Water Softener introducing air into pipes.

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james wentworth

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I installed a GE 40k grain water softener (Model# GXSH40V) in the basement of my two story home several months ago. This is the first WS in the house but it was plumbed for it (including ball valve bypass). For the first few months, not one single problem. Then, I started noticing air in the lines every morning. It seems like it only affects second story fixtures (i.e, master bath / shower / toilet).

At first I thought it was only after the WS regenerated but seems almost daily now. After the shower head or fixture does it's spittering and sputtering (approx 5 seconds), it resumes to normal pressure and stays that way for the rest of the day most of the time.

I by-passed the WS for about a week and there was NOT ONE single issue with air getting into the lines. After opening it back up, it went back to having air in the lines in the morning. The WS is programmed to regenerate at about midnight. I am going through salt normally and I have softened water.

Things I've checked:

1.) Float Assembly - seems to operate smoothly, no visible obstructions in the brinewell.
2.) Checked venturi cap - wasnt as tight as I figured, but tightening it did not resolve issue.
3.) Checked ferrule nut (connects brine line at venturi) and it was tight.
4.) Brine line doesn't seemed to be cracked
5.) All water line connections are dry and no leaks

So, what else could it be and how can I diagnose / check it? I'll take anything at this point.

It's still completely under GE Factory warranty for parts / labor, but GE customer service was the worst I've ever dealt with. Before I could finish my sentence, the CS employee interrupted me and said it was an installation issue. Wouldn't even hear me out or have a repair tech come and check it out to confirm this. Definitely the last GE product I will buy just based on CS alone. If I could exchange it at Home Depot I would.

Thanks a lot guys!


I shined my flashlight at the bottom of the brinewell and there appears to be salt pellets at the very bottom below the float assembly. Looking at photos, the brinewell tube looks slotted at the bottom. I would assume that the tube is supposed to flush (or dang close to it) on the bottom of the brine tank and water enters through the slots, preventing pellets to enter and interfere with the float assembly. Am I correct and if so, would this cause the air in the lines? Thanks!!
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Water systems designer, R&D
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Ontario California
In the bottom of the brine well is an air check. This item is simply a floating ball that plugs the brine line when there is no more water in the brine tank. If this item is obstructed or not functioning correctly the system will draw air into the tank and cause the problem you are experiencing. There should not be any salt in the brine well. The bottom of the brine well should have some fine slots to prevent this.
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