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Thread: Question about algae from broken water softener, also need help picking a new one

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member ArmorOfGod7's Avatar
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    Default Question about algae from broken water softener, also need help picking a new one

    Recently I had a guy come out to service our well equipment to see what was wrong with our water softener (it hadn't worked in close to a year). I don't remember his exact explanation, but basically, the gears/controls were busted, preventing it from running automatically. So, he showed me how to run it manually (turn it to backwash for 5 minutes, then draw/slow rinse for 30 minutes, then fast rinse/refill for 10 minutes). Here's a pic of the front:

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    I finally tried it the other day and everything seemed fine, water worked all night and most of the next day. However, the next night, my wife was getting a bath ready and a bunch of green algae looking stuff came out of the faucet, but after getting past that the water seemed fine. After that though, I noticed the toilets were flushing very weakly, and then not at all. I turned on a sink faucet and the water coming out was green. Then the pressure got really weak, almost to where no water was even coming through the line. Both showers, the kitchen sink, and the other bathroom sink seemed fine. On the sink with the problem, I removed the aerator from the end of the faucet and a bunch of green algae came pouring out. I ran the water for a while and more and more kept coming. It eventually got to the point where barely any was coming out. One of our bath tubs still has some coming through though.

    So, is this stuff bad for us? We don't drink the water, but we've been taking showers/baths. Is it just a matter of time before all of the algae gets cleared out of our pipes, or am I going to have to have a plumber come out to do something? Did I run it on each of those settings for the correct amount of time? The water seemed really salty the first day or 2, but since then it's definitely been softer. Should I continue to run it manually like that until I can replace it, or is that likely going to pump even more algae into our pipes?

    I'm trying to pick a new one but can't decide between GE and Whirlpool, which is the better brand?

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-40-000...0#.Uk3BdhBWJFO

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_416876-43353...ner&facetInfo=

    I know a lot of people say these brands are no good, but $500 is my limit, so one of these will have to do.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    I was wrong about the algae. Sorry.


    I would flush the system with chlorine bleach, much as you would shock treat a well.
    Last edited by Reach4; 10-03-2013 at 04:24 PM. Reason: Whoops. Guess I was wrong about the algae

  3. #3
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    GE and Whirlpool are the same equipment, just a different wrapping.

    It would be a good bet that getting a different valve and new 1 cubic resin could be done for under the 500 and you do the work your self.
    Just a thought.

  4. #4
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    I have opened water softener tanks and have seen several inches of green algae inside the tanks above the resin level. Opaque tanks are preferred for this reason, they are less likely to grow this stuff.

    The valve is probably a 155, the white gear on the fron with the black trigger arm was notorious for breaking a couple of teeth. If you look under the black arm you may see the broken teeth. If not, other gears internally can break. That system is due for an upgrade.

    As to which is better? Yugo GV or Yugo 145? Both are not worth buying. If you can do the installation yourself, a Fleck or Autotrol based system is the best value/quality you can get. Several companies sell them online for a reasonable price.

    I sent you a PM,

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    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    I have opened water softener tanks and have seen several inches of green algae inside the tanks above the resin level. Opaque tanks are preferred for this reason, they are less likely to grow this stuff.
    Thanks. I never considered that the tank was not opaque.

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