AF-40K Initial Setup (after the unit has been installed)

Getting Information about your Water 

Find out your water hardness
Well Water

Have a sample of your untreated water tested for hardness, iron and pH. To find a facility to test your water sample, check your Yellow Pages under Water Analysis or Water Testing; or contact the company below to conduct a test for you.

National Testing Laboratories, Inc.
1-800-458-3330 - 9 am - 5 pm EST

You can also view more information reasons to test your well water at the EPA Website

City (Municipal) Water

Call your water utility company. Ask them the hardness, iron content and pH levels of your water.

Programming your softener

Set the time


  1. Press the time button to show the time, then press it again adjust the time by 1 minute
  2. Press and hold the time button for two seconds to rapidly increment the time.

Salt Amount


The Salt Amount Button sets the efficiency.

  1. Press and release to display the current salt setting.
  2. Pressing this button again will change the settings
    • It can be set to:
      • HE (High Efficiency)
        • This minimizes salt usage for a recharge and provides the least amount of water between recharges. This setting can be used if you have low water hardnesss or low water usage
      • Sd (Standard)
        • This setting uses a moderate amount of salt and provides a little more water between rechardes. This setting can be used for moderate water hardness or water usage
      • HC (High Capacity)
        • This setting maximizes the system capacity between recharges and will also use the most salt. This setting can be used if you have high water hardness and/or high water usage

Water Hardness





  1. Press and release to show the current water hardness.
  2. Press this button again to change the current hardness setting.
  3. Please make sure to find out your water hardness as noted above





  • Presssing and quickly releasing this button will start a recharge at midnight. You will see the regen symbol flashing on the screen
  • Pressing and holding this button will start a recharge immediately. You will see the regen symbol solid on the screen


Helpful information to remember for the start-up steps below

Start an Immediate Recharge:

Press and Hold for 3 Secondsaf40k-rechargebutton.jpg

To Advance to the next Cycle:

Quickly Press and Release

af40k-timebutton.jpg + af40k-rechargebutton.jpg


Valves in Bypass 

("Bypass Mode")


 Valves in Service Mode

("Service Mode")



Here is a table showing the countdown of the different cycles. By looking at the display on the screen, you can see what cycle the softener is currently in:



Cycle Time










Brine Prep





Backwash 1





Brine Draw





Slow Rinse










Fast Rinse 1





Backwash 2





Fast Rinse 2




Before turning on the water supply check the following:

  • All plumbing is installed and secured
  • The valve drain line is in place and the end is held securely at the drain
  • There is no salt in the tank
  • The controller is on and has been programmed following the three steps. The display should be showing the time of day with the colon flashing
  • The inlet water is off and the bypass is not bypass

Placing the unit into operation

1.  Turning on your water

    • Turn on your incoming water at a low flow position
    • Listen to the water flow, Water is now entering the media tank.
    • Do not open the valve completely because media may enter the valve

2.  Start a recharge

3.  Open a service faucet (nearest faucet serviced by the softener)

    • The salt tank will begin to fill with water.
    • Air will come out of the faucet. Also, you may see some discolored water.
    • Leave the faucet open until the all the air has run out and the water runs clear
    • When the salt tank has 3 to 4 inches of water, turn off the faucet and advance to the next cycle.

4.  Turn the inlet water on full

5.  The unit will now be in a brine prep cycle which allows the water in the salt tank to dissolve the salt.

    • During this cycle inspect for leaks
    • If any leaks are present they should be repaired before proceeding.
    • If there are no leaks, advance to the next cycle

6.  The unit will now be in a Backwash.

    • Backwash forces water through the media to the drain.
    • Inspect the water for air bubbles and small particles.
    • When the water is runining clear, advance to the next cycle

7.  The unit will now be in a backwash and slow rinse at the same time

    • The discharge to the drain will be slow
    • The water in the salt tank will lower (by 0.1gals/min)
    • If the water is leaving the salt tank, advance to the next cycle

8.  The unit will now be in a Re-Pressurize cycle.

9.  The unit will now be in a fast rinse cycle

    • This cycle is a full pressure rinse of the media in the tank.
    • The discharge to the drain should be high.
    • Advance to the next cycle

10.  The unit will now be in the Backwash 2 cycle.

11. The unit will now be in the Fast Rinse 2 cycle.

    • The flow to the drain will be high
    • This cycle is 1 min long
    • Allow this cycle to complete and advance on its own to the Normal Service mode

12.  The unit will start delivering softened water

13.  Make sure the display is showing the current time of day which is alternating with another number (gallons of softened water remaining)

14.  The system is fully operational - You may now add salt to the salt tank


Operating Notes:  

  • Make sure to use Sodium Chloride Pellets in your softener.  If you use Potassium Chloride Pellets, you will need to increase your hardness setting by 30%
  • During normal operation, there will be No water visible in the salt tank.  Water is added at the beginning of a recharge and drained back out at the end.