I added calcite to my water softner and it regenerates fine the first
time, but when it backwashes the next time, it blows all my calcite
out through the backwash tube. Even when the indicator is on
"conditioned water" H2O still flows from the backwash tube. I have to
then take the head off and clean out the calcite from inside the
autotrol device. The clock sees to run fine and the only problem that
I can see is calcite blocks open port 6 on my head.
When I add calcite to the tank, I just add the mineral, put the head
on and slowly turn the water back on. Is there another trick that I'm
missing, or is this a sign that the autotrol head is shot?
Assuming you've actually done this... you shouldn't have. But then if you
have, there is something wrong with the drain line flow control. Resin is
much lighter than normal acid neutralizing mineral. But there is one type
and I'm not familiar with it that is said to be lighter than the others, and
it might get blown out of a softener with a softener DLFC. Anyway.... If
you've taken the DLFC out of an Autotrol control, or broken off the end and
removed the ball, get another and control the flow to drain. Or you put too
much mineral in the tank. You should have about as much free board (space
above the media) as you do mineral in the tank; 30-50% freeboard. Did you
convert the control valve from a softener version to a heavy mineral
backwash filter version?
When you add mineral, put the control in backwash manually and fill the tank
slowly until the drain line is full of water, no air. Then cycle through its
various cycle positions manually so any trapped air escapes and stop in
backwash again and let it backwash until the drain water is clear of the
whitish color from the mineral dust. Then go into the rinse position and let
it run until it is clear.
Quality Water Associates
Bulletin board: www.qualitywaterassociates.com/phpBB2/
Thanks Gary. All I know is the tech guys have been recharging the
system for about 10 years and I thought they filled it to the top with
mineral. I did the same and it blew out through the autotrol. The
usually recommendation around here is one bag of calcite each year to
keep the pH neutral.
Also, what is a DLFC? My control has no shot glass or ball in it,
just a line in from the salt tank and a line out to backwash.
You actually have a salt tank! And put acid neutralizing mineral in the
resin tank ON TOP of the resin? .... or do you have a combination
filter/softener? That's where one media tank sits on top of another and the
two are connected as one. If not, I've never heard of adding AN mineral to a
softener, and I've been in this business for more than awhile now and I read
about new things all the time. The AN mineral is heavier than resin so it
would classify on the bottom of the tank with the resin on top, IF the resin
could make it up through the AN mineral, which is very questionable, and
IMO, not going to happen with even an oversized DLFC (drain line flow
control). DLFCs limit the gpm through the unit during backwash etc..
Softeners usually backwash at roughly 20-30% of the gpm flow rate of a heavy
mineral filter such as an AN filter; I.E. say 1.5-2.4 gpm compared to 5-7.0
gpm. Without a top basket to keep mineral/resin from getting out of the tank
during backwashing; such as your situation. And then, the filter will
backwash for up to twice+ as long as a softener. That's a lot of wear on
resin beads and corresponding loss of resin to friction wear; usually up to
5% per year is normal anyway. Settle rinse will also be as long and at the
same gpm. That's more wear but more important maybe, the resin won't be up
to the full capacity based on the salt dose used and then the extra RAW
water run through the bed during settle rinse. IMO, and I doubt I could find
any dealer but yours to disagree with me, this is not a good idea and is
totally wrong. Unless they are replacing the resin each year when they add
mineral under the new resin. Which is really dumb and just takes more of
your money than an AN filter would.
Quality Water Associates
Bulletin board: www.qualitywaterassociates/phpBB2/
I'm learning something new each day...This is my configuration: I have
a resin tank about 55-60" tall with an autotrol head on it and a 300
lb salt tub to the side. Raw water goes into the resin tank and
(supposedly) neutral, iron free water comes out. We have strict well
water laws here and the pH has to be 6.8 to 8, and iron has to be less
than 2 ppm. I had my treated water tested last week and it's 7.5 with
<1 ppm, so something is working right. The raw water tests at 5.5 and
As long as I had the resin tank, every shop around here recharges it
with AN the same way: pop the head off, dump 40-50lbs of calcite in
it, and do it all over next year.
The plumbing supply company that sells all these units claim it's no
big deal that the resin and AN get tossed together like a salad in the
same tank. One will catch the iron and the other will boost the pH.
They say they have sold hundreds and all my neighbors have similar
Rainsoft wanted to sell me two tanks - one for iron and another for
acid reduction at a low, low price of $3,300. The service guy said the
resin needs to be rebeded, etc. My contention is if I can add calcite
each year and the water quality is still good, why bother? This is
where I got into trouble with the autotrol blowing AN out through the
backwash tube. I filled it to the top, which may not have been a good
idea in hindsight. If I separate the system into two (use a tank for
iron, and another for pH) will this impede or help my water pressure?
The pressure at the pump is 55 pounds, but I don't know what it is at
the faucet, but seems to flow fine.
You mention an AN filter. Is that just a simple filter connection, or
would it be another tank with AN in it? If so, how long would the AN
last in such a tank?
From 10-15# of 1/4x1/8" gravel and resin yes, but 50# of fine mesh AN
mineral... I don't agree.
It's a separate filter with nothing but grvel underbed and AN mineral in it.
Until you'd add new mineral would be from 12 to 30 months depending on how
acidic your water is and how much water you use' plus what type on mineral
Quality Water Associates
Gary Slusser's Help Forum www.qualitywaterassociates/phpBB2/
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