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Help with zeolite stuck in lines

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  • Help with zeolite stuck in lines

    I had a customer today that all the zeolite(little orange beads) came out of the softener and clogged EVERYTHING up. I was able to flush out all but two lines cold for the kitchen and the utility sink. Both have pex boxes so i can't just pull off the angle stops. I tried shutting water off to the house and blowing backwards with 120 psi of air and still nothing. Tried back and forth with water and air for 30 minutes on each line and nothing not even a glimmer of hope. The only thing I can think of is to cut the wall and open the pipe giving more flow but both are on tile/stucco walls and I really don't want to do that. any thoughts? maybe something that dissolves this stuff but not the pex. thanks all.

  • #2
    Re: Help with zeolite stuck in lines

    Hydrostac pump ?

    Figure out some kind of pulsation while back flushing ....

    keep us posted

    I flushed a system then 2 days later a couple of fixtures plugged again ... Ignorant BeeAtch wanted me to warrenty it ... Hoidy toydy Neighorhood ...

    Dave

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    • #3
      Re: Help with zeolite stuck in lines

      Any Idea's on how pulsate? Like I said I tried pulsating with a blow un off the compressor but every time I removed the gun I got blasted with hundreds of zeolite beads coming at me with 120psi behind them

      ANY MORE INPUT?? RICK? JC? Dunbar? SOME BODY!!!!

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      • #4
        Re: Help with zeolite stuck in lines

        Originally posted by nomoreleak View Post
        I had a customer today that all the zeolite(little orange beads) came out of the softener and clogged EVERYTHING up. I was able to flush out all but two lines cold for the kitchen and the utility sink. Both have pex boxes so i can't just pull off the angle stops. I tried shutting water off to the house and blowing backwards with 120 psi of air and still nothing. Tried back and forth with water and air for 30 minutes on each line and nothing not even a glimmer of hope. The only thing I can think of is to cut the wall and open the pipe giving more flow but both are on tile/stucco walls and I really don't want to do that. any thoughts? maybe something that dissolves this stuff but not the pex. thanks all.
        What does this mean? A PEX "circuit" box at a central location?

        If so, why not shut the valve off to them, disconnect them at the fixture and rig up a PEX service at the largest cold line at the fixture. Some are 1/2" but some reduce down to 3/8" if I recall right. I'd try to get to 1/2" if it's available.

        So if you can get back to 1/2" (3/8" if you have too), cut into it at the sink and then run a PEX line off of it to a drain, out a window, or out a door. Then turn the water on.

        While it's running (hopefully ) dismantle the faucets giving problems. The valve and the aerator.

        Report back.

        J.C.

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        • #5
          Re: Help with zeolite stuck in lines

          No. They are a recessed boxes that include anglestops and drain But that is no longer an issue I cut the wall open yesterday and cut the pipe open and ran it to a bucket(yes I know i would have gotten wet) and still NOTHING no movement. I then tried everything imaginable to stuff down the pipe and to break the stuff up and I hit a fitting IN THE SLAB AGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I need something very inovative here. It's getting close to time to have hard wood removed and bust through the slab(not sure if I mentioned this is an Island sink.) I have her on hold for the rest of the week and if I can't get something then it's time to chunk it out.

          Thanks,

          Michael

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          • #6
            Re: Help with zeolite stuck in lines

            jet it out!

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            • #7
              Re: Help with zeolite stuck in lines

              Fitting in the slab? PEX? Hmmmmm......

              Have you borrowed a fish tape from an electrician and pushed it through?

              Hooked a ball valve to it and throttled the water/pressure backwards?

              Cut the water main off, then pressurize through it backwards with a hydrostatic pump with other things open. This DOES have the potential to block other things but might get it all moving.

              If you've been concentrating on the kitchen sink, move to the laundry tub some.

              Also, this can usually be corrected by holding two chicken legs from Popeyes, one in each hand, and doing a Cabbage Patch on the front porch of the house for at least 2 minutes. Send pics.

              Trying to help.

              J.C.
              Last edited by BobsPlumbing; 06-17-2009, 04:38 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Help with zeolite stuck in lines

                Well got it figured out!!! All you have to do is yank your hair out trying everything you can on your own time(not billable) Coming up with a quick easy solution and keep the customer up to date about every 4 hours so don't look like a fool playing with an air compressor for 5 hours and changing them for it. Mean while They'll call the competition that charges double to come dork around with they're air compressor for 6 HOURS and then stiff you for your 8 hours labor you spent clearing the rest of the lines.

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