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How Much Water Should Be In My Water Softener Brine Tank?

How Much Water Should Be In My Water Softener Brine Tank?



Before we begin answering this FAQ, it's beneficial that you understand how a water softener works. In case you don’t, check out my YouTube video right here.

Once you know how a water softener works, read on to learn how much water should be in your family's water softener brine tank.

Within a water softener, salt and water are used to make brine. The brine is used to recharge or regenerate the media beads. The more water that is in the brine tank, the more salt it absorbs during each regeneration. So the salt dosage required for regeneration determines the water level in the brine tank.

When considering your own water softener, keep in mind these 3 points.

  1. Pre-fill water softeners, like the kind sold at Big Box Stores, have almost no water in the cabinet when in service. So it’s normal to not see any water in there until the regeneration cycle begins. 
    This video explains the difference between pre and post-fill softeners.
  2. WaterBoss ProPlus High Efficiency Water Softener 380
    Water Softener efficiency also comes into play. High Efficiency water softeners, like AquaMaster and WaterBoss water softeners, use very little salt per regeneration. This means you will find very little water in the brine tank (maybe 2-3") which is why the cabinet is so small.
  3. Water Softener settings for the quantity of salt used per regeneration ultimately determines the water level. Hardness and capacity settings make sure your water is soft without wasting salt and water during the regeneration. To determine where your settings should be, have your raw water tested for hardness, iron and manganese and put those settings into your water softener. From there, your water softener will determine how much salt you need and then add the appropriate amount of water. 
    For example, one gallon of water absorbs 3 lbs of salt. So if your water softener uses 9 lbs per regeneration the valve will pour 3 gallons of water in with the salt to make brine containing 9 lbs of salt.

Now, if you suddenly have significantly more water in your brine tank than normal or your water softener is malfunctioning, then you would likely benefit from checking out my Water Softener Troubleshooting video here.

I hope this vlog helps clarify whether your water softener has the right amount of water in your brine tank. If you still have questions, however, feel free to post your comments below or send us a message via our website here. We're always happy to help!


    Looking for more? Click here for your next video on water softeners and I’ll see you there!

    Video Transcript

    Gary The Water Guy:
    Water softener brine tanks take in water to make brine to regenerate the water softener. But how much water should be in there? Should you be adding some water? Should you be removing some water? Maybe there's no water in yours at all, or maybe it's overflowing. Well, I'm going to explain exactly how much water should be in your brine tank, starting right now.

    Gary The Water Guy:
    Hi, I'm Gary The Water Guy, and I simplify water filtration to help you conquer crappy water for your family. So whether you're a do-it-yourself homeowner, a plumber, or water filtration specialist, this video is for you. Knowing how these things work would really be beneficial going forward in this video. If you're not sure, I've got a link in the description down below to a great YouTube video on how a water softener works.

    Gary The Water Guy:
    Basically what happens is water goes into the brine tank, there's already salt in there. That water touches the salt, absorbs it, and that's what's used to regenerate the media inside the water softener. So the water softener, based on its settings, determines how much water goes into the brine tank. But you need to keep a number of things in mind to determine what the correct water level should be inside your water softener.

    Gary The Water Guy:
    So big box store water softeners, like the kind that you see at Home Depot, Costco, places like that, they're what's called a prefill water softener. So what that means is, when they finish their regeneration cycle, they put no water in with the salt. It's when the cycle starts before they start putting in water. So it's a hundred percent normal for those to have no salt in them whatsoever. I've got a great YouTube video that talks a little bit about that, and I'll put a link to it in the description down below.

    Gary The Water Guy:
    The efficiency level of a water softener also makes a big difference in terms of the water level inside there. If you have a high efficiency water softener like a Water Boss or an AquaMaster like this one here, because they use very little salt to regenerate, the water level inside that water softener is only two or three inches. If you've got a standard efficiency water softener like this Hume WaterCare clock belt water softener here, and again it's standard efficiency, so it needs more salt to regenerate. So the water level in there could be quite high.

    Gary The Water Guy:
    Now, depending on the salt level that you have inside your brine tank, if your salt level is significantly higher than what the water level is, you may not see any water at all. But it's in there, it's at the bottom.