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 water softeners
Author: Anonymous User

my water had tiny little particles of something coming out of it for a while. just the cold water had this stuff in it , could it be from my water softener?

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 Re: water softeners
Author: plumbfitter

Yes, it could be zeolite.

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 Re: water softeners
Author: Anonymous User

It could have been from your softner or just some buildup that broke loose.

Southern Plumber

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 Re: water softeners
Author: Anonymous User

Is that what that yellow/ornge stuff is called? I allways wondered

Southern Plumber

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 Re: water softeners
Author: plumbfitter

Yes.

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 Re: water softeners
Author: hj (AZ)

If it is golden and feels like ball bearings then it is from the softener, and you should immediately put the softener into bypass mode to prevent the Zeolite from plugging your faucets, and damaging the water heater.

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 Re: water softeners
Author: Anonymous User

If you have water softener resin beads "Zeolite" in your system you should immediately flush the system. The water heater should be flushed and the aerators removed from faucets and thoroughly flushed out. The water softener which has been "bypassed" can be repaired by a "water softening company", but most times (unless under warranty) should be replaced.

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 Re: water softeners
Author: Gary Slusser

Guys, zeolite is not the same as the ion exchange (plastic) resin used in the vast majority of water softeners today. It was the first ion exchange material and is a natural product. Today the zeolite used in water softeners is a man made crystaline material. The company that makes it has a parent/sister company manufacturing a brand of water softeners and it may be used in others but I don't know of any. Zeolite is used as a common term as tissues is for Kleenex unless you mean that company's product.

zeolite: Any one of a family of hydrous aluminum silicate minerals, whose molecules enclose cations of sodium, potassium, calcium, strontium, or barium, or a corresponding synthetic compound, used chiefly as molecular filters and ion-exchange agents.

resin: Any of numerous physically similar polymerized synthetics or chemically modified natural resins including thermoplastic materials such as polyvinyl, polystyrene, and polyethylene and thermosetting materials such as polyesters, epoxies, and silicones that are used with fillers, stabilizers, pigments, and other components to form plastics.

To use zeolite you need more of it than resin and it is much heavier than resin. It isn't damaged by chlorine as resin is. It tends to raise low pH waters but it won't raise them a great amount. It will cause more water to be used as compared to the same capacity resin based softener.

Without more info on the particules, no one can say what they are. Softening rResins come in many different colors from tan to golden orange to black.

Try to burn the particules. If they melt they probably are softener resin. If not drop some in vinegar and see if they dissolve. If so they are probably little balls of hard water scale. If neither and you have a zeolite based Water Right softener it may be zeolite if they are whitish or off white in color.

There is no reason to replace the softener that looses it's resin or some of it. The only cause of the 'resin' getting out is due to a broken distributor tube or DT basket. They cost less than any sandwich at your local fast food drive in. In may cases you can replace one without doing more than taking to old one out and putting the new one in if a very simple use of water pressure. Of course you may need to add some resin to the tank depending on how much was lost in the plumbing. The total cost if you had a water treatment dealer do the job would be less than a 1/4 of the cheapest softener you could buy anywhere.

Gary
Quality Water Associates

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 Re: water softeners
Author: hj (AZ)

SSince the distribution spider is under the gravel and resin bed, replacing it is not a "simple" job. The labor alone unless DIY'ed will make up the difference between repairing it and installing a new softer.

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 Re: water softeners
Author: Gary Slusser

hj, it would be better for all concerned if you asked me how it's done rather than to (repeatly) tell me it can't be done and that it costs too much.

I've been doing this and selling softeners for 15 years and have done it to at least a hundred softeners. BTW, the vast majority of softeners don't have a gravel underbed. So once the control is off the tank I can change a DT in less than 5 minutes. For those softeners (filters too) that have gravel, most water treatment dealers have a tool (or know how) to remove and replace a DT very quickly. Actually, if you have to take any resin out, you only have to take less than half of it out and leave the gravel in to start with. Obviously you don't have the tool or know how to do this. Usually it takes about an hour, including clean up, from the time I get there until I'm picking up the check and leaving. That's a service call plus a few bucks.

A DIYer can do it with a garden hose, a hose to 3/4" male NPT adapter and a 3/4" slip (socket) x female thread PVC 90 el and can have the DT out in 5 seconds once the control valve is off the tank (they screw off or come off by opening a retainer clamp ring). Then, without gravel, the new one back in in about the same time. Now if there is gravel add 3 to 4 minutes if you have a two tank type softener. Cabinet models are harder but with a wet/dry vac, no problem. BTW, this applies to zeolite based softeners too.

Gary
Quality Water Associates

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 Re: water softeners
Author: hj (AZ)

I know it can be done/ It is just that, unless the labor is done at a low rate, they have a fair amount invested in an old unit. It has no warranty on the rest of the unit, the timer or brine valve could fail next week with an additional cost. And once they make that investment in the unit, they are almost committed to repairing the next problem rather than waste this investment. They can buy a new softener with a demand based recharge cycle, and a new warranty, and have it installed for a nominal difference in cost. Ihave not "repaired" a softener since the 60's when the price of a softener was in the thosand dollar range and repairing was the more economical option.

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 Re: water softeners
Author: anonymous123 (TX)

I believe, after reading on the internet, that we have had a riser basket or distributor hose break because we found resin (orange beads) in our faucets. My husband is very handy at fixing things, so naturally he would attempt this as well. Do you have any tips on replacing this? Do we empty out all the resin first? How much resin do we replace? etc... We would appreciate any help or instruction to fix our water softener! Thank you.

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 Re: water softeners
Author: billcaz (AZ)

Gary, I'm new to this forum so I don't know how old your post is regarding repairing a water softener that has a resin leak. I have a resin leak and I would like to fix it.

I am a DIY and not afraid of tackling the water softener problem. I have a Kenmore cabinet type softener. I am interested in finding more information on how to go about fixing the leak. Thanks for your help.
Bill

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