Detecting backwash mode on rust filter and water softener?

  • I have Kinetico equipment, which is all 100% mechanical. There are no electronics or timers which turn on the backwash/regen modes on my rust filter and water softener. A couple of weeks ago, my rust filter got stuck on backwash mode for who knows how long, and it filled my septic tank and saturated my drain field. I had to have it pumped.

    I'd like to sense when it's on backwash mode, so I can throw an alert with my controller when it's backwashing for more than X number of minutes. Any idea how to go about this?

  • Hero Member

    Perhaps an inexpensive flow sensor. You probably don't care so much about accuracy as much as simply whether it's on or off.

  • That's perfect. I didn't know they made cheap flow meters, looking at them now. Thanks!

  • @NeverDie

    Hmm, now that I read the descriptions, it seems this will not work well. The descriptions say that need to avoid having debris going into it and it requires a filter. The backflush, especially on the rust filter, is filled with crap. There is a light coating of mud in those pipes. If I put a filter in there, it's likely restrictive enough to cause problems as these things are sensitive to backpressure in the backflush line. And, if I don't have a filter, I know the flow sensor is going to stop working properly.

    I could probably put a water sensor at the output of the backflush line, and if it remains wet for more than X minutes, I can have my controller throw an alert.

  • Hero Member

    @signal15 How about a pressure sensor on both sides of the filter? I would expect a change in pressure difference if things are not normal. Something like


  • At one point there was a water softener in my basement, but for an unknown reason it was taken out. I am on a well and septic; water is fairly hard, measured at 250 ppm (15(gpg).

    I would like to add a water softener again, but the choices and info at local stores such as Lowes, Menards, Sears, etc leaves something to be desired.

    The house has a kitchen and three bathrooms, but at present only me living in it. Gas water heater. No dishwashers or whirlpools, though I do shower daily, sometimes more in summer.

    Any comments from knowledgeable people about brands known for quality, features or other issues to look for are greatly appreciated!