Leaking of water softeners is something that can never be “It’s ok” to leave because the bigger the issues, the bigger the concerns will become for you. But it really doesn’t mean that you got panicked after seeing formation of puddle water around your water softener where it is installed but be careful o not to step into it.
There can be so many causes for your water softener leakage it may be in tak, drain lines, connections and hoses, but it can be spotted easily after you turn the power supply off for water softener otherwise failure to turn off power will have worse consequences due to electricity.
Here in this article today I am going to give you a complete coverage about the main reasons for the leaking water softener and also solutions that can fix them. The solutions are really easy and you can do them yourself but still if there’s a situation that you can’t tackle you can call out professionals for help.
Let’s get started but first you should know how to diagnose whether your water softener really has a leakage issue or not.
How to Diagnose if Your Water Softener Is Leaking?
It is important to diagnose either your water softener is leaking or not before knowing the exact location for leakage.
The easiest sign to diagnose your water softeners leakage is to notice formation of water puddling on the ground around where your water softener is installed.
Moreover, if potential regeneration is taking longer time it means there’s less availability of water due to the leakage.
Precautions to Keep In Mind While Diagnosing Leakage❗
Water softeners seem like harmful devices when they have leakages because water is an excellent conductor of light and control heads in water softeners are connected to electrical connections.
- To diagnose your water softener’s leakage, you will first have to shut off the power going to the head control of it.
- If you find water forming puddles on the ground where your water softener is installed, don’t step into this water because until power is turned off.
- If you confirm your water softener is leaking, turn on the water supply valve to your home while it stops providing water to your leaked water softener.
Water Softener Leaking – Reasons and Solutions
Here are some common reasons that cause the water softeners to leak. But not a big deal, you can deal with them very easily. Because I am going to mention the solution too for each reason.
💭 Why Is Water Softener Leak From the Top?
If your water softener is leaking from the top then there will be some issue in the tanks. Water softeners have two main tanks for proper functioning.
As you can see in the image, the tank on the left-side is called a Resin Tank (main mineral tank) where the exchange of ions takes place to eliminate minerals which causes water hardening. The other tank on the right side is called as Brine Tank which has salt in it. This tank makes a solution of sodium chloride or potassium chloride which is transferred into the main tank and facilitates the iconic reaction needed for the working of water softener.
So if anyone in the tank has an issue the water softener will start leaking from the top.
1. Leakage of Resin Tank From the Top – Main Reasons and Solution
Here are the main reasons for the leakage of the resin tank from the top in your water softener.
Damaged Rotor Valve
Water softeners have a rotor valve that provides the system with water. The rotor itself might have no problem but as it has a seal inside it which can become damaged or cracked after the operation of several years which results as a leakage.
Rotor valves are easily replaceable and you can buy them from amazon or other online retailers which costs 50-70$ for full kit. You can read the user manual or contact the manufacturer to know which part will fit with your water softener.
Bypass Valve – Worned Out O-Rings
One of the most common reasons for water softener leaking at the top in the resin tank is the worn out O-rings. O rings seal water filter housing caps into the water filter housing sumps which prevent leakages. But if you do not lubricate them on regular periods they will wear out even before their time. But after the use of many years, they wear out and require replacement..
Replacing the O-rings is something that you can easily do by yourself. They are easily available at hardware stores and online but you need to make sure you choose the right-sized o-rings for your water softener. You can contact your manufacturer if you need any guidance. Try to lubricate replacing one o-rings every 6-12 months and whenever the casing is open expose them to fresh air.
Leaky Supply Side Water Line Connections
In the water softeners there is a plumbing pipe ( supply side water line ) that provides the untreated water to the main tank and after treatment another pipe line feeds the treated water to the household supply. So, the connections over this pipeline can become loose and weak over time which results in leakage at top.
You can call the plumber to do job for you or can replace the connections with new one. But make sure you turn the water softener off before doing any job on it.
2. Leakage of Brine Tank From the Top – Main Reasons and Solution
Brine tanks are not sealed like resin tanks in the water softeners because they need salt to be added into them regularly that’s why water shouldn’t get near them. So here are some main reasons and solutions for leaking issues.
Lack of Cleaning – Periodic Based
Brine tanks require periodic based cleaning and maintenance if you want to keep them functioning properly and avoid overflow. If you do not clean them, it will cause salt bridge formation, salt clumps and other circumstances and eventually your water softener’s brine tank will overflow.
Properly clean the brine tank once a year after completely emptying it from salt and water.
Drain Lines Clogging
Drain lines of brine tanks sometimes become clogged with salt which keeps the water level inside the tank rinsing until the water starts overflowing. And it all because of not proper cleaning of the brine tank.
If you want to avoid this problem then periodic cleaning of the brine tank is recommended because the salt may get clogged into the pipeline.
Float Switches – Defective
Brine tanks have float switches that control the amount of water inside the tank for brine solution formation. Once a certain amount of water gets inside the tank, this switch does not allow any further water to come inside which prevents the overflowing. When any malfunction happens to the float switch inside the brine tank, the water will overflow.
You need to replace the float switch if there’s an issue in it and you can also ask help from plumbers.
💭 Why Is Water Softener Leaks From the Bottom?
If your water softener is leaking or dripping from the bottom then it is most likely to have a crack on one of its two tanks. Brine tanks are most common to have this issue because their walls are not durable and thick as the main resin tank. So if you still have warranty on it you can contact the company and they will replace the damaged one. But if warranty is no more on it, you can use strong waterproof epoxy to apply on the crack which seals to properly and handles the salt as well.
Before applying the epoxy you need to turn off the water softener then clean and dry the tank. Do not use any harmful tools and instruments while cleaning the brine tanks.
Here is a link for a short youtube video which will tell you about some basic leakage issues of water softeners.
💭 Why Does Water Softener Water Hose Leaks?
Water softeners have hose which provide connection aid for the transfer of the salty water in brine tank and then to resin tank after an automatic cleaning or regeneration cycle has been processed.
Loosening of Connections
If water is leaking directly from the hose then you can check out the clamped, quick and glued connection on it to fix the issues. If the connections are loose due to any ignorance while installation then you just have to tighten them and all done.
Crack on the Hose
The water softener hoses are made up of rigid, braided flex or rubber material but still hoses can wear down and worn out after some time which causes the leakage of water.
After finding cracks on the hose, you have to replace the hose with a new one. But before doing this, make sure you turn off the water supply so you can easily repair it.
💭 Why Makes Water Softener Drain Line to Leak?
Just like hoses, drain pipe lines are also connected to the water softeners. They are made of several different types of materials and usually they are fragile so you need to be careful while moving around the water softener. They can also use leakage when they’re wired at the bottom of a brine tank.
The lack of constant drain line use can cause the brittleness in the pipeline and eventually it cracks down. Spotting cracks on the pipelines is a way and you need to fix them or replace them by yourself or professionals.
How to Fix the Water Softener Leakage?
I have described solutions to the very common and basic issues that any water softener use may face about leakage. So you just have few choices to opt for.
1. Do-It-Yourself – DIY
The above mentioned solutions are very easy and understandable to adopt to resolve the leaking issues of water softeners especially when it comes to o-rings, rotor valves and connections they are very easy to fix and replace. Replacing cracked or damaged hose and cracked pipe lines is something that you can do also and mastered quickly.
Cleaning the brine tank is also a DIY job which will resolve the overflow problem but you just need to be gentle and careful around the walls of the brine tank because they are not as durable and thick as the main Resin tank.
2. Assistance From Professionals
Sometimes even after fixing the leaking issues in water softener tanks but if any repeated leaking occurs you have an option to call a plumber or professional for handling it. They will also tell you whether your water softener requires repairing or replacement.
Professionals who are pro in handling water softener leakages can fix yours in 15 minutes but they will charge you more because they will ensure no more hiccups that cause any further issues. So if you don’t want to fix the water softeners leakages yourself you can call out professionals.
When to Repair and Replace the Water Softeners?
Keep in mind, not even a small leakage in your water softener is bearable to ignore. Because if your water softener has any small leakage issue it will become a bigger concern if you ignore them, you should be able to fix them yourself by repairing the defective components. But if you are stressed out whether you can or not, don’t worry just leave the issue to plumbers.
If your water softener is over 10-years old and requires more repairs again and again then you should consider buying a new water softener for your home. Because meaning such water softeners become more difficult. The new water softener will be advantageous for you by saving water, using less salt and performing functions more properly as a regeneration (cleaning) cycle with low maintenance.
Hope you are now able to fix the issues of your water softener at your home and will master them over the time period. The solutions are very easy to do but first you have to spot the right location of leak otherwise it will not become possible to deal with them rightly. Now, say good-bye to plumbers and try to resolve leaking issues by yourself.