Why is my water softener squealing and shaking?

Reply Sun 26 Jun, 2011 12:09 am
We just bought a house that has a Rainsoft Silver. About a week after we moved in, the short run of pipe between the water meter and the water softener started squealing and shaking badly whenever there is a big draw of water. It doesn't do it when you just run a faucet, but flushing a toilet or running a shower seems to trigger the symptom.

I figured out that if you close down partially on the main water cutoff, the shaking and squealing stops. Then you can open the main water cutoff all of the way back open and finish the shower or toilet refill without any noise or shaking at all.

I'm also pretty sure that it's related to the rain softener because if you turn the bypass valve to bypass the shaking and squealing stops.

Two other clues:
1) It almost sounds like the bypass valve is sucking or blowing air when there is shaking in that area. The reason I say that it that it sounds almost like a whistle in this area.
2) Not sure if this is related or not, but the brine tank got really low or ran out of salt right around this time. It was really dirty with some silt build up, so I took it outside and cleaned it out well with a hose and scrub brush. I refilled it with salt and have manually regenerated twice in the last 24 hours. The regeneration process seems to be working fine.

Does anyone have any ideas on what may be causing this? Thank you in advance for your advice.
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Reply Mon 27 Jun, 2011 09:09 am
Here is a video of the symptom


I would really appreciate any advice or ideas anyone can provide.
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Reply Mon 27 Jun, 2011 11:24 am
It looks like you are on a municipal water system and it appears that you have a pressure regulator.

If this is the case I would contact the water supplier or a plumber to make sure the regulator is functioning properly.
NOTE: the regulator is always positioned ahead of water treatment systems, never after and you need a minimum steady pressure of 60psi.

I hope that helps.
Reply Mon 27 Jun, 2011 07:51 pm
thanks. I checked the PRV and the locknut was actually loose. I moved the set screw out (reduce pressure) and then locked it down. It seems to have helped - I'll check again when I take a shower in the AM.
Reply Tue 28 Jun, 2011 01:54 pm
No sound or vibration in the AM either - hopefully this solved the problem.
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