How to Clean Your Water Softener Tank
As is the case with most appliances, water softeners require routine maintenance to achieve peak performance and reach their expected lifespans of about 10 to 15 years. But, how do you maintain a water softener? One key component of extending the life of this important appliance is cleaning out its resin and brine tanks.
What Are the Resin and Brine Tanks?
Let’s quickly review how a water softener works. To rid a home’s water supply of “hard” calcium and magnesium minerals, a water softener replaces these minerals with sodium in a process known as ion exchange. The ion exchange process is facilitated using two tanks—the mineral tank, which is full of resin beads, and the brine tank, which contains salt pellets and a solution that flushes the mineral tank, exchanging the hard minerals for sodium.
How Can I Keep These Tanks Clean?
Keeping the mineral tank clean and functioning properly is as simple as cleaning the appliance’s resin beads every now and then. There are several bottled resin bead cleaners available for purchase, and you can refer to the water softener owner’s manual to see what type of cleaner is best and how often you should clean your tank.
Cleaning the brine tank about once every year is also important. The salt pellets stored in this tank can sometimes break down and create a lovely “sludge” that hinders the water softener’s performance over time. The specifics of how to properly clean a brine tank can vary based on its type, so be sure to read your owner’s manual before attempting this. Generally speaking, though, cleaning a water softener’s brine tank involves:
- Following instructions in the owner’s manual, switch the water softener to “bypass mode” and disconnect all lines to and from the brine tank.
- Dump out water from the brine tank and remove remaining salt with a shovel (but don’t pour it on your lawn or plants!).
- If the tank has a brine grid on the bottom, remove it.
- Squeeze a few tablespoons of dish soap into the tank along with one or two gallons of water. Then, gently scrub the tank using a long-handled brush.
- Dump the soapy water, then rinse out the tank with clean water.
- Next, pour a few gallons of water with ¼ cup of household bleach into the tank and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Scrub again with the long-handled brush.
- Dump the bleach water and rinse out the tank with clean water.
- Connect the brine tank back to the water softener and switch off bypass mode.
- Pour about 5 gallons of clean water into the brine tank along with the appropriate amount of salt pellets (for most water softeners, the brine tank should be at least one quarter full of salt).
Florida’s Water Softener Experts
Florida Energy Water & Air is a highly rated, family-owned water softener company
with an unmatched track record of providing top-quality products and attentive service. And as an authorized dealer for RainSoft, we install only the best water softeners for our customers throughout Central and South Florida. Contact us today to receive a free quote or to schedule a consultation at your home.