I was in stitches after the toilet joke, I appreciate the humor.
I have a GE profile model PNSF31Z01 water softener. I had it installed
in 1999. It regenerates almost daily and uses several 40 pound bags of salt
a month. I have read my owners manual and what I could find for diagnostics
(not much). I am attempting to get it to regenerate less frequently (at a
normal rate like when it was new, every two to 3 weeks), so that I can spend
less time loading it with salt (currently I have to add 40 to 80 pounds
weekly). I use less than the average household's amount of water.
This is what I understand so far. . .
10 inch diameter 35 inch tall cylinder A contains plastic resin beads
4 inch diameter 35 inch tall cylinder B contains a float switch
Plastic Tank contains both cylinders plus salt.
Control head tracks or controls time of day, scheduled time of day for
regeneration, total generations since last serviced (resetable to zero). I
programmed 14 grains per gallon hardness after having water tested and
asking village water department.
I unscrewed and carefully cleaned all the venturi parts, being careful to
put it back together correctly. I used a shop vac to remove excess water
and a light brown calcium looking slag from the bottom of the tank (below
this 1 inch of slag was clean white salt) and from the bottom of the float
and cylinder B.
1) Before I reload tank with 300 pounds of salt, I'd like to verify that I
shouldn't check anything else first. Any suggestions? I did careully
unscrew the water flow sensor and check it. This one centimeter by 5
millimeter long circuit chip (connected by 2 wires and a modular plug to the
control circuit board) had a rubberized tip that look normal. I gently
wiped it with a clean rag and put it back in. I have no idea how this
sensor knows how much water has been used. Someone explaining this to me
may aid me in diagnosing the problem.
2) If my overall cleaning doesn't slow the regenerations to once every 1500
gallons or about every three weeks, what would you check or replace next? I
can manually stop a reneration by pushing a "cancel regeneration" button
daily, but that will get old. I see no way to "schedule the regenerations";
they are purely tied to water usage. The control head counts from 000 to
199 for every gallon used (knowledge taught to me on this newsgroup based on
one toilet flush caused counter to cycle to 199 twice plus go back to about
60) and starts a regeneration after an undetermined fixed amount of water
usage. I will watch my house meter to track water usage between
regenerations, but it was about 66 gallons before the cleaning. I am hoping
the rapid frequency will be cured by the cleaning, but have no idea if the
accumulated calcium slag is the cause of the frequent regenerations. Has
anyone else had this experience?
3) I'm guessing during normal operation, village water from my home's water
meter flows into cylinder A, where the plastic resin beads trap minerals and
calcium and then allow the "softened water" to flow out of cylinder A to the
household appliances for use. Am I right?
4) During normal operation, where is it normal for water to be: In the
entire tank, or just inside cylinders A and B? Obvously, wherever water
gets and touches salt, a brine solution results, so I'm guessing water is
normally allowed everywhere inside the entire tank, and then the resulting
brine solution is somehow pulled inside cylinder A during regeneration to
clean the resin beads, then flushed to the floor drain. I'm guessing the
float switch controls how much water is allowed in the tank.
5) Is it normal for the brown calcium slag to accumulate over time at the
bottom of the tank and inside cylinder B (float) or is this just since the
last regeneration and would another regeneration have cleaned all this out
or should calcium only be inside the resin cylinder between regenerations?
6) For future knowledge, how often should I clean the venturi? It made it 6
years before becoming 75% blocked, so I'm guessing every three or 4 years.
The only other major parts are:
7) a position switch which I guess controls which way water is allowed to
flow (normal operation vs various stages of regeneration)
8) a valve motor which I'm guessing moves valves open or closed during
different stages of the regeneration
If I am wrong on this, please correct me.
My goal is to become knowledgable enough to properly service my own water
Thanks in advance,