Water softener frustration continues

I have a GE profile model PNSF31Z01 water softener. I had it installed in 1999. Over the past month it has consumed about 12 bags (50 pounds each) of salt. Based on talking to neighbors and previous usage one bag is normal, and 3 bags would be the absolute max.
I don't ever remember seeing water in the tank except when the salt got low. However, now I constantly see water above the level of the salt. The exterior tank has an overflow drain within 5 inches of the top of the tank, so I am guessing that a good deal of the salt I am losing is going down the floor drain through that overflow drain mixed in solution with the water in the tank.
Is a seal busted somewhere to cause the water I am seeing? I'm guessing the float switch controls how much water is allowed in the tank, how do I adjust it. I thought I left it at the same setting as when removed for cleaning, but perhaps not.
I was told at purchase that the only consequence of running out of salt would be hard water, so when low I cleaned out slag (about 1 inch of brown muddy crud at the bottom of the tank with about 3 inches of pure white salt underneath) using a shop vac, washed off float chamber and cleaned 1 inch of slag (I'm told 6 years of impurities in the salt) out of it and carefully cleaned and reassembled venturi which was about 75% blocked.
Initial reload of salt and initial manual regeneration seemed normal, but now that high water level is back again and I've added an entire bag in just two days.
I will monitor the number and frequency of regenerations, but the water in the tank concerns me, especially since after refilling and regenerating only once, an entire bag of salt disappeared. Since I had the tank almost empty, it can't have been a salt bridge.
Does the type of salt I use matter much. I try to buy 99% pure or better for water softeners. Grocery and hardware stores sell brands with 99%, 99.5% and a neighbor buys some privately at $5 a bag that says 99.8% pure on the bag. I don't buy salt with additives. One brand is granular odd shaped particles about one-quarter inch in diameter. The 99.5% Morton brand is pellets about one inch oval, what I would describe as a giant "horse pill" and is what is in there now as that is what the Home Depot was carrying nearest my home. I can get the granules, just have to drive farther.
This is what I understand so far. . . 10 inch diameter 35 inch tall cylinder A contains plastic resin beads 4 inch diameter 35 inch tall cylinder B contains a float switch Plastic Tank contains both cylinders plus salt. Control head tracks or controls time of day, scheduled time of day for regeneration, total generations since last serviced (resetable to zero). I programmed 14 grains per gallon hardness after having water tested and asking village water department. I unscrewed and carefully cleaned all the venturi parts, being careful to put it back together correctly. I used a shop vac to remove excess water and a light brown calcium looking slag from the bottom of the tank (below this 1 inch of slag was clean white salt) and from the bottom of the float and cylinder B.
My goal is to become knowledgable enough to properly service my own water softener.
Thanks in advance, Andy
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There is a valve to let the water in. Like a dripping faucet, it may be leaking into the tank. That would explain a lot of your problems. I don't know what type it is, but there is probably a seal or gasket that is worn.
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wrote:

That is almost certainly the case. You can probably buy a kit to rebuild the valve. Consists of gaskets and O-rings. You have to be very careful to get everything back like it was. We had a Sears water softener, but the GE is no doubt similar in the valve area.
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1_Patriotic_Guy wrote:

Hi, Sounds like your control head is leaking water, flooding the salt tank. Time to rebuild it with repair kit(mainly seal/O rings). My unit is Kenmore(sold by Sears up here in Canada). I had that problem and got all the needed parts from Sears. Good luck, Tony
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