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Salty Water Taste - New Valve Installation
Last Updated: 05/06/2019
NEW Valve Installation - Salty Water - Possible Causes,

# 1 reason is the distributor pipe is too short by a fraction of an inch, or incorrect diameter ( must be 1.05" - same as 3/4" PVC pipe ).

Fleck and Hankscraft and Erie and Autotrol Performa 268 ( not model 255 ) must be equal to the height of the top opening of the resin tank ( can be up to 1/2" taller, or 1/2" shorter, be we always advise that it be "equal" in height to the top of tank.
* This is covered in Step # 5 in our Valve Replacement Guide,

# 2 reason - Drain Hose is partially obstructed. Very common to have this problem if the OLD Drain Hose is being used.
And EXTREMELY common if the drain hose runs UPHILL ( into roof area ).
Note: Drain Flow at the end of the drain hose / pipe during the faster Backwash Cycle should be 1.5 gpm ( 8" tanks ), 2.0 gpm ( 9" tanks ), 2.4" gpm ( 10 inch tanks ).

# 3 reason ( RARE ) would be if the distributor o-ring was missing from the valve body ( I've never seen this, but in theory it would create similar problem ).

# 4 reason - Seals and Spacers stacked wrong. I ran into this once on a new valve installation about 20 years ago.
The Seals were not installed in the New Valve in the correct order.
Should be Seal - Spacer - Seal - Spacer - Seal - Spacer - Seal - Spacer - Seal.

A "sandwich" of the 5 Seals and 4 Spacers.
see this shown in video,

# 5 reason - Injector or Injector screen some how got partially clogged when first regeneration ( brine rinse/ draw ) was run ( debris from Brine Tank ).

*** And this assumes the valve is set up for the correct size ( tank diameter / resin capacity ), as these will effect the amount of water used to fill the salt tank, and the time used to Rinse the Resin bed of all the salt water.

RELATED information for Existing ( not NEW ) Valve,

Salty water in the morning is a common problem.

It occurs most commonly because the internal seals of the Valve leak highly
salty water into the cold water lines during the regeneration cycle.

Typically ( if your Time of Day is set correctly to the current time of day ) this
regeneration occurs between 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. once or twice a week.

If water is used in the home ( toilet flush, ice maker drawing water, etc. ) in the middle
of the regeneration, then the valve may allow the salt water being rinsed through the tank to
leak into the cold water line. And this super salty water is still there in the water line when you
get up to make coffee, or brush your teeth in the morning. This salty water can normally be
"cleared" from the lines by running the water for 1 minute.

If it takes 5 or more minutes of running the water to clear up,
then you have a more serious problem such as;

1) clogged injector
2) drain line
3) bad connection at the distributor tube o-ring

This salty water problem is most common with Autotrol Valves ( Autotrol 155, 168, 255, or 268 models ),
as they all use "flapper" valve discs that are held closed by water pressure. So, when you flush a toilet in the
house, the pressure drops enough to open one valve that should be closed during the "Brine Rinse" cycle, and
results in allowing some salty water to leak into the house lines. Such leakage can occur in any valve that has
"worn" internal seals. Normally, if you just keep your time of day set correctly, and you don't use water in the
middle of the night, you won't wake up to salty water in the morning.

CUSTOMER Writes Back in reference to his Autotrol 255 valve and salty water continuing:

Hello Andrew!

Unfortunately I have not been able to fix the salty water problem we've been working on.

To this point-
1) Timers set and offset
2) Injector and inj. screen cleaned
3) Cleaned brine float
4) Confirmed drain hose is clear
5) Replaced valve discs

Anything else you can think of?


* Advanced trouble shooting of possible causes of Salty Water

It is time for you to remove the Valve from the Tank and check the RESIN level ( should be 50 - 60% full ) and the Distributor Pipe ( check for cracks in the tube ) and examine the distributor o-ring ( hole in the valve where pipe is inserted and "sealed" ).
The pipe / tube should fit very snug ( even tight ) to the distributor o-ring in the opening of the valve body.
It's rare, but I think the problem must be IN THE TANK ( pipe to valve connection ), if it's not something "simple" like wrong time setting, or people using the water at night ( as those are the 2 things that explain "salty water", 95% of the time ).
Please send photos of the Pipe in the tank, with Valve removed, and the under side of the valve, so I can see your distributor o-ring.
There is no reason we can not get to the bottom of this and solve it.
Sorry it was not one of the "common" reasons, but no time to "throw in the towel" on the problem.

** Also..... What is the size of the Resin tank ( diameter and height )?
And color is the INJECTOR in the Valve?
If the tank is 9 or 10 inches in diameter, then you need at least a "blue" injector.

And what is your water pressure range ( cut on and cut off ) of the well pump?
And do you notice the pump cutting on and off after a few seconds at any time ( short cycling )?

See.. beyond the "basics", it gets "tricky", as there are a few other "odd" things that could be affecting your systems "Brine Rinse" process.
Normally, it sucks in 3 - 4 gallons of salty water in 20 minutes, and RINSES through the resin tank for another 30 minutes, and is followed by a fast / purge rinse, and there should be no salty water remaining when completed.
Only if something is affecting the "flow" of water ( source - pump & tank, or valve - injector or drain ), should you expect any salty water to remain.
The other 2 ways are:
1 ) Using water while in regeneration ( one toilet flush at 3 a.m. or a water "leak" in your house ) will "pull" salty water into the cold water lines, and give you a "taste of the Ocean" when you first run the water in the morning ( brush teeth, draw coffee water, etc ).
2 ) The pipe in the resin tank is not "sealed" at the valve distributor o-ring... or the pipe is too small ( older units used 13/16" O.D. pipe and newer valves since 1997, use large 1.05" O.D. open / distributor o-ring ), or the pipe is cut too SHORT... not tall enough to firmly engage the distributor oring.... Autotrol 155 and 255 valves REQUIRE the distributor pipe be taller than the top of tank opening.

So...... dig a little deeper and let me know ( send photos ) of what you find.
The answer is there, and you must find it for us, as I am too far away to help beyond these "instructions".

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