Steps Involved In Cleaning Your Water Softeners Brine Tank

Part of owning a water softener is maintaining it.  One aspect of water softener maintenance involves cleaning the tank which holds the brine.  Cleaning a water softener tank should be done every five to ten years.  It is time to clean the tank when your water turns hard and the basic tank maintenance doesn’t fix the issue. Older water softening units can benefit from annual cleanings especially electric water softeners. 

The first step in cleaning the water softener tank involves emptying the tank.  This is done by locating the bypass valve and shutting off the water intake.  Water can be siphoned out of the tank.  After this process is completed you will want to remove the leftover salt and safely throw it away.  Water softener salt must be disposed of away from plants.  Water softener salt will kill plants and other landscaping plants and shrubs. Another way to get rid of large blocks of salt or bridges is to dissolve it in hot water. 

Once the water and salt have been removed from the tank homeowners should remove the brine grid that sits at the base of the tank.  Some water softening units have a mesh platform instead.  Set this grid to the side before cleaning the tank.

Once the water softener tank is empty and the brine grid or mesh has been removed it is time to clean the tank with a good amount of soap and water.  This mixture should be scrubbed all around the interior of the tank with a long-handled scrub brush.  After the tanks has been thoroughly cleansed the soapy water can be dumped out and rinsed with clean water.

After this has been done the homeowner should clean the tank with a combination of bleach and water. Stir the bleach/water combination in the tank and let it sit for fifteen minutes to completely disinfect the tank.  Organisms have a difficult time to grow in the concentrated brine however the bleach and water mixture makes sure.

Once this process has been completed and the bleach/water combination has been rinsed out it is time to replenish the tank with water and salt.  First replace the grid into the bottom of the tank.  Add water softener salt and water back into the tank when it is back in place.  Give the tank a couple of hours before you regenerate the water softener as this time is needed in order to dissolve the salt within the tank. 

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditioners, water filtration and purification, reverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

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