I am trying to fix my existing water softening system, or understand if it needs to be replaced. The system was installed in my house by some previous owner. I have no documentation on the system.

There are two mineral tanks in series. The first has a Autotrol 460i controller (digital) and the tank is smaller. The second tank has a mechanical controller (not digital, I can't read the model number, I can provide a picture if needed) and is significantly larger (perhaps twice the size of the first tank). The second tank has a bypass valve that is set to "service" mode. Both mineral tanks are connected to the same brine tank via plastic tubing with a T fitting.

Could there be a good reason why this system was set up like this, with two separate controllers? I can get the smaller tank with digital controller to do a manual regeneration, but I can't get the mechanical controller (big tank) to do anything. The system has been sitting for a long time and does not regenerate (or work at all). Should I scrap the whole mess and start over, should I try to fix and keep all or part of the existing system?


1 Answer 1


This could be a system with an iron filter and a softner especially if you have a very high iron content in your water. Softners can only handle small amounts of iron. It could also be a double softner that uses one on a normal basis and the smaller one when the system is back flushing. I would call the local water treatment company to check the existing system and make recommendations to you.

  • Thank you! Is there any way to tell if a tank is set up as an iron filter rather than as a softener? Is it just a different media inside the tank? Aug 9, 2017 at 17:12
  • You need to call a softner guy to find that out. Call one; they will give you their recommendations and will know what brand it is
    – d.george
    Aug 9, 2017 at 17:32

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