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Thread: New GE water softener not softening, the GPH meter is going full cycle in seconds

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  1. #1
    DIY Member jasper7821's Avatar
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    Default New GE water softener not softening, the GPH meter is going full cycle in seconds

    I just found this site and I'm at my wits end with my Brand New water softener.
    It's a GE GXSF39E01 ser# DD100787A

    SHORT VERSION,
    I got into the service mode to see the GPH and see if its connected the right way by the meter going as the sink was on and the meter was going way too fast. it cycled through 1,000 gallons in about 10 seconds. the numbers are increasing until 999 gallons then starts over so I'm hoping at least the in and out lines are connected the right way.

    I'm just looking for a solution why it's not giving soft water and why the meter is cycling like that.
    From reading the manual my next step to try is cleaning the screen, nozzle, and venturi.
    After that, remove the bypass valve and see if anything is wrong with the turbine on the outlet valve.

    Any suggestions ?

    LONG VERSION,
    The water softener was a few years old but brand new in the box.
    I think my biggest mistake was hiring a guy from Craigslist to install it.

    I had a local name brand plumbing company come out and give me an estimate and they wanted $1,250 it install since my 2003 home I just bought didn't have a loop.
    I found a Craigslist guy that said he'd do it for $350.

    after installation and a horrible looking plumbing job and way too many holes in my ceiling the unit didn't work.
    I followed the instructions to a T. I had them come back and they cut a hole in the ceiling and noticed they used T's instead of 90's and the softener was just running in line with the main line.
    So they cut out the Shark Bites with and box cutter and replaced the T's with 90's.
    I know nothing about plumbing and never heard of shark bites. after studying up on them I now know they they disconnect in seconds with the removal tool. I cant believe a so called plumber didn't know that.
    So now with the 90's installed the softener still didn't work. they never showed up again.

    I cut back into the ceiling and removed the shark bites and reversed the two lines in hopes that they got the lines backwards.
    when I turned the water back on I saw a tiny bit of grit in the sink. I'm thinking they had it right and when I reversed the lines it sucked a little bit of media into the plumbing.
    I put the lines back how they were and regenerated again hoping it would magically fix itself which it didn't.

    PLEASE HELP
    Last edited by jasper7821; 09-24-2012 at 03:34 PM.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    When you got into the gallon count portion of the electronics that is not in gallons. There is no way to get 1,000 gallons of water in 10 sec from home water lines. It is simply a count to tell the unit when to regen. Most likely it is 1 gallon per 999 count. Anyway, get the electronics to the gallon count mode. Have someone turn on each faucet one at a time and turn back off. If there is a count on each faucet, then the water is running through the unit. Put the unit into a backwash cycle. Bring the gallon count back up and if it shows water flow, (with no inside water running) then the unit is hooked up backwards. Post your results and if needed, additional info will posted.

  3. #3
    DIY Member jasper7821's Avatar
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    Thanks, I will try the backwash thing tonight and post results tomorrow. I hope it's connected correctly and something else is just not working.

    BUT, I am partially correct on the gallon meter. It doesn't read to 1,000 gallons, it goes up to 199. I had my fiance reading the meter and I thought she said hundreds.
    Anyways she saw it cycle from 000 then when water turned on it went very fast all the way to 199 then back again all within 10 seconds or so. You stated that that count was to tell the unit when to regenerate. But that part is in the main screen and not the diagnostics mode. It says how many days until regeneration.
    The manual says to push MODE for 3 seconds until LOW SALT ALARM screen shows, then press mode for 2 times which she did and got into the diagnostics mode. She saw the water meter cycling when she turned the water on and it stopped when she turned the water off so I'm pretty sure it was reading gallons used by giving inaccurate readings.
    The manual says get into that mode and whatever number it shows (0-199) and shows water is flowing. Display repeats for each gallon of water passing through the meter.
    So it's basically a 199 gallon water flow counter. I don't know why it only goes to 199 gallons the starts at zero again.

    I read that is the drain hose is too high then it might cause back pressure and the brine draw be reduced. I was also going to try and disconnect the drain hose since it goes through the ceiling and into the laundry room washer drain and connect another hose out to the front yard and regenerate to see if that is the issue.

    It says if the numbers stay the same with the faucet on then check the sensor by pulling it out and pass a magnet in front of it and it should cycle one number for each pass.
    Last edited by jasper7821; 09-24-2012 at 03:57 PM.

  4. #4
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    A strange thing about most electronic controls. If they are plumben in backwards, they will usually still work. During regeneration the inlet and outlet are together (hard water bypass) so the system will regenerate normally. The water flow is determined internally and there is no internal check valve to force the water a specific direction. The old electromechanical 5600 metered systems would not work since the meter would go backwards and would never trigger the regeneration. Electronic meters dont care about flow direction either. The problem with plumbing the unit in backwards is the flow will lift the bed during service and a top screen failure can occur which would allow the resin to go into the house. You need to determine the correct flow, do not guess. Remove the system and turn the water on. Water will come out of one of the 2 pipes, that is your inlet. Other than that, I dont deal with that softener often enough to comment on the electronics.

  5. #5
    DIY Member jasper7821's Avatar
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    Thank you very much, so by doing a backwash and if the meter shows flow that won't be an exact indicator of being plumbed backwards ?
    The softener is so heavy now and the lines don't have much flex at all. I'm scared that if I shut off the water, take the bypass valve out I won't be able to get the bypass valve back on.
    I guess I can ask a neighbor to help out by moving the softener onto the exact position so I can get the valve back on and clips installed.

    Is the correct way to take the valve out and depressurize the system is to turn off main water, open the faucets and when it gets to a slow drip then pop the clips off the bypass valve while it's in the service position ?
    Last edited by jasper7821; 09-24-2012 at 04:19 PM.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Yes it will be an exact indicator. If the unit is hooked up backwards, the water used for a regen must flow through the port with the meter. This will be indicated by the electronics (the meter is turning). If it is hooked up correctly, no water will past the meter unless a faucet is turned on inside. The numbers (1-199) are to show flow and give the electroicsi a count. It is not GPM. A 1" pipe can only flow 20-30 GPM. You are indicating that it is flowing 199 GPM in 10 sec.
    Last edited by mialynette2003; 09-24-2012 at 05:18 PM.

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