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Thread: Australian seeking your assistances

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member viewer's Avatar
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    Default Australian seeking your assistances

    Hi,

    Firstly, hello all, and thank you for the mods in allowing my access.

    I have been reading your forum today, from a google link, in relation to Autrotrol units.

    I have not yet found what I was looking for in advice, or maybe have overlooked where my predicament was explained (more than likely)

    We have a water softener unit here, but do not know its brand, model number, manual etc.

    I am surmising that it is an Autotrol unit?

    I have supplied some pictures for possible identification purposes.

    The problem we are experiencing, is that the unit no longer supplies clear water to the household. We use this bore supply when our normal water tank ( rainwater) becomes low.

    The bore is very high in iron content ( which is evident in the photos and on the brine tank)

    Things I have noted are:

    * The timer indicator light does not indicate when power is on.
    * It is no longer cycling through its cleaning cycle
    * The brine tank fills with water to the top, and does not seem to reduce.

    Things I did today...
    * I cleaned the iron residue out of the visalage glass and cleaned the rubber type ball and seal
    * I emptied the brine tank, down to my new 1 x bag of salt softener
    * I manually turned the header panel to the backwash position. The unit started backwashing, but the red button dial just stayed in the same place all the time.
    * I advanced the red button to the next cycle, and so on, in each case backwash or rinse took place, but at no time did it draw from the brine tank.
    * I took the supply line apart at the brine tank, and whilst cycling the Autotrol manually, can see water being sent to the tank, coming out of the black line, or further down on the tank wand thing that goes to the bottom of the brine tank
    * It never sucked any water.


    I have no manual, so cannot use that to possibly troubleshoot, or show me other areas where I should look for places to clean things.
    I have read here about "flappes" etc, but don't know what they are?

    Any assistances you can give or point out to me ( maybe a link to a manual) would be greatly appreciated

    Thank you

    John
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  2. #2
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Oh boy, from the pictures you pretty much have a pi\le of junk there. Two things, you need to test the water and then buy the proper equipment. I suspect you have pretty high iron an your filter is a fine example of what high iron will do to a softener, especially if it is not regularly maintained.
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 09-12-2013 at 06:43 AM. Reason: typing on an Ipad sucks
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Oh boy, from the pictures you pretty much have a pipe of junk there. Two things, you need to test the water and then buy the proper equipment. I suspect you have pretty high iron an your filte is a fine example of what high iron will do to a softener, especially if it is to regularly maintained.
    The answer to his question is yes, it is an Autotrol valve.

    It looks like he has a brine line water leak where the line connects inside the brine tank or there wouldn't be rust everywhere. That will prevent the suction of brine in the slow rinse/brine draw cycle position. That will cause there to be no regeneration or salt use the high water level in the brine tank and iron fouled resin. That leak may be the only problem with the unit not sucking brine or there may be other causes like a blocked injector screen, injector, the passage between the screen and injector or the drain line flow control.

    John, mix a dry measure cup of Iron Out/Super IO in a couple gallons of warm water in a bucket and stir while adding water until all the IO is dissolved into it. Then disconnect the brine line form the brine tank and stick the brine line in the bucket and start a manual regeneration. When Backwash is done, let it get into brine draw and suck the solution into the resin tank for like 15 minutes and pull the plug on the control valve.

    Wait 15-30 minutes and reconnect the brine line in the brine tank, pour any remaining solution in the bucket into the water in the brine tank and plug in the control valve and let it finish the regeneration. I have never seen that fail to clean resin and the internals of a valve. Of course you have to fix the no brine draw problem first

    If no one posts a link to a manual for your valve, you should be able to find one on most sites selling Autotrol valves online.
    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. #4
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Still reading my posts are you LOL

    [Quote]: Australian seeking your assistances
    Hi,


    The problem we are experiencing, is that the unit no longer supplies clear water to the household. We use this bore supply when our normal water tank ( rainwater) becomes low.

    The bore is very high in iron content ( which is evident in the photos and on the brine tank)

    Things I have noted are:

    * The timer indicator light does not indicate when power is on.
    * It is no longer cycling through its cleaning cycle
    * The brine tank fills with water to the top, and does not seem to reduce.



    So, don't you think that before taking the time and spending the money to manually run iron out through the system he should probably figure out why there is no power to the timer?

    I will concede that if the timer issue is minor it may be worth his time to clean the resin, or at least try to clean it. Sometimes with high iron the reson gets so impacted that no amount of iron out will clean it and sure, run some through the valve but being an Autotrol with the flapper style valves theres a pretty good chance the whole thing needs to come apart and be rebuilt. Something that certainly can be done but may not be worth the time, effort and money. So, lets put it this way. If it were a customer of mine I would spend a very little bit of time and see what the electrical issue is first, but those things can rapidly start chewing up the hours and the money. I suspect and note the word suspect, that the valve isn't worth putting time and money into.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  5. #5
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    It is an Autotrol 155 w/ modified cam lobes. This is a very common control valve. Like Tom said, start with the electrical troubleshooting. Also, by the picture of the brine tank, it looks like you are not drawing the water out. To check for a brine leak, you simply put the system into brine/rinse and see if the clear air check empties of water before the brine tank does. (note: the brine tank will have an inch or two of water in the bottom still even when it is empty).

    Brine draw on this unit is through the injector, looking at the amount of iron/dirt etc, it is likely fouled up. Remove and clean the injector assembly. You may also want to replace the flapper set. I have linked the manual for you here. http://www.caitechnologies.com/image...ol_155-440.pdf.

    I dont have the link to the electronic protion of that control valve but I will look for it later.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member viewer's Avatar
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    Tom Sawyer, Gary Slusser and ditttohead...many thanks for your replies, as well as suggestions and the link to my downloaded manual.

    Before I progress on this, can it be determined, or even to bother with other fixes, if the unit will progress at all through its cycles, without any indication of power getting to the unit?

    If that is the case, then as suggested, the power issue will need to be sorted first, I guess.

    edit...found this...seems to indicate it will work manually?
    http://www.softenerparts.com/kb_results.asp?ID=120
    Last edited by viewer; 09-13-2013 at 03:57 AM. Reason: last bit

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