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Thread: Repair of replace advice

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member rfreda's Avatar
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    Default Repair of replace advice

    I've got an Electrasoft water softener that is 20 years old. Was problem free other than the valve was replaced/rebuilt a few years ago, the tech said the valve blew. It regenerates based on actual usage, not a scheduled timer. It's using more salt as the resin must be depleted after all this time.

    I'm trying to decide whether this unit is good enough quality to just replace the resin and hope it holds out another ten years, or just replace it. I've been reading on these threads the brands of valves to look for and I don't know what's on this one and whether its proprietary to the company selling them, Suburban Morris. They are currently offering a trade-in deal, the link is below.

    Can I please get some opinions on whether or not I should just upgrade now or service a 20 year old unit.

    Thanks.

    http://http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/9/prweb11066910.htm

  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member rfreda's Avatar
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    more info after some research. I think it's a Fleck control valve as it looks very similar to this Model 2510 -

    http://www.hydrotechwater.com/PDF/Ma...eck%202510.pdf

    Also to clarify the prior repair I believe they said the piston blew.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    The valve can be rebuilt and the resin can be replaced. If you are somewhat handy its stuff that you can do yourself. If you do have a Fleck 2510 valve the parts are available online to rebuild it. It is a very good and solid valve.
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 09-30-2013 at 05:47 AM.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  4. #4
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    A valve that is 20 years old and looks like a 2510 probably is a brass 2500. It uses the same parts as a 2510 because the 2510 is the newer Noryl (plastic) version needed to comply with the EPA Lead Rule of years ago.

    The valves in the picture of softeners in the link to that company are Clack valves.
    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.

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Actually, the Fleck brass valves all comply with the low lead rules and have for many years. The Noryl version was to help lower cost while still maintaining the excellent design of the 2500 series controll valves. And the Noryl valves do not have long term issues with certain waters that can damage brass over time. They changed their brass in 2000 to a low porosity lead free brass, and many years before that, they were already lead free certtified by NSF44.

  6. #6
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Actually, the Fleck brass valves all comply with the low lead rules and have for many years. The Noryl version was to help lower cost while still maintaining the excellent design of the 2500 series controll valves. And the Noryl valves do not have long term issues with certain waters that can damage brass over time. They changed their brass in 2000 to a low porosity lead free brass, and many years before that, they were already lead free certtified by NSF44.

    Yep and since you can get every part to rebuild it, I certainly would. I would also be pretty suspect of the technician that wants him to buy a brand new one.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member rfreda's Avatar
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    Don't think this is something I'd tackle myself. I don't believe the valve needs to be rebuilt now after the last repair, it seems to be working fine and I'm just using more salt. Believe the quote was $300 or so to replace the resin.

    The tech didn't outright say to buy a new one, but gave me that look like "why would you want to spend that on an old unit" and suggested that this one was near the end of its useful life. I"ll take a pic of the valve and put it up here so we can identify what I have.

    Thanks guys.

  8. #8
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    dittohead.... the old brass valves did not meet the newer EPA Lead Rules, that's why Fleck changed the brass lead content in all their brass valves; as you say in 2000. Now if you disagree with that, prove your claim or at least give a reason for Fleck to redo the brass lead content/formula in all their brass valves. Also, I'm sure you know that Fleck doesn't market any brass valve for residential use. Neither does any other valve manufacturer.

    rfreda, many dealers pay their 'techs' a commission when they sell customers something like a new softener. Maybe on rebuilding one too but that earns them less commission ya see. It's also harder or can take more time for the tech to repair a valve and replace media than installing a new softener. There may be a bonus paid to the tech that sells the most softeners over a set time period; maybe monthly.

    A pic of the valve would be nice, and while I'm here, what do you think is causing your softener to use more salt?
    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 Junior Member rfreda's Avatar
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    Gary, I don't pretend to know what I'm talking about on this subject, but I was under the impression that if the resin was used up/depleted you don't get the same ion exchange, making the unit regenerate more than it otherwise would. If that's wrong, please let me know. I know I'm definitely using more, even though part of it is having two teenagers taking at least one shower a day.

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Lead content aside, I suspect most companies have gone to as much plastic as possible because of cost and not just plastic V brass. Theres a lot of machining operations involved with brass that are more costly to perform than on plastic.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  11. #11
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com...s%20Change.pdf

    Sometimes this is just too easy.

    May 2000, the lead free brass valve bodies were changed to less porous brass. There was an obvious difference to those of us who actually stocked, serviced, and maintained these systems. The older brass bodies has certain difficulties under certain water conditions that was nearly eliminated with this new brass formulation.

    Do you know the new standards for January 2014? They basically emulate California AB1953 and Vermonts S152 laws. http://www.pentairaqua.com/pro/en-US/news/release/15/

    Fleck does not sell Plastic valves because of lead free compliance issues, they sell them because plastics make an excellent quality alternative to brass in many applications. Smaller valves, and many larger valves have been made with plastics for decades.

    And lastly, what is the difference between a commercial and residential valve from Fleck? I would suggest going to the source. I see the 4650 and the 9000 in the "residential" section. Hmmm.. lol. http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com...ControlValves/

  12. #12
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfreda View Post
    Gary, I don't pretend to know what I'm talking about on this subject, but I was under the impression that if the resin was used up/depleted you don't get the same ion exchange, making the unit regenerate more than it otherwise would. If that's wrong, please let me know. I know I'm definitely using more, even though part of it is having two teenagers taking at least one shower a day.
    Yes resin can wear out and over time beads break and pieces are backwashed out reducing the volume of resin in the tank. Resin can also be fouled with iron, sediment etc. and that too reduces the volume of useable resin. The symptom of that is getting hard water through the softener before the next regeneration. Using more water than had been used over time can cause that, as low salt or running out of salt can also. So jumping to the conclusion that the problem must be the resin may be wrong. If you've lost capacity, then you would have to change the regeneration schedule to fewer gallons or days between regenerations, that doesn't happen automatically.

    You could have something wrong with the seals and piston in the control valve too. Or a leaking distributor tube o-ring allowing hard water through the softener.

    The softener may be too small for the amount of water being used and reprogramming the salt dose to get more K of capacity and shortening the regen schedule may be all that;'s needed.

    Other choices are... if you aren't handy or simply don't want to rebuild the valve, hire it done or buy a new softener online and install it yourself, or hire someone to do the install or buy from a local dealer and have them install it.
    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.

  13. #13
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    That bulletin seems to prove my statement and that Fleck voluntarily went to "Lead Free" brass in 2000, as defined as far back as 1986.

    From the EPA epa815p13001.pdf.
    Please direct comments or questions regarding the FAQs to: LeadFreeAct@epa.gov by June 21, 2013.
    SDWA Section 1417 Since 1986, the Safe Drinking Water Act has prohibited the use of certain items that are not lead free and since 1996 the Act has made it unlawful for anyone to introduce into commerce items that are not lead free.
    Use Prohibition Section 1417(a)(1) prohibits the “use of any pipe, any pipe or plumbing fitting or fixture, any solder, or any flux, after June 1986, in the installation or repair of (i) any public water system; or (ii) any plumbing in a residential or non-residential facility providing water for human consumption, that is not lead free” as defined in Section 1417(d). Prior to the 2011 Amendments, the only exception to this prohibition is for “leaded joints necessary for the repair of cast iron pipes.”

    "Lead Free" does not mean no (0) lead content. The new revised EPA LCR reduces the volume of acceptable lead content (by weight) in brass used on potable water from (previously) "lead free" 8% to 0.25% (by averaged weight). All your "porous" brass valves previously complied for "lead free" at =< 8% by weight before the new rule which finally reduces it to .25% by averaged weight in 2014.


    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    May 2000, the lead free brass valve bodies were changed to less porous brass. There was an obvious difference to those of us who actually stocked, serviced, and maintained these systems. The older brass bodies has certain difficulties under certain water conditions that was nearly eliminated with this new brass formulation.
    Back then, from 1989 to 2006, I too stocked, sold, installed and serviced brass Fleck valves.

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Do you know the new standards for January 2014? They basically emulate California AB1953 and Vermonts S152 laws. http://www.pentairaqua.com/pro/en-US/news/release/15/

    Fleck does not sell Plastic valves because of lead free compliance issues, they sell them because plastics make an excellent quality alternative to brass in many applications. Smaller valves, and many larger valves have been made with plastics for decades.
    See above. Actually it is being done by the EPA.

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    And lastly, what is the difference between a commercial and residential valve from Fleck? I would suggest going to the source. I see the 4650 and the 9000 in the "residential" section. Hmmm.. lol. http://www.pentairwatertreatment.com...ControlValves/
    From that link where Pentair/Fleck also differentiates their valves into residential and commercial... For one thing I see the NSF Certification is different but the question should be why 'they' differentiate between them because as we see, they do. I would think someone like you should know that.

    The date of the Fleck letter was sometime in 2009.

    ***************
    The following products have been certified to Annex G, NSF/ANSI 61 as of the date of this letter:
    Fleck Residential (also NSF 44 certified)
    2510, ProFloSXT (5000), 5600, 5600SXT, 6700XTR, 7000SXT, 9000, 9100

    Fleck Commercial (also NSF 61 certified)
    2750, 2850, 2850S, 2900S, 3150, 3900, 9500
    ****************
    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
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    LOL, you have no clue.

    Did you even read the bulletin from 2000? "they remain lead free..." this designation was set by the EPA and certified at the time to meet these standards according to the definition. The definition was poorly understood and explained, since lead free could conatin up to 8% lead. There was actually a lot more to it than just that, but that would take too long to go into here and would only drag this post out longer than it already is.

    The definition of "lead free" has changed significantly over the years and considering I am a faucet manufacturer who has to directly work with NSF for the lead free designation, I am quite sure I know the rules, laws, certifications etc a little better than most.

    And... why would you even care, you hate any governmental regulations of any kind.

  15. #15
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    "since lead free could conatin up to 8% lead"..... by weight. Now the suggested .25% by weight is going to be actual and enforced next year.
    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.

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