As many of you know, the Erie 541 series water softener control base platform used to be of the most common systems in the USA. There are a large number of installed mechanical and electronic versions of this controller in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, the intermountain west, and in Europe.

The most common legacy version of this control is the 5-button 541 metered digital controller. The 5-button controller was first fielded in 1983 and went through three generational changes until it was discontinued in 1998.

The 1st and 2nd generation controllers have a red display (v1 had 6 buttons instead of 5), while the 3rd generation controller has a gray non-backlit display. Replacement circuit boards are no longer available, but they can sometimes be upgraded using a kit that works with 3-cycle, 5-cycle, and 7-cycle versions of this water softener control.

While the 110VAC digital metered control is extremely reliable, there are times when a circuit board needs to be replaced or removed and I am frequently asked how to wire the boards.

For your convenience, here is the standard wiring chart for 110/120VAC Erie control boards for the 541-170/542-172 series diaphragm soft water controls. The 3-cycle version omits the backwash solenoid, but wires identically on the other components.

Erie Diaphragm Control Board witing - Pre evertech 5-button metered softener control

Programming guide

1. Find the serial number on the back of the control.

2. Follow the steps to program the system.

3 cycle – Serial #: 541-190xx (No Solenoids on the back of system)

–          Press button 2 and set Time of Day using button 3 (hours) and button 4 (minutes).

–          Press button 2 and set Cleaning Time using button 3 (hours) and button 4 (minutes) (default is 2:00am).

–          Press button 2 and set Capacity using button 3 (up) and button 4 (down) – 1200 gallons.

–          Press button 2 and set Reserve using button 3 (up) and button 4 (down) – 350 gallons.

–          Press button 2 and set Cycle 1 using button 3 (up) and button 4 (down) – 90 minutes.

–          Press button 5 to confirm settings.

5 cycle – Serial #: 541-172xx (One Solenoid on the back of system)

–          Press button 2 and set Time of Day using button 3 (hours) and button 4 (minutes).

–          Press button 2 and set Cleaning Time using button 3 (hours) and button 4 (minutes) (default is 2:00am).

–          Press button 2 and set Capacity using button 3 (up) and button 4 (down) – 1200 gallons.

–          Press button 2 and set Reserve using button 3 (up) and button 4 (down) – 350 gallons.

–          Press button 2 and set Cycle 1 using button 3 (up) and button 4 (down) – 5 minutes.

–          Press button 2 and set Cycle 2 using button 3 (up) and button 4 (down) – 65 minutes.

–          Press button 2 and set Cycle 3 using button 3 (up) and button 4 (down) – 5 minutes.

–          Press button 5 to confirm settings.

7 cycle – Serial #: 541-170xx (Two Solenoids on the back of system)

–          Press button 2 and set Time of Day using button 3 (hours) and button 4 (minutes).

–          Press button 2 and set Cleaning Time using button 3 (hours) and button 4 (minutes) (default is 2:00am).

–          Press button 2 and set Capacity using button 3 (up) and button 4 (down) – 1200 gallons.

–          Press button 2 and set Reserve using button 3 (up) and button 4 (down) – 350 gallons.

–          Press button 2 and set Cycle 1 using button 3 (up) and button 4 (down) – 5 minutes.

–          Press button 2 and set Cycle 2 using button 3 (up) and button 4 (down) – 65 minutes.

–          Press button 2 and set Cycle 3 using button 3 (up) and button 4 (down) – 5 minutes.

–          Press button 2 and set Cycle 4 using button 3 (up) and button 4 (down) – 10 minutes.

–          Press button 5 to confirm settings.

*T o manually cycle system, press button 1 (an arrow in the lower left corner will display.  After 60 seconds the system will start the cleaning process)

**To change display options, press button 5 to switch between ‘time of day’, ‘capacity remaining’, and the flow meter.