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Thread: 2nd question - this time on resin loss

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Default 2nd question - this time on resin loss

    Thanks for the replies to my recent brine line connector question.

    Here's my next question -

    I have a 5.5yr old WS1 Clack valved water softener that I installed myself. From day-1 I noticed small amounts of resin washed out at every regeneration - maybe a 1/4 teaspoon max. Recently our soft water has gotten worse but I did notice an air leak (with air bubbles) in the clear brine tube when regenerating. I had the supposedly soft water tested and it was as hard as city water. I fixed the leak and did two manual regenerations last night. I thought I'd cured the problem. I got the water re-tested today and the guy said "you're 1/2 way there" (he didn't give me numbers).

    We talked about possible reasons for this and I mentioned the small resin loss. He said that over 5.5 years a small resin loss could equal 1/2 of my 1 cu ft of original resin. Of course I agreed. That made sense. He then wondered why I was losing resin.

    When I set the machine up originally I read in the instructions about the Drain Line Flow Control valve (it's a rubber washer with a hole in it if I remember right). I read that if the DLFC was too big it would allow the media to agitate too much and it could be sucked out the basket and down the drain.

    He also said that over time some media grain size could be reduced (through agitation wear?) and this would make the pellets lighter and easier to wash out. He mentioned a total of $300 (Canadian) for replacing & bedding new media and that the $300 might be better spent on a new softener (he sells Ecowater which I didn't get good vibes on when researching softeners back 5.5 years ago).

    I bought the Clack so I wouldn't be tied to places like Culligan and Ecowater. This unit of mine should be tunable by a Clack expert.

    Any words of wisdom about WS1 resin loss and resin replacement?

  2. #2
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Are you on city or well water? Do you treat with chlorine? Chlorine can break down the resin into small pieces.

    Do you have a bladder tank or hydro-pneumatic? Do you get air spitting from taps? Air in the line can percolate the resin out of the tank.

    Has the temperature of the water changed? Water temp is an important factor in backwash flow rates.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Are you on city or well water?
    City.

    Do you treat with chlorine?
    No, no chlorine.

    Do you have a bladder tank or hydro-pneumatic?
    I don't know what a bladder tank is. I have a glass-wrapped resin tank if that helps.

    Do you get air spitting from taps?
    Never.

    Has the temperature of the water changed?
    Nope.

  4. #4
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Water softener resin is rated for a backwash rate of approximately 5 GPM per Sq Ft. but this is only a guideline. The actual calculation is highly dependent on the water temperature. lower temperature requires less water, higher temperatures require more.

    40 degree water will do a 50% bed expansion at 3.5 GPM per Sq. ft, 100 degree water will require 9 GPM per Sq. ft. to do the same job.

    What is your water temperature? What flow control button does your system have?

    In colder water we usually just put a smaller button in and make sure you have a top screen installed. You can replace the resin, top screen, and DLFC button yourself if you are handy and can lift a little weight. I would not recommend replacing your Clack valve water softener with a new system. Fleck and Clack are the top tier system and component manufacturers, these systems can be rebuilt and repaired economically for 20-30 years. The resin can be purchased at a very reasonable price. Call a few local companies, see how much they would charge to rebed your system, you might find someone who can do it for a lot less. If you have municipal water, you will probably have some chlorine in the water. Be sure to get a good, high quality resin.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Water softener resin is rated for a backwash rate of approximately 5 GPM per Sq Ft. but this is only a guideline. The actual calculation is highly dependent on the water temperature. lower temperature requires less water, higher temperatures require more.
    40 degree water will do a 50% bed expansion at 3.5 GPM per Sq. ft, 100 degree water will require 9 GPM per Sq. ft. to do the same job.
    Of course it's mains water and what temp is that? 40? 50? It certainly isn't pre-heated to 100 degrees.

    What is your water temperature?
    Same as any other city I guess.

    What flow control button does your system have?
    AFAIK it's a #027.

    In colder water we usually just put a smaller button in and make sure you have a top screen installed. You can replace the resin, top screen, and DLFC button yourself if you are handy and can lift a little weight. I would not recommend replacing your Clack valve water softener with a new system. Fleck and Clack are the top tier system and component manufacturers, these systems can be rebuilt and repaired economically for 20-30 years. The resin can be purchased at a very reasonable price. Call a few local companies, see how much they would charge to rebed your system, you might find someone who can do it for a lot less. If you have municipal water, you will probably have some chlorine in the water. Be sure to get a good, high quality resin.
    So what size DLFC should I have? If you don't know, how can I find out? I'm handy alright (I installed this originally) and I can remove the head unit.

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    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Is there a top basket in the tank?

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    DIY Junior Member Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    Is there a top basket in the tank?
    I'm sure there is but it's 5 years since last peeked inside and I don't remember. I'll be checking as I need to check the depth of the media to see how much I've lost.

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    If it is a 9" diameter tank and the water temperature is 50 degrees, I would recommend for a 40% bed expansion rate about 2.5 GPM per Sq. Ft. Resin manufacturers recommend between a 25-50% bed expansion rate. According to my calculations you are hitting nearly 80% bed expansion at 50 degrees and 2.7 GPM DLFC.


    40% bed expansion would be closer to 1.1 to 1.3 GPM DLFC.
    4.5x4.5x3.14/144x2.5= 1.1 GPM backwash rate. Clack part# V3162-013 is a 1.3 GPM DLFC button.

    Sounds like you have the wrong flow control button installed, this will cause your resin loss.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    If it is a 9" diameter tank and the water temperature is 50 degrees, I would recommend for a 40% bed expansion rate about 2.5 GPM per Sq. Ft. Resin manufacturers recommend between a 25-50% bed expansion rate. According to my calculations you are hitting nearly 80% bed expansion at 50 degrees and 2.7 GPM DLFC.
    40% bed expansion would be closer to 1.1 to 1.3 GPM DLFC.
    4.5x4.5x3.14/144x2.5= 1.1 GPM backwash rate. Clack part# V3162-013 is a 1.3 GPM DLFC button.
    Sounds like you have the wrong flow control button installed, this will cause your resin loss.
    Thanks for that Ditto. I always suspected an incorrect DLFC right from the get-go but I got nowhere with the unit supplier as they claimed the DLFC installed was the right one. I'll check into getting the smaller one you mentioned.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    If it is a 9" diameter tank and the water temperature is 50 degrees, I would recommend for a 40% bed expansion rate about 2.5 GPM per Sq. Ft. Resin manufacturers recommend between a 25-50% bed expansion rate. According to my calculations you are hitting nearly 80% bed expansion at 50 degrees and 2.7 GPM DLFC.
    40% bed expansion would be closer to 1.1 to 1.3 GPM DLFC.
    4.5x4.5x3.14/144x2.5= 1.1 GPM backwash rate. Clack part# V3162-013 is a 1.3 GPM DLFC button.
    Sounds like you have the wrong flow control button installed, this will cause your resin loss.
    I just checked - it's a 9" dia tank and the DLFC rubber has "027" on it. I see the V3162-013 listed in my WS1 manual.

    I'm waiting for a call back from a plumber/softener installer to see if he can replace my resin. I'll ask if he has the new DLFC.

    Again - thanks Ditto.

  11. #11
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    My pleasure. The 9" tank has a generic listing for Clack 2.2 DLFC button, not a 2.7 Regardless, the water temperature must be considered especially in colder areas. A simple graph is what professionals use to determine the proper backwash rate. Name:  cgb_2.gif
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    assuming a 30-45% bed expansion and temperature estimating, you can see where your system would fall into the 1.1-1.4 GPM range. Certainly not 2.7 GPM.

    A top screen will usually hide incorrect backwash flow control sizing for a time, but the Clack top screen is not the most durable screen available and often fail if applied incorrectly. It is intended to be used to better distribute the incoming water for better flow dispersion, and to prevent the resin from escaping during backwash in case of a sudden and unexpected drop in water temperature. We have seen many of these screens fail when they are used as yours is.

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