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Question DetailsAsked on 3/6/2015

The water in my water softer tank went empty? Is it the water pump or an issue with the water softener unit?

The past couple of weeks my wife and I notice a clicking sound from the area near our water pump and water softener units when using the shower or running large amounts of water. I thought at first it was an issue with the water pump. But earlier today noticed the water in the water softener tank was completely dry. After poking around, the water came back on in the water softener tank....but I don't recall doing anything that would have really fixed it. Also, there doesn't seem to be any issue with water pressure itself...just this weird clicking noise. Have tried calling a few places that deal with water pumps and they seem to think it is the softener unit. Then I tried calling Culligan, since their name is on the water softener tank. However, their name is not on the 2nd softener unit. I was told the person who had this house in 2002 had Culligan, but not the owner after. Am confused who to call to deal with this. Culligan can't come for a week, and I'm not sure the unit's theirs.

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1 Answer


Sounds like you have water in the house OK, just not going through the water softener all the time, so if that is the case is not a pump problem, because a pump problem would result in low pressure or low flow at ALL outlets.

You should be able to tie down the exact clicking source location by listening while someone runs water in the tub or the washer.

There are a couple of possibilities depending on type of unit you have - but I would guess (assuming when you said "dry" in tank you meant no water flowing in or out, not actually "dry") that it is probably the automatic backflush solenoid not operating right - the one that causes the filtration bed tank to flush out the reverse direction to the sewer to clean out the accumulated dirt in the tank. I am guessing you have a filtration unit to catch sediment and iron accumulation from the well as the first unit, then a salt "softener" unit as the second tank - that is a normal setup for well water "softener".

If you meant a tank was actually "dry" - then the unit must have been isolated and drained by the previous owner and the unit bypassed, and you turned the bypass off so it is now going through the system - though may or may not actually be treating the water right, depending on if filter media and salt/resin are in the tanks as they should be.

Another possibility is the backflush is not working or the filter media is totally clogged (especially if prior owner did not use it for a few years) so no water is getting past the filtration tank to the softener tank - would require emptying the filtration tank out and refilling with the filter media, charcoal, etc as needed by that model unit and depending on what constituents are being taken out of the water.

If unit is Culligan, ones I have had/seen have a self-adhesive label on the side that says Property Of Culligan or Leased From Culligan with the local Culligan provider's name and number on it - without that it is probably a purchased unit, which they will service for a fee, and maintenance is charged separately. If you want to put it on a service agreement, they typically charge you a refurbishing fee of a couple hundred dollars (plus salt recharge) to get it operational again before they will put it under a service contract, but I have heard some will not do a service agreement on units they do not own - just charge directly for any service calls plus their flat rate for salt/resin/carbon filter media, etc.

Plumber might be able to fix the problem but no promises so you moght waste a couple hundred by calling one, especially as getting the right parts to fix it (if parts required) would not be an item he routinely carries or gets, so Culligan sounds like the best bet especially as you do have water now - just maybe hard or rusty. If you turn off the power to the unit most units will pass-through the water fine with power off, or else they have bypass valves at inlet and outlet that lets you bypass the flow past the unit.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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