BudgetWater.com — Part 2

So I loaded the new tank with 2 cubic feet of greensand (about 200 pounds), reinstalled the valve/controller and hooked up the greensand filter to my house plumbing.  All should be well.  I cycled the filter to clean the sand and make sure it worked before turning off the bypass valves.

Everything appeared to work correctly, so I thought I was done with this project.

A week later, when the unit regenerated again, I woke up to pink water!  What now?  This time there was no sand in the drain pipes, but it did not backflush correctly, or it used more permanganate than it was supposed to.  I temporarily solved the problem just by running water from the taps until it was no longer pink.

Next, I put the filter through another regeneration cycle, but this time, I watched it closely as it went through its stages.  I have a 2000 lumen flashlight which is bright enough to see through the tank.  During the first stage of regeneration, the water flows in reverse through the filter, down through the center pipe, through the screen on the bottom, and up through the sand to the drain pipe.  As I watched, the sand lifted all the way to the top of the tank!  A little more water pressure, and it would have washed out into the drain!  This was not right.

As I watched the next stages, I could see the permanganate being sucked out of the chemical tank, and into the top of the filter tank.  It took about 2 minutes for all the permanganate to be sucked into the filter, and then water continued to trickle through the filter for another 90 minutes.  But the flow rate was so slow, that there was still permangate left in the filter.  This also was not right.

It was time to investigate the control head and valves.  Luckily I had the manual with the parts list and drawings.

Again I put the filter on bypass, and removed the plugs which covered up the internal parts of the control head.  Comparing what I had with the parts list and drawings revealed that there was no flow controller for the backflush cycle installed in my control head.  This allowed too much water flow through the tank, and was the cause of the first failure where the sand got dumped into the drain!  So BudgetWater never installed the flow control.  These are calibrated to the tank size, so have to be chosen and installed when the control head and tank are put together.  Thanks BudgeWater for costing me another $400 for a new tank and sand.

While I was inspecting the control head, I also removed the jet which creates suction to pull permanganate from the chemical tank and meters rinse water.  It was very dirty, and the jet was almost plugged.  They are supposed to be color coded, but this was black.  I soaked it in Iron Out and discovered it was blue in color.  Blue is the jet size for a 10″ tank water softener.  The correct one for my system is much bigger.  So this was the cause of my pink water.  With the jet already too small, and then being plugged with some dirt, the tank never rinsed fully.  I ordered a new jet and a backflush flow controller from another company and installed them in my control head.

After everything was re-assembled, I put it back in service, and ran another regeneration cycle.  This time, I could see that the sand only rose in the tank a few inches leaving almost a foot between the top of the tank and the top of the sand.  Problem 1 is now solved.  During permanangate cycle,  all the permanganate flushed out fully with about 20 minutes to spare.  Problem 2 solved.

I think though that I will have to clean the jet every few months in an Iron Out bath.  The permanganate tends to plate the jet with manganese over time, and thats what plugged it up.

The bottom line is that BudgetWater’s incompetence caused me a lot more money and work than I was expecting because they did not set up my unit correctly before they shipped it.  I did not get any bargain.  In short, I cannot recommend them.  Find a local plumber who is experienced with greensand filters (many are not).


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