Why Do Water Softeners Need to Drain? 

Hard water has a lot of mineral buildup that leaves behind “deposits” in your plumbing, appliances, and skin. It can also make your water taste sour, cause stains on dishes and silverware and affect the way you clean your home. 

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Having a water softener is a great way to enjoy better-smelling and healthier water for your family and home. It can also save you money on your utility bills and help you maintain a healthy living environment for the whole family. 

Why Do I Need To Drain My Water Softener?

A water softener works by pumping hard, calcium- and magnesium-rich water through a system that contains negatively charged resin beads. This is similar to how magnets work: positive charges attract and repel each other. 

When a water softener regenerates, it flushes all the salty brine through these negatively-charged resin beads and then drains it out. This process is also how the water softener gets rid of excess minerals and iron that have built up in the resin tank over time. 

The amount of water that you drain from your water softener depends on several factors, including the hardness of the water and the capacity of the resin tank. It is a good idea to check the amount of brine you need to drain from your water softener once a week or so. 

If the amount of water you need to drain is not enough, the next step is to investigate what might be causing it to drain more often than usual. A common problem is a clog in the drain line. It might be a simple problem like an obstructed connection or a more complicated issue, such as a twisted pipe. If you’re not sure what is causing your water softener to drain more frequently than it should, a professional can help identify the problem and recommend a solution. 

Your Water Softener’s Control Valve May Be Seizing Up

If your water softener continues to drain even after you’ve drained all the brine, the first thing to look at is the control valve. Your water softener’s control valve is a heavy-duty piston with watertight seals that circle around it to keep the water from flowing past it. 

Over time, these seals will eventually become faulty and allow water to flow through the control valve. If you notice that water is continuously draining from your water softener, it’s likely the control valve main piston has seized up and needs to be repaired or replaced. 

During the repair or replacement of your water softener’s control valve, you’ll want to replace the seals on the piston. This will stop the water from continuing to drain when it should be advancing the regeneration cycle. 

Your Water Softener’s Resin Beads Are Too Filtered

When your water softener is in operation, the water pumps through a system filled with negatively-charged resin beads that are designed to filter out the hard minerals and iron that have built up in the water. When the water passes through the beads, the positively-charged salt and calcium ions are attracted to the negatively-charged resin beads, while the calcium and magnesium ions are repelled.