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Does softener resin go bad?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by velvetfoot, Nov 6, 2009.

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  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I'm hoping its just a salt dome thing I don't think so.
    The water was soft for just a little while after last time it got un-soft.
    After another couple of regens, still not soft.
    Water from ground is barely hard anyway.. I think 7 total hardness, based on test strip.
    Unit is about 7 years old by now.
    Can/should the resin be rinsed out or re-charged, or something>
    Not sure what else it could be.
    Hopefully it'll 'stick' after another regen or two.

    Thanks.

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  2. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    It can go bad over time. Though it should be a gradual breakdown, not a working today, broken tomorrow thing. Things like high chlorine (unlikely with your well water) and high iron (possible) can speed up the demise. I have heard you can take a sample of the resin to some softner dealers and they can check the viability.
  3. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Corey.
    I'll try regenning some more and do some more research.
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Iron will bind to the beads and block the ion exchange. Clean the beads with a cupful of Super Iron Out every other time your brine tank gets low (once every 8 bags).

    Another common problem is channeling. What happens is water takes the path of least resistance which can form channels and so won't regenerate the entire bed. Raise your water pressure temporarily to do a manual regen and gently tap the side of the cylinder with the palm of your hand or a soft rubber mallet to help shake up the bed.

    Softeners without flow meters are usually programmed to only regenerate about half of the bed at a time to not waste salt. If you use more water than usual a manual regen between program cycles will regen the other half of the bed.

    In the end, the beads could very well have deteriorated to the point they need to be replaced. I had mine done after 11 years.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    A bright light can be held behind the cylinder and if the inside of it isn't badly iron stained, you should be able to see the beads "boiling" during a regen. If manually raising the pressure, watch that it doesn't "boil over" and carry beads down the drain.
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the tips.
    Just one more thing to mess around with I guess.
    Next time I think I won't put in as much salt in too.
  7. dgold

    dgold New Member

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    Resin beads should last for decades.

    For plumbing questions, I usually turn to Terry Love's plumbing forum. There are several professional plumbers who are usually eager to help out.

    HERE'S THE LINK for the water softener forum.

    Hope it helps.
  8. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, I'll check it out.
    I like www.plbg.com, but I've been pestering them about other stuff lately.

    On a side note, the water now checks out with the litmus paper to 0, but the water still doesn't feel soft.
    That's what happened the last time-the paper test failed shortly thereafter.
    We'll see how long this regen lasts.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Don't forget that if your hot water tank is full of hard water, It will take a long time before it all works through the system.
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    That's true, thanks.
  11. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Well, it's happening again.

    This time I've regen'ed twice with Super Iron Out and once again with nothing, and still no reduction in hardness (7 grains/gal).
    Salt is not bridged.

    Any suggestions? I have no idea how to test the workings of the thing, what to disconnect and observe, etc.
  12. MNBobcat

    MNBobcat Member

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    You probably need to recharge the resin. There is some stuff called Rezup (I think that's the name) that you use. Look at Home Depot. They carry the stuff. Just start reading the products they have for water softeners. You'll find it. It says its for recharging/refreshing the resin.
  13. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. I thought the Super Iron Out would have done that.
  14. prairiefire

    prairiefire Member

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    some softeners have a screen before the injector nozzle on the control head, usually close to where the line from the brine tank goes into the control head. you have to remove this and clean it periodically. it may be plugged not allowing full brine flow into the resin. mine usually plugs once or twice a year. good luck. if your pretreatment water is only 7 grains hardness i doubt that your resin bed is worn out. my softener is about 6 years old and my pretreatment water is usually between 56 and 61 grains hardness and it still makes the water soft. good luck
  15. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Ding ding ding. We have a winner.
    Actually I found this a couple of days ago with the assistance over the phone by a helpful Culligan man.
    There's a cover with three screws that you remove after shutting the water off.
    The screen wasn't clogged - I may actually have found this a couple of years ago and cleaned it - but the nozzle that it covers seemed to have been clogged with iron sludge. The nozzle has an O-ring on it and pulls out. I don't think I found that when I took it apart a couple of years ago.
    As time goes on I'll probably learn more about how the thing works..then forget it 'til the next time it screws up.

    Thanks again.
  16. prairiefire

    prairiefire Member

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    sweet what did i win :cheese: glad you found it, my screen usually plugs before the injector nozzle does but i generally clean them at the same time. last time i had mine apart the injector nozzle came out broken into two pieces. had to get a new one.
  17. freeburn

    freeburn Feeling the Heat

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    Sorry I didn't see this earlier, I had the same thing happen with mine, but it was brand new. Sediment wasn't cloggin the filter, but their are two fine jets inside the cover of where the brine rinse is pulled into the softener. It wasn't ever drawing the brine solution. Long story short, you take the first one out behind the plastic cover with two bolts on it. You unscrew it with a flathead screwdriver and make sure it's not plugged with something.

    If your resin bed is not clean, then your brine is not making it to the resin bed. Mine wasn't pulling the brine, and narrowed it down to that specific orfice. That was probably more confusing than help, but glad to hear you got it taken care of. Our water is a 21 hardness, with a tinge of iron, so we notice it quickly.
  18. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. I'm going to keep the salt level pretty low so I can make sure it's loose and then add a little Iron Out when I put back the salt, if that makes any sense.
    The water coming out of the ground on our land is half the hardness of the municipal water in our last place (from most wells, I believe). I didn't want to pay twice to treat the water so I never got a softener, but I should have because all the plumbing fixtures got crapped up.
  19. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I'm observing another manual regen and noticed that the slow brine wash is very quiet now, compared to before I cleaned out the nozzle.
    This is good thing, right?
    I can see a small amount of water going down the drain and the brine level is dropping slowly.
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