Operation and Regeneration of Resin Water Softeners
Operation and regeneration of resin softeners should be conducted exactly according to the instructions given below, in order to achieve the intended result. In addition, given the limited capacity of resin softeners, resin regeneration should be conducted prior to their saturation using a sodium chloride (brine) solution. In general, when rinsed with brine solution, cation resin regains its softening properties, which is referred to as the regeneration process.
Components of Resin Water Softeners :
An introduction to multiport valves (SOLO valve) in resin softeners :
Multiport valves in resin softeners include a total of 6 connection ports which are explained as follows:
- INLET in the center, which is connected to the input water.
- OUT on the left, which is connected to the output water.
- BRINE connected to the brine port
- DRAIN connected to the drain port.
- TOP connected to the top of the machine
- BOTTOM connected to the bottom of resin softener.
This valve has three operating modes (RUN 3, REGEN 2, and WASH 1) which could be selected by turning the lever. (Its operation mechanism is explained as follows).
Resin Softener Setup Instructions:
- First, plumb the resin softener after mounting it on a good foundation according to the previous instructions.
- Open the lower flange of the softener and pour coarse silica grains inside the device on the nozzle plates (Be careful not to damage the nozzle). Then, spread it, and close and seal the bottom flange completely.
Now, open the upper flange and pour fine silica grains on the coarse ones.
- Empty resin bags completely on silica grains, close upper the flange and seal it.
- Put the multiport valve on mode 3 (RUN), close valve 2 (OUT), and open valve 4 (DRAIN) and 1 (INLET) for 5 min to rinse silica grains. Then, close valve 4 (DRAIN) and put the multiport valve for 10 min on WASH mode to rinse resin beads.
- Put the multiport valve on RUN mode and bleed the softener by valve 6. The softener is ready to operate when valve 2 (OUT) is open (Prepare the machine for regeneration phase by adding salt and water to the salt tank).
Important points when using resin water softeners :
- The water hardness at the outlet of resin water softeners should be controlled via a sampling valve and a total hardness test kit. As soon as the water hardness exceeds the limit, start the resin regeneration process.
- During resin regeneration, make sure that the pressure of the softener tank is between 1.7 and 3.5 bar. A low tank pressure interrupts the brine suction, while considerably high pressures might cause damage to the multiport valve components.
- It is advisable to use relief valve at pressures above 4.5 bar before the multiport valve, or at least when changing the multiport valve mode, close valve 1 (INLET) to prevent the exposure of multiport valve to sudden pressure.
- Extreme care must be taken to use high-purity salt crystals, since use of halite or normal table salt can greatly reduce the resin lifespan due to the impurities in the salt. Additionally, the resin may not be completely regenerated.
- Default amount of brine suction has been set by the factory and if needed, it is possible to reset it behind the multiport valve next to the brine pipe. Suction should be such that resin regeneration is conducted with a 10% brine solution. Reduced brine suction might be due to the reduced internal pressure of the softener. In addition, make sure the brine flow of softener is not being blocked.
- Using muddy and turbid water, as well as water containing iron, manganese, copper and other heavy metals, will wear out the softening resin and reduce the drainage of the softener. It is recommended to remove suspended particles from water using a sand filter before it enters the softener.
- To adjust the multiport valve lever, pull it gently toward yourself and put it on the intended mode, because the internal components might be damaged due to sudden release of the valve.
- It is recommended to grease the multiport valves using a multi-purpose type grease once a year without opening it through the gap between the lid and the valve body.
- It is essential to avoid frosting of resin and water in the softener. Freezing will damage the resin.
Softener Resin Backwash Cycle and Regeneration :
a) Backwash Cycle: Close valve 2 (OUT) and put the multiport valve on mode 1 (WASH). Continue for 10 min to discharge the suspended particles and reduce the resin bed compression.
b) Rinse with brine: Open valve 3 (BRINE) and put the multiport valve on mode 2 (REGEN) until two-third of brine in the tank is consumed. This step removes the brine from the salt tank, allowing it to react with the resin and leave through the softener drain pipe.
c) Rinse the resin with raw water: Close valve 3 (BRINE), put the multiport valve on mode 3 (RUN), and keep valve 4 (DRAIN) open until the extra salt leaves the softener and the outlet water is fully refreshed.
d) Operation: Now, the water softener is ready to work by opening valve 2 (OUT) (The multiport valve is kept on mode 3 (RUN)).
e) Brine preparation: Prepare the resin water softener for regeneration phase by adding salt and water to the salt tank.