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CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

Water softener - need to empry.

Long story short - water softener bought 5 or so years ago. After a couple years filled it with too much salt, got a salt dam, when I realized it I broke it up but I think I caused problems with crushing the salt when the damn was broken up. basically stopped working - it would go thru regeneration but salt levels never went down and the water was obviously not softened.

About 3 years later (now) I got a hand pump to get the water out and I need to find a way to get the salt out. It is a tall tank so I can't reach in and get near the bottom. I could try and add hot water to melt the salt but I think that is going to take a lot of water.

After I get the water/salt out I need to ensure it still works then decide how to treat the tank after not being used for roughly 3 years.

Softener is a Northstar softener...

Any suggestions for getting the salt out and testing the softener?
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
Have you tried turning it upside down to get the salt out?


Jim
Premium
join:2003-02-10
said by robbin:

Have you tried turning it upside down to get the salt out?

That's the first thing I thought of until I looked at the North Star site.

It may not have a separate brine tank.
--


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
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reply to CylonRed
Is this a softener with a separate brine tank? I'm guessing not.

Fill the brine tank halfway, or so, with water. Use a dowel or something similar to punch holes in the salt mound. Keep going back until it's dissolved or broken into manageable chunks. This may take a few days.

Otherwise, as already mentioned, just disconnect the whole thing and dump it, or take it outside where it's easier to deal with. If you don't have a bypass valve, you'll need to install one now.

If it hasn't worked in a while, you'll want to clean and inspect all the parts anyway.
--
USNG:
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rfhar
The World Sport, Played In Every Country
Premium
join:2001-03-26
Buicktown,Mi
reply to CylonRed
You may need to change the type of salt you are buying.
Buy the nuggets not solar salt.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
said by rfhar:

You may need to change the type of salt you are buying.
Buy the nuggets not solar salt.

I use solar salt in mine with no problems


pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
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reply to CylonRed
You probably still have a salt bridge if I had to guess.

I would add water to the brine tank, about 25% of it's capacity. After a few hours, the salt will be in solution. I would then let it regenerate and it will use the water+ brine solution. Repeat as needed, but if the brine tank is really full, it will take a long time to use up the salt.

After the cycle, see if the water is soft or you could even taste a drop of the discharge water during time when it is using the venturi to draw brine into the resin bed. If it is salty, the system is working. If not, I would look in the manual and see if it has instructions for cleaning the venturi. Often times this gets clogged.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to Jim
All in one and quite heavy...


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to rfhar
Didn't use Solar salt - just overfilled it.

quote:
You probably still have a salt bridge if I had to guess.
No - it is all at the bottom now.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain
Expand your moderator at work


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to CylonRed

Re: Water softener - need to empry.

Sucked out most of the water I realistically can - tempted to hook up the hot water heater (I would turn if all of the way down in the morning) to get enough water in the tank. Got at least 12 inches of salt at the bottom and a ring at least a half inch think a round the middle.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to CylonRed
So far - spent about 30 minutes hand scooping out salt by the cup full. Poured warm water in till it was about 3/4th of the way full. Tried to swirl the water around and emptied it again. Spent another 15 or so minutes till we got down to nuggets and salt 'sand'. I think the sand got into the parts that allow water in and out of the brine tank - basically blocked it off. It is very hard and dense..

Added more warm water - I think I still have another 2-2.5 inches of salt in the bottom of the brine tank.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to CylonRed
Almost done - finally found the tube that holds the float for the brine tank water level where the bottom had about 1.5 inches of salt silt. I believe this is also where the water comes in.

Hope to get the last of the salt in solution and get it out and go from there...
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3
reply to CylonRed
If you're using solar salt, that stuff at the bottom is probably dirt. Use the pellets from now on, they keep the insides of your softener much cleaner.


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
Nope - all nice white salt and no solar salt. All of the bits and pieces pounded to a powder from the bridge.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
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reply to CylonRed
said by CylonRed:

Any suggestions for getting the salt out and testing the softener?

Not sure how similar but ... I have a GE head on my softener. The instructions have a good troubleshooting rundown and complete description of the cam valve sequence and timing.

I've never had any major issues with mine but I have at times watched it cycle the valves to make sure they are all opening properly, and that I see or feel water flowing in and out where it's supposed to during that part of the operation.
--
USNG:
16TDN2870
Find your USNG coordinates:
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ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
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reply to CylonRed
said by CylonRed:

Nope - all nice white salt and no solar salt. All of the bits and pieces pounded to a powder from the bridge.

I agree the mined salt keeps the softener cleaner, but I had bridging problems with it as well. Even with a grid at the bottom. Why have a 350 lb. brine tank when you have to clear bridges all the time?

Now I use solar salt and I just rinse the dirt out of the brine tank once or twice a year when I do preventive maintenance. The excess salt goes in a bucket that I spread on the sidewalk when it gets icy.
--
USNG:
16TDN2870
Find your USNG coordinates:
USNGWeb


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to ArgMeMatey
I am hoping to see the water flow in and out - provided our power does not go out in the next 2 days.


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
My wife emptied out the last of the waster and salt. Started the brine fill and saw no water going in. Unplugged the softener and realized - I still had it on bypass. Took it off bypass and restarted the fill and water is going in.

hopefully be done filling in the next 15 minutes and hopefully see the level drop...
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain