Hague Watermax 63BAQ - 20 min brine/rinse is not enough?

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Sponsor1160

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My house came with Hague Watermax 63BAQ, the previous owner did not use it for several years. I washed the brine tank, loaded salt, and used the following settings from the manual:

#1 Salt Setting:

Backwash 1 (minutes)1
Brine/Rinse (minutes)20
Backwash 2 (minutes)3
Capacity–grains @ salt–lb
(grams @ salt–kg)
6,000 @ 1.1
(389 @ 0.5)

After running regeneration the water tasted extremely salty (and became normal after leaving the cold water faucet open for about 10 minutes).

I took apart and cleaned the injector and brine valve. Checked the drain and brine lines for blockage. The water pressure is 65 PSI, no excessive water in the brine tank. Same result.

Couldn't think of anything else and decided to set the Brine/Rinse cycle to 40 min instead of the recommended 20. That helped a lot but the water is still somewhat salty.

I suspect that adjusting the Brine/Rinse cycle to 60 min might resolve the problem, but I'm worried that this isn't a normal situation, suggesting there might be an underlying issue. It's strange that the recommended 20-minute setting isn't delivering satisfactory results.

Should I let it go or dig deeper? Thanks.
 
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kk0710

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Definitely increase the brine/rinse. Mine is just called BD(Brine Draw) in the settings and is set to 60 minutes. Once the the brine draw is complete the rest of the time is the slow rinse, which sounds like you aren't getting much if any of. In general your settings look funny to me, but my only experience is with my Pentair with a Fleck 5600 sxt. I have heard of two face backwash, but I have a 10 minute backwash, followed by 60 minute brine draw which does a slow rinse after the brine is all sucked up, then a rapid rinse for 10 minutes. I honestly don't see how your settings could work, but I am not a professional by any means and only speaking from my research and experience with my own softener. I don't have time right now but later I can look up your model and see what I can find for you but you should definitely have other settings on there and the ones you are showing look too low, at least the BD/SR phase.
Edit, where are you getting the recommended settings?

water-softener-bad-taste-wont-go-away-despite-numerous-v0-ngboewibd6mc1.png
 

Sponsor1160

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Hey, thank you for your input, I searched through forums and it does seem like 20 minutes is brine\rinse is short. I'm getting the recommended settings from the manual:

NONJUl4J1o.png
 

Bannerman

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To provide sufficient Slow Rinse time to fully rinse the resin, the Brine Draw/Slow Rinse setting will be typically 4X the amount of time to transfer the salt brine from the brine tank to the media tank.

For example, if the intended amount of brine is transferred from the brine tank in 15- minutes, then the correct BD/SR setting will be 60-minutes.

I'm not familiar with that specific softener, but the stated settings appear suspect.

6000 usable grains is not much capacity. Depending on the raw water hardness, water source (municipal or private well) and water consumption, the softener may likely require regeneration every day, which would not likely provide efficient operation.

Regenerating 6000 grains capacity with only 1.1 lbs salt equates to 5454 grains per lb which I expect would result in low quality soft water due to high hardness leakage through the resin bed.

The purpose of the 1st Backwash cycle is 1) to expand the resin, increasing the amount of space between the resin granules, 2) to rinse away eliminate any debris such as sand/silt trapped in the resin that may have entered, and 3) to reclassify the resin within the media tank. To provide sufficient time for those processes to occur, most softeners utilize a 10-minute initial BW setting.

The 2nd BW cycle will be mainly beneficial for the extremely low brine setting. With such a small amount of brine, the progressively weaker brine as it passes through the resin bed, will have insufficient strength remaining to regenerate much if any capacity in the depleted resin granules located near the bottom or top of the tank (depending whether down flow or up flow regeneration). The 2nd BW cycle will reclassify the already expanded resin, moving and mixing the heavily depleted resin with the fully regenerated resin so the overall resin capacity composition will be more consistent throughout the entire tank.
 
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Sponsor1160

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I found the issue! The air check valve was not operating, and it was sucking the air in during the brine\rinse cycle, which led to insufficient rinsing.

Bannerman's message made me think the resin might not be thoroughly rinsed. So almost by chance, I decided to look inside the brine tank during the brine\rinse cycle, and to my surprise I heard the gurgling noises coming from the air check valve. I took it out and lo and behold: the inside ball stuck because of a dislodged rubber gasket.

PXL_20240305_001102791.jpg

I cut the housing off, reseated the gasket, and used some zip ties to put it back together:

PXL_20240305_001551165.jpg PXL_20240305_003038990.jpg

After the default 20 min regeneration the water is not salty anymore. Thank you everyone for the help!
 

kk0710

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I found the issue! The air check valve was not operating, and it was sucking the air in during the brine\rinse cycle, which led to insufficient rinsing.

Bannerman's message made me think the resin might not be thoroughly rinsed. So almost by chance, I decided to look inside the brine tank during the brine\rinse cycle, and to my surprise I heard the gurgling noises coming from the air check valve. I took it out and lo and behold: the inside ball stuck because of a dislodged rubber gasket.

View attachment 97757

I cut the housing off, reseated the gasket, and used some zip ties to put it back together:

View attachment 97758 View attachment 97759

After the default 20 min regeneration the water is not salty anymore. Thank you everyone for the help!
I still find it very hard to believe that 20 minute regen is enough. Most tanks are at least 60. Mine takes nearly 15 minutes just to draw the brine and I have the lowest amount.
 

morrsha

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I still find it very hard to believe that 20 minute regen is enough. Most tanks are at least 60. Mine takes nearly 15 minutes just to draw the brine and I have the lowest amount.
I suspect the internal setup of the Hague has something to do with the lower cycle times. Currently working on one and have found that they are compartmented so that they can be an all in one solution for most water conditions. The screens that separate the compartments provide more even flow distribution (their literature) so that the water contacts more of the resin along the outer edges of the bed. I would imagine this leads to more efficient regenerations and rinsing since the column of water is moving along the whole surface front instead of having to rely on "mixing in" the outer edges.
 

morrsha

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I found the issue! The air check valve was not operating, and it was sucking the air in during the brine\rinse cycle, which led to insufficient rinsing.

Bannerman's message made me think the resin might not be thoroughly rinsed. So almost by chance, I decided to look inside the brine tank during the brine\rinse cycle, and to my surprise I heard the gurgling noises coming from the air check valve. I took it out and lo and behold: the inside ball stuck because of a dislodged rubber gasket.

View attachment 97757

I cut the housing off, reseated the gasket, and used some zip ties to put it back together:

View attachment 97758 View attachment 97759

After the default 20 min regeneration the water is not salty anymore. Thank you everyone for the help!
Sponsor, thanks for the info I have been having similar issues amongst a myriad of other things too deep for this thread. This is one thing that has not occurred to me to check on my unit. Currently refurbishing a 15 year old unit (things I enjoy) and have found that most of the o-rings and rubber seals are completely deformed or dry rotted. Sounds like you are handy, you may want to look over the valve assembly, end caps, and external connections to make sure nothing bad is coming.
 

Sponsor1160

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I suspect the internal setup of the Hague has something to do with the lower cycle times. Currently working on one and have found that they are compartmented so that they can be an all in one solution for most water conditions. The screens that separate the compartments provide more even flow distribution (their literature) so that the water contacts more of the resin along the outer edges of the bed. I would imagine this leads to more efficient regenerations and rinsing since the column of water is moving along the whole surface front instead of having to rely on "mixing in" the outer edges.

Hey, @morrsha, I agree with you. My findings suggest that this water softener is highly efficient, which is why the rinse time is so short. Three weeks after the fix, I can report that it works as intended: the water is soft and not salty.

you may want to look over the valve assembly, end caps, and external connections to make sure nothing bad is coming.

Thank you for the advice!
 
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