Modern water softeners automatically put water into the brine tank at the end of each regeneration. This water sits in the brine tank and dissolves some of the salt to create a very salty liquid called brine. This brine is sucked back into the water softener main tank during the next regeneration. The brine is used to "recharge" (sometimes called "regenerate") the water softener main tank. After the recharge, the softener can soften a set amount of water before it needs to be recharged again. Depending upon the size of the water softener, it can take between 2 and 8 gallons of brine per recharge. On most water softeners you can set the salt "dosage". Dosage is usually set in "lbs of salt". Each gallon of water will dissolve around 3 lbs of salt so if you set a dosage of 9 lbs, the softener will automatically add around 3 gallons of water to the brine tank after each regeneration.
Because it's needed to make the salt brine that is exchanged for hardness.
Remove it from the system and scrub it out with bleach or 'shock'.
The sodium in the salt reacts with the zeolite in the softener stripping it of the calcium when you regenerate the softener. When the softener is in service the calcium more readily replaces the sodium on the zeolite resin beads softening the water.
There are two main causes of water backing up into a water softener brine tank. The injector assembly may be defective and not draw all of the brine out of the tank and then the timed brine refill will put back a predetermined amount of water, causing the level of brine to increase in the tank after each regeneration. The other cause may be a defective brine valve which has a slow leak after it closes and causes the tank to overfill.
That is reject brine after cleaning of the settling tank. It's programmed for 3-4 times a week.
If your water softener timer and cycling functions seem to be working correctly, there are at least three more items to check: salt in the brine tank, clogged eductor nozzles, old resin For the water softener to work correctly, it needs to regenerate. Typically a household softener is set to regenerate every 3 to 7 days and most units are designed to regenerate at night when no one is using water. During regeneration, the softener will pull brine (very salty water) from the brine tank and rinse this brine through the softener resin tank slowly to "refresh" the resin beads inside the tank. If this process doesn't happen, the softener will deliver hard water. This process will fail if: there is no salt in the brine tank for the softener to pull out or if there is no water in the brine tank to dissolve the salt. At the end of each regeneration, the softener pumps water back into the brine tank so it will dissolve salt for the next regeneration. Things to check: 1) is there salt in your brine tank? 2) is there water in the brine tank before the regeneration starts? (usually 5-10 inches of water, depends upon the model and size of brine tank) You might not see the top surface of the water if you have lots of salt in the brine tank. 3) during the regeneration process, which typically runs 60-120 minutes, watch to make sure that the level of water draws down (slowly) and later fills back up. If the level is not going down and back up during regeneration, it is possible that the "eductor nozzle" is blocked. This is a small plastic component with a tiny hole in it that can easily become clogged. On almost all softeners it is quick and easy to remove the eductor nozzle, flush it with water and replace it. consult your owners guide. If there is salt in the brine tank and the water level is going up and down, and this softener is 5-10 years old or older, it is likely that the "ion exchange resin beads" inside the softener tank are 'dead'. A typical household softener has 0.5 to 2 cubic feet of resin beads inside the tank depending upon the model and the hardness of the water that is being treated. The tiny plastic ion echange beads in the tank get regenerated every few days, but after hundreds of regenerations, and/or exposure to high levels of impurities and/or chlorine they can 'wear out'. Replacing the beads is a messy job and you need to be careful in the process so you don't accidentally end up filling the pipes in your home with loose beads. Unless you're particularly handy, strong and have a way to suck out and replace the beads, it is probably best to hire a water softener dealer to test your resin beads and replace them if needed.
It could be that the softener has developed an internal mechanical fault so that it is not fully shutting-off the flow of water to the brine tank after the regeneration cycle has been completed for the softener's ion-exchange resin granules which are held in its "resin tank". A likely cause of the trouble could be that the softener's "brine valve" is now failing to completely shut off the flow of water. It might be caused by a component such as a valve sealing washer on the valve module that you may be able to access and repair as a D-I-Y job. A different cause of the problem could be that the internal "resin tank" - which contains the ion-exchange resin granules - has developed a crack or split which allows water to leak at high pressure into the brine tank. The resin tank is not usually repairable so, if that is the cause, a new resin tank is required. The cost of the work required to have a new tank fitted is unlikely to be worthwhile. It is usually much cheaper to buy a new water softener.
Water softeners have a tank to store salt, known as the salt tank or the brine tank. Smaller home water softeners are normally a single unit with the water softener in the back half and the salt tank in the front half - accessed through a lid at the top / front. Larger water softeners often have a separate salt tank. Julian Hobday of KindWater
The brine valve is located in the brine tank in the 3 inch tube. Systems with brass control valves prior to the year 2000 do not have a brine valve in the tank. the air check is performed by the tri guard. ( clear plastic thing with the ball in attached to the valve body)
It is normal for water softeners to pump water into the salt tank at the end of each regeneration. This water dissolves some of the salt and this dissolved salt (called brine) is rinsed through the resin tank of the softener during the next regeneration. The amount of water needed for the regeneration depends upon how hard the incoming water is and how big the water softener is. Typically a household softener regenerates once every 3 to 7 days. Each gallon of water added to the brine tank will dissolve 3 lbs of salt. A small softener will consume between 4 and 12 lbs of salt per regeneration and a large household softener will consumer 8 to 24 lbs of salt. The easiest way to see if your softener is putting the right amount of water into the brine tank is to see how much salt it is using during each regeneration: start by measuring how high the level of salt (not the water) in the tank is above the bottom of the tank. Next, add one 40 lbs bag of salt and see how many inches higher the level of salt is now. Say it is 4 inches higher after you add the salt. that means that every one inch of height is equal to 10 lbs of salt. Now wait until after the next regeneration happens and recheck the height of the salt. If the salt drops 2" they you know your softener used 20 lbs of salt. If it is a small softener and is using 20lbs or more salt per regeneration then the system is using too much water. It is worth investigating if a component called the "brine valve" can be adjusted to reduce the amount of water added after each regeneration. If this is not possible then it could be that the softener has developed an internal mechanical fault such that it is not fully shutting-off the flow of water to the brine tank after each regeneration cycle has been completed for the softener's ion-exchange resin granules which are held in its "resin tank". A likely cause of the trouble could be that the softener's "brine valve" is now failing to completely shut off the flow of water. It might be caused by a component such as a valve sealing washer on the valve module that you may be able to access and repair as a D-I-Y job. A different cause of the problem could be that the internal "resin tank" - which contains the ion-exchange resin granules - has developed a crack or split which allows water to leak at high pressure into the brine tank. The resin tank is not usually repairable so, if that is the cause, a new resin tank is required. The cost of the work required to have a new tank fitted is unlikely to be worthwhile. It is usually much cheaper to buy a new water softener.
A water softener uses ion-exchange technology to trap hardness (calcium) from water. Every few days the hardness is washed out of the water softener resin using a strong salt solution. So you pour the salt into the salt tank of a water softener. The water softener adds a measured volume of water to dissolve the correct amount of salt, which is later sucked up as brine and used to wash the resin before being flushed to the drain. Julian Hobday of KindWater
This question is answered already under the heading "Why are large amounts of water collecting in the salt tank of my GE water softener"?