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

  1. #46
    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    NEWS FLASH: 36# of pressure...Now what? I just installed a new gauge on my water system. I have a 46/60 switch. cycling normally. Water pressure is at 36#. What could be in the softener causing a drain flow of 1 pint per minute with 36# of pressure? The plot thickens! Put on your Sherlock Holmes cap and please tell us it is elementary.
    Thanks, Doc

  2. #47
    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    update. Misprint: 40/60 obviously...

  3. #48
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    What is the captive air pressure psi in the pressure tank with no water in it?

    Did you install a pressure gauge after the softener or where are you seeing the 36#?

    If at the pressure tank your switch isn't coming on at 40# as it should.

    If after the softener how far after it and how far is the gauge from the pressure tank is the gauge?

    A top or bottom basket being blocked would decrease pressure. Or if a by pass valve was blocked or not fully open. I guess a meter turbine wheel might block up too.
    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.

  4. #49
    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    What is the captive air pressure psi in the pressure tank with no water in it?

    Did you install a pressure gauge after the softener or where are you seeing the 36#?

    If at the pressure tank your switch isn't coming on at 40# as it should.

    If after the softener how far after it and how far is the gauge from the pressure tank is the gauge?

    A top or bottom basket being blocked would decrease pressure. Or if a by pass valve was blocked or not fully open. I guess a meter turbine wheel might block up too.
    The gauge is theoretically before the softener. That is, I have a separate line (unsoftened) to kitchen sink. That is where the gauge was.

    I was wondering about the 36# vs. the 40/60 switch. There is water only in the bottom of the pressure tank. When a faucet is opened, the switch will connect after a couple of minutes and disconnect after a couple more minutes. Seems normal in that regard(?).

    Should I find a place to install gauge after softener? Can we "safely" say, though, there is 36# of pressure going to softener?

    Thanks much for your reply, Doc

  5. #50
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    No one is going to be able to help you until you answer my questions. Especially what the air pressure is in the pressure tank with no water in it. It has to be 39 psi, with no water in the tank.

    The gauge should be by the pressure switch. And what do you mean the gauge is theoretically ahead of the softener? And you say it was in the other line, where is it now?

    And now it sounds as if the switch and/or the nipple it is installed on is blocked which means the switch is not able to see real time pressure changes and turn the pump on and off when it should be (40-60).

    You shut off power to the pump, drain water out of the tank, check the air pressure is 39 psi and add air as needed until it is, remove switch from its nipple and check both for rust or other blockage. Use a screw driver to unblock the nipple and switch or buy a new 40/50 switch. Instal the new gauge at the pressure tank and adjust the switch if to 40/60 if it is not 40/60. That should get you 40 psi at the softener and solve your low flow unless you have a blockage in the softener.
    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. #51
    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    No one is going to be able to help you until you answer my questions. Especially what the air pressure is in the pressure tank with no water in it. It has to be 39 psi, with no water in the tank.

    The gauge should be by the pressure switch. And what do you mean the gauge is theoretically ahead of the softener? And you say it was in the other line, where is it now?

    And now it sounds as if the switch and/or the nipple it is installed on is blocked which means the switch is not able to see real time pressure changes and turn the pump on and off when it should be (40-60).

    You shut off power to the pump, drain water out of the tank, check the air pressure is 39 psi and add air as needed until it is, remove switch from its nipple and check both for rust or other blockage. Use a screw driver to unblock the nipple and switch or buy a new 40/50 switch. Instal the new gauge at the pressure tank and adjust the switch if to 40/60 if it is not 40/60. That should get you 40 psi at the softener and solve your low flow unless you have a blockage in the softener.
    Dear Mr. Slusser, Sorry, just wanted to get the ball rolling. I couldn't answer all the questions yestersay as I got involved with some other issues. However, I will drain the tank and take a reading on the valve.

    Regarding the gauge, sorry for the confusion,...the existing gauge at the tank is inoperable. I temporarily installed my new gauge at a convenient point which was at the end of a line which does not go through the softener (to kitchen sink and outside). I did not have to drain the tank to do this quick test. So it is measuring the pressure before the softener, same is as if it was in its normal position at the tank except it is apx. 25 feet from the tank. Thanks so much for your time. Doc

  7. #52
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Before you do anything, replace the defective guage at the well pressure tank. Then do what Gary told you to do in his last post.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  8. #53
    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Before you do anything, replace the defective guage at the well pressure tank. Then do what Gary told you to do in his last post.
    Gentlemen: Bladder pressure was 9#. Drained tank. Pumped bladder to 38# (switch 40/60). Replaced gauge. Switch contacts close at 40#, open at 46-48#,. Seems to be very little water in the tank (probabably due to the incorrect differential). Ran through reg. cycles in softener. Drain still at 1oz. per minute. There were several little black pieces of, what looked to be, fibrous material, jagged edges, thick as card stock and easily broken (all less than 3/32"x3/16"). There were some of these in the bucket collecting the drain flow and some stuck in the DLFC. When I removed them from the DLFC, the flow was not much better. The screen is clear and the Injector assembly is unplugged. Brine line is clear. For what it's worth when I bypass the softener, the flow at a faucet does not change. So I assume there is 46# of pressure getting to (through) the softener. Black material presents a new puzzle piece. Still have no suction at brine line. Flow instead, same as before. Next step?
    Thanks in advance,
    Doc

  9. #54
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    The black stuff... hard to say for sure but a softener usually has a top screen, this will catch the "stuff" coming in from the water supply. During backwash, these will be ejected out the drain. The drain has a flow controler that is easily blocked by any debris. The backwash cycle should flow at approximately 2-3 gpm for most standard sized systems. Your system also has an injector and injector screen that can clog. This is rare, but regardless, remove and inspect both the injector and screen. If the black stuff continues to clog the drain line flow control (DLFC) then you may have to put in a strainer or pre filter of some sort before the softener. If it is not coming from the water supply, then you could have a bad bottom screen. It would be unusual but not unheard of for what you described to be coming through of the bottom screen of your system. Debris coming into a piston style system can easily damage the seal and or piston assembly. Check these very carefully for any damage. Even the slightest imperfection, groove, scratch, tear etc will cause the system to malfunction. With good clean water coming in, this piston/seal spacer kit can last 5-15 years.

  10. #55
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    The pressure switch should be operating between 40 and 60 lbs. If it's not they either the tube going to it is plugged, the pressure switch line inlet is plugged or the switch is bad. Fix or replace it.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  11. #56
    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    The black stuff... hard to say for sure but a softener usually has a top screen, this will catch the "stuff" coming in from the water supply. During backwash, these will be ejected out the drain. The drain has a flow controler that is easily blocked by any debris. The backwash cycle should flow at approximately 2-3 gpm for most standard sized systems. Your system also has an injector and injector screen that can clog. This is rare, but regardless, remove and inspect both the injector and screen. If the black stuff continues to clog the drain line flow control (DLFC) then you may have to put in a strainer or pre filter of some sort before the softener. If it is not coming from the water supply, then you could have a bad bottom screen. It would be unusual but not unheard of for what you described to be coming through of the bottom screen of your system. Debris coming into a piston style system can easily damage the seal and or piston assembly. Check these very carefully for any damage. Even the slightest imperfection, groove, scratch, tear etc will cause the system to malfunction. With good clean water coming in, this piston/seal spacer kit can last 5-15 years.
    I HAVE BRINE SUCTION! Perhaps someone can explain what happened, but, I decided to remove the DLFC just on the outside chance I could increase the drain flow enough to get some suction. What did I have to loose...Well! When I open the bypass valve, all hell broke loose...like a water cannon. There was around 1 teaspoon of a mixture of those black particles and some sand in my catch bucket. As the drain hose prayed all over the basement, there could have even been more. I let it run like that for a few seconds, replaced the DLFC and went to brine and happily watched the brine tank empty. Yahoo! After it completes the regeneration, I think I will repeat. You can really hear the difference in my drain pipe now as the flow id much more. Now I need to work on the settings to set up the regeneration times, etc. Much more to learn. Thanks all for your help!!! Sincerely, Doc

  12. #57
    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    The pressure switch should be operating between 40 and 60 lbs. If it's not they either the tube going to it is plugged, the pressure switch line inlet is plugged or the switch is bad. Fix or replace it.
    I tightened the small nut about 2 turns and am now up to about 54# when the contacts open. The points close at 40# still. Can I adjust the nut a bit more to get to 60#? We have a small 2 story house...Do I even need 40/60? Should I set up the bladder and switch for 30/50? Can you even do that? The points look good. I want to take it easy on the pump motor and only need 30# for the softener. What do you all think? Thanks, Doc

  13. #58
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Congrats, now you need to try to determine where the "stuff" came from. If it is coming from your water supply, a prefilter of some type should be installed/ I personally like the lakos Twist to clean system, relatively inexpensive, high quality, easy to use.

    30 PSI is fine for a softener as long as the drain is not running up too high. if your drain runs down, 30 PSI will work.

    Good luck!

  14. #59
    DIY Junior Member DOCSCANTLIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Congrats, now you need to try to determine where the "stuff" came from. If it is coming from your water supply, a prefilter of some type should be installed/ I personally like the lakos Twist to clean system, relatively inexpensive, high quality, easy to use.

    30 PSI is fine for a softener as long as the drain is not running up too high. if your drain runs down, 30 PSI will work.

    Good luck!
    I believe I picked up the trash from an original pressure tank still plumbed into the system which I inadvertently opened into the system by mistake. The filter sounds like a good idea regardless. I also do not have an emergency pressure release valve. Any opinion on adding one while I "am in there"? Do, I can adjust the switch and bladder to 30/50 with no repercussions? My drain is about 1 foot above the softener. Thank you. Doc

  15. #60
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOCSCANTLIN View Post
    I believe I picked up the trash from an original pressure tank still plumbed into the system...
    That's consistent with an incident I had a year or so ago. I drained my pressure tank to reset the pressure, and it a) made lots of weird noises as it was draining, and b) spewed out a bunch of black gunk it had accumulated in 4+ years of operation. So some kind of crud does apparently accumulate in these tanks, possibly expelled bit by bit during normal operation, but also possibly expelled in huge globs now and then.

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