We have a problem with our water softener not drawing brine during
the regeneration cycle because the drain it is connected to is slow
draining. The softener is twelve years old. This problem has just
started in the last few months. A few months ago, my brother got it
to work again by running a manual 25 foot snake down the drain. This
time he used a rented 75 foot power snake but did not solve the
We are wondering if we can run the drain into the garden. Would
this water have too much salt for the plants? Thank you in advance
for all replies.
Whenever I hear or think of the song "Great green gobs of greasy
grimey gopher guts" I imagine my cat saying; "That sounds REALLY,
REALLY good. I'll have some of that!"
What else is on that drain? If everything else on that house drain
still works fine, I'd suspect the outflow tube on the softener has a
blockage, and the 'fix' last time was due to moving the drain tube on
the softener around, and breaking up the crud that was blocking it. If
your water is real nasty, on a 12 YO softener, it could be crudded up
inside, If your softener uses those special beads in the brine tank,
they could be worn out or fused into a lump. Have you tried applying air
back into the drain fitting on the softener? Is the softener drain a
hard pipe, or the more typical clear plastic tube? It may be crudded up
I'd test the house drain with a bucket or a garden hose (using a equal
volume of water to what the brine tank holds, or more), an verify if it
is really slow. If it is, that is what needs fixing or replacement. If
the whole house is slow-draining and you are on septic, the leach field
may be soggy, or the tank may need pumping. If the drains check out fine
(and a 75-foot snake should have gotten well outside the house), you may
need to fix or replace the softener.
I suggest looking at the softener because I had to replace the one here
when I moved in. The old one, about the same age as yours, was crudded
up so bad that previous owner had turned the bypass valves and taken it
off-line. Comparing what a cheap generic replacement from the big-box
cost, to what a plumber charges per hour + parts, made the solution a
I doubt if it would be a good idea to drain it to your lawn or
garden unless you live on the salt flats. It will likely kill or
damage whatever plants are around it.
Best bet is IMO fixing the problem and it may well be as
suggested a softener problem.
I have to disagree with you. I have two places, one has a softener
and the other one doesn't. The water pretty much sucks in both
places. Sure I can drink the water and pretend that I like it, but I
don't, I either drink bottled water or filtered water. When I take a
shower sure I get clean, but I much rather shower at the place with
the softener, I feel so much better(cleaner) than taking a shower
with rusty water. As far as scrubbing the toilet, that doesn't matter
much to me( that's woman's work ;) ) No one sold me on a softener, it
was in the house when I bought it, but given the choice I'll take a
water softener with hard water any day of the week and spend a few
extra dollars a month for salt rather than have to live with crappy
water and pretend that I like it.
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