How To Clean Water Softener Tank

Time stands still as you step back to take in the daunting task of cleaning your water softener tank. It’s a must-do for ensuring the longevity of your softener, and with the right materials and a bit of know-how, it can be done.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of cleaning your water softener tank and getting it back in working order. So, grab your supplies and let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Gather the necessary supplies such as a bucket, gloves, screwdriver, and bristle brush.
  • Shut off the water softener by unplugging the power source, turning off the water supply, and shutting off the bypass valve.
  • Empty the tank by considering the water hardness level, selecting the appropriate salt type, and disconnecting the drain line to dispose of salt in an environmentally-friendly way.
  • Clean the tank by draining it, scraping off any debris, and cleaning it with a mild detergent. Regular preventive maintenance and troubleshooting any issues are also important.

Gather Necessary Supplies

Gathering the necessary supplies for cleaning a water softener tank is an important first step. In order to make the process as easy as possible, it is important to make sure you have all the necessary items. You will need:

  • A bucket
  • Gloves
  • A screwdriver
  • A bristle brush
  • A mild detergent

To make the cleaning process most effective, it is also important to choose the right type of salt for your softener maintenance. Salt types vary and can be found at most hardware stores. Knowing the type of salt that works best for your particular water softener will be the key to successful cleaning and maintenance.

Shut Off Water Softener

Before cleaning the water softener, it is important to shut it off. Shutting off the softener ensures that no water is used while it is being cleaned, and also prevents salt consumption.

To shut off the water softener, follow these steps:

  • Unplug the power source
  • Turn off the water supply
  • Shut off the bypass valve

By taking these steps, you can be sure that the water softener is shut off properly. Once the softener is shut off, you can safely proceed to clean it.

Shutting off the water softener is a critical step of the cleaning process, and ensures that your water softener will be properly cared for.

Empty the Tank

Once the water softener has been shut off, it is necessary to empty the tank to begin the cleaning process.

Salt is an important factor in softening water, and when selecting the best type of salt for your softener, you should be aware of the hardness level of your water. This will help you make an informed decision about the type of salt to use. If your water hardness level is high, it is recommended to use solar salt or evaporated salt. If your water hardness level is low, you should opt for rock salt. Calculating the hardness level of your water is simple and can be done using a home test kit.

Once you know the hardness level, you can begin to empty the tank by turning off the power supply and removing the bypass valve. Next, you should locate the drain line and disconnect it to empty the tank. Make sure to wear protective gear, such as gloves and a face mask, when handling the salt.

After the tank is emptied, dispose of the salt in an environmentally-friendly way.

Clean the Tank

Utilizing appropriate safety gear, it is important to thoroughly clean the tank of a water softener. Doing regular preventive maintenance and troubleshooting any issues helps keep the system functioning properly. To clean the tank, it is important to:

  • Drain the tank
  • Scrape off any debris
  • Clean with a mild detergent

It is essential to take the time to clean the tank regularly to ensure it is working efficiently and effectively. It is also important to take the necessary precautions to avoid any injury or damage.

Once the tank is clean, it is time to reassemble and refill the tank.

Reassemble and Refill Tank

Reassembling and refilling the tank is the next essential step in order to get the system running properly.

Begin by replacing the resin that was removed during the cleaning process. You may need to use a new resin, depending on the condition of the old one.

Pour the new resin into the tank, making sure it is evenly distributed.

After the resin is replaced, it is time to recharge the tank with salt. Make sure you use the right type of salt for the system, as this will ensure proper functioning.

Pour the salt into the tank until it reaches the correct level.

After replacing the resin and recharging the salt, the tank can be reassembled and refilled with water.

Once the water is back in the tank, the system should be ready to start working again.

Test and Adjust Settings

Now that you have successfully reassembled and refilled your water softener tank, it is important to test and adjust the settings for optimal performance.

Here are some tips to help you review and optimize the settings in your water softener tank:

  • Check the salt levels. Make sure your water softener tank contains the proper amount of salt to ensure clean, soft water.
  • Review the cycle times. Make sure your water softener tank is cycling for the correct amount of time to sufficiently clean the water.
  • Adjust the brine tank to the proper settings. This will help to ensure your water softener is running at peak performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Clean My Water Softener Tank?

It is recommended to clean your water softener tank every 3-4 months, depending on your water usage and salt levels. Doing so will ensure that your system is functioning to its full capacity and that your water remains soft and clean.

What Safety Precautions Should I Take When Cleaning My Water Softener Tank?

When cleaning your water softener tank, it is important to take safety precautions to ensure the water quality and salt levels remain safe. Wear protective gloves and eyewear and be sure to read instructions carefully before beginning. Maintain a safe distance from the tank and consider consulting a professional for help.

What Type of Cleaner Is Best for My Water Softener Tank?

When cleaning a water softener tank, it’s important to use the right cleaning products. A cleaner specifically designed for water hardness is ideal, as it will effectively remove any build-up. This will help ensure your softener runs at its best.

How Can I Tell if My Water Softener Tank Is Clogged or Dirty?

To tell if your water softener tank is clogged or dirty, look for visible signs of dirt, sediment, or grime on the inside or outside of the tank. Regularly check and clean the tank to avoid clogs and keep it running efficiently. Prevention is key, so invest in good maintenance and cleaning products.

What Type of Maintenance Is Required for a Water Softener Tank?

Regular maintenance of a water softener tank is necessary to ensure optimal performance. This includes checking water hardness and salt levels, replacing media, and cleaning the tank as needed. Proper maintenance helps maintain water quality and decreases repair costs.


Clean water softener tanks can be achieved with the right supplies and simple steps.

It is important to remember to shut off the water softener and empty the tank before beginning the process.

Once the tank is cleaned, reassemble and refill it, and test and adjust the settings accordingly.

For example, a homeowner in Florida was able to successfully clean their water softener tank after following the steps outlined above, leading to improved water quality in their home.

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