3 Things to Check When the Water Softener System Won't Stop Rinsing

lifting the lid of a water softener with a wrench in one hand

Water softener systems are great for generating water that is good for dry skin and easy on plumbing fixtures. However, these complex machines have a tendency to break from time to time. One common malfunction is a water softener that won’t finish its rinsing mode. If this happens, here are three things to check.

1. Push the Salt Down

Believe it or not, the pile of salt inside the water softener, even with the presence of water, can press against itself forming a sort of arch on the top of the pile while the bottom continues to erode away. This can cause an air bubble of sorts and fool the machine into thinking there is no salt within it. Try pushing the salt further down into the machine to break the arch and allow the unit to recognize the grains that are still inside.

2. Clean the Unit

Constant running may be a symptom of little or no brine draw. Take the unit apart and clean the nozzle and Venturi valve with a toothbrush and soapy water. If there are large amounts of iron in the water, a solvent that can dissolve iron (Such as Iron Out) may need to be used. Also, check to make sure that the drain valve is not stuck open by debris.

3. Service the Motor

The motor of a water softener may fail and become stuck in one cycle. If this is the case, it may be possible for a do-it-yourselfer to fix the problem by disassembling the motor, replacing the O-rings, and lubing up the springs. However, more often than not, if the motor is malfunctioning the unit may need to be serviced by a professional or replaced entirely.