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Thread: Clack WS1 type softener-no suction-have tried "everything"

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    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Default Clack WS1 type softener-no suction-have tried "everything"

    Gentlemen: I have a Clack WS1 type (ProMate1-Hellenbrand) softener. 10 years old. It has been disconected for the last 5 years. When I reconnected it, it worked for a week then I noticed the brine tank full of water and hard water. On the brine cycle, I get pressure, no suction at the end of the brine hose, just a nice strong stream of water...pressure! The drain flow is slow but works. The injector screen was clogged. I cleaned it. No change. I have replaced the pistons and stack assembly and injector. There was a small sharp stone like, black particle (resin?) stuck in the drain button. I removed it...still no suction. I have moved the valve stack through it's entire travel by hand and at no point do I get suction. But lots of pressure. Is it possible I have a resin problem (dried out)? Thank you so much and happy labor day. Doc Scantlin

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    The first thing you should check when you have brine push is a blocked drain line. Do you get adequate flow to the drain line?

    I doubt this is your problem but an excessively high drain line, or low water pressure and a raised drain line can combine to create the problem you are describing. You didnt mention drain flow, so I thought I would start there.

    If you have water flow to the house with the softener in service, you should not have a problem with the tank, bad resin would typically manifest itself as no water pressure to the house.

    Keep posting information, we will get it fxed. The Clack valve is fairly bulletproof, and a proper rebuild will usually get it working as good as new.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOCSCANTLIN View Post
    Gentlemen: I have a Clack WS1 type (ProMate1-Hellenbrand) softener. 10 years old. It has been disconected for the last 5 years. When I reconnected it, it worked for a week then I noticed the brine tank full of water and hard water. On the brine cycle, I get pressure, no suction at the end of the brine hose, just a nice strong stream of water...pressure!

    The drain flow is slow but works.

    The injector screen was clogged. I cleaned it. No change. I have replaced the pistons and stack assembly and injector. There was a small sharp stone like, black particle (resin?) stuck in the drain button. I removed it...still no suction. I have moved the valve stack through it's entire travel by hand and at no point do I get suction. But lots of pressure. Is it possible I have a resin problem (dried out)? Thank you so much and happy labor day. Doc Scantlin
    The slow drain line flow has to be fixed before you'll get much suction. Make sure the DLFC button is in in the correct direction, the rounded shoulder (of the hole) in the button has to be facing toward the control valve.

    If the stack is not indexed correctly in its hole in the valve body it will cause water to go into the salt tank when it should not be. You remove the drain line elbow and look down in the drain line elbow fitting hole as you install the stack. Directions should be in your service manual but... you tighten it until the seal disappears and then stop. If you still have water going into the salt tank, you need a new stack and pistons.
    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 DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Thank you, Mr. Slusser for your reply. I will post some photos. When I installed the new stack/pistons, I tightened the assembly to "quite tight" with the plastic wrench. Is that correct? As you get tighter there is essently no movement...? The white gear, I turned clockwise all the way (see coming photo) before attaching the motor bracket. That is the only way you get movement to the stack ass., correct (the white gear)?. The DLFC is correctly orientated (funny how that would make a difference). Three photos coming (if I can drive this...ha). Thanks again!!!

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    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Name:  DLFC .jpg
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Size:  32.8 KBName:  Drive Cap Assembly.JPG
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Size:  87.2 KBName:  Stack through drain hole.jpg
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Size:  83.2 KB

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    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Mr. Dittohead, I will get a drain flow volume number later today as now I have the dreaded 1002 Error which happens sometimes when I remove the front cover drive ass. It usually takes a couple of hoirs, unplugged, for it to work again. Please stand by.

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    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Dear Mr. Slusser, waiting for my 1002 error code to go away do I can check drain flow. Just a quick note about replacing the stack/pistons. My proceedure was: Tigten the black circular round "nut" with the plastic wrench to "pretty tight". Then manully turn the white gear clockwise until "just barely tight". Then install the front cover assembly. Thanks again, Doc

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOCSCANTLIN View Post
    When I installed the new stack/pistons, I tightened the assembly to "quite tight" with the plastic wrench. Is that correct?
    NO... you rotate the black part with the notches in it until a seal disappears out of sight in the drain line fitting hole and stop.

    The white gear moves the pistons in or out of the seals.

    Quote Originally Posted by DOCSCANTLIN View Post
    As you get tighter there is essently no movement...? The white gear, I turned clockwise all the way (see coming photo) before attaching the motor bracket. That is the only way you get movement to the stack ass., correct (the white gear)?. The DLFC is correctly orientated (funny how that would make a difference). Three photos coming (if I can drive this...ha). Thanks again!!!
    The stack does not move from it's position but, rotating the white gear moves the pistons inside the stack (seals and spacers) and with the stack positioned incorrectly, the pistons will not seal in the right position of the individual seals. A leaking seal on the brine piston and you get water going into the salt tank when it shouldn't be. Actually that is in all positions including service.

    Quote Originally Posted by DOCSCANTLIN View Post
    Dear Mr. Slusser, waiting for my 1002 error code to go away do I can check drain flow. Just a quick note about replacing the stack/pistons. My proceedure was: Tigten the black circular round "nut" with the plastic wrench to "pretty tight". Then manully turn the white gear clockwise until "just barely tight". Then install the front cover assembly. Thanks again, Doc
    You had the right part but over tightened it and probably ruined the stack and/or pistons.

    There are explicit instructions in the Clack WS-1service manual about how to replace the stack and pistons.
    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 DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Mr. Slusser, Thank you for your reply. I loosened the stack until it started leaking and re tightened it clockwise (black piece) until the seal just disappeared. The seal actually looks to be in about the same place as it was when I "over tightened" it. I turned The white gear clockwise until it was snug and the installed the front cover. No error code this time. I removed the brine tube from the brine tank and put the regeneration to "brine". Still water pressure coming through the brine tube. I can stop the flow with my finger but it is pretty strong. The instructions which came with the softener says nothing about indexing the stack. Is there a way of examining the stack to tell if it is damaged? What does over tightening actually do to ruin it? Should I bother doing a volume test on the drain line at this point. Thanks for your information so far. Sincerely, Doc

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Over tightening the stack compresses it more than it is supposed to be and that damages it. It also changes the spot the pistons should be in on the seals. It really doesn't matter, over tightening takes all the reliability out of the stack.

    Your error may be due to the over tightening.
    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 DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Mr. Susser, Thanks. I am not getting the error now. I have downloaded the manual. Much more information than mine. It talks about number of threads to index the stack (unless I misunderstood). On my brine setting the piston rod is 3 1/2 steps down so that looks to be in the correct position. At this point, what would you duggest? If I have to buy a new stack/pistons assembly I will but, any other suggestions just in case it could be something else? Regards, Doc

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Then you have a newer manual than I am aware of but... you need one for your 10 yr old valve or one that is for a valve as old as yours is. Or, call Hellenbrand with your/their model number and ask them how to index the stack.

    You're welcome Doc.
    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 DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Thanks. Is it time to order a new assembly? I really don't think I tightened it that much. Just "good and snug"...Do you really think it is ruined? Let me know if you have any more suggestions before I purchase another assembly. I have the manual that came with the softener and no indexing directions. The online manual says:

    Reinsert the drive cap assembly and piston into the spacer stack assembly and hand tighten the drive cap assembly. Continue to tighten the drive cap assembly using a screwdriver as a ratchet until the black o-ring on the spacer stack assembly is no longer visible through the drain port. Excessive force can break the notches molded into the drive back plate. Make certain that the main drive gear still turns freely. The exact position of the piston is not important as long as the main drive gear turns freely.

    also:

    The spacer stack assembly can be pushed in to the control valve body bore by hand. Since the spacer stack assembly can be
    compressed it is easier to use a blunt object (5/8” to 1-1/8” in diameter) to push the center of the assembly into the control valve
    body. The assembly is properly seated when at least four threads are exposed (approximately 5/8”). Do not force the spacer stack
    assembly in.

    Thank you for your time.
    Sincerely,
    Doc

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOCSCANTLIN View Post
    Thanks. Is it time to order a new assembly? I really don't think I tightened it that much. Just "good and snug"...Do you really think it is ruined? Let me know if you have any more suggestions before I purchase another assembly. I have the manual that came with the softener and no indexing directions.
    Good'n snug doesn't sound like it was positioned correctly to me unless the instructions say good'n snug.

    And if you look at your 3rd picture, down the drain line fitting hole, you can see about 1/3rd of the hole is blocked by a part of the stack, at least I think it is, and you said you have a low drain line flow... no wonder. lol

    Quote Originally Posted by DOCSCANTLIN View Post
    The online manual says: Reinsert the drive cap assembly and piston into the spacer stack assembly and hand tighten the drive cap assembly. Continue to tighten the drive cap assembly using a screwdriver as a ratchet until the black o-ring on the spacer stack assembly is no longer visible through the drain port. Excessive force can break the notches molded into the drive back plate. Make certain that the main drive gear still turns freely. The exact position of the piston is not important as long as the main drive gear turns freely.
    That's the instructions I referred you to.

    Quote Originally Posted by DOCSCANTLIN View Post
    also:

    The spacer stack assembly can be pushed in to the control valve body bore by hand. Since the spacer stack assembly can be compressed it is easier to use a blunt object (5/8” to 1-1/8” in diameter) to push the center of the assembly into the control valve body. The assembly is properly seated when at least four threads are exposed (approximately 5/8”). Do not force the spacer stack assembly in.

    Thank you for your time.
    Sincerely,
    Doc
    Sorry, now I remember that part, I didn't use it because a customer might measure 5/8" or visualize 5/8" a bit differently than I would if I were there looking at it or doing it. Or miss count the number of threads. They couldn't miss an o-ring disappearing from the drain line fitting hole.

    For 8 years now I've had maybe 3 dozen customers that had to replace their stack and pistons. The last one was last month. Telling them to look down the hole as they tightened the nut has cured their too much water in their salt tank problem every time.
    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 DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Gary Slusser;355104]Good'n snug doesn't sound like it was positioned correctly to me unless the instructions say good'n snug.

    And if you look at your 3rd picture, down the drain line fitting hole, you can see about 1/3rd of the hole is blocked by a part of the stack, at least I think it is, and you said you have a low drain line flow... no wonder. lol

    No, actually the black obstruction, both to the right and left is the housing "bore". That doesn't move obviously. I have the open part of the stack in the open part of what you see as open, with seals on either side. It is in the correct position unless I'm really missing something here. If it were any looser it would not seal and then it would obstruct a bit of the opening, but not much. If it were just ever so slightly tighter it would hit the back of the housing inside the bore. I have ordered a new stack/pistons assembly and should receive it today or tomorrow. We have a job on Saturday so I might not get it installed until Sunday. I do want to install it properly. Again, are you sure you are seeing something amiss in the photo?

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