Brine tank almost overflowed

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by LLigetfa, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,055
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    When I installed the softener 12 years ago, I never bothered to plumb the overflow tube to the drain. Well... yesterday I looked in the brine tank and see the level a mere inch short of overflowing.

    Now and then I let the tank get real low so that I can bust up the caked up material in the bottom. I usually do that around about the same time I run Super Iron Out through the system. I'm guessing there were some impurities stirred up that then got sucked up only to clog the venturi. A little shot of compressed air got it going again.

    Guess I'll plumb that overflow to the drain and keep an eye on it. I might have to tear into the head and clean it out. As for the caked up gunk on the bottom, I think I'll just scoop it out and toss it from now on.
  2. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Alaska
    Why not just take the system off line for a short time to clean out the injector assembly. It depends on the system and the water as to how often it should be cleaned.
    Some will have a spare so that when the level in the brine tank comes up they change out the parts and then let them soak in some thing like iron out or vinegar to remove build up that slows or stops the pulling of the brine from the brine tank.

    The challenge with putting a drain line on the brine tank is that often it will be running to the drain for months before any one notices that there is a problem with the system as a whole.
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,055
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The consequence of not putting a drain line on the tank is that it could leave quite a mess on the concrete floor if it went unnoticed.

    I had my water guy clean the head and rebed the softener a couple of years ago so I don't think it is a mineral scaling issue. It worked for 10 years before it was cleaned. I think it was just the crud I churned up. Anyway, after I blew out the line, I ran it through a regen and it sucked up all the brine in the tank so I know it is working.

    The overflow is very near the top so unless I kept it right full, I would see that it is overflowing. The problem was not with the fill valve sticking, but rather that it wasn't drawing. Had I not noticed the level of brine, I would have soon noticed running out of soft water. I recently had house guests and had jacked up the brine fill rate to the max so it didn't take more than one regen cycle missed draw for it to get so full. Silly me, forgot to turn the brine fill rate back down when the guests left. If the fill valve were to stick, I would certainly hear that.
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,055
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I just got back home, being away on vacation and the softener went through two or three regens without issue. I thought about unplugging the clock while we were gone to stop the regens but didn't. Opted to just turn down the fill rate.

    I don't know if adjusting the fill rate to keep up with demand is the right thing to do or not. Sometimes I'll just do a manual regen between programmed cycles if I think I'm running out of soft water.
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