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Water Softeners What to buy and why

 
 
DWC
 
Reply Wed 15 Mar, 2006 09:13 am
First I am third generation in the water treatment business. I personally have been in it for twenty-seven years and have dealt with everyones brand of filter and their business practices. The worst company I have the displeasure of experiencing is "RainSoft". On the other hand I love them because I have replaced more of their systems then anyone elses. They for the most part, way overcharge for their product and have a poor to non-existent service record. When their product (if properly applied) works fine, but if you have a problem they seem to disappear or way over charge for their service calls. First, If you are looking for water treatment that uses a backwashing valve which a water softener is, find a company that uses a "Fleck Valve". We have used them for fifty years and the parts that are used to repair the ones from fifty years ago are still used in todays units. They are the easiest to diagnose and service out of all the other brands on the market, and we have serviced them all. Second, find a company that is relatively small, they will generally service your unit much better then a large company due to the fact a large company has high overhead and needs to make a lot of sales to cover it so their service is severely limited. Third, make sure the company has been in business at least ten years, a multi-generational family business is preferable because in the water treatment business their are a lot of
"Fly by night" Companys. If you happen to have bought a Softener or other filter from a company that has gone out of business and it has a fleck valve you should be able to find someone else that will work on it.
If you have any other questions you can E-mail me at [email protected]
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 23,984 • Replies: 79
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H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Mar, 2006 10:21 am
DWC speaks the truth here Cool

The easiest way to repair/upgrade a RainSoft system is to install a FLECK control valve on the RS tank.
0 Replies
 
Montie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 May, 2006 03:46 pm
Fleck
H2O MAN,

You seem to know what your talking about. At least I get the feeling you know something about water softeners. I currently have a Culligan, 4 years old, and it has never worked. I have been looking at the following

Fleck 5600SE Electronic 3/4 Inch Meter On Demand Control Valve Water Softener 64000 Grain Capacity

http://www.ohiopurewaterco.com/shop/customer/home.php?cat=179

Would this be good, really good, great, or not recommended? Where would I buy this in Houston Texas?
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 May, 2006 05:16 pm
Re: Fleck
Montie wrote:
H2O MAN,
You seem to know what your talking about. At least I get the feeling you know something about water softeners. I currently have a Culligan, 4 years old, and it has never worked. I have been looking at the following

Fleck 5600SE Electronic 3/4 Inch Meter On Demand Control Valve Water Softener 64000 Grain Capacity

Would this be good, really good, great, or not recommended? Where would I buy this in Houston Texas?


That valve is OK and the 64K capacity is huge!

I happen to prefer the Metered Digital FLECK 2510SE control valve with 32K or 40-something-K capacity.
This valve gives better flow rates and is easier to service.

HTH ~
Montie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 May, 2006 06:54 am
What to buy
H2O MAN,

What to buy???

North Start < $1000
Echowater < $2100
Sears?

I have made the mistake in purchasing a Culligan ($3000) and it has never worked. I want soft water but would like to do it right this time.

What about this place?

http://www.ohiopurewaterco.com/shop/customer/home.php?cat=173
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 May, 2006 07:15 pm
The NorthStar system is excellent for the price.
It is made by Ecowater and shares many of the better Eco parts.
0 Replies
 
wolf6259
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Feb, 2007 07:41 pm
Hi H2O_Man

I have what seems to be the same Rainsoft unit as shown in photos by glarc25. My unit is 18 years old.

My question is how long should these units last?

We have well water with a very high iron content. For the last couple of years we've had the system running daily but now our water seems pretty bad. The unit seems to be operating fine mechanically, just not doing a good enough job anymore. We are a family of 5 and use a lot of water. I'm not sure if I should be looking at getting the unit fixed or replaced. It seems we are probably wasting a good bit of money for water and salt if we are regenerating daily.

I'd appreciate your advice. Thanks.

I'm new to this forum stuff, so I hope I find your reply.
0 Replies
 
Gary Slusser
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Mar, 2007 08:43 pm
Most 18 year old softeners will need new resin and to have the control valve rebuilt. If you have a day timer type control instead of a demand/metered type, you should replace the control.

I suggest that the Clack WS-1 is the best DIYer control there is. It is the easiest and fastest to repair when needed and has the lowest priced parts while is has the same one moving piece in the water stream piston seals and spacer design as the Fleck line of controls. The difference is that the seals and spacers all come out of the Clack as one piece while the Fleck design requires special control specific tools to take out a seal, then a spacer and repeat that until all 5-6 seals and 4-5 spacers are out. Then reverse the process to put the new ones in one at a time. The Clack requires a pair of channel lock pliers and maybe 15 minutes; the Flecks will take 40-60 minutes with the special tools for the specific model.
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Mar, 2007 09:05 pm
Gary Slusser wrote:
The Clack requires a pair of channel lock pliers and maybe 15 minutes; the Flecks will take 40-60 minutes with the special tools for the specific model.


40-60 minutes! Maybe with a coffee break and a chat with the client.
0 Replies
 
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Mar, 2007 09:10 pm
H20_MAN may have met his match in this DWC character. I sense a forthcoming showdown; a battle of the water softeners gods. It will be epic.

<H20_MAN jumps atop a nearby water softener, robe flapping in the breeze, and shouts, as he pumps his fist in the air, "IN THE END....THERE SHALL BE ONE!">
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Mar, 2007 09:54 pm
gustavratzenhofer wrote:
H20_MAN may have met his match in this DWC character. I sense a forthcoming showdown; a battle of the water softeners gods. It will be epic.

<H20_MAN>


So much for K.I.S.S.
0 Replies
 
Gary Slusser
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Mar, 2007 08:31 am
H2O_MAN wrote:
Gary Slusser wrote:
The Clack requires a pair of channel lock pliers and maybe 15 minutes; the Flecks will take 40-60 minutes with the special tools for the specific model.


40-60 minutes! Maybe with a coffee break and a chat with the client.


ummm no, no break or chatting for me, or running out to the van for stuff either. I am very thorough. I clean out the hole of any dirt or corrosion and pieces of seals and I use silicone and make sure all is back together correctly without binding etc. before I turn on their water, and then I check the operation.

So how long does it take you from the time you open your tool box and shut off their water until you turn it on after replacing the seals, spacers and piston in a Fleck 5600, 6600, 6700 or 1500, 2500 or 2510 (mechanical metered, day timer or SE makes no difference)?

A given is that the 56, 66 and 6700s will take less time than the horizontal piston 1500, 2500 and 2510s.
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Mar, 2007 08:59 am
I have honed my skills. Like you - I am very thorough. I clean out the bore of any dirt or corrosion and pieces of seals,
I use DOW 7 and make sure everything is reassembled correctly without binding etc… before I turn on the water.
I cycle the valve to confirm operation and check for leaks. Start to finish in less than 30 minutes.

Dirt, corrosion and pieces of seals are rarely found on my clients control valves.
I set them up correctly from the get go, keep them serviced and perform preventative maintenance as needed.
I service a 200 mile radius and try to avoid needless go backs.

Note: when I am called in to service another companies installation, or a DIY purchase/installation I do find more
problems and it does require more time and effort to bring these systems up to my personal standards.
0 Replies
 
Gary Slusser
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2007 08:22 am
So you and I have all this experience tearing apart and rebuilding Fleck valves.... I seem to take a bit longer or use a better quality watch but... I believe I have rebuilt older valves or been doing it longer. Those pieces of seals I mentioned, that happens when I tear the seal out of the hole with the dental pick seal puller. The seals grow fast after a few years, you haven't experienced/seen that yet?

But anyway... how long do you suppose it will take the DIYer replacing their seals and spacers in a Fleck control valve?

How difficult do you think they might say it was?

What do you do to make it easy or prevent grown fast seals so the spacers come out easier?
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2007 08:49 am
Gary Slusser wrote:
So you and I have all this experience tearing apart and rebuilding Fleck valves....
I seem to take a bit longer or use a better quality watch but... I believe I have rebuilt older valves or been doing it longer.


I don't know what experience you have …and I don't wear a watch …
I have two decades of experience with the much more complicated brass RainSoft valves.
By comparison, the Fleck valves are simple and easy for me to work on.


Simple plug-n-play repairs are ideal for the do it yourself and save folks, but internal
control valve repair (any control valve) is not suited to the do it yourself crowd.
Sure, some can do it - but most get in trouble and frustrated. Service and repair of
water treatment equipment is best left to the professional that makes house calls.
0 Replies
 
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2007 08:54 am
You guys have finally found each other.

<Gustav leaves quietly and closes door behind him>
0 Replies
 
Gary Slusser
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2007 08:42 pm
H2O_MAN wrote:
I don't know what experience you have …and I don't wear a watch …
I have two decades of experience with the much more complicated brass RainSoft valves.
By comparison, the Fleck valves are simple and easy for me to work on.


Simple plug-n-play repairs are ideal for the do it yourself and save folks, but internal
control valve repair (any control valve) is not suited to the do it yourself crowd.
Sure, some can do it - but most get in trouble and frustrated. Service and repair of
water treatment equipment is best left to the professional that makes house calls.


But they aren't easy for DIYers which is where I came in here...

I started in 1987 and have been selling and servicing Autotrol, Brunner, Clack, Erie and mostly Fleck controls along with older Culligan (a Fleck valve) and some Rain Soft valves but the last 37 months, mostly Clack.

I've done that as an independent dealer with two stints as an exclusive territory dealer; one with Autotrol and one with a company using proprietary valves from Fleck. The end of 2004 I shut down my local sales and service for water treatment and mid 2005 my well pump sales and service business.

Since mid Sept. 2003 I have sold water treatment equipment over the internet, to DIYers. My experience with DIYers is much different than yours, I do not have problems with DIYers and they don't have problems with the equipment they buy from me or in doing major seal and spacer repairs when neeed. But then they aren't buying the 2510 or 5600 valves...

Also, since Jan '97 I've been answering questions in usenet news groups and on web site forums about water treatment equipment and water quality problems.

So as Gustav says, here we are. BTW, I haven't worn a watch in like 35 years.
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2007 09:36 pm
Gary Slusser wrote:


So as Gustav says, here we are. BTW, I haven't worn a watch in like 35 years.

Cool


This happy forum is mostly a clearing house for dissatisfied RainSoft customers,
but I'm sure your experience and knowledge will be greatly appreciated here.

I wish you all the best with your internet sales.
0 Replies
 
Gary Slusser
 
  0  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2007 09:15 am
Thank you, and good luck to you with your Rain Soft valve replacements.

Question, recently I've had a few people ask me about replacing RS valves and I told them the (older) RS tanks didn't allow the o-ring on industry standard controls to seal properly because the o-ring is in the flat bottom of the control valve. So industry standard valves seal on the flat part of the tank neck, and (maybe just older) RS valves had an o-ring that went down into the neck hole at about a 45* angle. Is that true with RS tanks say less than ten years old or, when did they change their tank seal surface to standard instead of angled?
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2007 09:44 am
Gary Slusser wrote:
Thank you, and good luck to you with your Rain Soft valve replacements.


Thanks, I have over 3000 clients that I service locally with media rebedding, salt delivery, filter changes,
valve repair, upgrade valves etc… I also bring systems orphaned by the selling dealers up to speed.

The only RainSoft tanks I have problems with are the defective tanks that went out in 1999 and 2000.
These are painted light gray. The neck will develop a hairline crack, some had pin hole leaks in the shoulder area.
A classic BrainSoft moment letting these tanks leave the factory don't you think? ~
 

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