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Thread: F&W Salt water conditioner

  1. #16
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    The main gear pt# 13170 breaks off the first tooth or two. Some minor changes were made to the main gear to prevent this problem. I still stock a large number of main gears for this common repair. Once the tooth is broken, it will no longer key correctly to the brine cam gear and the gears will no longer mesh properly. This causes the system to lock up and can no longer be turned.

    This is a very common problem on older 5600 valves.
    I think it's a very common problem due to ham handed local dealers' techs, plumbers and well drillers twisting the knob 'til something breaks so they don't have to learn how to troubleshoot'n fix things... They get to try to sell new stuff that way. Many of those guys (plumbers'n drillers especially) always look for a bigger @#!!^*% hammer (BFH) when the one they usually beat things with doesn't git'er done.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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    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.

  2. #17
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Hmmmmmmmm so all those past service calls, where the valve has been in and working for months and even years before the gear broke are the fault of plumbers and well drillers. Yes indeed they found a way to weaken those gear teeth so that eventually they would break and then they could sell a whole new valve rather than replace the gear. Of course, theres no way a ham handed homeowner would go a twisting on the gear is there LOL Yup, makes a whole lotta sense. Well at least it does in Gary land. Or, is someone fishing again LOL

    Considering your disdain for the plumbing profession, it has always suprised me that Terry has put up with your vitreol. Then again, you do bring a certain amount of the comically surreal to the site
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 09-03-2013 at 09:03 AM.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  3. #18
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Wow, the valves main gear breaking is the plumbers fault. Amazing how the plumber did it without even being on site, ever.

    My knowledge of this part breaking stems from using this valve in the most difficult of commercial applications, with daily regenerations, lots of water use on chlorinated and chloramine supplies. The main gear breaks sometimes. This is not unheard of or rare. It is less common in residential applications. I am sure if someone were to simply call some of the major distributors, they would get the same answer from all of them. Yes, the main gear breaks sometimes.

    https://www.afwfilters.com/fleck-560...13170-422.html

    http://www.softenerparts.com/Gear_Ma..._p/3413170.htm
    Here is a little blurb from some online sellers of this gear, and they are fairly accurate. This is the only gear that we see break. All other gears on the 5600 are basically bulletproof. The gear was modified many years ago to prevent this problem. The first tooth would snap off causing the valve to jam since it would no longer key in the gear alignment and idler void. The missing tooth was rarely found, but the problem still remains a key part of my 5600 training sessions.

    Tom, I think you may have hit it, he is on a fishing expedition.

  4. #19
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Got a half dozen or so hanging in the stock room.

    Obviously, you know this problem well enough to stock the gear. Most of our dealers that service softeners keep a few on their truck. It takes about 2-3 minutes to change the gear out.

    Tom, do you use a flat blade screwdriver to pop a hole in the sticker, or do you remove the sticker and try to replace it with a new one?

    When I was in the field more, I would use an exacto and cut a nice hole out of the manual regeneration knob sticker Pt# 14207. Or I would be lazy and just pop a hole.

    FYI, anyone trying this, be aware, there are two ball bearings and springs behind the main gear that are easy to lose. I prefer to have the head laying face down when I replace the main gear to prevent these items from getting lost.

  5. #20
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    About 50/50 on the hole in the sticker LOL. The first time I tried replacing the gear I did it in place, dropped bearings and springs in the brine tank. Fished the springs out easily but had to methodically empty the brine tank for those damn balls. You learn from your mistakes LOL. I'd say that most of the gear replacement has been on commercial units but occasionally we get a residential one too. Maybe the ham handed owner cranked the knob, hard to tell because few will admit to doing so. I find the notion that plumbers and well drillers are sneaking around breaking main gears to be absurd at best especially when you'd have to have one pretty dumb owner not to question buying a new valve as opposed to a 25 dollar service call.

    Due to the ever growing problem with illiteracy and the inability of some folks to make the connection or my inability to be more consise I must clarify that the 25 dollars is for the part and does not (at least in my case) include the outrageous and unfounded gouging that we plumbers are notorious for. Labor is of course.........extra LOL
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 09-04-2013 at 07:11 AM.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  6. #21
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    LOL, in the brine tank, what a bummer. I was fortunate to get trained on the broken gear problem during my first week of training over 25 years ago. I have still lost my fair share of the springs and bearings, but I always kept a few extra on the service trucks. Since most of my work was commercial, that is where I saw the broken gear, but I have seena few residentially, including my dads house about 15 years ago. He has since been upgraded to a 5800LXT. I ave also seen a few on 4650, but these are the same powerhead, typically for hot water applications.

    Most of these were hard water complaints, and the control valve was never touched by the restaurant, hospital etc. They just simply break sometimes.

    The gear is cheap, and most distribution companies still stock tons of them, even thought the breakage problemn has slowed down considerably since most of the gears that are going to break, have broken by now. Either that, or the plumbers have learned how not to cheat their customers by intentianally breaking the gears in the middle of the night while they are driving around towns randomaly looking for 5600 valves.

  7. #22
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Is your father a ham handed plumber or well driller LOL
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  8. #23
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    That goes without saying since his 5600 main gear broke.

  9. #24
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Hmmmmmmmm so all those past service calls, where the valve has been in and working for months and even years before the gear broke are the fault of plumbers and well drillers. Yes indeed they found a way to weaken those gear teeth so that eventually they would break and then they could sell a whole new valve rather than replace the gear.
    Of course not silly (or were you into the adult beverages again, or attempting humor?), they, the techs, plumbers and drillers, did that when they got out to the house on a service call because it was easier than learning how to troubleshoot. Otherwise they would have known to replace the piston, seals and spacers and/or more likely the brine piston and/or the white salt dose cam. The majority of homeowners not wanting to break something wouldn't crank on the knob and they usually mentioned a hard turning knob when they called for service. With all the service you did you must have forgotten that.
    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.

  10. #25
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Of course not silly (or were you into the adult beverages again, or attempting humor?), they, the techs, plumbers and drillers, did that when they got out to the house on a service call because it was easier than learning how to troubleshoot. Otherwise they would have known to replace the piston, seals and spacers and/or more likely the brine piston and/or the white salt dose cam. The majority of homeowners not wanting to break something wouldn't crank on the knob and they usually mentioned a hard turning knob when they called for service. With all the service you did you must have forgotten that.

    And I'm the one consuming adult beverages LOL.

    So it's easier to break the gear and replace the whole valve ?

    But.... thanks, I haven't laughed this hard in quite awhile.
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 09-04-2013 at 04:21 AM.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  11. #26
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    No, you know, like you've said here in the not so distant past, it's more profitable to sell a new valve or whole softener.

    Also, again not in the to distant past here you said your service call was $100+ more than the $25 you mention in this thread.
    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.

  12. #27
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    the $ 25.00 is for the gear, labor is of course extra but.....show me where I said its more profitable to sell a new system than repair or replace a minor part.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  13. #28
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Oh, the $25 is the cost of the part huh.... then go back (your post #20) and correct the part in red below where you say the $25 is for the service call.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    About 50/50 on the hole in the sticker LOL. The first time I tried replacing the gear I did it in place, dropped bearings and springs in the brine tank. Fished the springs out easily but had to methodically empty the brine tank for those damn balls. You learn from your mistakes LOL. I'd say that most of the gear replacement has been on commercial units but occasionally we get a residential one too. Maybe the ham handed owner cranked the knob, hard to tell because few will admit to doing so. I find the notion that plumbers and well drillers are sneaking around breaking main gears to be absurd at best especially when you'd have to have one pretty dumb owner not to question buying a new valve as opposed to a 25 dollar service call.
    And it would help if you and your good buddy ditto kept your comments to residential unless commercial equipment is being asked about.
    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. #29
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Oh, the $25 is the cost of the part huh.... then go back (your post #20) and correct the part in red below where you say the $25 is for the service call.



    And it would help if you and your good buddy ditto kept your comments to residential unless commercial equipment is being asked about.
    This is fun LOL

    Ok, ya got me, I didn't clarify that part about the service call but, I also doubt that anyone thinks they can get a service technician to come out and do a service call for 25 bucks either.

    I get way more than a hundred bucks to show up on your door step too. As of today we're at $239.00 and hour.

    The only mention of commercial anything here was ditto saying that gear breakage is more common on commercial units than residential and me agreeing with him, which is true and also which though may not directly relate to the OP, is worth noting. You seem to have something against commercial water treatment. Did you have a bad experience early on LOL or are commercial installations beyond your scope of expertise? You got hang ups man, you need to take deep breaths and learn to relax before you get stroke LOL Go help the poor guy with his GE unit, you know all about them don't you?
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 09-04-2013 at 07:14 AM.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  15. #30
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Commercial applications are a better test for a systems durability than residential. A system can take an amazing beating in a commercial application compared to residential.

    Not relating to the original OP??? LOL, who drags these threads into 2-10 page discussions with their nonsensical attacks on every post by the guys who have true experience, licenses, and certifications?

    Anyway, back to the topic.

    Is the main gear unable to be moved at all? If so, tha main gear is probably broken (common problem) and is fairly easy to replace. Let us know if you need help with changing the main gear.

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