuming the fittings in your brine tank are all plastic and not brass, just tighten them with you hand and you will be fine.

  13. #13
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,790

    Default

    I've found that finger tight between one DIYer working on or assembling their new softener and another DIYer's finger tight varies widely and tightening with a pair of pliers is a good thing and causes no problems.
    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.

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Ocala, Florida
    Posts
    663

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I've found that finger tight between one DIYer working on or assembling their new softener and another DIYer's finger tight varies widely and tightening with a pair of pliers is a good thing and causes no problems.
    This is true and that's why I say no more than 1/4 additional turn. A complete turn would be too much and may cause additional problems.

  15. #15
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,790

    Default

    If you haven't figered it out yet, I disagree.

    That's based on my selling over a thousand softeners to DIYers over the years starting in 1992 and installing and/or servicing thousands of others starting in 1989.
    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.

Similar Threads

  1. Kenmore no brine draw
    By Cruisinfanatic in forum Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and reviews
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 03-30-2012, 09:17 PM
  2. What would cause a gas furnace to draw too many amps?
    By kailor in forum HVAC Heating & Cooling
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 12-30-2011, 06:23 AM
  3. Regen Draw time ??
    By bsnider in forum Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and reviews
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 10-14-2010, 07:27 AM
  4. Current draw on 3/4 HP pump?
    By ncgeo in forum Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-25-2010, 05:30 PM
  5. Pump won't draw water
    By jacktripper in forum Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-25-2006, 01:48 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •