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used water softener: harvey twin tank worth a risk?


oranjeboom
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Really don't want to spend £800 on a unit, so have been looking out for used units. There's a local one up for grabs which needs a new

 

Harveys h20 twin tank (not electric):

 

image.png.e4a61354e8b99a97954f8824e0114795.png

 

Regen: 17; Resin BS

 

image.png.aba1d08aa2ee13a6b7395ce746a620ca.png

 

 

How does that tie in with hardness levels? If not adequate, can I change any settings on the unit?

 

 

@PeterStarck I recall you had a Harvey with your  hardness at 320ppm (mine is 301) - are you able to reset the regeneration cycling/timing?

 

Currently sold as spares as according to the chap selling it, the riser tube ( described as  'the small tube that runs from the bottom to the top external to the two big tanks') is cracked. 

 

Would that be this part? https://www.wrekinwatersofteners.co.uk/wrekinwatersofteners/final.asp?id=1906

 

I know @JSHarris has some experience with repairing these units. Are these fairly easy to repair or engineered in such a fashion that you have to break it even more to repair it?

 

 

 

If this unit can deal with hardness just over 300ppm, I'll have a visit this weekend to inspect it.

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Failure of the fill valve at the side was fairly common on the early models, I believe.  There's a replacement upgrade kit available from Harvey.  My spare unit has the older style fill valve (looks like a tube on the side, between the two tanks) and that's cracked too.  I believe that you can get the unit refurbished for around £350 or so, so if you can get this cheaply it is probably worth going for.  Refurbishment involves replacing the resin and the fill valve, plus servicing the (hellishly difficult to reassemble) water meter/valve assembly.

 

There are (I think) either two or three different water metering heads, to deal with differing water hardness.  All that changes (I think) is the volume of water that runs through before regen is activated.  Ours are both set to 750 litres before regen, and that's written on the internals, I think.  I don't think this can be changed without changing the water meter head, but I may be wrong.

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Hi Jeremy - thanks for the valued input. I'll probably go and have a look tomorrow then and see which tube is cracked precisely. I think as it's a local unit, the water head will be set to high (I hope) in which case good for me....as long as I can get it to work. I don't really have time to be faffing around ("just buy a new one.....") but a few hundred saved will help in other areas.

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11 hours ago, oranjeboom said:

 

@PeterStarck I recall you had a Harvey with your  hardness at 320ppm (mine is 301) - are you able to reset the regeneration cycling/timing?

I told the supplier the hardness level in my area and had the hardness setting set by them but I don't know how to reset it. I had an old TwinTec that packed up a few years ago and gave it away on Freecycle for someone to play around with, I was too busy doing the house at the time. I did look on Youtube at how to replace the resin but it seemed like too much hassle.

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  • 8 months later...

I went ahead and purchased the unit for about £40 iirc. Approached a local softener company who had two older units that were in the skip so kindly gave me the riser pipes from both of them. Easy to replace, but not actually plumbed the unit in to test.

On 16/05/2019 at 21:13, Jeremy Harris said:

Refurbishment involves replacing the resin and the fill valve, plus servicing the (hellishly difficult to reassemble) water meter/valve assembly.

I may still have to do that also....if Jeremy is referring to the same part that I have changed.

 

Bought some salt last week so will just place that in the unit, get it to regenerate and then see whether the unit provides softer water!

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The fill valve is the pipe thing mounted on the side, between the two tanks.  It's a type of float valve, that sets the level of brine in the outer tank. 

 

If the resin needs changing then it's not that difficult to do, it's just a bit fiddly.  There are resin fill ports on the tanks, at the top.  Hardest bit may be flushing the old resin out of each tank.

 

The challenging bit is if the water meter develops problems, or the O seals on the valves it controls need replacing, as it's a night mare to reassemble.

 

When you connect the thing up,  with salt in, do two manual regenerations once the salt has had time to form brine in the tank.  To do a manual regen, fit a screwdriver in the white slot on the top of the water meter, push down against a spring and rotate the white bit clockwise through 360 degrees, until it pops back up.  You will hear it start to regen one of the tanks, a process that takes ten minutes or so to complete.  Once it has finished regenerating one tank, repeat this process to regen the other tank.  The need to do this is largely because you don't know the state the unit is in, and this ensures that both tanks are fully regenerated at the start.  The unit is then set up and ready to go.

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Thanks @Jeremy Harris. Okay, it was actually one the the riser pipe that connects to the bottom of either tanks:

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 Easy to replace but had to change one of the rubber O rings as it kept leaking when i tested it. Looks as though someone had drilled through outer case of the unit to fit a drain point and drilled too far and hit the riser pipe!

IEg0vbybuH1PYorUBrGezDDTHU1PZJgRrshTPW3k42bkH-XvOiAenXFDvIAxUE1VdTNpcgsokUH93nO4FMNRBXYC23cHPHXCSmXBW69fAx4S0WTbaaGBB1vquK6QflIYGEcyC6dVFE16Hbx7AoSa3IlFFrP2bXQB3vYYUMyg4Ef_quG-ReXLN6fTLBt4SuBzjncM--vjOz1k5GyJuap8FeKkxrLYbpxQBX5gJxT-ugozViYxo1Y7i8BHxEOsNBfj7Lm5sKDbVL1Rr29MGoFrp-qB3Y6cPnrQwaHtJireJxwAOIFziPrHZFA7KARnxtq4mhgR5FWJjerE8kcHnuQ8GW_KCtk2KkRGL1v40rW2lo3SereYy3rHWJdx3MD1UqcdI5ANoGrdXQWiHQPNNvDf-vv_hZl731rOgYDYzibIwuOnaJUMqAJZiCDTBnl3s-Ky7i4WLdic8xJnGHQ5sEAVqDvH9zfXtXSYedG8fIgCo7jRtEA6UMn-fhZuClziuwxOZ2clsd0Qj5i9vz-8E82ohkfKJ01j5mewryZslnvno6b7iwColscbn_xB_yYBVE97A26WhtcHAhFOy_id4NrShx-aqCSexpMeMIVqLsbvfFXW4_KiqjxphzcK9otsHIcxf2MAEfrcDwCSbhawgPQN-w0pDJER-An-Kix3anpZcKbQXsvd3EjDrLD4=w360-h640-no

 

Fill valve looks okay but is set at 300g.

MyJpExHf1C_D_aEzAXWGPfJwZufBI1EFnCGAZ9FoHi98IcfcuFodnqRBoopfaBr3vz3qmDcnlqT-6MGC9bAKqS4dfw3VIXeUL79H-xHnOJt39Mu9BRzmB16R7hX5tay1MVFMrNoetqQvVGs-0XnltXbLe2eRIOqWvWWPdx5gMHl8ST8fCDM4Ol1B2OmXQskMt8Rc5gtDREOdBJWTT-QueG1TbU3s4KbKS2CNxcWEA-XsUd2-fgt2I3I8bvMsmBzv0AB8ewBO8X71iCnOOdcK9KAh2bWFRHHaNCwSkmu5hEyXjSa2TMO-jsMexZo81SyAQiwGuXe2PK5oWsm6nJVWtG0TWsFMniHHiV2XJmIVyqYRbrsJm3z5BnM2yS9LJ6ryjzgWpbb_HlSUGhKHstZp_elJkS9y6x1hkrzoi0ls-U8Wk9e20IHBJGidljsnT-6z537f-9Ql6E6p5sNZscxS3vc8P5OGIuyTm0Uss2p2YJC2LH8amB09QfJBW-rB1eO3imJTMKR5EVszyP7b5TB_q_lxmq1-GIplmbITXJri49afeIJs7AsXP_r5yGFHG6Ivz0mPM5TSOiC7p0ZWfY_jymEGtitat2Q586Li70oP-HFsTmYw0XxsqjQpfseNrgBqdm36GaletT2BXPjQ-CJoIi25LFwpsWOwfQlBef9f-Q-9kIfGU5BYim3S=w360-h640-no

 

Think I read somewhere that is determined by water hardness in your area and can be swapped round (which I may have to do, i.e. 350g).

 

 

1 hour ago, Jeremy Harris said:

If the resin needs changing then it's not that difficult to do, it's just a bit fiddly.  There are resin fill ports on the tanks, at the top.  Hardest bit may be flushing the old resin out of each tank.

Okay - hopefully resin levels are still fine. Guess I'll see how the unit performs when plumbed in. The resin itself seems to be Purolite which has a nice price tag! e.g. https://www.aquasoftsofteners.co.uk/aquasoftsofteners/final.asp?id=1146

 

Haven't really been able to find any servicing manuals, but it's all a bit of a closed shop - anything goes wrong and you either have to tinker with it yourself or take it to an authorised dealer. Just glad I didn't pay £800 for it!

 

 

Edited by oranjeboom
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The good news is that the unit is one of the newer ones, with the redesigned fill valve.  The original fill valve fitted to the earlier models looks quite different.

 

The resin is probably fine, it's pretty robust and will tolerate a fair bit of abuse.  About the only thing that will kill it is if someone has decided to flush something nasty through it, like neat bleach.

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11 hours ago, Jeremy Harris said:

 

If the resin needs changing then it's not that difficult to do, it's just a bit fiddly.  There are resin fill ports on the tanks, at the top.  Hardest bit may be flushing the old resin out of each tank.

 

 
Changing resin on these is pretty fiddly due to the small ports. They use a packed bed and it is blown in at the factory so you’ll never put back in as much as comes out.
 

Being a packed bed though makes it more easy to identify resin degradation. If the resin has become damaged by chlorine from mains water it tends to break down and expand. Once you’ve got the resin wet and flushed, turn off the water supply again and using the method Jeremy noted to manually regenerate you can relieve the water pressure inside. Then just remove the filling ports and if resin starts rising upwards out of the hole then it’s had it. If it stays at the lower edge you’re good to go. 


I’m on a job this week adding 325 litres to each of 9  2500litre softener vessels which were under filled when built and we are literally just pouring bags of Purolite straight into the 6” wide necks from above whilst standing above on a scaffold. 

 

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3 tonnes direct from Wales. And we’re having to give it away for free including 4 days labour for me and another person plus re erection of the scaffold due to the original install mess up. So I hope we’re getting it cheap. 

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  • 4 months later...

Hi hope I can slightly revive this topic to get some help. Bought a used Harvey’s H20 a few months ago. Installed it outside the house next to the drain, boxed it in etc. Worked fine until about a week ago. I heard water constantly dribbling into the drain from the brine outlet pipe. I took the ends off the valve assembly but found nothing. Really need help on this please as emptying buckets of water onto the lawn and on a water meter.

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Hi @oranjeboom, Hope your watersoftener is working perfectly.

Considering the very experienced subscribers of this thread, I would also bring up a issue I have with my softener.

I have bought a used Harveys 2 cylinder non electric watersoftener, installed it myself on my previous property, and it worked for 2 weeks. Similar to what @Flagooner has described, it worked ok for 2 weeks, and then started sending all the water through the drain. Found it weird, and did a manual regeneration, which worked for a a few days. Then it all started again, sending the water straight to the drain. It has been off since. Couldn't never find the reason why it fails after a few working days. My wife keeps telling me it must be something wrong with the resin, but obviously I'm not a specialist, so I haven't tried to open it yet.

Now I'm wondering if I should try to fix it, given that water is quite hard at the new property I have moved into and it's already creating loads of stains on all the taps and shower.

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Hi Jorge 

when you say “ sending all the water down the drain “ is that a powerful flow or just a trickle? I have just spoken to a Paul at Wreakin Water and he is not certain what the problem is but suggested I try a new shuttle valve assembly and service kit for the idler gear. Quite a lot of money involved in that, £160. He did also say that in older machines the resin could expand and cause this problem. I was hoping that Jeremy Harris might be able to help, I don’t know if he still monitors this site.

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5 hours ago, Flagooner said:

Hi orangeboom can you tell me the company who were throwing away old units I would like to contact them to see if the have any used parts for mine, thank you

 

They were a local Kent company. Will PM you the details.

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  • 4 months later...
My H20-750 softener has developed a fault, part of which includes constantly draining.  I created a new post with all of the details but thought I'd add a redirect to it on this thread as there seems to be some contributors in here with applicable experience/knowledge:

https://forum.buildhub.org.uk/topic/17282-homewaterharvey-h20-water-softener-developed-fault/

 
I would really appreciate any help on the likely faulty component, and advice on the way forward.  Thanks.
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