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Thread: New house came with a Rainsoft Water Softener and....

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    DIY Junior Member nate81's Avatar
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    Default New house came with a Rainsoft Water Softener and....

    I've been meaning to do this for quite some time now, I'm hoping someone here can tell me what I have and how to use it.

    We bought the house a little over 2 years ago and it it has a shallow bored well, the previous homeowner installed a water softerner and (what I think) is a whole house filter. She showed me how to dump some chemicals and salt in it and that was it. But thats not enough for me, I want to know what these tanks do and why I have them and what I need to do to maintain them. I hired the company that installed them to come out and show me what they were and how to use them but they literally sent out a mute and I had to beat him to death for answers and I literally learned nothing.

    On to what I have....I'm attaching photos because they speak 1,000 words....


    This is a picture of the cap of my well and the pressure tank, the tank is about a year old, the original one was rusted and shooting water everywhere, I installed this myself with zero prior experience. Hope its correct lol


    This is the view looking inside my little well house. (Here is another shot) I know the salt tank is on the far right (squareish one) and the two shorter tanks are where I dump the chemcials...which are pictured here

    This is a picture of a tank....i have no idea what this is used for.

    So the two short tanks each have a power cord coming off of them, and the water softener does as well...and this and this have a power cord as well, and i have no idea what this does either.


    Right now I have all the power cords unplugged and I'm bypassing this whole system completely, I'd like to get it back up and running and learn how to adjust the timers properly. Is there a water testing kit that I need? ANY and ALL help is very much appreciated!

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    1st of...wow, what a mess

    Do a raw water test.
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 08-13-2013 at 08:48 AM.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Junior Member nate81's Avatar
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    I included a picture in my original post....its caustic soda and aluminum sulfate i beleive.

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    DIY Junior Member nate81's Avatar
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    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    The first thing you need to do is get a water test for hardness, iron and pH at a minimium. One of the chemical injection pumps uses the castic soda to adjust the pH while the other uses aluminum sulfate to flocculate most likely iron. The tank to the left has an Erie control valve (most likely for pH adjustment) and the other is a RainSoft control valve. The flow switch is used to control the injection pumps. When water is used in the home, the flow switch turns on the pumps so the chemicals are injected into the retention tank and not the pressure tank.

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Mialynette, impressive!!! Not many people can recognise the old Erie valves like you did. What a pile that valve was. Erie 541... rebuild annually in comercial applications that had more than .5PPM chlorine...

    I especially liked the DLFC adjustment, and the "non replaceable" ceter rubber cup. This is 20+ years ago of course.

    Nate, please get an updated water test done. Do you know how old the equipment is?

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    DIY Junior Member nate81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mialynette2003 View Post
    The first thing you need to do is get a water test for hardness, iron and pH at a minimium. One of the chemical injection pumps uses the castic soda to adjust the pH while the other uses aluminum sulfate to flocculate most likely iron. The tank to the left has an Erie control valve (most likely for pH adjustment) and the other is a RainSoft control valve. The flow switch is used to control the injection pumps. When water is used in the home, the flow switch turns on the pumps so the chemicals are injected into the retention tank and not the pressure tank.


    I had the water tested for metals this past June at a local Leslie pool store...we filled our pool from the well and the water was very dark, i thought it was iron...they CLAIM there are no metals...i dont trust his word. I have a test kit for my pool, I can check the pH myself with that....I'd like to check the hardness and iron myself as well....Where can i get a high quality kit to do this?

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    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Hach makes good test kits. The 5B is for hardness and will cost around $30.00 with shipping. http://www.hach.com/product.detail-o...?id=7640219508. The problem is if you have a lot of iron, the 5B is very hard to read properly. Here is a simple iron test kit. http://www.hach.com/iron-color-cube-...91&callback=qs. post the results of your tests here and we can direct you on the best coarse of action. I have a friend that lives in Waxsaw and we (wife & I) visit often. Love the hills of NC

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    DIY Junior Member nate81's Avatar
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    Is there a way I can get the softener part up and running and simply bypass the other units for now? I mean i'm currently using none of it, so It can't hurt anything right?

    I'm in the capital county of NC, wake.....great area to live! We actually just visited the Great Smoky Mountains in TN and loved it Raleigh, NC has the benefits of being about 2 hours from the shore and 2-3 from the mountains! We frequently hit up the beach in the summer and go to the mountains in the fall for the colors!


    Using my pool test kit I found my kitchen sink water to be very 'basic'....the reading was so low i couldnt read the number. I tested for calcium hardness and i got 60ppm for that.

    I used the taylor k 2006 test kit
    Last edited by nate81; 08-13-2013 at 03:27 PM.

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    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Your test being old may not be very accurate. Walmart has Ph test kit for about $5.00. Low pH will corrode medal and cause problems removing iron. You can turn off the pumps by unplugging the flow switch. Have you tried a manual regen? Is it using salt? I sent you a PM.

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    DIY Junior Member nate81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate81 View Post


    Right now I have all the power cords unplugged and I'm bypassing this whole system completely, I'd like to get it back up and running and learn how to adjust the timers properly.

    Where was the post that someone helped me set up my control valve timers at? Everything got so diverted with testing and this and that....thanks for those that helped, but you still cannot deny there was some nonsensical, judgmental, bullshit going on in this thread. Hell, the very first reply was ...'first of all, WOW WHAT A MESS'...this is totally unnecessary and unbeneficial...i should have stopped right there.

    /thread

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Nate, no one can tell you how to set the softener control valve until they know fer sure how much iron, manganese, hardness is in the water ad what pH it is, plus how many people live in the house. I understand your feelings about being told to spend a few hundred dollars on testing.

    BTW, filling the pool with treated water is a very bad idea because the equipment isn't sized to do that.

    Mialynette has helped you from right after first responder ignorant Tom made the totally uncalled for comment "What a mess". You have a very good system for what water quality you have. Iron can come and go, especially if you have IRB (iron reducing bacteria). That 5 pH is a serious problem and will be eating any metal while adding that metal to your water. It will cause pinhole leaks in copper tubing because it eats the inside surface of the tubing.

    You are wanting the easy way out of treating your water so you don't like the idea of using the present equipment. An acid neutralizing filter sounds good until you have to add mineral to it much more frequently than maybe the dealer expected. Or, it doesn't correct the problem and what do you do then, there is no adjustment on them, you dump the mineral and add new stronger mineral. Your solution feeders and retention tank can adjust the pH. And if this guy that's selling you new equipment hasn't told you that, shame on him but you get to live with the problem and he is not going to remove his AN filter and give you a refund. Good luck.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Nate, no one can tell you how to set the softener control valve until they know fer sure how much iron, manganese, hardness is in the water ad what pH it is, plus how many people live in the house. I understand your feelings about being told to spend a few hundred dollars on testing.

    BTW, filling the pool with treated water is a very bad idea because the equipment isn't sized to do that.

    Mialynette has helped you from right after first responder ignorant Tom made the totally uncalled for comment "What a mess". You have a very good system for what water quality you have. Iron can come and go, especially if you have IRB (iron reducing bacteria). That 5 pH is a serious problem and will be eating any metal while adding that metal to your water. It will cause pinhole leaks in copper tubing because it eats the inside surface of the tubing.

    You are wanting the easy way out of treating your water so you don't like the idea of using the present equipment. An acid neutralizing filter sounds good until you have to add mineral to it much more frequently than maybe the dealer expected. Or, it doesn't correct the problem and what do you do then, there is no adjustment on them, you dump the mineral and add new stronger mineral. Your solution feeders and retention tank can adjust the pH. And if this guy that's selling you new equipment hasn't told you that, shame on him but you get to live with the problem and he is not going to remove his AN filter and give you a refund. Good luck.
    So in your "learned" opinion, the piping is just fine and my comment was "uncalled for" Maybe you are right. I should have softened my critique some. How about " it appears as though a 4th grader piped the equipment. He should get a high five or a trophy for his efforts" LOL

    And we wonder whats wrong with people these days
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate81 View Post
    Where was the post that someone helped me set up my control valve timers at? Everything got so diverted with testing and this and that....thanks for those that helped, but you still cannot deny there was some nonsensical, judgmental, bullshit going on in this thread. Hell, the very first reply was ...'first of all, WOW WHAT A MESS'...this is totally unnecessary and unbeneficial...i should have stopped right there.

    /thread
    I stand by my post. It is a mess and your 1st order of business should be to tear the mess out and start over again. This time pipe it correctly so it doesnt look like someone threw a pile of sphagetti at the wall. Right there is the difference between professional advice and advice given by someone living in a motor home that has never held a plumbing or water treatment license of any kind in his life. Aside from that though, EVERYONE here posted the advice you NEED to follow and thats to get a valid water test done. Otherwise just twist the dials and punch the buttons and maybe you will come close enough. Just like the MESS in your well house. CLOSE ENOUGH LOL
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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