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

  1. #16
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOCSCANTLIN View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    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?
    Those white parts in the picture are spacers between o-rings or seals, whichever way we say it.

    Looking at the left side of the hole, and assuming that is toward the back of the valve, it looks to me as if there is like a shelf in the bottom of the hole on the left side of the hole. There seems to be some dirt on it with some of it wiped off.

    I don't recall seeing anything like a shelf in a Clack WS-1 but it may be your Hlllenbrand valve is a bit different than a stock Clack WS-1. If that were the case a stock stack may not have been used and you need the stack and pistons from Hillenbrand. I can't see the ends of the spacers on the left side.

    Are you getting the stack etc. from Hillenbrand and if not then who?
    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.

  2. #17
    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Good point. I am going to remove the new stack I installed and check it against the original stack. You are correct. The clack diagragm cut away view does not show those "ledges". However the part numbers from the original Hillenbrand manual (which has no cut away diagragm) match the part numbers from my source, http://www.softenerparts.com/Clack_W...Parts_s/45.htm

  3. #18
    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Those white parts in the picture are spacers between o-rings or seals, whichever way we say it.

    Looking at the left side of the hole, and assuming that is toward the back of the valve, it looks to me as if there is like a shelf in the bottom of the hole on the left side of the hole. There seems to be some dirt on it with some of it wiped off.

    I don't recall seeing anything like a shelf in a Clack WS-1 but it may be your Hlllenbrand valve is a bit different than a stock Clack WS-1. If that were the case a stock stack may not have been used and you need the stack and pistons from Hillenbrand. I can't see the ends of the spacers on the left side.

    Are you getting the stack etc. from Hillenbrand and if not then who?
    Mr. Susser, I received the 2nd new stack assembly. It has the same number embossed on the part as the original part which came with the softener. They must be the same. Any suggestions before I try and install this? Thank you kindly, Doc Scantlin

  4. #19
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Since you have the ledge/shelf inside the drain line fitting hole, I'd be left with counting threads on the shaft that tightening exposes.

    Now just yet I don't know if I'd count thread valleys or peaks. I would want to stop short as opposed to going too far/tight though and test it to see what suction I have and adjust if not a strong suction.

    Of course that assumes there is no other causes of weak or no brine suction. I'd look for no water flow out the brine line fitting hole or the brine line itself when the pistons are in the service or other cycle positions except for Refill.

    I'd count thread peaks and keep my lucky charm close by while silently repeating - Please God help me get this right....
    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 09-11-2012 at 06:26 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.

  5. #20
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Is it that the seal pack is not seating all the way in because of some debris in the back of the valve? I haven't come across this myself, but I have heard of this happening.

  6. #21
    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Since you have the ledge/shelf inside the drain line fitting hole, I'd be left with counting threads on the shaft that tightening exposes.

    Now just yet I don't know if I'd count thread valleys or peaks. I would want to stop short as opposed to going too far/tight though and test it to see what suction I have and adjust if not a strong suction.

    Of course that assumes there is no other causes of weak or no brine suction. I'd look for no water flow out the brine line fitting hole or the brine line itself when the pistons are in the service or other cycle positions except for Refill.

    I'd count thread peaks and keep my lucky charm close by while silently repeating - Please God help me get this right....
    Mr. Slusser, what shaft? The threads on the cap drive assy. are internal and the piston rod shaft has nothing to do with the spacer stack position...?

    ...another wrinkle...When I get a 1002 error, I cannot get a rest by pushing reg. and next. I have to unplug for over an hour to get a reset...????

    The brine line never leaks, by the way...

  7. #22
    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mialynette2003 View Post
    Is it that the seal pack is not seating all the way in because of some debris in the back of the valve? I haven't come across this myself, but I have heard of this happening.
    Sir, Thanks for the question. The "casing" is clean as a whistle. I cleaned the "bore" with a rag and vinegar. Everything is clean. Interestingly, when you insert the stack there is a lot of play between the round seals and the bore. It seems when the stack is completely inserted ant tightened it must expand to form effectively seal.
    Thanks again, good thing to check.
    Doc

  8. #23
    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Since you have the ledge/shelf inside the drain line fitting hole, I'd be left with counting threads on the shaft that tightening exposes.

    Now just yet I don't know if I'd count thread valleys or peaks. I would want to stop short as opposed to going too far/tight though and test it to see what suction I have and adjust if not a strong suction.

    Of course that assumes there is no other causes of weak or no brine suction. I'd look for no water flow out the brine line fitting hole or the brine line itself when the pistons are in the service or other cycle positions except for Refill.

    I'd count thread peaks and keep my lucky charm close by while silently repeating - Please God help me get this right....
    Just took a look at the clack patent papers online and a closer look at the manual. As I see it now, the best way to install the stack is to use a dowell and push the rear of the stack against the back of the bore. I believe this is where you count threads, as you cannot see threads (at least 4) when you are tightening the drive cap (would be much less than 4 anyway). This eliminates the seals from expanding before the stack bottoms out as the seals expand as the stack is compressed (when you are pushing it into the bore). After the stack is bottomed and 4 threads are visible, then you install the cap and pistons. As you tighten, watch the seal (looking into the drain hole) dissapear. Now the manual states the exact location of the seal is not important. However, when you tighten the cap the seals expand against the bore and the pistons. Where, exactly is the "perfect" point to stop turning so you get a seal but not too tight and risk damaging the stack/pistons? An obvious answer would be "fully tight (cap assembly touching outside of casing/bore)" if the tolerances are that close (to expand the seals to a perfect seal). If not, I assume you would gradually tighten and run through the cycles and tighten again until you get your water flows from the correct hoses (and suction during brine) at the correct place in the cycles. So, it seems to me that this seal pressure could be quite critical. Any comments before I try this? Thank you so much in advance. Doc

  9. #24
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    OK, "shaft" was a bad choice of words....

    I've never had anyone have the problems you're having.

    The original stack, did it have the same part number on it that your replacements have?

    I take it you have had the error with this new stack installed? Or are you talking about before? In the back of the manual there should be an explanation of the error code number, what does it say?

    I don't like the theory of the stack being enlarged in diameter as you compress it. It doesn't sound possible to me.
    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. #25
    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    OK, "shaft" was a bad choice of words....

    I've never had anyone have the problems you're having.

    The original stack, did it have the same part number on it that your replacements have?

    I take it you have had the error with this new stack installed? Or are you talking about before? In the back of the manual there should be an explanation of the error code number, what does it say?

    I don't like the theory of the stack being enlarged in diameter as you compress it. It doesn't sound possible to me.
    Dear Mr. Slusser, The part #s are identical (embossed on the part).
    No more errors. It seems odd, though, that I have to unplug it for so long to get it to reset. But it does finally reset and all regeneration positions are as per the manual as far as which step the shaft is next to (it was a 1002 error. OK now)

    Here is the patent link: http://www.patentinformationsearch.c...oftener-11.php

    Where I am currently is, I have installed the 2nd new stack/pistons and tightened to have the seal just hitting the edge of the oblong hole visable through the drain hole. I know this is not far enough but I am skittish about "too tight". Going through the cycles, incorrect flows on several positions plus flow through brine line on brine position. I guess I will tighten the stack to get the seal JUST invisible. That can't possibly be too tight...?...and go from there.

    P.S. The patent information is logical to me in the sense that if you can easily insert and remove the stack (one of it's features), how do you then get the seals to to form a water tight fitting to the bore and to the pistons? When you insert the stack with no compression there is a LOT of play between the seals and the bore. Take a look and tell me what you think. I will stand by. Thanks so much for your time!!! Doc

  11. #26
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    If you put side force/compression on an o-ring the o-ring will change cross section shape from round to oval and that will cause the circumference to 'grow' slightly.

    Tightened to where the o-ring is just out of sight in the drain elbow hole is in the instructions...

    I'd count threads (too) and try it and if no joy, tighten it a bit more and try it etc..

    Other than that I don't think I can help anymore other than to again suggest calling Hellenbrand.
    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.

  12. #27
    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    If you put side force/compression on an o-ring the o-ring will change cross section shape from round to oval and that will cause the circumference to 'grow' slightly.

    Tightened to where the o-ring is just out of sight in the drain elbow hole is in the instructions...

    I'd count threads (too) and try it and if no joy, tighten it a bit more and try it etc..

    Other than that I don't think I can help anymore other than to again suggest calling Hellenbrand.
    Dear Mr. Slusser, I just got off the phone with Hellenbrand. He did agree the stack needed to be compressed (front to back as it tightens (not side force). He recommended tightening it further and didn't think you could over tighten it unless you put obscene leverage on it. I think we have our problem, though (what I should have done in the beginning). I only have a little over 1 PINT of volume per minute from the drain line. My water pressure gauge is inoperative. I do know the pressure doesn't change when I bypass the softener but I don't know if I am getting over the 30# minimum from the pressure tank. Perhaps that is my problem...low initial water pressure.
    Thanks, Doc
    I think ascertaining water pressure is my next step. Any idea what 30# of water pressure looks like out of a 1/2" pipe?

  13. #28
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    It looks like not enough pressure or volume.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  14. #29
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    A 10" diameter tank Clack system should be flowing approximately 2.7 GPM down the drain during backwash or fast rinse. Even a low pressure of 30 PSI should get you close to that, but you should get your pressure up to 40 PSI or more.

    The Clack stack s a compression seal stack design. It compreses and expands upon installation. In my field experience with rebuilding clack valves, we simply replace the stack, piston, front seal assembly, and you give a good tightening. Not gorilla tight, but not girly tight. (technical terms have been banned from this site so I will try to keep it simple)

  15. #30
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    A new gauge is about $5 and it takes maybe 15 minutes to change one... I told you the low drain flow had to be fixed before you did anything else.

    You get the new gauge in and then check and adjust the air pressure in the tank with no water in it to 29 psi. Then set the pressure switch to on at 30 and off at 50.

    If your switch is say 10 years old or more, or you've been foolin' with adjusting it with no gauge, buy a new 30/50 switch and install it when installing the new gauge. And check the air pressure is 29 psi with no water in the tank before you turn the pump on.
    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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