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Why Your Water Softener Is Overflowing & What To Do About It

water softener system

Water softener systems store gallons of water at any given moment. But when these systems have more water than they can handle, you might experience a problem with overflowing.

So, why is your water softener system overflowing? Overflowing occurs when there is too much water stored in the tank. This can be caused by a blockage in water flow from the tank to the house.

To restore the flow of water and prevent overflowing, homeowners must investigate the underlying cause of the blockage. There are several different ways to troubleshoot this issue on your own before calling in a professional plumber.

Common Causes of Overflowing Water Softeners


And How To Fix Them

Once you've noticed that your water softener tank is overflowing, the first step is to go through your troubleshooting checklist and eliminate potential culprits. The following are just some of the places to check when troubleshooting your system for an overflow:

Full Brine Tank


Within the brine tank, there is a line that will indicate when the water level has reached its maximum. When the brine line isn't correctly attached to the float inside the brine well, it can cause the system to overflow.

The brine line is the tube that connects your tank to the water softener control valve. To troubleshoot, remove the lid of your brine tank and the cap of the brine well inside the tank. Then inspect the brine line to ensure it is properly secured to the safety float.

Clogged Drain Line


Your water softener system also features a drain line flow control valve. When the drain line is clogged or kinked, it can prevent the flow through the brine line and cause overflowing.

Clogging commonly occurs where the brine line and the water softener valve connect. The best way to restore the brine flow and prevent overflowing is by thoroughly cleaning the tubing to restore the suction required for brine draw.

Detached Float Cap


As mentioned, the brine line is attached to a float cap that signals to the water softening system when the tank is full. If the float cap becomes detached, water can continually be added to the brine tank without triggering the limit sensor.

It's common for float caps to loosen with time due to normal wear and the natural vibration of a functioning water softener system. It's a good idea to periodically check to ensure the control float cap is still attached.

Brine Tank Obstruction


A blockage in the brine tank is one of the most common causes of water softener overflow. Obstructions in the brine tank injector prevent it from creating the suction necessary to draw the brine from the tank. If you aren't able to detect blockages in the brine tank or its lines, there may be a problem with the seals and spaces or its pistons. This typically is the problem when the softener goes through the regeneration stage but is not drawing brine.

To troubleshoot the problem, you'll need to remove the drain and brine lines. While the valve is on, inspect to see if water is flowing across it. If it is, you may need to replace your system's seals, spacers, or pistons. This complex project requires specialized training to complete, so it's best to enlist the help of a professional plumber.

Request Help From a Professional Plumber


If you've tried troubleshooting your system and cannot get to the bottom of your overflow issues, Campbell & Company can help. Our team offers comprehensive water softener and water treatment solutions throughout the Yakima and Tri-Cities areas.

Contact us at 509-545-9848 to request water softener tank repairs!

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