Cleaned the brine tank, Now no soft water?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by thegoldenhand, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. thegoldenhand

    thegoldenhand New Member

    Messages:
    34
    So this Saturday I decided to clean my brine tank after seeing stranded murky water in the brine tank. I put the system on bypass, removed the power on the system and got on with the clean up. I took apart the brine tank and just jumped whatever it had (powdered salt, murky water etc). Washed it, wiped it down, put it back together, put new bags (about 5 bags) or morton salt, put the power back on, put it back in service mode, put it on regenerate mode and then ran the water inside for about 15 minutes.

    I've noticed though that since cleaning it, I no longer get that soft water. Before I left for work today I put it in regenerate mode again and will check if it changes anything.

    Could I have broken anything with my system? How long should it really take for me to enjoy the softened water again? In the first place, why was there stuck up, murky water and powdered salt in the brine tank? The house was empty for a good 2 years before we moved in recently. Please advise. Thanks!

    BTW the system is New Age which was probably installed back in 94 when the house was built.
  2. ByteMe

    ByteMe New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Midland Texas
    I am not the expert here, but from what i have been reading...


    This house and water softener was not in use for two years? I'd guess the resin is fouled, I'd use citric acid to clean it. Buy some from home depot to clean water softener and follow the instructions. It will be something like pour a cup or so into the salt tank (down that tube). Then do a manual regenerate.


    *edit* Did you have soft water directly before you did the cleaning?
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  3. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,837
    Location:
    Ontario California
    I would recommend a Hach 5B test kit, or some way of knowing what the hardness is. It is a relatively cheap investment, and a lot cheaper than a repair guy. Assuming the system has been sitting for a couple years, do a resin sanitization. NewAge has been gone for many years, post a picture of the unit, probably a 5600 econominder, and we can help you out a little better.

    Brine tanks get dirty, this is normal. They should be cleaned occassionaly, dump it out, wipe it down with some bleach and water, refill with salt and 5 gallons of water, done. if you read the salt bads, you will notice that it is 99.9% pure salt, leaving .05 pounds of ??? per bag used. Salt is very regional due to the shipping costs, so salts in certain parts of the country is much cleaner than others. The vast majority of the salt used in California comes from Guerro Negro Mexico, I have toured the facilities there,and it always surprised me how many birds are flying over the salt that goes into your softeners. :)
  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Is there any water in the brine tank?
  5. thegoldenhand

    thegoldenhand New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Hi! Thanks for the replies. Yes before I cleaned the system we enjoyed the softened water. I just decided to clean the brine tank after seeing the murky stranded water which was about 1/3 of the tank. Right now when I look at it, I don't see any water in the tank anymore. Unless it's at the bottom covered by salt?

    Here are a couple of pics of the system with the model # as well. Thanks!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/13487904@N07/8185495302/in/photostream
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  6. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    When you initially set up the softener, (or anytime you empty the brine tank) you have to add water back into the tank. If you don't, there will be no brine for it to use when it regenerates.
  7. thegoldenhand

    thegoldenhand New Member

    Messages:
    34
    oh, i didn't know that. so how much water should i put in? i put 5 bags of salt in the brine tank. thanks for your help!
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Five bags of salt doesn't leave much space for water unless you have a salt grid. Since it regenerated, it put some wate in teh tank but it isn't enough because there was none to regnerate with and there's always a few inches of water left in the tank at teh end of the brine draw.

    Add a couple gallons of water poured down the brine well into the water if you have a brine well, if not then pour it down the side of the tank instead of down the middle of the salt. Just watch no water overflows out the overflow elbow on to the floor.
  9. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,483
    Location:
    Alaska
    Normal start up could be 5 gallons of water into the brine/salt tank and then the salt. One could start with a few bags or the 6-8 bags depending on the size of the brine/salt tank with or with out the salt table at the bottom of the tank.
    The table at the bottom does make it easier for the water to collect so that it can be removed while in the brine draw part of the cycle but will not make or break the system.
    Water will find away of both getting to the bottom of the tank and to fill in the spaces around the salt.
    If the salt table was needed 100% of the time then many wells that supply water to homes and towns would not work as they are in sand/gravel pockets and some times loss clay.
    Well drillers understand that part and pump setters should also.
  10. thegoldenhand

    thegoldenhand New Member

    Messages:
    34
    So now there's water in the brine tank and softener seems to be working ok although not as soft as it used to. The water is now also above the salt line (about a bit more than half of the tank is water). Do I just add more salt bags till the water is under the salt? Thanks!
  11. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,175
    Location:
    Maine
    You didn't by chance loosen up or damage the brine line or fittings did you?
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