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Water Softner problem

This topic contains 23 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  hojo04 5 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 24 total)
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  • #623877

    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    So I bought my first house and have had it for about 6 months now. I haven’t used any salt for the softner. I ask around and was told I should of went through a bag or 2 by now. I called he company that put it in(original owner had it install and company’s stick was on he unit) and they cam out and look at ti and found the outlet was working right and plugged it into another outlet and it was working/had power.

    For the past month I been randomly checking the salt level and it still hasn’t gone down. So I called plumbing company back and told them (thankfully they waived of the service fee since I am still the same issue) and the plumber said the float looks to be getting caught up or sticking (after he manually started a cycle or whatever you call it) which is in a tube in the bin where the salt is at.

    I don’t know anything about a water softner system and he called me yesterday and told me if theytry and fix he float and nothing else is wrong it would cost me $396 and if I just got a new bin with everything new inside of it would cost me $306. The reason its more to fix the old one due to the labor of emptying out the salt from the bin rather than getting a new one and swapping bins out.

    Now with that being said I think both prices seem high to me if it all needs a float. I can’t see a new bin would cost that much, but maybe I’m wrong. I believe I have high iron and once this was fixed they would test the water before the softer and after the softer to see the difference in iron level. I don’t know if this is a average price or the company is screwing me over. I can take pic later today of the bin and try to get a pic of the float in side the tube if it would make anything clearer to what I am saying.

    Thanks

    #623881

    kswiss
    Pro
    edmonton, AB

    Have you called another company to get a second opinion? Lots of places will at least come out for a free estimate. That should tell you if you are getting screwed on the pricing

    #623893

    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    I have not done that yet. I can see what other places work on water softners and give them a call. It’s out of warranty so it really don’t matter who would really work on it. I called the company that put it in figuring they are familiar with that system.

    #623902

    smallerstick
    Pro
    Listowel, ON

    I have not done that yet. I can see what other places work on water softners and give them a call. It’s out of warranty so it really don’t matter who would really work on it. I called the company that put it in figuring they are familiar with that system.

    The salt tank is really a very simple piece of equipment. The biggest hassle you will have working on it is emptying out the salt. This is a procedure that should be done on a regular basis; every couple of years or so. Simply disconnect the 1/4″ line from the softener, empty the tank, clean everything thoroughly including the float assembly then refill the tank with salt. It will look after supplying water at the next cycle. Don’t add very much salt to begin so you can see if it is operating properly. Once you know it is good to go, add more salt.

    Sounds too simple, I know, but there really isn’t any more to it. Water flows to the tank at each cycle, shuts off by the float then brine is drawn into the softener during the cycle. That’s it.

    The tank full of salt is heavy, really heavy, and awkward to handle. The salt will be caked inside and will be difficult to remove. It will be a b**ch of a job but you can do it yourself.

    If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy. -- Red Green

    #623915

    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    I have not done that yet. I can see what other places work on water softners and give them a call. It’s out of warranty so it really don’t matter who would really work on it. I called the company that put it in figuring they are familiar with that system.

    The salt tank is really a very simple piece of equipment. The biggest hassle you will have working on it is emptying out the salt. This is a procedure that should be done on a regular basis; every couple of years or so. Simply disconnect the 1/4″ line from the softener, empty the tank, clean everything thoroughly including the float assembly then refill the tank with salt. It will look after supplying water at the next cycle. Don’t add very much salt to begin so you can see if it is operating properly. Once you know it is good to go, add more salt.

    Sounds too simple, I know, but there really isn’t any more to it. Water flows to the tank at each cycle, shuts off by the float then brine is drawn into the softener during the cycle. That’s it.

    The tank full of salt is heavy, really heavy, and awkward to handle. The salt will be caked inside and will be difficult to remove. It will be a b**ch of a job but you can do it yourself.

    Yea it sounds simple. the bin now is almost full of salt. If it’s that’s easy I wonder why it’s so much money to fix/replace it?

    #623924

    smallerstick
    Pro
    Listowel, ON

    I have not done that yet. I can see what other places work on water softners and give them a call. It’s out of warranty so it really don’t matter who would really work on it. I called the company that put it in figuring they are familiar with that system.

    The salt tank is really a very simple piece of equipment. The biggest hassle you will have working on it is emptying out the salt. This is a procedure that should be done on a regular basis; every couple of years or so. Simply disconnect the 1/4″ line from the softener, empty the tank, clean everything thoroughly including the float assembly then refill the tank with salt. It will look after supplying water at the next cycle. Don’t add very much salt to begin so you can see if it is operating properly. Once you know it is good to go, add more salt.

    Sounds too simple, I know, but there really isn’t any more to it. Water flows to the tank at each cycle, shuts off by the float then brine is drawn into the softener during the cycle. That’s it.

    The tank full of salt is heavy, really heavy, and awkward to handle. The salt will be caked inside and will be difficult to remove. It will be a b**ch of a job but you can do it yourself.

    Yea it sounds simple. the bin now is almost full of salt. If it’s that’s easy I wonder why it’s so much money to fix/replace it?

    Because it’s full and it’s just a real lot of work. Probably 2 or 300 pounds of salt to handle and dispose of.

    If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy. -- Red Green

    #623926

    Anonymous

    For that kind of $$$ I’d do it myself, Personally I don’t like water softeners. Always had them growing up in my parents houses and what a hassle to keep salt in them, But that’s just me. Good luck

    #624045

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Time. Doesn’t matter how simple or complicated invoicing is based on time. It probably takes more time to empty and fill the salt chamber that it takes to install a new one.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #624120

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    But remember, if they install a new one you will probably still have to deal with emptying the old one and getting rid of it. Still a hassle and a mess.

    #624137

    Anonymous

    But remember, if they install a new one you will probably still have to deal with emptying the old one and getting rid of it. Still a hassle and a mess.

    Yikes!! Very possible indeed, Personally I think I’d flip the valves to by-pass it for a while and see if I could live without it.

    #624241

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    Time. Doesn’t matter how simple or complicated invoicing is based on time. It probably takes more time to empty and fill the salt chamber that it takes to install a new one.

    Exactly.

    Personally, I wouldn’t show up to someone’s house for a job like this (a couple hundred pounds of salt to dispose of, etc.) for less money…even if the part cost $10, you still need to consider you are paying a professional to do the work. That much alone should be worth something.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #624317

    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    Time. Doesn’t matter how simple or complicated invoicing is based on time. It probably takes more time to empty and fill the salt chamber that it takes to install a new one.

    Exactly.

    Personally, I wouldn’t show up to someone’s house for a job like this (a couple hundred pounds of salt to dispose of, etc.) for less money…even if the part cost $10, you still need to consider you are paying a professional to do the work. That much alone should be worth something.

    I get it it wouldn’t take them long to fix it, but the bin look like a trash can I can pick up at HD or lowes for like $10. I just cant see the new bin with the parts inside for lets say $200 and the other $100 is the labor for a can that cost $10. Maybe it’s me lol. I just want make sure I’m not getting ripped off. If I can I will take a few pics tonight when I get home.

    #624380

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    Is the guy insured? Does he have a license? Is there some kind of warranty?

    There are always more factors to consider! The labor number covers more than the guy’s beer money, if you follow me.

    So yes, while it might be expensive, there is a logical reason for it.

    I just cant see the new bin with the parts inside for lets say $200 and the other $100 is the labor

    I think you’ve got your numbers backwards! $100 for labor is a “Chuck in a truck” type of guy. Consider this….how much time has Already gone into this job and you haven’t committed to paying them yet?
    Estimates are only free for the people who say no…those who say yes are paying for the estimate in some way.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #624385

    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    I think he was looking at it for about 10 minutes and said that the float wasn’t working properly.

    #624431

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    I think he was looking at it for about 10 minutes and said that the float wasn’t working properly.

    I think you are missing my point. What I was getting at is that there is more work that goes into a job than a customer ever sees. The plumber had to respond to your call, drive out, unload his tools, check out the issue, research the necessary parts, and speak to you about the solution. After that, an estimate needs to be generated and parts need to be sourced. All of this should be considered when evaluating the price.

    While it may seem high to you, there is a minimum value that the contractor will charge just to pull into your driveway….because by the time he does that, many other things have happened already that need to be paid for also.

    The example here is the exact reason why I hate disclosing an “Hourly Rate”. Too often customers think that number is my “hourly wage” and that I’m making more than they think I should. When all factors are included into this rate, the amount that goes into my pocket is far less than the full total. If I told everyone I encountered that I charge $60/hour I would land fewer jobs, no doubt in my mind.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #624532

    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    I get that. Bad thing is he didn’t bring tools, but a utility light and didn’t research or give me a price till the following day. Now with that being said when I called to tell them that I was still having the same problem as before when they were out the lady on the phone said they would waive off the service fee for coming out there. If the plumber knew this he was probably upset that they/he didn’t make any money on it and was trying to make up for it elsewhere (my opinion).

    UPDATE:
    I got a second opinon and was told the float was ok and good (he took it out and inspected it). It could be adjusted a little (Which they did) and told me about flushing out hot water heater since it had a little iron in it. I paid for the service call, but it was a lot cheaper that getting a new brine bin

    The other guy that was trying to sell me a new bin did not take the float out and look at it. He felt around and looked at it down in the tube that it’s mounted in. I don’t think I will go back to the first company again. It sucks cause I was trusting them on something I know nothing about and I feel I got taken advantage of.

    #626477

    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    I just wanted to give a update on my water softener system. Since 4/25 we now feel the water soft as if you had soap still on your hands. On 4/29 I marked the brine tank and as of last night I can see where the salt has went down about 1 inch already. It looks like I’m good to go. I’m glad I got a second opinion on this and thanks to the folks on here who suggested I get a 2nd opinion.

    #626481

    smallerstick
    Pro
    Listowel, ON

    I just wanted to give a update on my water softener system. Since 4/25 we now feel the water soft as if you had soap still on your hands. On 4/29 I marked the brine tank and as of last night I can see where the salt has went down about 1 inch already. It looks like I’m good to go. I’m glad I got a second opinion on this and thanks to the folks on here who suggested I get a 2nd opinion.

    Good to hear you got all that worked out and your water has improved.

    If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy. -- Red Green

    #626494

    kswiss
    Pro
    edmonton, AB

    Nice to hear everything is working again, sometimes a second opinion can be a great option

    #626497

    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    Exactly. I paid for it, but it was cheaper with the second opinion than if I replaced parts.

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