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How to Fix a LEAKING Water Softener! (In-Depth DIY Guide)

How to Fix a LEAKING Water Softener! (In-Depth DIY Guide)

Is your water softener acting up and leaving puddles in its wake? Don't let this minor inconvenience become a major headache. 



Does this sound familiar? You suddenly see water on the floor or on your water softener and know that if you don’t find and fix that leak there’ll be damage to your floor and it’s just going to get worse? If so, check out our top tips and questions to ask so you can find and fix that leak like a pro!


regeneration cycle water softener

Tip #1 - Does it leak all the time or sporadically? 

If your water softener only leaks sporadically, it’s likely leaking when your system goes through a regeneration cycle. 

If you’re not sure what I mean, don't worry! I've got you covered. Watch this video before you continue to learn how a water softener works.

To test and see if that’s true, you should manually start a regeneration cycle and see if you can find that leak. Carefully check the top of the valve to see where it might be leaking from. For convenience, you can fast forward through the cycles. And to stop the water flow immediately once you’ve found the leak, you can put your water softener temporarily into bypass. 


Tip #2 – The most common “leak” isn’t a leak at all! The excess water is often caused by condensation. 

Whenever a cold liquid like water flows through a tank that isn’t insulated, you get water droplets forming on the outside.  That becomes more prominent when the tank is located in a warm humid area of your home or garage.  The condensation builds up and then runs down the tank and forms puddles on the floor. The best solution for this is to insulate the tanks.

Check out this video to learn more about insulating water softener sweat jackets, like on this HUM water softener.



clack drain elbow

Tip #3 – Water is leaking from the fitting for the Drain Elbow. 

Clack water softeners are notorious for this.  As they age, the vent that makes the backwashing noise quieter starts to leak. Luckily, it’s an easy fix! Just replace the fitting. 

You can get replacement fittings right here! 

Once you're ready to replace the fitting, just undo the ‘E” clip, remove the old one, unscrew it from the drain line and reattach it to the valve with the “E” clip.


Tip #4 – Leaking from the drain or brine fittings where they plug into the valve. 

Water softeners have “O-rings" sealing these areas and after a while those O-rings get dry and don’t seal as well anymore. To fix this, you just remove the fittings and grease the O-ring with plumbers clear silicone grease, which we have here



water softener overflow leak diy

Tip #5 - Water is leaking from the overflow of the brine tank because the brine tank suddenly has far more water than before. 

This excess of water might have been caused by a power failure while the water softener was regenerating and the safety float did its job to stop the tank from overflowing. To test it, just manually start a regeneration cycle to see if — during or when it’s finished — there is far less water in the brine tank.  If it is, you’re done because it is correcting itself.  After several more regenerations, the water level will go back to normal. 

If the water level is still very high, check out our troubleshooting video below.


Tip #6 – A common place to see water seeping from the softener slowly is between the valve and the tank. 

Now you may not see this until the water is at the base of the tank, but look closely for water droplets in this area between the valve and the tank. Over time, sometimes the valve gets a little loose. You can easily fix this yourself by disconnecting the valve from the plumbing and tightening it by turning it clockwise.

If that doesn’t fix the leak, you likely have a cracked tank and it’s either time to replace the tank and media inside the tank, or replace the whole water softener.



And there you have it! You're now armed with practical knowledge and DIY skills to conquer any leaking water softener issue that comes your way. With our step-by-step DIY solutions and in-depth guide, those pesky leaks don't stand a chance.