Fleck 5600 Brine not Refilling

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JasonG2020

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My Fleck 5600 softener valve is acting up again. In the past, I've had to replace the thank valve because it got stuck in the spacers and broke. The symptom was continuous draining. This problem is a new one. The brine tank is completely emptied of water and I discovered yesterday that the softener puked out a substantial quantity of the softener resin through the drain hose into the street in front of my house. I swept it up as best as I could. But obviously, something else has gone off on the softener. I think it's some of the refill flow valving on the side that connects to the brine tank, as those components have not been serviced previously. Anyone have any insight into next steps?
 

Reach4

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Do you have a 5600 SXT (with an LCD screen)? Or is it a mechanical unit such as the Econominder.

How did that resin get into the drain line? One way would be that the distributor screen, at the bottom, failed, and the resin blew thru during fast rinse.

Another way would be that the DLFC did not limit the flow, and there was no top basket.

And a third way would be that the resin you saw at the street was not made of whole beads, but bits of beads that got washed out. That resin disintegration would be from long chlorine/chloramine exposure.

City water? How old is the resin?
 

JasonG2020

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It's the SXT, with the digital display.The resin is only a few years old. The original resin expanded, causing low flow, and we replaced with higher crosslinked resin. I don't recall whether there was a top basket, but there was definitely a bottom one one and gravel bedding as well. If the system didn't limit flow and the resin was pushed to top, what steps would be needed to remedy the issue? I noticed the rubber seals on various parts seem to swell and cause valves to seize. Is there a particular component that needs servicing? Since the brine tank isn't filling I'm guessing it's whichever parts controls the flow of water into the tank and the drain hose.
 

Reach4

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Brine tank not filling could be due to a clogged injector screen or injector , I think. The 5600SXT injector has two parts -- nozzle and throat.

However I would think that those would prevent brine from being drawn, but if no water is injected, there is nothing to draw.
Confirm these two settings:
VT = dF1b ; Downflw/, Single Backwash, black cam
CT = Fd ; Meter Delayed regen trigger

The deal is that during the BF cycle, you have water going to the drain. So it is not a clogged drain.
 

Bannerman

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original resin expanded, causing low flow,
What you describe is the common symptom of chlorine damaged resin. Chlorine will also degrade the seals surrounding the piston, which may cause the piston to seize. The position of the piston determines the path water is to take through the control valve, but if the seals have degraded, that may be preventing water to flow to the brine tank during the Brine Fill phase of regeneration.

Although seals, spacers, brine valve and a piston are components that normally require periodic replacement since they are wear items, from your description, it seems they maybe requiring replacement too often.

Suggest determining if your water supplier is utilizing chloramine as a disinfectant. Chloramine is a combination of chlorine + ammonia which many municipal water suppliers have been adopting since it has a longer effective lifespan within the distribution system. Unfortunately, chloramines will often degrade softener resin and soft plumbing components such as control valve seals more rapidly than plain chlorine.

Whether chloramine or plain chlorine, you wish to consider adding a backwashing carbon filtration system before the softener, to remove the chloramine/chlorine at point of entry, thereby extending the softener and fixtures lifespans while also removing those chemicals and other harmful compounds from the water your family consumes and bathes in.
 

JasonG2020

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What you describe is the common symptom of chlorine damaged resin. Chlorine will also degrade the seals surrounding the piston, which may cause the piston to seize. The position of the piston determines the path water is to take through the control valve, but if the seals have degraded, that may be preventing water to flow to the brine tank during the Brine Fill phase of regeneration.

Although seals, spacers, brine valve and a piston are components that normally require periodic replacement since they are wear items, from your description, it seems they maybe requiring replacement too often.

Suggest determining if your water supplier is utilizing chloramine as a disinfectant. Chloramine is a combination of chlorine + ammonia which many municipal water suppliers have been adopting since it has a longer effective lifespan within the distribution system. Unfortunately, chloramines will often degrade softener resin and soft plumbing components such as control valve seals more rapidly than plain chlorine.

Whether chloramine or plain chlorine, you wish to consider adding a backwashing carbon filtration system before the softener, to remove the chloramine/chlorine at point of entry, thereby extending the softener and fixtures lifespans while also removing those chemicals and other harmful compounds from the water your family consumes and bathes in.
Thanks for the advance. I think your diagnosis is correct, and I was able to confirm that Chloramine is used in our local water system. The parts for repair definitely get expensive when you're replacing them on a schedule. I'll look into the carbon filtration system.
 

Reach4

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A backwashing carbon filter will also need the media replaced after time also. Some number of years, but I cannot say how many.
 
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