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You are here: Knowledge Base > Water Not Soft, what could be wrong?
# 1 FAQ = High Water in Brine Tank - Problem -Softener does not remove the water from my salt tank or overflow
Last Updated: 12/18/2018
My softener does not remove the water from my salt tank when it regenerates.
What should I check?

1. Make sure all the fittings are tight. Also check the tubing going to the salt tank for small cracks. Any air leak will cause the valve to not draw the water out during the regeneration cycle.

2. Make sure the drain line is not clogged or restricted. This also can cause the valves normal suction to fail.
Note: "blowing through" is not how to confirm no "partial" obstruction, but would tell you if completely clogged.
Way to check Drain Hose for partial blockage:
You'd remove and look into connection at valve, and into hose for signs of "build up".
And the Best Way to TEST is by measuring the flow rate at the end of the drain hose / pipe, during the BACKWASH cycle.
8" tanks = 1.5 gpm
9" tanks = 2.0 gpm
10" tanks = 2.4 gpm

3. Check the injector and injector screen for debris or clogging.
If plugged with Debris, or if noticeably cracked, it would indicate that you've found the source of the problem.
Rubber o-rings or Gasket ( if any used for your model ) should also "look" good when you inspect.
If they look good, then they should be good, and the problem is elsewhere.

4. On Autotrol valves, check that the two large main valves ( # 2 and # 3 ) are fully closed during the Brine Rinse ( Draw ) cycle. If they fail to close, it results in no suction. In fact it will result in the valve attempting to fill the salt tank during the time it should be removing the salt water. This could be caused by something near the metal "tab" blocking the "tab" from standing straight up ( closing the rubber valve underneath, inside ), OR you could have something inside preventing full closure. On older valves, this can be caused by chlorine damage to the rubber valve discs.
See the Rebuild guides on our Do It Yourself ( DIY ) Repairs page for more about the Valve Discs functions and how to replace them.
155, 168 or 255 or 268 Performa

For Piston Assembly or Rotor Disc Valves, the problem can be caused by internal leaks due to wear or damaged Pistons, Rotor, and especially the Seals they contact with in the control valve. Replacement guides for common types will be found on our DIY repairs page.
SEARS, GE SmartWater, NorthStar - specific things to check are Gasket in Venturi assembly, and the Seal Kit rubber.


MORE > Brine Suction problem Help if you have the Fleck 5600 valve.

MORE > Brine Suction problem or High Water in Salt tank with Clack WS1 Valve

5. If your Resin Tank is INSIDE the Brine Tank ( one piece "cabinet" design popular in Europe and the U.S.A. ), you may have a leak in the RESIN TANK. Try unplugging the electric, so the Valve can NOT regenerate, and see if the water level continues to Rise from one day to the next.

6. Also check for leaking of the Brine Valve, which should be closed after the Brine Refill is completed.
You can disconnect the Brine tubing at the Control Valve end to make sure the Valve is not sending any water to the Brine Tank area ( this could occur if the # 1 Valve Disc ( on Autotrol Valves ) or Brine Piston Assembly ( on Fleck Valves ) or Internal Seal leak ( on Rotor Disc type valves ) is being held open by debris of some kind or is very worn due to age.

Be sure to check out the Knowledge Base of Questions and Answers page,

And WatermanAndy's YouTube Channel Videos




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