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

  1. #16
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    My guess is....

    Your softener is fine.

    The shower test is fairly accurate. Give it a shot. Let us know what you find. Congrats!

  2. #17
    DIY Member jasper7821's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    My guess is....

    Your softener is fine.

    The shower test is fairly accurate. Give it a shot. Let us know what you find. Congrats!
    Thanks, will do.
    I still don't get why my TDS tester says a reading of 200-300ppm is hard water and since I'm getting a reading in the 400's wouldn't my water be extremely hard?
    this is the meter I'm using.
    http://www.amazon.com/HM-Digital-TDS...ords=tds+meter

    And this is what literature I found for the TDS readings.
    0-50 = Ideal drinking water
    50-100 = Carbon filtered water
    100-200 = Hard water
    200-300 = Marginally acceptable
    200-400 = Average tap water
    400+ Very high TDS contaminant level
    Last edited by jasper7821; 09-25-2012 at 11:50 AM.

  3. #18
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper7821 View Post
    On the back of my TDS meter there's a graph of what the water is. It says something like 0-100 is soft water, 100-200 is ok, 200-300 is hard water, 300-400 is very hard.
    So if my TDS meter is reading in the 400's then per the graph I have hard water right ?

    Everything is working correctly and since the unit was brand new the media should put out soft water from the get-go.
    I watched the brine process and per the manual it did everything as it should.

    I ran water over a sparkling clean wine glass and let it drip dry and it was full of spots so something is not working correctly.
    TDS is all of the total dissolved solids in the water, you can not measure hardness (calcium and magnesium) with a TDS meter, regardless of what is on the label on the back of the meter. Even testing RO water with a TDS meter won't get down to 0.

    Water spots are caused by TDS, sulfates, chlorides, silica, potassium, sodium, and a number of other things, including hardness.

    You need a hardness test to see if the softened water is soft or hard based on 0-1 gpg. Anything over 1 gpg says the softener isn't working as it should. That is regardless of what the TDS is. TDS will increase in softened water because of the ion exchange of sodium or potassium for the iron, hardness, manganese etc. in the raw water.

    And now you have the softener all torn apart and haven't found anything wrong with it...You could take some cold softened water in a bowl and add one drop of liquid detergent and shake it up good and if you get a lot of suds, you can assume the water is soft some but, then test the same amount of raw cold water and the same amount of detergent and see if there is a large suds volume difference and if there is, you know the softener is doing some softening. Then buy a hardness test kit and see if the hardness is 0-1 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.

  4. #19
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper7821 View Post
    Thanks, will do.
    I still don't get why my TDS tester says a reading of 200-300ppm is hard water and since I'm getting a reading in the 400's wouldn't my water be extremely hard?
    this is the meter I'm using.
    http://www.amazon.com/HM-Digital-TDS...ords=tds+meter

    And this is what literature I found for the TDS readings.
    0-50 = Ideal drinking water
    50-100 = Carbon filtered water
    100-200 = Hard water
    200-300 = Marginally acceptable
    200-400 = Average tap water
    400+ Very high TDS contaminant level
    That is BS marketing by someone that doesn't know what they are talking about or is outright lying. You use TDS meters to test ROs mostly, not softeners or filters.
    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 Member jasper7821's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    TDS is all of the total dissolved solids in the water, you can not measure hardness (calcium and magnesium) with a TDS meter, regardless of what is on the label on the back of the meter. Even testing RO water with a TDS meter won't get down to 0.

    Water spots are caused by TDS, sulfates, chlorides, silica, potassium, sodium, and a number of other things, including hardness.

    You need a hardness test to see if the softened water is soft or hard based on 0-1 gpg. Anything over 1 gpg says the softener isn't working as it should. That is regardless of what the TDS is. TDS will increase in softened water because of the ion exchange of sodium or potassium for the iron, hardness, manganese etc. in the raw water.

    And now you have the softener all torn apart and haven't found anything wrong with it...You could take some cold softened water in a bowl and add one drop of liquid detergent and shake it up good and if you get a lot of suds, you can assume the water is soft some but, then test the same amount of raw cold water and the same amount of detergent and see if there is a large suds volume difference and if there is, you know the softener is doing some softening. Then buy a hardness test kit and see if the hardness is 0-1 gpg.
    Perfect, thank you very much Gary. I'm leaning more and more to the conclusion that my softener is working just fine. I'll try the soap drop thing and try my hardness strips. Then buy a hardness test kit if I'm still concerned.

    Since the TDS will be higher coming out of the system and I had a spigot installed just past the bypass valve outlet should I not connect my CR spotless car washing system to it because I'm trying keep it at zero ppm TDS and it's 100ppm higher after the softener?
    I had the spigot installed thinking it would make the resin in the CR Spotless last longer and not have to be replaced as often, but if the TDS level is higher after the softener maybe it would be worse to use it after the softener.

  6. #21
    DIY Member jasper7821's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    That is BS marketing by someone that doesn't know what they are talking about or is outright lying. You use TDS meters to test ROs mostly, not softeners or filters.
    Again, thank you very much and I really wish I did my research before hacking into the ceiling. Now I need to have a drywall company come patch my three holes.
    I did not take the softener apart, after testing the whole system last night I figured it was working as it should be but something else was the issue.
    Thanks again.

  7. #22
    DIY Member jasper7821's Avatar
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    SUCCESS. Thank you guys for the advise.
    I found a bar of soap at the house and tested it out. I washed my hand with hot water since no hot water was used yet and the water heater was filled with hard water.
    Then I washed my hand with cold water and it was the slimy feeling I missed.
    YES, I NOW HAVE SOFT WATER.
    I guess it was my fault by reading the back of the TDS meter and it saying that 200ppm or so was hard water and my reading being in the 400's I for sure had hard water.

    Thanks again everyone.

  8. #23
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    The last TDS meter I bought took a short trip across the basement and self destructed on contact with the foundation wall LOL
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  9. #24
    DIY Member jasper7821's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    The last TDS meter I bought took a short trip across the basement and self destructed on contact with the foundation wall LOL
    I hear ya, this has been a NIGHTMARE !
    I'm glad I now know my softener is working correctly.

  10. #25
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    I use this one, not one you should throw across the room though. Name:  UltrameterII4P.jpg
Views: 132
Size:  15.2 KB
    I save that kind of abuse for my HM digital ones.

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