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Question DetailsAsked on 8/31/2017

Why water is running continuously from the drain line in my laundry room?

So this was answered by LCD. I don't think either system is backflushing as I do not hear a loud noise from either one. Yes, I have 2 systems: charcoal filter and softener. I just bypassed the softener and the water in the laundry room stopped. So what do I do next? I had 2 different plumbers here, and they were not very helpful. I almost want to order a whole new control head for the softener.

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OK- followup to this original question with answer -

BTW - to keep all back-and-forth responses and answers about a specific question in the same thread, you can reply back to answers or provide additional info or photos using the Answer This Question yellow button right below your question - putting your response back or additional info or whatever into the Your Answer box that comes up, same as if you were answering your own question.

OK - so you have narrowed it to the water softener, and evidently a smallish leak to the drain rather than full flow (which if that were the case would be a full-flowing drain plus partial loss of pressure in the rest of the house).

Look at your system - probably looks something like this (though may have multiple tanks depending on type of treatment being done) - last image in link:

Closing those shutoff valves to and from the softener (how ever many tanks it has) and opening the bypass valve cut off the pressure to the water softener, and stopped the flow - it is definitely coming from the water softener.

Here is roughly what a simple water softener system looks like - there may be additional pre-filtration or post-treatment tanks in line but they make no real difference to the flowchart - the resin or media tank is what counts because that is what does the backflushing.

During the backflush cycle, the direction of the flow reverses - so instead of the usual top-down flow through the media, water is run through the media tank from bottom to top, agitating the media and flushing out most of the accumulated sediment and (with the action of the salt) removing most of the hardness-causing minerals. When it is doing this, the water goes through a flush valve to the drain instead of into the household piping, as that water is cruddy and salty. This cycle is controlled by a mechnism which either is timer-based (usually set for every day or two or three in very early morning so it does not interrupt household water availability), or with some units every so many hundreds or thousands of gallons of water flow through it. If this valve leaks, either due to mechanical problem or due to corrosion or mineral buildup on the seat, then you can get a continual leak to the drain. NOt a big thing, but will eventually get worse, and of course wastes water - which can be expensive if on metered water.

There is also usually a brine control valve drain line (which may merge with the other line - but this one has to be a gravity flow line) which flos only when the brine control valve is leaking or malfunctioning. Should not be hard to tell which of the two is contributing to the leakage. Leakage is generally brine water, so uses up your expensive salt.

In some units both valves are in the same control head.

Commonly, the valves can be cleaned in a mild acid solution and brought back to function, though not all vendors know how to do that. Lacking that ability, replacing the applicable leaking control valve is your solution - commonly done by a Water Treatment vendor though some plumbers also install/maintain water softeners. Head cost about $250-600 retail price depending on brand and throughput capacity - commonly half the total unit cost or more. For many common brands available on the web, through Amazon, local plumbing supply warehouses, etc. Even home improvement and box stores for common store-bought brands like Fleck and Culligan. Labor for a tech to replace or clean up and rehab typcially $150-250 I would say.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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