Cleaning the brine tank... clogging the resin?

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MaxBlack

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Our brine tank has not been cleaned in 5 years and while I can screen/skim dirt off the top of the water, I'm feeling the need to scoop-out salt and water and do a more thorough cleaning. As I allow the salt in the tank to be used up such that the water line is above the salt pellets, does the regen do a significantly poorer job of cleaning the resin? Do I risk "clogging" the resin by allowing the water's salt concentration to lessen? Or would fresh regen cycles following cleaning restore the resin to full performance?

I've never cleaned a brine tank and am imagining something of a mess and multiple 5 gallon buckets to lift water and salt out of the tank, so wish to limit how much is in there!
 

Reach4

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Brine can stratify, tho LLigetfa might disagree. Stratificaton would cause a weaker brine dose. If you can scoop salt to one side so some salt is at the water line, it will not stratify. Another way to deal with this, I think, would be to stir the brine once or twice between regens.
 

LLigetfa

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Stratification is not the issue with a build-up in the bottom of the brine tank. The build up can slightly reduce the volume of salt used during a regen but it can also clog the float mechanism in the intake screen. A salt grid can extend the time between cleaning and prevent clogging the intake/air check.

I periodically allow the salt level to drop well below the water level to make it easier to lift and clean out the brine tank. I dump the salt and "mush" onto my gravel driveway to kill weeds.
 

Bannerman

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The maximum salt saturation for the brine produced is 3 lbs salt per gallon of water that enters the brine tank. Salt will rapidly dissolve to fully saturate the water within ~1.5 hrs.

As long as some salt remains below the brine level 2-hrs after the water entered the brine tank, then the brine will be fully saturated and will continue to regenerate the appropriate amount of resin softening capacity for that salt dose.

After cleaning out debris and washing the brine tank, suggest using a weak chlorine solution (1 Tbl spoon unscented chlorine bleach to 1 gallon water) to sanitize the interior of the brine tank.
 

ZiggyGT

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I cleaned my brine tank after 24years. There was a sludge in the bottom that was disgusting. Is this usually residue from rock salt instead of solar salt or part of the resin precipitating out? I waited until my salt was nearly out and then stopped the regen cycle after the Brine tank was emptied. It was disgusting.
 

Bannerman

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I cleaned my brine tank after 24years.
Water softener salt is not pure, but will contain some small amount of non dissolvable materials. Even if 99.8% pure, that could mean up to 2 lbs of unwanted debris for every 1000 lbs of salt added to the brine tank.

The general recommendation every few years is to allow the remaining salt to become depleted until minimal remains, then dump and rinse-out the entire tank. Suggest also utilizing a small quantity of unscented chlorine bleach and water solution to sanitize the interior of the brine tank.
 

ZiggyGT

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Water softener salt is not pure, but will contain some small amount of non dissolvable materials. Even if 99.8% pure, that could mean up to 2 lbs of unwanted debris for every 1000 lbs of salt added to the brine tank.

The general recommendation every few years is to allow the remaining salt to become depleted until minimal remains, then dump and rinse-out the entire tank. Suggest also utilizing a small quantity of unscented chlorine bleach and water solution to sanitize the interior of the brine tank.
Thanks, I never did that in 24 years of use. Small wonder it was such a mess, It was easily 2lbs of goo. I guess I should read the manual this time around. It would be far easier to clean if there was a drain or cleanout port. I should have listened when my wife said the water smelt bad. it was difficult to get the bine float out to clean the tank. Fittings were really a mess so I disconnected from the Timer and snaked out the brine hose thought the side of the tank. Not built for cleanout.
 
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