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Proper Maintenance for Your Brine Tank

Compared to other appliances, water softeners are relatively low maintenance. However, they do require some regular maintenance to run efficiently and last as long as possible. Without the proper care, your softener may experience complications.
The information below can help you care for your brine tank. If you have any additional questions, talk to your water softener experts.

Common Complications

Dirty brine tank water softeners can experience an array of problems, including the following.

Clogged Venturi Valve

If your brine tank isn’t working properly, you may need to clean the venturi valve. During a regeneration cycle, the nozzle and venturi create suction that moves brine into the resin tank. After a few months, dirt and sediment can plug the venturi valve.
To ensure your water softener runs efficiently, clean the valve at least twice a year.

Salt Bridging

If you notice your water isn’t soft anymore but have already checked that the tank is full, you may have a salt bridge. This problem occurs when salt crusts over in the tank and creates a gap between the salt and water, which prevents salt from dissolving and making brine.

Salt bridging is usually caused by temperature changes or high humidity levels near the water softener, or by using the wrong type of salt in the softener. The fastest way to clear up a salt bridge problem is by gently pushing a broom handle on the salt to break up any solidified bridges.

However, this approach isn’t a long-term solution. Simply stirring the salt will only temporarily break the salt bridge. If left uncleaned, your tank will most likely form another bridge at a faster rate than before. Replace the salt or potassium with fresh product to prevent future bridging.

Clean out the salt in your tank at least once a year. If your tank uses potassium, clean the tank every three months. Additionally, avoid high humidity levels that can cause condensation. This water can bond the salt together to create salt bridges.

Salt Mushing

A more complicated issue for brine tanks is salt mushing. This problem occurs when salt recrystallizes to form sludge at the bottom of your tank. This thick salt layer prevents the softener from cycling in the regeneration process and creates a blockage.

If you try to push the broom handle on the salt, but feel no breakage, you most likely have salt mushing.

You will need to drain the softener, dig out the old salt, and then replace the salt with fresh product.

To prevent mushing, use high-quality salt pellets. Additionally, you should never overfill your brine tank. Keep the tank half full to prevent old salt from accumulating on the tank walls.

Cleaning Your Tank

You can also prevent common brine tank complications by regularly cleaning your tank. Here is the best way to clean your tank:

1. Prepare the Tank

Before you start cleaning, make sure the salt levels are at the minimum level. You may need to wait a few days for the salt levels to drop. You should also unplug the softener and disconnect the tank.

2. Dump the Tank Outside

Dig a 6-inch-deep pit in your yard away from grass and plants. Then place landscape cloth along the bottom to trap salt and brine.

Take the brine tank cover off and then pour out the contents into your pre-dug pit. Try to avoid getting brine on any plants-the high salt concentration will kill them.

3. Clean Tank Parts

Remove the brine valve chamber and disassemble the parts. Then use a power washer to clean inside the tank. Use a bristle brush to scrub the salt plate and brine valve, and then dry the pieces with rags. Be extremely careful when cleaning these pieces to avoid damaging them.

4. Reassemble and Fill the Tank

Reassemble the empty tank starting with the salt plate. Once you have assembled the tank, connect it to the power supply. You can then refill the tank with fresh salt. Finally, run the tank through a full water softener cycle to allow the system to refill and recalibrate.

You can keep your water softener running smoothly by cleaning it periodically. If you run into any complications or have any questions, reach out to a professional water softener company. The staff members there are your best resource for resolving any water softener problems.

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