Apologies for a Repair/Replace question

Users who are viewing this thread

brain

New Member
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Iowa
I apologize in advance, and I have indeed searched and read the previous posts on the forum on this topic. I still, though, would love some opinions on our specific setup.

* 5 bath home, SE Iowa
* Well water, 20-23 grains hardness, 2.5 iron, 240 TDS. PH 7.2
* Existing Water Right ISP2-1354 softener, in good mechanical and electrical order. Not sure actual purchase date, but we seem to remember 2008 being listed in house listing.
* Valve repaired in 2016 ($450 service call, docs say "49 piston, time fill valve 3/8, 3/4 bypass")
* Recent hardness check shows softened water at 9 grains
* recently cleaned brine tank
* No IronOut, Citric Acis, or Res Clean procedures as yet

I was planning on buying new for this 16 year old unit. Came here to find recommendations, as online guides are pushing the Aquasure (which I read might be a China copy of a Fleck 5610 and wanted to see if that was a good idea or not. Saw the Fleck 5810 recommendations, and the Clack ones as well.

But, I noticed most new models are 2cuft, mine is 2.5, some comments in here suggest my unit uses a Fleck valve (49 piston search brings up Fleck units), and I see many comments in here about just replacing resin.

If the unit is worth keeping (for ease of repair, etc.), I would love recommendations on type/source of resin to buy to replace. If I should try Res Clean/etc., I can, but I assume 16 years for resin is somewhat end of useful life. If unit does not warrant keeping, suggestions are welcome on well water variant that can handle 2.5 iron (I know iron transfer is inefficient, but I'm not sure about installing a sep iron filter) and 5-6 baths (house is plumbed for 6)

Not that I was planning to buy from them per se, but Culligan came out and priced $5349 for a 9" resin tank installed (versus 13" now), FWIW.

I was previously seriously thinking about the Aquasure ($549+tax, free shipping to my door for the AS-HS64FM). I know the unit is no where near as good as the Fleck or Clack (or maybe even my current unit), but I've also seen comments in here that newer units (even Clack/Fleck are not as good as older units, and if I can get 8 years for a $550 unit and just replace then, maybe I should consider it.

For install/repair, I am comfortable doing the work, though happy to consider reasonable turnkey offer as well.

Jim
 

ditttohead

Water systems designer, R&D
Messages
6,091
Reaction score
456
Points
83
Location
Ontario California
The unit you inquired about is a cheap knockoff... do not waste money on it. Can you post a picture of your existing system.
 

brain

New Member
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Iowa
The unit you inquired about is a cheap knockoff... do not waste money on it. Can you post a picture of your existing system.
Yep, I saw numerous posts in here about that, which gave me pause and suggested I post my inquiry

Here's a pic of the existing system:

IMG_1398 (Large).JPG
 

brain

New Member
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Iowa
I'm assuming this unit must not have a Fleck valve, given the lack of responses. If so, I am assuming replacing the resin is not as good an option as replacing the unit with a new Fleck. I saw in a few previous "new softener" posts (like this one):


The Fleck 5800SXT listed as a good Fleck unit to buy, but I only see the 5600 SXT listed on this site: https://flecksystems.com and only if I search. If I use the menus at the top, it sends me to a 2510 unit. The 5600 only seems to go to 2.0cuft of resin, where our current unit is 2.5cu ft, though the 2510 does have 2.5cuft (140-2510SXT-250 unit), but it looks like it uses 10% cross link, and I am not sure if that's the type I need for iron removal, since it doesn't seem to say anything on the page about iron removal. Though our iron ppm is not horrible, I do need to remove some.
 

Bannerman

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,940
Reaction score
832
Points
113
Location
Ontario, Canada
The website you mention, regardless of the name, is not operated by Fleck. Fleck manufacture water treatment equipment components, but to my knowledge, do not offer pre-assembled softeners.

Fleck, similar to Clack, restrict access to newer control valve models such as 5800, from online only sellers that do not install the products they sell. Preference is given to installing dealers as they will be knowledgeable, trained and qualified to support and service the equipment they sell.

The 5600 control valve, is a several decades old design which continues to remain available to online only sellers. That valve has inherent limitations, particularly the 7 GPM maximum backwash flow rate, which is why Fleck suggest it is generally suitable for a water softener equipped with a maximum 12" tank diameter (usually 2ft3 media), or a filtration system equipped with a media tank not larger than 10" (1.5ft3 media).

There are repeated warnings on this forum, including from Ditttohead, cautioning against purchasing water treatment equipment from online only sellers. Selling on the internet is highly competitive so online only suppliers will often equip their systems with cheap (low quality) components obtained from a variety of off-shore sources, so as to offer a lower priced system compared to the next online only seller that offers a similar system with identical specifications. With many online sellers doing similarly, it's a race to offer lower quality.

Suggest obtaining any equipment from a water treatment professional in your area that also installs. Even if you are able to purchase only the equipment for a DIY install, local dealers will be less likely to equip their systems with cheap, unproven components since the failure of a component that was $0.50 less expensive, could result in significant additional expense for that dealer due to an in-warranty service call which will not be reimbursed by the component's off-shore manufacturer.

You didn't mention performing any additional ongoing maintenance due to the significant amount of iron your softener is exposed to. With 9 gpg hardness remaining in the softened water, it's likely the resin is iron fouled and may require replacement.

To eliminate the additional expense for a dedicated iron removal system, some homeowners with a relatively small amount of iron, will often choose to utilize a softener for iron removal. Since a softener is not an efficient iron removal method (each 1 ppm iron = 85 ppm (5 gpg) softening capacity), the usual recommendation will be to utilize a dedicated iron removal system, particularly where iron exceeds 1ppm.

I suspect your existing softener maybe equipped with a Fleck control valve which I expect is re-buildable at relatively low cost, but request additional photos showing the back, sides and the front with the cover removed so as to better identify the brand and specific model.

Edit to add: Softener efficiency is a matter of programming. When iron/manganese is removed by other methods, a softener may be programmed to operate much more efficiently by reducing the hardness setting which will reduce the regeneration frequency.

As the amount of brine needed each cycle is directly proportional to the amount of usable capacity to be regenerated, since many softeners are programmed incorrectly, often significant efficiencies will be realized by correct programming.
 
Last edited:

brain

New Member
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Iowa
Thanks for the response. I wondered about the fleck site, since it seemed a bit off, but since Clack had a web site: https://www.clackcorp.com/, I thought perhaps I was reading too much into the Fleck site I found.

I am working to get information on local dealer options. One offers Sterling, while another few offer Hellenbrand. According to forum search results, both appear to have Clack valves, which the forum seems to note is a good option.

I hadn't seen the warning against online-only sellers, though I was mainly searching for the specific product options, not purchase options. Local dealers do not sell DIY, so that's not an option (at least not so far in my research). I harbor no ill will (I sell service+product options to the public as well, and some people simply should not attempt a DIY install, and others don't seem to understand that if you DIY, you can't then use the company for free troubleshooting...). We have had mixed luck with local product installations, though, and I've never worked with any of the local companies that offer softeners. I thought buying a quality unit online and doing the install myself would be a nice compromise.

As the home purchase is recent, I have no understanding of the previous owners' routine maintenance on the unit, but I would agree most likely nothing was done. I figured the resin may have to be replaced, but I've never done that.

I'll try to provide some better pictures, the unit is packed into the utility room, making it a bit hard to access and get photos.

Jim
 

brain

New Member
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Iowa
Reaching out to local suppliers has not been going well...

I checked Hellenbrand's web site, and called both nearby distributors. After providing my specifics, the first quoted a 1.5cuft 48000 (grain?) unit for ~$3K and was emphatic he'd like to see an iron filter in use for the 2.5ppm iron (Iron Curtain?), while the other quoted an even smaller 1.0 cu ft system (both were ProMate 6.0 units) for $2.5K. When I asked the second company about an iron filter, they claimed there was no need with only 2.5ppm iron.

I am waiting on a quote from a third company that I believe offers Sterling.

I understand a Clack valve and good resin increase the expense, and these prices include Tax and installation and removal of the old unit, but I am surprised it the disparity in price.

I also am concerned that both firms want to install < 2.0cuft units in, where I remember on the forum here multiple people stating that they would not recommend anything less than 2.0cu ft. I'll have to go find some links, but that seems important.

The lack of consistency on iron filtering is also somewhat concerning. I was not opposed to a filter, but I did tell the first company that space is tight in the utility room, and I am not sure if another resin-sized tank will fit in the space remaining.

So, not sure if anyone is still watching this, but I am bit dispirited at present.

For those asking, here are some more pics.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1429 (Large).JPG
    IMG_1429 (Large).JPG
    74.5 KB · Views: 61
  • IMG_1430 (Large).JPG
    IMG_1430 (Large).JPG
    76.6 KB · Views: 61
  • IMG_1431 (Large).JPG
    IMG_1431 (Large).JPG
    78.8 KB · Views: 61
Last edited:
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks