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Thread: Water pressure problems

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member domesticengineer's Avatar
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    Default Water pressure problems

    Hi, we have a problem whenever a toilet is flushed while the sink or shower is turned on. The water pressure drops to almost nothing. This can be fixed by by-passing the water softener, which is a North Star, and I think is original to the house, so about 14 years old.

    From what we have read online, we think the resins may need replacing. Does this sound right? How hard is it to replace resins? My dh took the whole thing apart and cleaned it Saturday, and ran an iron/rust remover through it about three times, but nothing helped. We could see some of the resin beads stuck to the top of the lid of the resin tank, but it does look hard to get them all out and replace.

    With the age of this softener, is it worth it to do that ourselves or pay someone to do it, or should we just put the money toward a new softener?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Did dh clean the bottom basket? That is where the flow restrict is most likely to be. The resin beads fracture over time and the smaller broken pieces can clog the bottom basket especially if there is not gravel at the bottom.

    The resin beads can be replaced. I had my dealer rebed mine after 10 years of use.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member domesticengineer's Avatar
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    Thanks very much for your reply! Where is this bottom basket? From what I saw on Saturday, we have a big plastic tank that holds the salt...no basket at bottom of it, and then a (metal?) torpedo-shaped resin tank that sits inside the plastic salt tank.

  4. #4
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Considering the age and manufacture, I would lean toward replacing the unit. The resin beads fracture over time and migrate to the top of the resin bed. This layer of small irregular shaped beads is easily determined by removing the control valve and doing a core sample of the top of the resin bed. If the beads feel like mush and are easily broken between your fingers, the resin is gone. This is very common on chlorinated supplies and can happen is as little as a few months in commercial applications, and in a year or two in residential applications that are subject to high levels of chlorine. It is all dependent on how much water is used, the chlorine levels, and the type of resin. I would recommend a 10% crosslink resin on our next system.

    Let us know what you decide.

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    DIY Junior Member domesticengineer's Avatar
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    Thanks, Dittohead. I have been looking at Aquatell.com at the Fleck or Autotrol water softeners. These are much better than anything at Lowe's, yes? Our water hardness is 23. We have five in our family, 2.5 baths. So would we need the 60,000 or 80,000 grain water softener?

  6. #6
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Either Fleck or Autotrol will be great. The 80,00 would be a better fit for your application. It will give you a real world capacity of 60,000 grains. (80,000 is an industry standard number so systems can be compared, but actual capacity in the feild is much lower)

    Your hardness x number of people x 65 Gallons per person per day x 7 days between regeneration = approximate recommended capacity
    25x5x65x7=56,875

    What is your incoming pipe size and material?

    And the stuff at some of the Lowes (not the in-house brands, but the ones that are brought in from local vendors) can be very good. The little residential cabinet style units they have in the plumbing aisle is usually not recommended. You will find some Lowes have outside vendors displaying Fleck or Autotrol equipment.

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