3
   

Water Softener Tank Brine level

 
 
Bob6831
 
Reply Wed 30 Aug, 2006 04:36 pm
Hi.
Have a problem with forgetting to put new salt in my tank every once in a while, and find that whole tank has turned to brine to a level of about 1 foot. Since if I try to add new salt then, the brine will go to the top and overflow. Is there a way to 'fix' this problem without having to scoop out and throw the brine away?
Thx
 
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Aug, 2006 05:26 pm
Many of my clients forget to add salt blocks/pellets - I offer a reload service for my local customers.

In your case I suggest you find someone that offers a reload service in your area and if your brine tank
is filling up without adding salt you could have a brine draw problem that needs to be investigated.

HTH ~
Bob6831
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Aug, 2006 06:17 pm
Sorry, but I don't understand your answer.
Why would I hire someone to do it??? I can dump the brine out and refill with salt pellets myself, but am trying to not have to waste all that brine.
And... are you saying that when salt tablet level gets too low, it should not turn to all brine???
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Aug, 2006 06:33 pm
My bad.

After another read of your post it sounds like your salt has caked into a one foot deep solid pile of mush.

Is this correct?
Bob6831
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Aug, 2006 08:30 pm
No, it is a 1 foot column of salt brine (liquid!)
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Aug, 2006 08:52 pm
OK, the liquid brine is fine. Just add a bag / block or two of salt to the tank and you should be OK.
Adding a splash of bleach in the salt tank every now and then would be a good thing.
0 Replies
 
Bob6831
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Aug, 2006 03:43 pm
Geez!
Is it me????
I thought that I stated my problem correctly. If I try to fill the tank with salt pellets now, because of the liquid brine, the brine will rise above the salt I add and overflow. Is there a way resolve this without wasting the brine????
Thx
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Sep, 2006 08:29 pm
"What we've got here is a failure to communicate."
It sounds like you have a brine draw problem.
The brine tank should not be filling up about to overflow.

Start fresh.

Dump or syphon all of the brine out of the tank.
Add correct salt pellets or blocks - never fill tank with pellets.
If you can, put the system into backwash immediately - otherwise let it regenerate automatically.

If the water level continues to rise over time have the system serviced.
0 Replies
 
Bob6831
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 1 Sep, 2006 09:09 pm
Ok, I am going to try 1 last time. Am getting aggravated.
THE TANK DID NOT FILL UP TO OVERFLOWING WITH THE BRINE!!!!!!!!!!
I said the low level salt (did not fill up with new salt in time) turned to liquid brine. I have thrown this out before and refilled ok with new salt. I was asking if there was a way to 'save' this brine, or 're-convert' it back to salt, so I did NOT have to throw it out. When I mentioned overflowing, I was referring to adding salt to the tank after this 1 foot high column of brine was there. Since liquid would rise above the solid salt tablets, if I put enough solid new salt in, the liquid brine would overflow from the tank!!!!!!!!
What do you mean by 'never fill tank with pellets'?????? How do you add new salt 'pellets' then? Or do you mean 'do not fill it to the very top'?
Bob
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Sep, 2006 10:14 pm
Bob6831 wrote:
do you mean 'do not fill it to the very top'?
Bob


Correct.
0 Replies
 
angie06
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Sep, 2006 10:24 pm
Bob I can't believe your reponse to H2O_Man - to quote your post "am getting aggravated". H2O_Man has helped a lot of people on this site and receives nothing in return. Your post was confusing. How could adding one bag of salt overfill your brine tank? And what is the big deal about throwing out a little brine? Just dump it out, add salt and manually regenerate.

I think you owe H2O_Man an apology. He is under no obligation to help you or anyone else. Seems to me you should be a little more grateful, not "aggravated". Just my opinion.
0 Replies
 
Bob6831
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Sep, 2006 05:58 pm
Ok, Angie, I apologize for being a little short with H20 man. Lets pick on you instead!
Where did I say putting 1 bag of salt in would cause overflow?
And, shouldn't my question get an answer and not a judgment on whether it is a good question or not? You may have no problem with throwing brine away, but maybe I don't want to!
Bob
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Sep, 2006 06:59 pm
Hey Bob, could you post a picture of your situation? It couldn't hurt...


Thank you for your support Angie06 Cool
0 Replies
 
Bob6831
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Sep, 2006 07:59 pm
ok, I have a jpeg picture...... but how do I paste it into this reply?????
copy-paste does not work.
0 Replies
 
goots
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 01:06 pm
@H2O MAN,
Hello H2O man. I know this is a reply to an old post, but I am desparate for info. You asked this poster if he had a foot of solid mush in the bottom of his tank. I do!! What is the problem and how can I fix it?
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 01:31 pm
@goots,
goots wrote:

Hello H2O man. I know this is a reply to an old post, but I am desparate for info.
You asked this poster if he had a foot of solid mush in the bottom of his tank.

I do!! What is the problem and how can I fix it?



Hello!
You need to dump or scoop all of that salt out of the brine tank.

What brand/type of salt are you using?
0 Replies
 
wd8dsb
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 May, 2009 05:39 am
H2Oman,

I too have a question about mush.

I am having problems in which I run out of soft water way before I reach the regeneration point for my system (and I do have my grains per gallon set correctly). I even set my reserve value higher on my Fleck control valve so that I regenerate sooner than necessary, but still run out of soft water.

I noticed that the water level in the well was higher than the water level in the salt section of my salt tank which indicates some sort of isolation between the well and the area where the salt sits. Dug out all my salt last night, and sure enough the bottom foot was all mush with lots of hard caked salt above it.

I installed this water softener approximately 9 months ago, and used brand new crystal diamond salt since it contains a low amount of solids. Nevertheless I am very disappointed, and wonder what I can do to prevent mush from forming.

This is my second water softener, and am convinced (from an engineering standpoint), that a robust water softener has yet to be designed.

Any and all comments would be greatly appreciated.

Don
justalurker
 
  2  
Reply Thu 14 May, 2009 09:10 am
@wd8dsb,
Hi Don,

It would be helpful to know whether you are on a water system or a well and what are the specific conditions of your water. Also, what brand and model of softener you have and how many people are in the home.

"This is my second water softener, and am convinced (from an engineering standpoint), that a robust water softener has yet to be designed".

That will come as news to the million upon millions upon millions of water softener owners worldwide that enjoy soft water for decades with a minimum of maintenance.

Here are tips that might help you... never put in more salt in the brine tank than necessary to cover the water. The more salt in the brine tank the more weight on the salt at the bottom and the quicker it will mush or bridge.

Once a month, take a gallon of hot tap water and slowly pour it down the brine well (the round 4" tube in the brine tank where the float lives). That will help dissolve any salt that has "bricked up" at the bottom of the brine tank and around the brine pickup.

Once a year take your brine tank outside (if it has a seperate brine tank) and remove all the salt and thoroughly clean the inside. Don't start chipping away salt with a screwdriver cause you will damage the brine tank. Any hardened salt can be dissolved with hot tap water. If your softener is in the garage and the water heater is there a hose from the water heater drain works perfect to dissolve hardened salt and that's a good time to drain the water heater, done that yearly ? If your softener is an all-in-one cabinet design then you have more work to do and may have to clean out the brine area where it sits. When you're done, add a couple gallons of water to the brine tank and a bag of salt. After the softener regenerates add salt to cover the standing water and no more.

A correctly sized and setup softener will regenerate every 6 or 7 days, more often if there is an iron problem. A longer interval between regenerations can cause salt problems and be hard on the resin.

0 Replies
 
wd8dsb
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 May, 2009 10:26 am
Hello Justalurker,

My previous softener was a GE unit that had the same control valve found on low end units like Sears, etc., and that control valve is a very unreliable design (the sliding seals/o-rings take a beating), and I had to clean and repair that unit numerous times over an 8 year period.

Replaced the GE softener with a water softener that I purchased on line from quality water for less. It's the Fleck 5600SXT which uses a separate tank for the salt/brine system. I purchased the 32,000 grain unit since there are only 2 people in our home. Water is city water and the hardness is 26 grains per gallon.

You can read all over the internet about people having problems with their water softeners, and you can also read lots of contradictions regarding type of salt to use (pellets versus cubes, etc. as well as problems with bridging and mush).

If you can't fill the tank full of salt due to bridging and mush problems, then the fundamental design of water softeners is flawed. I am a design engineer (electrical by education, mechanical via work experience) and have been in the manufacturing sector for over 23 years, and I can assure you that the method of pulling brine from the bottom of the simple designed salt tanks used in household water softeners is in fact a faulty concept (but allows the system to be kept simple from a controls standpoint). I would rather pay for a salt/brine tank design that can handle bridging and mush (I would most likely design the system to pull brine from above the solids level in order to avoid interference from bridging and mush).

Nevertheless, I would sure like to know the best way to avoid or greatly limit mush using the common household water softener, and I am in total agreement with you regarding limiting the amount of salt in the salt/brine tank. In reality, I am pretty sure the amount of salt just needs to be one non dissolved pellet still in the salt/brine tank just prior to the brine cycle, as one non dissolved pellet would indicate a fully saturated condition (this would indicate a near perfect equilibrium condition).

Very interesting topic, and frustrating topic at the same time.
Don
justalurker
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 May, 2009 11:15 am
@wd8dsb,
Hi Don,

Your current softener is a good choice but the bad news is that with 26g hardness and two people that 32k softener is not only undersized for the best 6-7 day regeneration interval but probably undersized in SFR and that may be why your hardness is leaking through and your water doesn't hold soft until regeneration.

The correct size softener for your requirements should be a 1.5 cu ft unit not the 1 cu ft unit you purchased. Who sized the softener... you or the internet seller?

I'm not an engineer and I don't do why questions. The tips I gave you are the how that works. There are gazillions of softeners working properly with those "flawed design" brine tanks.

Could there be a brine tank and pickup design? Sure there can. Then the brine tank would cost $1100 instead of $100 and have 30 moving parts and require a power supply but I'm not sure it would be better.

The simple and easy to service design of the contemporary brine tank and safety float has earned lots of fans and for it's very modest cost and it's reliability.

You can always build the better brine tank and pickup for your own use but until you have a correctly sized and setup softener your brine tank is not the problem that requires attention.

 

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