Maximize Your Water Softener’s Efficiency with Our Brine Tank Guide

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Written By John Stephen
I’m John, the person behind the aquahow blog. I love to investigate water conditions and ways of building water filters. Mostly for my aquariums and home use.

A water softener brine tank is used to turn the hard water into drinkable soft water with fewer minerals and salt. With no added minerals, the water is helpful to clean your clothes, appliances, car, windowpanes, and dishes without worrying about the damage it can cause. 

How does a water softener brine tank work?

Everyone loves freshwater with no contamination in it. The water software runs on a process called ion exchange. Special metals are used to move calcium and magnesium from the water. As soon as the hard water enters the tank, it is sent to the resin beads. 

These beads are made of plastic material, usually use to filter the water and keep the large particle aside while water moves ahead through the beads. 

They are made of polystyrene, which is charged with sodium ions. 

On the other hand, the resin beads are anions that have a negative charge. When the water flows, that contains a large amount of calcium and magnesium minerals that have a positive charge. 

When two particles with opposite charges meet together, they get attracted to each other. The minerals are combined with the resin beads and stick to them. 

As the hard water moves through the resin, the bread capture as many negatively charge mineral ions and separate them from the flowing water. 

When the bead seizes the mineral ion, the process also releases the sodium ion into the water. 

During the filtration process, all the hardness is empty in the tank, and water becomes lighter and mineral-free. 

Finally, the filtered water flows out through the connected pipe, which reaches your home for regular use.

How do I know if my brine tank is working?

Steps to know my brine tank is working
Steps guide to know my brine tank is working – infographic

There are several ways you can identify the brain tank condition by looking at the water quality. Here are some of the signs that will confirm a problem with the brine tank working process.

1) Squeaky Hands: 

When you pour the water on your hand or deep hand in the bucket of water, you will notice the hands feel sticky. In some cases, the hand will become a little dry. Water will not get absorbed into your skin like normal water does.

2) Hard water: 

If your home water line is contaminated with hard water, it is a clear sign that the brine tank is not working correctly.

3) Salty Water: 

The water may taste salty when the brine tank is not working. The water condition is not drinkable. 

4) Change in color: 

This is the most common indication that something is wrong with your brine tank. The color of the water may appear cloudy.

Should there be water in my water softener brine tank?

Yes. The brine tank would have the salt and water to make the brine work as usual. The brine is used to recharge the media bread contain in the water softeners. The brine efficiency is determined based on the water level in the tank.

The different types of brine tanks would have varying capacities to hold the water in the tank. 

You should check the specification of the product to know more about how much water it should have in the tank. 

The tank with the small cabinet may not require more water and salt for the regeneration process. Hence you will find too little water in the brine tank.

Why does my water softener brine tank overflow?

There are several reasons why the water softener brine tank start is overflowing. One of the common reasons is the failure of the whole system. The malfunction in the brine line may cause the water to start filling in the tank, whereas the assembly line is shut down.

Another reason is the damaged valve may cause the water to flow continuously in the tank, which causes a never-ending water supply in the tank. Eventually, the water gets filled to the top, and it spills out. 

Two primary systems manage the water pumping the tank and sending the water out through the assembly line. 

The system overflows when the system brine water float is not working fine and shut off assembly.

On the other hand, the water feed is still running and keeps filling the tank. Or the vice versa situation occurs that causes the system to fail and water starts coming out from the top lid.

The system should get rid of all the water before it starts refilling the tank. Due to the system’s failure, it keeps refilling, which causes the water to flow continuously in the tank. 

When such a situation occurs to your softener, you need an emergency fix to avoid the appliance getting damaged. 

Water softener brine tank not filling up?

The salt in the brine tank becomes crystallized when it is packed too loosely. The crystals start to bond with other crystals making the rock-like object. Eventually, the mass of the salt gets stuck at the bottom of the tank, making it hard to pass the water. 

The large mass of salt starts blocking the filling line making it hard for the water tank to get a sufficient amount of water in the tank. 

The only solution to fix this problem is to empty the entire tank and clean the bloating. Repack the salt property again to fix the issue. 

Every software is made of different materials, so before you start placing the equipment back after the cleaning, ensure that you know the type of salt used in the packets. 

Check the manuals provided by the manufacturer of the product for more information.

How much water should be in the brine tank after regeneration?

The water software would be required around a water level of around 6 to 10 inches from the bottom layer. However, you should check the salt layer because if the salt layer is higher than your water level, you will not detect the water in the tank. 

The water is poured into the tank when the regeneration process is activated. 

Water softener brine tank replacement?

Water software generally lasts for 10 to 20 years, depending on the quality of your area’s product and water condition. When it comes to replacement, you may have to replace certain parts of it, or the whole system may need replacement in bad condition. You can easily find the replacement of the water softener from the local store. 

How long does a brine tank last?

The average life of the brine tank is about 12 years. Life may get extended if the water supply is good in your area. Some brine tanks last for around 20 years without needing replacement. 

Why won’t my water softener stop draining?

The most common draining problem occurs when there is clogging in the system. When the drain line, control, injector, or brine line is blocked, the draining system will stop working. Also, if the water pressure in your house is too low, it may not have proper draining. 

Any blockage in the system has to remove else. The system will not work properly.

How do you empty a brine tank?

There are various methods that you can use the empty your brine tank. One of them is scooping out all the water left in the brine tank. Another way is to use the wet-dry vacuum. The vacuum will suck the water inside and push them out from the other hand. 

These wet-dry vacuums are specially designed to suck the water and dry item from the container. 

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