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Water softeners can play an essential role in promoting comfort and convenience throughout your home. But while water softeners are built to last a good long while with minimal upkeep, that doesn’t mean you’ll never experience any issues. As with any plumbing fixture, softeners can sometimes cause problems. One issue you might encounter with your softener is a water level that’s too high, specifically in the brine or salt tank. This can cause an overflow, making a mess in your home.

What causes these issues, and what can you do to stop them? As a leading water softener company in Indianapolis, Carter’s My Plumber has encountered this issue many times, and we are happy to provide our expertise.

Troubleshooting Your Overflowing Resin Tank

Your softener’s brine tank is critical to its overall operation. Generally speaking, you want the tank to have somewhere between eight and 14 inches of water, though this number can vary depending on the make, model, and type of softener you have. Note that this water level reflects the contents of your tank before you start adding salt; salt levels will naturally displace your water level further. (In other words, adding salt will make that water line go up.)

Obviously, the brine tank is not meant to overflow. If you do have water flow coming out of your tank, there are a few potential causes. These can include:

  • A valve that’s malfunctioning.
  • An injector that has become clogged.
  • A stuck float.

Fixing Your Overflowing Water Softener

The good news is that most of these issues can be fixed on a DIY level. In some cases, you may need to bring in a professional plumber, but first, try these fixes.

  • First, double check the brine line, which is what connects the water softener brine tank to the control valve. Make sure it’s actually attached to the float inside your brine well.
  • Take a look at the caps on your water softener brine tank along with the brine well, ensuring a nice, tight fit.
  • Check the brine line float to see if there is any excess salt buildup. Also see if there is any salt clogging the inside of the tank.
  • Also take the time to inspect the drain line itself. Your overflow issue may be the result of a simple clog or kink.
  • See if the injector is clogged; this often happens due to particles and debris. If the issue is with the injector, you may need to call a professional to clean or replace it.

If you’re in the Indianapolis area, call Carter’s My Plumber for a quote on the water softener installation cost, or water softener maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my water softener keep overflowing?

Again, there are a number of potential issues that cause your water softener tank to spill out over the correct level, but the most common culprits are a bad valve piston in the softener head or a bad brine tank float.

What happens if you overfill your water softener?

If your water softener overflows often, it may cause water damage. Overflowing with salt can cause hardening due to humidity.

You’ll naturally want to diagnose and correct the issue as promptly as you can, which may involve calling a professional plumber. If you’re waiting for a plumber to come deal with your brine tank overflow, you may want to simply turn on the bypass valve, a way to temporarily sidestep this common water softener problem.

Why is water pouring out of my water softener?

Water could be pouring out due to the normal discharge cycle or the brine tank float is broken/stuck and causing water to keep dumping.

How do I get rid of excess water in my water softener?

To get rid of excess water you would first need to know why it’s in there, then you would have to remove all salt and dump it out.

How full should my water softener be?

Again, your brine water will need to be somewhere between eight and 14 inches, before you add salt to the mineral tank. The specific number can vary depending on the make and model of your unit.

Does a water softener have an overflow pipe?

Yes, it is located in the brine tank.

Kelson Carter

Article reviewed by:

Kelson Carter, aka, The Prince of Plumbing

Kelson is a 3rd generation Plumbing Contractor. His family business is located in Greenwood, Indiana, and provides Residential Plumbing Service to the Indianapolis Metro market.

Kelson grew up watching his grandfather and father do plumbing. After graduating high school, Kelson went to Trade School and became a Licensed Master Plumber and Licensed Plumbing Contractor. He is also Certified in Backflow Prevention. He currently owns and operates Carter's My Plumber with his parents.


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