How to Drain and Clean a Water Softener

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Cleaning your water softener’s brine tank is not necessarily easy. The good news is that it only needs to be done once a year. This guide describes how to drain and clean a water softener. Some of the salt pellets available in home improvement stores and supermarkets contain “evaporative salts.”

These salts contain high levels of water impurities or water-insoluble matter. These impurities then cause the water softener to malfunction or buildup. IF your brine tank has any buildup, then it has to be cleaned regularly not just once annually. The other option is to check the salt pellet sack to ensure you get salt pellets of the highest purity possible.

How to Clean Your Brine Tank

  1. Disconnect all hoses or lines from the water softener from the brine tank.
  2. The next step is to dump the water out of the brine tank. Avoid dumping it on the grass or lawn to avoid damaging it with the dissolved salt.
  3. Manually take out the remaining salt and discard it as well. Sometimes the salt tank may contain a block of salt. Warm water can be used to loosen this block, and you can break it out.
  4. Some tanks have a “brine grid” at the bottom of the reservoir. You should take it out as well.
  5. Pour water/soap mixture into the tank scrub and rinse with clean water.
  6. Pour about 3 gallons of clean water into the brine tank. Add a cup of household bleach, stir and let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. Scrub it with a brush and chlorine water.
  7. Rinse with clean water, restore all accessories and reconnect the drain and water softener.
  8. Finally, add the water softening salt to the brine tank. It should be not less than two 50-lb bags. You will achieve the best results when the tank is at least a quarter full. You should also not fill the salt to the brim, but you should leave about 7 inches below the rim of the tank.

Causes of Poor Water Softener Drainage

1. Poorly Installed Hose

One of the reasons that your water softener may not be draining is if the hose is connected such that it’s higher than the softener at any one point. A blocked or kinked hose pipe could also cause poor drainage. Having the exit end in water could also cause the softener not to drain properly.

2 Poorly Installed Incoming Water Lines

Sometimes during installation, the incoming-water-lines may be hooked incorrectly. The water then flows in the wrong direction, causing the water count in the display does not increase.

3. Wrongly Programmed Timer

Programming of the Timer/Faceplate with the incorrect model code may also cause the softener not to drain properly. The other reason for poor or no drainage is a Venturi Assembly that is not providing the pipe with suctioning.

4. Dried Seals

Dried seals can also cause drainage problems. Always get professional help if you are not comfortable opening or troubleshooting your water softener system. If your warranty is still valid, the best option is to contact your supplier and have it checked to avoid voiding the warranty.

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