I bought my cottage 13 years ago. My cottage was built in the 1930's and after I bought it, I put on two additions, a new furnace, central air conditioning, a new well and changed over most all the electrical to a larger panel. It came with a Culligan Water Conditioner which worked awesome up til now. Well, in the past month, although it is going through all its cycles, it doesn't seem to be pulling the water through the salt/brine tank. I have not had to add any salt for a while now, which means it isn't working correctly. I absolutely need a water softener because I am on a well in an area with a lot of iron. So I also use the Diamond Red Out Water Softener.
Enter youtube. Yes, I result to youtube for many things. Music, simple living, homesteading, baking, canning, couponing and repairs. Youtube is a great place to get information. There is no doubt someone out there that has done already what I want to do or learn about. Love it.
Found a great video, the same Culligan Softener as mine, and it told how to change the venturi valve, which we were able to locate, pull out and clean. Plus, it explains how the whole softener process works. Now, I know about a lot of things, softeners not so much. It also talked about cleaning the brine tank, which I didn't do.
After cleaning the venturi valve, we waited a couple weeks to see if that was the issue. Nope. So, I broke down and called the Culligan man's phone number posted on the softener. He came out the next day. Of course, my softener is so old that he can no longer get parts for it, but he did say that it is running through its cycles and it could be one of two things. Clean the brine tank to see if that will help or get a new one. Well, a new one cost $1475. and a reconditioned one cost $1075.00. Neither of which are in my budget at this time. Not to mention, it is the holidays. I don't think my family wants a water softener for Christmas.
So, I decided to tackle cleaning the brine tank, by myself. Here is what it looks like.
The first photo shows the shovel in the tank. That is how I had to get the salt out of there, so I could unhook it, take it outside to dump and clean the outside out.
When I finally got down to the bottom, well close to the bottom, there was a 2 1/2 inch salt block, hard as a rock from over the years of use, caked in the bottom. Well no wonder, the water was unable to get into the float tube to regulate the water. I had to break it up with the shovel just to get it out of there.
So I cleaned it out, put it back together and low and behold, the whole system worked great. I will now make it a spring and fall cleaning chore (added to the list) to keep this softener working, while I add a new water softener line to my budget plan, for the future.
The Culligan man also told me to change the softener pellets I use. He said to go with a solar salt, the one in the blue bag and get a bottle of iron out. You add a cap full of iron out to every bag of salt you put in the brine tank and that should take care of my iron problem. I have two bags of salt left. Not sure if I am going to use them up first or just go get the other salt mentioned.
Anyhow, there was no service fee involved and I saved myself a lot of money by doing some maintenance with prayer to get the result I wanted. Now I will save for a new one, which hopefully won't happen for another 13 years.