(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24

Thread: Brand new Softener was working great not it's not. Any ideas

  1. #1
    DIY Member jasper7821's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    39

    Default Brand new Softener was working great not it's not. Any ideas

    I had a ton of help for everyone here last time when I couldn't get my new softener working and it ended up being the venture cap wasn't screwed on tight and I guess there was no suction so nothing was happening during regeneration.

    The water feels hard again and I bought a Hanna digital pH meter and last night it was 2.7 and this morning after regeneration it read 3.2.
    Why would it be higher after regeneration?

    Don't know if this means anything or not, but when I unscrewed the venturi cap to see if that had anything to do with it I heard air releasing when I unscrewed the cap. Is this normal?

    Please help if possible, thanks

  2. #2
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,707
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Are you referring to the Hanna Hardness meter? You say it is a pH meter, this would not be an indicator of hardness at all, and the numbers you are stating would make for some very nasty water.

    Honestly, use a Hach 5B test kit.

    Check out the link, are you using the Hanna tester with the chart? http://www.hannainst.com/manuals/manHI_98202.pdf

    A standard Hach 5B is much simpler, more accurate, and does not need calibration.


    What softener? What size? How hard is your water? What does your system feed? How many people in the house? Does it feed irrigation? What is the raw water hardness? More information is needed to answer your question.
    Last edited by ditttohead; 10-16-2012 at 01:47 PM.

  3. #3
    DIY Member jasper7821's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Are you referring to the Hanna Hardness meter? You say it is a pH meter, this would not be an indicator of hardness at all, and the numbers you are stating would make for some very nasty water.

    Honestly, use a Hach 5B test kit.

    Check out the link, are you using the Hanna tester with the chart? http://www.hannainst.com/manuals/manHI_98202.pdf

    A standard Hach 5B is much simpler, more accurate, and does not need calibration.


    What softener? What size? How hard is your water? What does your system feed? How many people in the house? Does it feed irrigation? What is the raw water hardness? More information is needed to answer your question.
    Sorry, I meant a pNa tester. The water feels pretty hard now. I bought that tester on Amazon thinking it would give me a really quick easy reading.
    The softener is a GE GXSF39E 39,000 grain. The water before the softener with the Hanna meter says 2.7 and after the softener was saying the exact same thing. The after regeneration last night this morning it now says 3.2.
    The system feeds the entire house except the front yard. Both front and back yard is on a drip system, not much of anything to water in the whole yard. (no grass, grass is a luxury in Arizona)
    Only 2 people in the house and one shower a day for each of us. 10 minutes for her and 5 for me. Both showers use 2.5gpm.
    It was working fine then last week I noticed it wasn't as hard with the soapy feeling. Went out of town for the weekend and did a regeneration last night thinking my morning shower would be nice and soft.

  4. #4
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,707
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Honestly, considering the equipment, I would not venture to guess. Most service companies wont touch that system. Once they touch it, all the problems become thier problem.
    You need to get a real test kit and determine the actual raw water hardness so you can program it correctly. Without a real test kit to tell us what the actual hardness is, it is not programmable. Order the Hach 5B. Simple, cheap, accurate, reliable.

  5. #5
    DIY Member jasper7821's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Honestly, considering the equipment, I would not venture to guess. Most service companies wont touch that system. Once they touch it, all the problems become thier problem.
    You need to get a real test kit and determine the actual raw water hardness so you can program it correctly. Without a real test kit to tell us what the actual hardness is, it is not programmable. Order the Hach 5B. Simple, cheap, accurate, reliable.
    Thanks, I tested it with strips when I installed it a few weeks ago and it was about the same as the Hanna meter is reading now which is 2.7 on the raw water. After I did the regeneration last night because I didn't feel soft water anymore and the Hanna gauge said 2.7 I'd think this morning I'd have soft water but I don't. So I think something isn't working correctly.
    It's programmed correctly but even if it wasn't wouldn't doing a regeneration make the water soft again. I have the salt level entered correctly and the hardness by the city's website hardness table.

  6. #6
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,707
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    What does 2.7 mean? (see below) A softener test strip is not a proper way to test either. It will only give you a range, not an accurate reading. The city water report should be very accurate, and they should give you the range that the hardness varies seasonally. My water ranges from 16-19 GPG hardness seasonally so I set my system to 19 GPG. What does your report show the hardness range to be?

    For your softener, the standard troubleshooting applies. Does it draw brine during regeneration? Is the water salty to the drain within the first minute of brine draw? Is their any restriction in the drain line? Do you have at least 30 PSI water pressure? Is the drain line going up? Etc. I have only attempted to work on that model softener a few times, and would never do it again. Once I touched it, a few months later when it started leaking, or didnt work again... it was my problem. Maybe someone in this forum has worked on these more than me.

    From the Hanna instruction guide

    GENERAL INFORMATION
    The pNa tester utilizes a sodium ion-selective
    electrode to determine the activity of free sodium
    in solution (pNa = -log aNa).
    In dilute solutions, the activity coefficient is nearly
    1 and in such solutions pNa is a good indicator
    of the sodium ion concentration. The relationship
    between the pNa scale and the g/L Na+ scale is
    explained in the chart below.
    A double junction reference is used to ensure a
    highly stable reading. If you suspect that the
    calibration has drifted, you can recalibrate the
    meter by using a solution of known concentration.
    Adjust the reading with the calibration trimmer.
    HOW TO USE THE CHART
    • Locate the pNa reading on the horizontal axis
    of the chart.
    • Move vertically upwards to intersect with the
    45 line.
    • Move horizontally and read the g/L Na value.
    E.g. pNa = 1.4
    g/L = 0.9

    Not quite sure how sodium selective probes would determine hardness. I will call a friend at hanna later this week to see if he can educate me on this tester.

  7. #7
    DIY Member jasper7821's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Sorry, I meant the city water is 15 gpg and I bumped it up a few for Iron so I have the softener set to 18 gpg.
    Also, since I didn't want to pay more to have the backyard plumbed for raw water I have the whole house using the softener and using Potassium, Hopefully that Hanna gauge gives the same results as salt.
    The Amazon seller said it didn't matter if you used salt or potassium the gauge would read the same.
    I did all the troubleshooting a few weeks ago when i got it going and nothing has changed.
    last time it was the venturi cap wasn't screwed on tight. I thought the venturi might be the same issue because when I unscrewed it I heard air pressure release but maybe it's supposed to do that. My drain line goes up to the ceiling to the laundry room drain but it's lower that the 8ft that the manual says not to go over. There's no restrictions anywhere in the drain and it flows good.

  8. #8
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,792

    Default

    The meter is looking for sodium and you aren't using softener salt (sodium chloride), you are using potassium chloride. So your meter is telling you nothing that you need to know to be able to determine if your water softener is working or how well.

    Also, you should be adding 3-4 gpg of hardness for each ppm of iron.
    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.

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Ocala, Florida
    Posts
    670

    Default

    You said one of the driper hoses is on soft water. It may not be registering on the softener and the capacity is being used up.

  10. #10
    DIY Member jasper7821's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    39

    Default

    My irrigation has been shut off for a week so no water being used there.
    Last night I tested everything again and watched the entire cycle and everything is working perfectly but the water still doesn't seem soft. I don't get it, it's going through all the cycles and doeing what's it's supposed to.
    My Hanna pNa meter shows 3.3 BUT I guess that reads sodium and I'm using potassium. Returning it and getting the Hatch 5B.
    The soap just doesn't seem to lather up like it did a few weeks ago.

  11. #11
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,707
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    The hach 5B will serve you well for a long time. I would recommend replacing i every few years since it does have a shelf life, but I know guys who have been using the same kit for 5 years, and they are still accurate.

    Let us know what you find.

    Thanks!~

  12. #12
    DIY Member jasper7821's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    The hach 5B will serve you well for a long time. I would recommend replacing i every few years since it does have a shelf life, but I know guys who have been using the same kit for 5 years, and they are still accurate.

    Let us know what you find.

    Thanks!~
    Great, thank you very much. I wish i would have gotten that instead of the Hanna gauge in the first place.

  13. #13
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,792

    Default

    If your softener has been using less than 15 lbs of softener salt per cuft of resin per regeneration, you get the maximum K of capacity of 30K per regeneration. It is a very rare softener that is programmed that way.

    Most are programmed to use much less salt than 15 lbs/cuft of resin so.. you don't get the maximum K of capacity meaning not all the resin is regenerated, just the amount of capacity you use based on the hardness and number of people using water on a daily basis. IF you have used more capacity than the softener has been programmed for, yuo get hard water through the softener.

    Example... you have a 1 cuft (32K as they are called although you don't get more than 30K/cuft) and it is programmed for 6 lbs of salt per cuft which regenerates 20K, leaving 10K of the original K of capacity still in the resin/softener.

    So some day you use more than 20K of capacity by say 3K. Only 20K is regenerated the next regen, leaving 7K.

    Now do that overuse a number of times (like your drip irrigation) and you use up the 'extra' K of new resin capacity and then your 6 lbs can't regenerate the 20K the softener uses between regenerations based on metered gallons, and you get hard water through the softener and start looking for why that is.... and find nothing wrong with the softener's operation.

    To cure that situation you need to change the salt dose to 15lbs and do 2 manual regenerations one right after the other with no water use during or between the two so you regenerate all the resin back to 30K/cuft. Then change the salt dose back to the 6lbs or whatever is was originally and don't run irrigation water through the softener anymore.

    You use potassium chloride and should increase the salt dose by 12-30% to equal the capacity that that much less sodium chloride would require for the same K of capacity. Or, my suggestion is to switch to salt and save some money over buying expensive potassium chloride.
    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.

  14. #14
    DIY Member jasper7821's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    If your softener has been using less than 15 lbs of softener salt per cuft of resin per regeneration, you get the maximum K of capacity of 30K per regeneration. It is a very rare softener that is programmed that way.

    Most are programmed to use much less salt than 15 lbs/cuft of resin so.. you don't get the maximum K of capacity meaning not all the resin is regenerated, just the amount of capacity you use based on the hardness and number of people using water on a daily basis. IF you have used more capacity than the softener has been programmed for, yuo get hard water through the softener.

    Example... you have a 1 cuft (32K as they are called although you don't get more than 30K/cuft) and it is programmed for 6 lbs of salt per cuft which regenerates 20K, leaving 10K of the original K of capacity still in the resin/softener.

    So some day you use more than 20K of capacity by say 3K. Only 20K is regenerated the next regen, leaving 7K.

    Now do that overuse a number of times (like your drip irrigation) and you use up the 'extra' K of new resin capacity and then your 6 lbs can't regenerate the 20K the softener uses between regenerations based on metered gallons, and you get hard water through the softener and start looking for why that is.... and find nothing wrong with the softener's operation.

    To cure that situation you need to change the salt dose to 15lbs and do 2 manual regenerations one right after the other with no water use during or between the two so you regenerate all the resin back to 30K/cuft. Then change the salt dose back to the 6lbs or whatever is was originally and don't run irrigation water through the softener anymore.

    You use potassium chloride and should increase the salt dose by 12-30% to equal the capacity that that much less sodium chloride would require for the same K of capacity. Or, my suggestion is to switch to salt and save some money over buying expensive potassium chloride.
    Holy Cow Gary, thank you so very much for the explanation but I'm only a month new to water softeners and don't understand most of what you said. Sorry to be a dumb%$#. Is there a softener for dummies book?
    I'm using potassium since the softener goes to the backyard to water plants that are not on the drip system. The drip has been off for a week so no water has been used for it.
    The only setting I have on the softener are are the salt level and hardness.
    The tank level gauge goes from 1-8 and it was at 6.5 before the regeneration and that's what I had the salt level programmed at and my hardness per the city's website is 12 and I bumped it up to 19 for Iron but the Tucson water test results didn't have the word "Iron" in it but I raised the level just for the heck of it in case there's some Iron in the water.

    It's a 32k grain softener and it did it's brine cycle for almost an hour last night and the total process took about 2hrs. Don't know if that tells anything.

    Here's what the softener specs say
    Rated capacity 15,300 gains with 3lbs of salt, 32,800 grains with 9.6lbs of salt, and 39,100 grains with 16.1lbs of salt
    Rated efficiency 5,100 grains/lb @ 3lbs of salt
    Amount of high capacity resin 52.5/1.01
    I have no idea what that means.
    Last edited by jasper7821; 10-17-2012 at 03:31 PM.

  15. #15
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,792

    Default

    You need to reread what I posted and compare it to the specs of your softener that you posted about the capacity at whatever salt dose.

    Then stop using softened water for irrigation. BTW, too much chloride kills vegetation.
    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.

Similar Threads

  1. Little iron still in water after brand new Softener installed
    By ktthomas in forum Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and reviews
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 08-19-2012, 07:24 PM
  2. Brand new Toto Drake 2 piece - extremely weak flush, any ideas?
    By gaga192 in forum Toilet Forum discussions
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 07-03-2012, 10:34 AM
  3. Kinetico softener not working.
    By thrice910 in forum Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and reviews
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-20-2010, 04:25 PM
  4. Any Great Ideas For a Rental With Costant Clogged Drain
    By drizler in forum Drain Cleaning
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 03-08-2009, 10:10 AM
  5. Any Great Ideas For a Rental With Costant Clogged Drain
    By drizler in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 02-26-2009, 05:19 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •