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Thread: Autotrol 460i problem

  1. #16
    DIY Junior Member rudyjr's Avatar
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    Also thanks to everyone else who offered some advice on how to proceed without trying to make this seem more complex than it actually is. This site could be a real help to many that have limited experience dealing with this issue, but the childish personal attacks and other remarks make it more trouble than it is worth.

  2. #17
    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rudyjr View Post
    Presently there are four people but there was five members in the household. This unit has performed flawlessly for the last eight years so I don't believe there is anything with the settings that need looked at. I have watched this thing go through all five steps repeatedly and don't believe it is an issue with the control. I am inclined to think that I am going to just take the gamble and order the parts to go through this unit and see what happens.
    Jim, even though you say your settings have worked for years, would you mind sharing them with the group? No harm in making sure your system is performing as it should, with as little salt as possible, I say. And I am not familiar with your unit, so can you tell me if it regenerates based on days (timer), or on water usage (meter). Thanks, and good luck with getting it fixed!

    Oh, and while I am asking for details, how often did/does your system regenerate?
    Last edited by F6Hawk; 06-05-2012 at 06:25 PM.

  3. #18
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rudyjr View Post
    Gary, Thanks for all of your help I think you understood what I was asking for from the start. I came here looking for some direction to take with troubleshooting this and everything you said has made sense. I have a fairly good mechanical background and have wrenched and built things my whole life. I saw where this was going with the with the water hardness questions from some early on but I had never had a the hardness of the new well tested five years ago so I figured why not know what it is. (Again, after thirty + years on a well you can tell the difference between hard and semi soft water) You are spot on in the statement about how few things can cause the iron and hardness leakage that I have. My old well was on its last legs and extremely hard and filled with iron when it gave up. I could probably work with cleaning up the resin but I figure what you had me do shows me pretty decisively what is wrong. Thanks again, Jim
    I'd do the process again as described for the second time above.

    Then go to the Click Here link in my signature and figure out what capacity you need to program for based on the compensated hardness using 25 gpg and 2.5 ppm of iron; using 60gals/person/day and figure a 24 hr reserve. You need to do that if reusing your present resin or with new resin.

    Although you may have already ordered the new resin... Your problem has been caused by insufficient resin cleaning and possibly incorrect salt dose and K of capacity settings in the control valve and, in your case, the resin can not be fully cleaned or regenerated by doing my "trick" thing as Steve calls it, only once; you need to do it twice fully clean and regenerate all the resin.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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    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. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Although you may have already ordered the new resin... Your problem has been caused by insufficient resin cleaning and possibly incorrect salt dose and K of capacity settings in the control valve and, in your case, the resin can not be fully cleaned or regenerated by doing my "trick" thing as Steve calls it, only once; you need to do it twice fully clean and regenerate all the resin.
    Actually, if the resin is pretty dirty and suffering years of hard use and collection of those infamous 'invisible dirts', regenerating twice is little advantage over doing it only once. I have backwashed and regened resin tanks numerous times without really fully cleaning the resins. I then takes the tank and empty them into a couple of 8-gallon paint drums and find an incredible mess of dirty/murky water, scoops of mud and unpleasant odors. The resins are usually stained and discolored. I inspect them for breakage and other blemishes.

    I put a garden hose in the drums and fill and swirl with water; drain and repeat and repeatuntil the water runs clear. Sometimes it takes a few times but other times it may be five or more times. All this after I have manually regened it a couple of times...so simply regenerating it a 'second time' and calling that a 'fully cleaned resin bed' is not very accurate and may indicate inexperience with resin cleaning. Customers really appreciate the extra effort and are always amazed at how 'dirty' their water equipment really is. Often at that point, the customer may opt out to just replace resins instead of 'cleaning' them. Their cost is more but the value is more clearly presented. Win-win.

    Dirty water in the brine tank is a good indicator of the resin condition.

  5. #20
    DIY Junior Member rudyjr's Avatar
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    Gary, Thanks again I did it again last night and the water is better today than it has been for weeks. I am still going to pull this thing out and go through it when the resin and other parts arrive. As I have said many times before the old well was producing water that was really bad toward the end of its life and the softener was set at 50 gpg hardness. I will check your link when I go to set everything back up. Thanks, Jim

  6. #21
    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rudyjr View Post
    Gary, Thanks again I did it again last night and the water is better today than it has been for weeks. I am still going to pull this thing out and go through it when the resin and other parts arrive. As I have said many times before the old well was producing water that was really bad toward the end of its life and the softener was set at 50 gpg hardness. I will check your link when I go to set everything back up. Thanks, Jim
    At 50 GPG of hardness, your softener should be regenerating every 2-3 days; how often did it do so?

  7. #22
    DIY Junior Member rudyjr's Avatar
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    Resin and other parts showed up today and I will try to go through this thing and make sure it is working and set up correctly for my new well. Sorry if anyone's feelings are hurt because I did not respond to your specific posts but I only get on the computer after I get home form work for 15-20 minutes and on the weekend if not called back in. This was why I came to this forum looking for some basic help, ask 3-4 water softener guys here locally and get 3-4 different answers and people pushing what they were selling. Thought I might get some help with a shower remodel I have coming up but don't really think it's worth the hassle to stay with this crap that goes on here. Thanks to all who offered help, Jim

  8. #23
    DIY Junior Member rudyjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Correct assumption, if the thread is even real. But then again, water doesnt need to be tested, we just use "feel" for our testing protocols.

    FYI, part of being a DIY'r is to own the tools that allow you to do the job right. For a softening system DIY, a proper test kit is the first item that should be purchased, or have a proper water test done. Why is this a point of contention with anyone? Is the Hach 5B so complex and expensive that it is an unreasonable request for someone to get it? I suppose you should do the timing on cars by ear, who needs a timing strobe light? (obviously for older cars, dont want to start another argument).

    BTW, my wifes are real. Still waiting to see a runway model...
    Hey guys please read the first line in post 47 about making sure my softener is SET UP correctly for my new well. The setting of 50 gpg was for my old well which is in post 31 as well. I am definitely not sure that the setting of 50 was sufficient for that one thats for sure. When I would fill my old hot tub with hard well water it was horrible looking. Thanks, Jim
    Last edited by rudyjr; 06-08-2012 at 11:42 AM.

  9. #24
    DIY Junior Member rudyjr's Avatar
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    Hawk, The settings presently as set up by my well guys (5 years ago) are as follows: Hardness =30 Capacity =64 salt is set to approx. 9lbs. I think there is a salt doubling cam on this head when it gets to 64000 not sure though. What are your thoughts condidering what the Culligan lady gave me as my readings? Thanks,Jim

  10. #25
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rudyjr View Post
    Hawk, The settings presently as set up by my well guys (5 years ago) are as follows: Hardness =30 Capacity =64 salt is set to approx. 9lbs. I think there is a salt doubling cam on this head when it gets to 64000 not sure though. What are your thoughts condidering what the Culligan lady gave me as my readings? Thanks,Jim
    You need to click on the link in my signature.

    You can't get 64K with 9lbs or twice that, 18 lbs of salt in your size softener, was it a 2.0 cuft? I am not familiar with an Autotrol 460i timer but the "i" is usually for an electronic timer and IMO it should control the brine refill by time instead of a cam.

    The compensated hardness will be 25 gpg + 4 times the 2.5 of iron; that is more than 30 gpg.
    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. #26
    DIY Junior Member rudyjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    You need to click on the link in my signature.

    You can't get 64K with 9lbs or twice that, 18 lbs of salt in your size softener, was it a 2.0 cuft? I am not familiar with an Autotrol 460i timer but the "i" is usually for an electronic timer and IMO it should control the brine refill by time instead of a cam.

    The compensated hardness will be 25 gpg + 4 times the 2.5 of iron; that is more than 30 gpg.
    Thanks Gary, I am trying to make sure that I get this set up right this time. I am thinking that it has probably never been right since it was put in. I tried to do the calculations based on the link in your signature but I am unsure wether I have it right. Yes it is a 2.0 cu.ft softener I believe the i is because it uses a meter to detect flow and how much water is used to determine when it regenerates. I rechecked what I read and it does not have a salt doubling cam installed in it, I was confused by the chart in the manual. I have 25 gpg hardness and 2.5 ppm iron, I do not know about manganese, I was given a number for TDS? whatever that is.
    Last edited by rudyjr; 06-09-2012 at 06:02 AM.

  12. #27
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rudyjr View Post
    When I would fill my old hot tub with hard well water it was horrible looking. Thanks, Jim
    Please explain the "horrible looking" part. I didn't think it is possible to "see" hard water. If there is some visible component, then IMHO, you have other water issues that need more than what a softener does.

    I've been doing Gary's "trick" for many years but I still ended up getting the resin replaced after 10 years. It would have been interesting to wash the resin as water solutions said to see but I just had my dealer rebed both my softener and iron filter. Gary's "trick" always yielded some moderate gain but it never returned the resin to "like new" performance. Maybe I didn't face Mecca or hold my tongue "just so". LOL

  13. #28
    DIY Junior Member rudyjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Please explain the "horrible looking" part. I didn't think it is possible to "see" hard water. If there is some visible component, then IMHO, you have other water issues that need more than what a softener does.

    I've been doing Gary's "trick" for many years but I still ended up getting the resin replaced after 10 years. It would have been interesting to wash the resin as water solutions said to see but I just had my dealer rebed both my softener and iron filter. Gary's "trick" always yielded some moderate gain but it never returned the resin to "like new" performance. Maybe I didn't face Mecca or hold my tongue "just so". LOL
    My old well is the one that produced rust colored water that was extremely hard and this softener was on it for the first three years of its eight years, the new well is five years old. Gary's "trick" I think at least showed me that my resin is fouled and that is why as stated earlier I ordered new resin.

  14. #29
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rudyjr View Post
    Thanks Gary, I am trying to make sure that I get this set up right this time. I am thinking that it has probably never been right since it was put in. I tried to do the calculations based on the link in your signature but I am unsure wether I have it right. Yes it is a 2.0 cu.ft softener I believe the i is because it uses a meter to detect flow and how much water is used to determine when it regenerates. I rechecked what I read and it does not have a salt doubling cam installed in it, I was confused by the chart in the manual. I have 25 gpg hardness and 2.5 ppm iron, I do not know about manganese, I was given a number for TDS? whatever that is.
    I too don't think it has ever been set up right.

    You probably don't have any manganese so don't worry about it, it usually is a very small amount if there is any.

    So what K of capacity and lbs of salt based on how many gallons and days between regenerations did you come up with by doing the math on my sizing page?

    BTW, if I do it for you, you won't learn how to do it yourself or recall how I did it for more than about two hours, if that.
    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.

  15. #30
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Please explain the "horrible looking" part. I didn't think it is possible to "see" hard water. If there is some visible component, then IMHO, you have other water issues that need more than what a softener does.

    I've been doing Gary's "trick" for many years but I still ended up getting the resin replaced after 10 years. It would have been interesting to wash the resin as water solutions said to see but I just had my dealer rebed both my softener and iron filter. Gary's "trick" always yielded some moderate gain but it never returned the resin to "like new" performance. Maybe I didn't face Mecca or hold my tongue "just so". LOL
    You need to read all of his posts and you'll see he has explained the "horribly looking part".

    As to your new resin and mineral.... for years I've told you that your air injection/iron filter - softener is not working as it should. And... if it was, your softener wouldn't have any iron to deal with.

    BTW, without my "trick" your resin wouldn't have lasted but about half that 10 years and your water would have been much worse than it has been.

    For others, no I did not sell him any of the water treatment equipment.
    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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