Troubleshooting Water Softener Brine Tank Problems

lifting the lid on a water softener

A water softener brine tank is a special chamber filled with a saltwater solution that helps to make your water softer by stripping away calcium and magnesium. The system works great; unfortunately, the brine tank can be prone to various common problems that will leave your water feeling a whole lot harder than it should. These problems include overflowing tanks, saline and calcium build up, and malfunctioning valves, all of which can result in you trying fruitlessly to suds up in hard, mineral-laden water. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most common problems with a water softener brine tank, and how to troubleshoot and resolve them.

1. Water is Still Hard

Telltale signs of hard water include water spots on glasses, a mineral scum in the bathtub, dull hair, and having to work way harder than you should to get any sort of lather from your soap or shampoo. If you’re starting to notice these problems, even though you’ve already installed a water softener system, then you can be sure that something just isn’t working right. The first thing you can check is that the brine tank is salty enough. You do have to replenish the salt from time to time, so make sure that you’re replenishing the salt pellets on a regular basis.

If you have been faithfully salting your brine tank, however, you might have the opposite problem: salt build up in the tank that isn’t allowing water to pass through. Use soap and water to thoroughly wash away any salty residue to keep your water softener system working optimally.

2. Full Tank

water softener

Your brine tank shouldn’t have more than a few inches of water in it at a given time. If you find that your tank is way too full, maybe even overflowing, then the problem is probably that water isn’t being drawn with enough power through the tank valve and nozzle. Take the nozzle apart and clean it thoroughly with a toothbrush, soap and water to remove any scum or build up. Check for iron build up in the tank and valve, which can be removed with a specially adapted product, and make sure the valve drain hose is free of blockages, obstructions and kinks. Make sure that the O-valve rings that connect the valve are in good shape and don’t need to be replaced.

3. Salt Won’t Dissolve

When you’re inspecting your brine tank, you may notice the salt isn’t dissolving correctly, but just kind of floating around in clumps in the water. You may be using salt that’s too large or adding too much salt at the wrong time. Try to carefully stir the solution to encourage the salt to dissolve and set a regeneration schedule for the resin bed.