Brownish/Yellow Water

Q and A

Brownish/Yellow Water

Postby Agreene » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:16 am

Hello Gary. I finished installing my Clack WS-1 water softener system a few days ago, but I'm noticing browninsh/yellow water coming through the interior plumbing. The brown will eventually clear after about 5 minutes of leaving the faucets running, but will re-appear the next day. During the installation, I backwashed before filling the resin tank with water and allowed the colored water to drain completely before putting the unit into service.

Here are my settings:
Capacity: 49K
Salt Dose: 17.5lbs
P Number:20
Hardness:20gpg
Regeneration: Day 8

Thank you.
Adam
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Re: Brownish/Yellow Water

Postby Gary Slusser » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:12 am

Agreene wrote:I'm noticing browninsh/yellow water coming through the interior plumbing.

The brown will eventually clear after about 5 minutes of leaving the faucets running, but will re-appear the next day.

I backwashed before filling the resin tank with water and allowed the colored water to drain completely before putting the unit into service.

Is your water usually brownish/yellow?

How many faucets are you running for 5 minutes?

How did you backwash before filling the tank with water? How long did you do that?

Does this happen every day, only on Tues. or only during a full moon etc.?

How much iron is in your water?

Did you use any galvanized to install the unit? Is there any galvanized in the plumbing from the well to the faucets?

Where in the house are you seeing this?

Is it in both the cold and hot, just the cold, just the hot?

Is it at a tub?

Did this happen as soon as you installed the unit or when?

Is your water soft?

Your programming won't have anything to do with rusty water.
Gary Slusser
To correctly size a softener Click Here
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Re: Brownish/Yellow Water

Postby Agreene » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:24 am

Thanks for the quick reply.

No, my water is not usually brown/yellow. The problem started after installing softener system.

The brownish water is coming from all faucets, tubs, toilets, etc.

The house plumbing is copper and I did not use any galvanized for installation.

I'm on city water with zero iron.

I've only noticed on the cold water, but will need to check the hot water.

The system has only been installed & operating for 2-3 days so haven't noticed a pattern yet, except that it goes away when I run the faucets, flush the toilets, etc. but re-appears the next day.

During installation, I opened the inlet valve and filled the tank per the instructions, then did the initial backwash for approx. 5 minutes until the resin was gone and the water in the drain line was clear for 2-3 minutes.

Since I don't have iron or a history of brown/yellow water, my best guess is the discoloration is somehow being caused by resin in the water supply.

I'm by-passing the softener for right now until I figure out the problem. I plan to do more troubleshooting this weekend.
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Re: Brownish/Yellow Water

Postby Gary Slusser » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:29 am

If it is resin in the plumbing it would plug faucet tip aerators, toilet fill valves, faucet cartridges and you'd have no water flow but, the next time you get dirty water, fill a glass and see if it is resin, har little beads.

If it is resin, the softener is plumbed backwards or the distributor tube or bottom basket is broken.

Other than that I don't see how the problem is caused by the softener.

You say you backwashed until the resin was gone and the water went clear. With a top basket you should be able to get resin out, so I suspect you meant to say 'colored water' quit.
Gary Slusser
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Re: Brownish/Yellow Water

Postby Agreene » Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:13 pm

Yes, that's what I meant....backwashed until colored water quit. l know it's not plumbed backward so we can rule that out. The water doesn't bead, it's just got a yellow tint. If I take the unit apart to check the top/bottom basked and distributor tube...can I re-use the resin and gravel?
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Re: Brownish/Yellow Water

Postby Gary Slusser » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:15 pm

Yellow tint is usually iron and/or tannin.

Since the color isn't resin there is no reason to take the softener apart.

Again, I can't see how the softener could cause this.

So get iron and tannin tests done on the raw (pre softener) water.
Gary Slusser
To correctly size a softener Click Here
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Re: Brownish/Yellow Water

Postby mikepalmer » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:13 pm

This sounds like a replay of my post - see viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1255

I had a similar problem. City water, new house, new softener, plastic pipe throughout most of the house. (Large Copper pipe for runners in the attic.) Since I "shotgunned," I don't know what finally fixed the problem. At first I thought it might have been a cracked water heater lining, but apparently not. I sometimes wonder if a workman put some nails in the brine tank when he had to move it to epoxy the floor. That's when the problem started. (The brine water was yellow on the first run after the unit was hooked back up.) I never did find any dissimilar metal pipe nipples or the like on the plumbing.

I ran Iron Out in the brine well and in the water heater itself. (Numerous times.) I ran bleach in the brine well (once) after that and also in the water heater. (Gary always warns not to mix Iron Out and bleach together.) It's amazing how much chlorine smell two cups of bleach in an 80 gal tank will make. I grounded the copper pipes to the softener and to the water heater to each other to get rid of voltage differentials / electrolysis. I replaced the water heater anode. I found our recirculation pump had rusted and replaced it. I installed a one way valve in the recirc line that should have been there in the first place.

It's all there in the above post. As I said, I don't know what solved the problem, but the problem is finally solved.

Hope this helps,

Mike Palmer <><
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